Washington State Department of Transportation officials said yesterday the Monday morning commute through a construction project that limited the number of lanes on Interstate 5 went smoothly. WSDOT engineers estimate approximately 3,300 vehicles per hour on northbound I-5 south of downtown Seattle during the morning commute, which is about half of average Monday morning traffic volumes.
Just in time for the morning rush, construction crews opened lanes on northbound I-5 and the West Seattle freeway and Spokane Street on-ramps to northbound I-5 and the northbound I-5 ramp to I-90. I-5 now has three northbound lanes through the construction zone. The northbound I-5 exit to 4th Avenue S. is closed. Northbound I-5 drivers heading to tonight’s 7 p.m. Mariner’s game can exit early at Boeing Access Road or take alternate routes.
Drivers should note that the right lane through the construction zone takes drivers onto the collector-distributor lane, which allows them to reconnect with the mainline of I-5. It also provides access to off-ramps to I-90 and downtown Seattle.
Construction crews are making good time and the project is still on schedule, said WSDOT officials. The east half of 10 out of 34 expansion joints are done as well as paving near five new expansion joints on the Spokane Street ramp. Yesterday, crews paved in two locations near the West Seattle off-ramp and on the east side of the bridge north of the northbound collector- distributor lane. They will also continue deck prep and expansion joint work.
During the 19-day around-the-clock closure, crews working for Concrete Barrier Inc. will break apart old concrete surrounding 34 old, worn-out expansion joints, install new expansion joints and repave 1.13 miles of northbound I-5 between Spokane St and I-90.
For project details, resources available to get drivers through these closures, and suggestions for alternate routes, please visit the project Web site at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/SpokaneStreetBridgeRepair/ .