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25+ construction projects planned on I-5 in King Co. over the next decade

SEATTLE - The next decade will include more construction projects on Interstate 5 across King County. For commuter Michael Eggelston, taking I-5 from Seattle to work in Factoria is a daily grind.

"I currently live in Ballard, it tends to average about an hour,” he said.

Eggelston says just when his weekends of maneuvering around the revive I-5 project have ended, news of more construction will take a toll.

"Any weekends that they close any parts of I-5, we will go out of our way to not go into Seattle. A lot of frustration, a little annoyance that there is that many more projects to happen,” said Eggelston.

But Bart Treece, with WSDOT says Eggelston shouldn’t be concerned just yet.

"I don’t know about worried, it’s too soon to tell what kind of delays the construction delays will be,” said Treece.

WSDOT says because funding is limited and all the work can’t be done at once, more than two dozen safety and maintenance projects will have to spread out across a decade on I-5 through King County.

"Part of the 10-year plan is looking at the bridge surfaces, bridge decks, expansion joints that help it function and also the pavement on the freeway,” said Treece.

Some of the work includes:

* Southbound projects to replace aging expansion joints and paving the bridge decks.

* Replacing more than 4 miles of concrete across all lanes in both directions of I-5 between 117th Street and the Ship Canal Bridge. “This can’t be done with just weekends. It will require weeks of lane closures, similar to a project we did on northbound I-5 south of Seattle in 2007. We’ll only work in one direction at a time, but people are going to want to use alternatives,” said WSDOT.

* Repaving both directions of the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge, which will require extended lane reductions.

* Several projects will replace damaged concrete panels, grind concrete to eliminate ruts and repave asphalt. These may require weekend-long lane reductions.

* Five projects planned will reinforce key bridges and overpasses to withstand earthquakes.

"This work is absolutely needed to keep it reliable for folks who depend on it,” said Treece.

Eggelston understands the freeway is almost 60 years old and needs repairs, but 10 more years of projects has this lifelong Seattleite wonder about calling the city home.

"That will definitely affect where I live in the future,” said Eggelston.