Expect plenty of traffic headaches this weekend

by: Alexis Smith Updated:

SEATTLE —

Drivers will have a number of obstacles to navigate as crews for two major projects prepare for significant weekend closures.

Up to two of four lanes will be closed on northbound I-5 through Seattle this weekend. The main alternate, SR 99, will be reduced to one lane across the Aurora Bridge Saturday and Sunday. Drivers should also plan ahead for a full closure of the 520 floating bridge.

WSDOT crews will  close up to two left lanes of northbound I-5 beginning near the Convention Center at Olive Way and ending just past the Mercer ramps at Lakeview Boulevard. Work starts at 9pm Friday and should be complete by 4:30am Monday. The northbound I-5 closures will extend to the north end of the Ship Canal Bridge during the day both Saturday and Sunday from 5:30am to 5:30pm. There, the DOT will take advantage of a chance to make bridge deck repairs.

WSDOT admits the closures are inconvenient but better than emergency repairs during rush hour. I-5 express lanes will be open to northbound traffic from 11:15am Friday until 5am Monday.  

One of the best alternates for northbound I-5, will also see closures this weekend. Northbound SR 99 will be reduced to a single lane across the Aurora Bridge from 5am to 11 am both Saturday and Sunday for routine bridge inspection.

Drivers should expect long delays crossing Lake Washington as well. The 520 floating bridge will close in both directions between I-405 and Montlake Blvd from 11pm Friday until 9am Sunday, where crews will shift traffic on the Eastside and continue pouring concrete on the West end of the bridge.

The I-90 express lanes will be westbound from 7am Saturday to 2pm Sunday to help accommodate the extra vehicles.

Several major events this weekend will only make these closures more difficult for drivers. About 60,000 fans are expected at CenturyLink Field; Friday for the Seattle Sounders match against Real Salt Lake at 7pm, and again Sunday when the Seahawks play the San Francisco 49ers at 5:30pm. The Boats Afloat Show on South Lake Union and St. Demetrios Greek Festival are also expected to attract thousands each day.