Drivers should expect backups and delays on northbound Interstate 5 through SeaTac and Kent each of the next five weekends.
Starting at 8 p.m. Friday, June 16, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will reduce northbound I-5 to two lanes during the first of five consecutive weekends. During the lane closures, crews will repave northbound I-5 between State Route 516 and the Southcenter area. Similar work during the weekend of June 3-4 resulted in backups of up to 6 miles.
“Drivers need to use alternatives, or be prepared for long delays,” said WSDOT Traffic Engineer Mike Swires. “We’ve already seen up to hour-long delays during the weekend in this area for this project. Travelers should use transit, take alternate routes, or delay or postpone their trips on northbound I-5 in the Kent-SeaTac area.”
By 10 p.m. Friday, June 16, crews will reduce northbound I-5 to the two right lanes until 5 a.m. Monday, June 19. They will also close the SR 516 on-ramps to northbound I-5 and the South 200th Street on- and off-ramps throughout the weekend. Drivers need to watch for construction vehicles entering and exiting the work zone in the left lanes.
All work is weather-dependent. If the weather holds, WSDOT expects to finish the work during the July 14–17 lane reductions.
What drivers can do
More than 100,000 vehicles use northbound I-5 each day in the SeaTac/Tukwila area. During the lane reductions, drivers can help ease congestion by:
• Using bus or light rail service
• Scheduling trips early or late in the day
• Using alternative routes like I-405 or state routes 99, 167 or 509.