Westbound I-90 traffic across Lake Washington detoured to express lanes for the weekend

Washington State Department of Transportation

 Beginning at 11 p.m. tomorrow, Oct. 9, contractor crews from IMCO General Construction will detour westbound Interstate 90 traffic to the express lanes until 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 12, while they upgrade operations systems in the westbound Mount Baker and Mercer Island tunnels.

Drivers should plan ahead for delays and give themselves extra time to cross Lake Washington using I-90 or consider alternate routes like State Route 520 or I-405.

The majority of the work takes place inside the tunnels and out of the view of drivers. However, Mercer Island-bound drivers will continue to exit at East Mercer Way but now have the option to use East Mercer Way or Island Crest Way to reach the island. Crews had also hoped to restripe the express lanes exit in Seattle to two lanes, however that work will not happen this weekend due to forecasted rain. Weather permitting, drivers should expect to see two lanes out of the express lanes during future westbound weekend work.

Closure details

Friday, Oct. 9 – Monday, Oct. 12

  • At 11 p.m. contractor crews will shift all westbound I-90 traffic between Bellevue Way and Rainier Avenue South to the express lanes
  • Drivers wishing to access Mercer Island will need to exit westbound I-90 at East Mercer Way. There are no westbound exits to Mercer Island from the express lanes.
  • Those traveling from Mercer Island to Seattle should enter the express lanes at 77th Avenue Southeast or Island Crest Way.
  • Westbound I-90 drivers will be unable to exit to Rainier Avenue South and should follow the signed detour using Fourth Avenue South and eastbound I-90.
  • Drivers transporting flammable materials westbound across Lake Washington must use alternate routes such as I-405, SR 520 or SR 522.
  • The I-90 Trail will not be impacted during the closure.

Special events

Seattle International Auto Show at CenturyLink Field Events Center

  • Noon to 10 p.m., Friday, Oct. 9
  • 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10
  • 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11

GeekGirlCon 2015 at the Washington State Convention Center

  • 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 11

Tools for drivers

  • Subscribe to WSDOT’s Eastside or Seattle Area News email updates.
  • Visit WSDOT’s What’s Happening Now website for a 24-hour highway construction look-ahead.
  • Get traveler information on your mobile device.
  • Find information and view Seattle area traffic online.
  • Call 511 for traffic updates.
  • Tune to highway advisory radio and watch electronic highway signs for information.

This is the sixth of up to 30 weekend directional closures of I-90 between now and mid-2017. Traffic will be detoured to the I-90 express lanes during the directional closures. These closures are part of the Washington State Department of Transportation and Sound Transit’s I-90 Two-Way Transit and HOV Operations project which preserves the three general purpose lanes while adding all-day carpool lanes to I-90 and direct access ramps for transit, carpools, and vanpools. In mid-2017, Sound Transit contractors will begin work on the I-90 express lanes to operate exclusively for light rail as part of the East Link light rail project. The 14-mile East Link project, set to open in 2023, includes 10 new stations connecting Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue and Overlake.