People who travel on northbound I-5 near Tukwila should allow additional time for their trips this weekend (Jan. 5-6), when the freeway will reduce to two lanes for an expansion joint replacement project.

To do the work safely, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close three lanes across the Duwamish River Bridge. Travelers should consider alternate routes such or expect delays of up to an hour.

“This is what it takes to keep our aging transportation system reliable for commuters and freight haulers,” said WSDOT Assistant Regional Administrator Amir Rasaie. “We need to complete this repair work as soon as possible in order to prevent unplanned closures for emergency repairs, especially with the upcoming closure of State Route 99 in Seattle.”

A second weekend is needed to finish repairs to the other half of the joint, and will be scheduled soon. WSDOT wants to complete at least some of the work before the three-week closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct that starts Jan. 11.

As part of a Revive I-5 project in May 2017, contractor crews working for WSDOT replaced the deteriorating concrete connections of the expansion joint, known as the header, by reusing metal pieces that appeared to be in good condition. However, part of the metal broke last October and had to be removed during an emergency lane closure. Now, the permanent fix will keep the bridge connections in place for years to come.

During the January closure, crews also will complete repairs on part of a second joint at the same location. The work is weather-dependent.

Northbound I-5 closure details
The three right lanes of northbound I-5 will close from 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6. The following on-ramps to northbound I-5 ramps also will be closed:

  • Southcenter Boulevard
  • I-405 HOV only
  • Interurban Avenue

Know before you go

  • People who drive in this area should expect heavy traffic and delays each weekend.
  • Allow extra travel time, particularly traveling to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
  • Consider taking a carpool, vanpool or public transportation.

For the latest traffic information, visit WSDOT’s Seattle Traffic page, mobile app and @WSDOT_Traffic on Twitter.

Scott Schaefer

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