Eastbound I-90 across Lake Washington reduced to one lane for tunnel work May 1-4

Washington State Department of Transportation

WSDOT needs help from drivers to keep traffic moving

Drivers on eastbound Interstate 90 across Lake Washington will want to plan ahead for another weekend of road work. Beginning at 11 p.m. Friday, May 1, contractor crews working for Washington State Department of Transportation and Sound Transit will reduce eastbound I-90 to one lane just approaching the Mount Baker Tunnel. All eastbound traffic will be rerouted to the express lanes until 5 a.m. Monday, May 4.

Drivers traveling to the eastside of Lake Washington should plan for lengthy delays along Interstate 5, eastbound State Route 520 and eastbound I-90 in downtown Seattle.

“We know this closure will have a major effect on many other Seattle Area highways,” said Traffic Engineer Mark Bandy. “Even if your plans don’t include traveling on I-90, drivers can help by carpooling, taking transit and checking their route before they leave the house.”

The lane closures on I-90 will provide contractor crews with the space they need to upgrade the operations and safety systems in the eastbound Mount Baker and Mercer Island tunnels. The tunnel work must be completed before Sound Transit can begin work in 2017 to devote the I-90 express lanes to the 14-mile East Link light rail extension.

In preparation for East Link, the I-90 Two-Way Transit and HOV Operations project that is now underway preserves the three general purpose lanes in each direction while adding all-day carpool lanes with direct access ramps for transit, carpools, and vanpools.

Crews have additional weekend-long lane closures scheduled westbound May 15–18. After that, no more weekend directional closures of I-90 will take place between June and September.

Closure details

11 p.m. Friday, May 1, until 5 a.m. Monday, May 4

  • Eastbound I-90 traffic between Rainier Avenue South and Bellevue Way Southeast is routed to the express lanes from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.
  • The eastbound I-90 exit to Rainier Avenue South will remain open.
  • The Rainier Avenue South on-ramps to eastbound I-90 will be closed. Drivers will follow the signed detour via South Dearborn Street and Fourth Avenue South.
  • Flammable materials will be prohibited on eastbound I-90. Drivers must use alternate routes such as Interstate 405, state routes 520 or 522.
  • The I-90 Trail will not be affected during the closure.

Special events

Opening Day 2015 at the Seattle Yacht Club

  • Saturday, May 2

WSDOT needs help from drivers to keep traffic moving Thousands of vehicles travel on I-5 through downtown Seattle and across the I-90 floating bridge on a typical weekend. WSDOT needs drivers’ help to prevent regional gridlock during a weekend closure:

  • Know before you go: check the Seattle traffic website, call 511 for real-time travel information, and plan for delays and added travel time.
  • Allow extra time to travel through the work zone or on alternate routes.
  • Ride transit, carpool or use other alternative modes of transportation.
  • Travel early in the morning or later in the evening, or reschedule discretionary trips.
  • Expect congestion on alternate routes such as I-5, I-405 and SR 520.

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