LYNNWOOD – Anyone planning a trip to or through Lynnwood on Interstate 5 this weekend might want to consider a backup plan – or prepare for backups. The southbound I-5 on-ramps from Interstate 405 and State Route 525 will be closed all weekend, while crews complete new on-ramps and connect them to southbound I-5.
By the end of September, drivers who need to reach southbound I-5 will use new, elevated on-ramps from SR 525 and I-405 that rise over a new off-ramp to 196th Street SW. The new ramps are designed to separate merging traffic from mainline I-5, eliminate lane-weaving and reduce the risk of sideswipe and rear-end collisions.
“We’re on track to open all of the new ramps to traffic at the end of the month, but before we can do that, we’ll need drivers to be patient during major closures,” said Janice Fahning, project engineer. “There’s a lot going on in the Puget Sound region this weekend, so drivers should plan accordingly.”
Northwest Construction crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close the southbound I-5 on-ramp from SR 525 at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23. The on-ramp from I-405 will close at 11 p.m. Both ramps will remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26.
Northbound I-405 drivers will be detoured to southbound I-5 via the 164th Street SE interchange. Drivers on southbound SR 525 can take southbound SR 99 to 196th Street SW or 220th Street SW to reach southbound I-5. SR 525 drivers can also reach southbound I-5 via Alderwood Mall Parkway and westbound 196th Street SW.
“We need drivers’ help, or we could see significant backups on I-5 and at 164th Street SE,” Fahning said. “I-405 drivers can use alternate routes like SR 522, SR 527, SR 524 and SR 104 to reach southbound I-5 and avoid the closure altogether.”
More changes to come
Monday morning commuters will encounter changes at the merge area between the on-ramps and the exit to 196th Street SW. A temporary, painted island and pylons will separate mainline traffic from on-ramp traffic and traffic heading to 196th Street SW for five days while crews work to complete the new 196th Street SW off-ramp. Drivers exiting to 196th Street SW should move into the right lane prior to the I-405 interchange to avoid missing the exit.
Crews will open the new off-ramp to 196th Street SW at 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30. The access point for the new ramp will be one mile north of the existing exit point.
Weather permitting, crews will continue paving and striping work through mid-October to shift the southbound lanes back to their permanent configuration. The lanes have been shifted since August 2010 to create a safe work space for crews.
Busy weekend in Puget Sound region
In addition to the work on I-5 in Lynnwood, other major closures and events will affect traffic this weekend:
· Northbound I-405 in Bellevue: Crews will close all northbound lanes from NE Eighth Street to SR 520 from 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, to 4 a.m. Monday, Sept. 26.
· University of Washington football – Huskies vs. California Golden Bears at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.
· Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals home opener at 1:15 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25.
· President Obama visits Bellevue and Seattle Sunday, Sept. 25.
· Oyster Run: 20,000 motorcycles expected for annual ride to Anacortes.
The $33.7 million I-5/196th Street SW braided ramp project is fully funded by the 2005 gas tax. Crews began work in August 2010 and are on track to complete the project on schedule by the end of the year. For graphics, animations, photos and project details, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i5/196thic/braidedramp.