WSDOT: Major traffic headaches lie ahead this summer

by: Gary Horcher Updated:

SEATTLE - Drivers should get ready for big backups, delays and headaches in the coming weeks—unless they plan ahead. Washington State Department of Transportation engineers tell KIRO-7 summer construction projects will shut down Interstate 405, the 520 floating bridge, parts of Interstate 5, and State Route 99 in Seattle.

WSDOT engineers are urging drivers to be patient, and plan their routes early. "Take 10 or 15 minutes of your day prior to the closure to check our website and save yourself the frustration," said Brian Dobbins, of WSDOT. "We will be shutting down 405 and 520 at the same time in July, and everyone needs to plan to get around it."

I-405 to SR 520 Bellevue Closures

Northbound I-405 through Bellevue will be closed along with the entire 520 floating bridge from 10 p.m. Friday, July 12, to Monday, July 15. Workers will replace 900 concrete panels on 405, and 520 will be inspected and repaired. Drivers will be re-routed through surface streets in downtown Bellevue. Traffic signals will be altered to keep traffic moving there, said the City of Bellevue's Tresa Berg. "We have cameras monitoring our busiest intersections, and we can change the signals at any time to keep heavy traffic flowing," she said.

 I-5 Closures from Corson to Spokane Street

 WSDOT engineers will also close some northbound lanes on I-5 just south of downtown Seattle starting in mid-July, for nine consecutive weekends. Workers will rebuild on ramps and expansion joints.

 SR 99 (Aurora) at Mercer

 The first weekend after the Fourth of July, Seattle drivers need to plan for a shut down of State Route 99 approaching the Battery Street Tunnel and eastbound Mercer Street. Workers will replace the 70-foot long Aurora Overpass over Mercer July 5-8. Engineers have one piece of advice for this one: Avoid State Route 99 though Seattle at all costs.