I-5 Weekend Light Rail Pinch Points in South Seattle

Southbound Interstate 5 will narrow to a single lane in Sodo this weekend as workers replace seven expansion joints on the right side of the highway and repave the rough spots.

Transit will also lose capacity, as Sound Transit will reduce the frequency of light rail trains to every 20 minutes in south Seattle so workers can replace broken tiles at the Columbia City station.

I-5 lane closures begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, blocking most southbound lanes until 5 a.m. Monday. Crews will work on the right, so drivers should keep left on the main line through the city centre. The right-hand collector-distributor lanes will be dead-end, so drivers should exit at Airport Way or sooner.

The I-5 ramps to Bellevue on eastbound Interstate 90 will remain open, but westbound I-90 traffic will not be able to merge with southbound I-5.

Unlike many summer weekends, there will be no major sporting matches that will complicate freeway traffic in Sodo.

However, Emerald City Comic Con, which drew 98,000 visitors over four days in 2019, will fill the downtown Seattle Convention Center all weekend. At the Climate Pledge Arena, The killers rock band will perform on Saturday evening, followed by a Seattle Storm Sunday afternoon playoff game against the Washington Mystics. The Chinatown International District Block Party operates from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays.

Six more construction weekends are needed, Washington State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Amy Moreno said, but the WSDOT is not anticipating any work for Labor Day weekend. Total I-5 traffic through Sodo averages about 215,000 vehicles per day.

At Sound Transit, contractors will replace cracked yellow tiles on the southbound passenger platform of Columbia City Station, Friday morning to Sept. 1.. People traveling in either direction from the station will need to use the northbound platform, where trains will alternate between north and south.

South end train capacity between Sodo and Angle Lake stations, including trips to the airport, will be cut in half due to Columbia City work.

However, light rail journeys between Northgate and Stadium stations will remain on their usual schedule of one train every 10 minutes.

In another major project, southbound I-5 will be reduced to one lane Monday evening from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday near Kent-Des Moines Road, also known as Highway 516. During the shutdown, workers will temporarily repaint and change lane positions. to help with construction of an interchange.

Jose P. Rogers