Winter is usually not the season for road construction, but this year, things are a little different. Friday marks the start of eleven planned closures of some Interstate 5 ramps.
This weekend’s closure will affect people who are traveling to West Seattle and those who live on Beacon Hill.
The Washington State Department of Transportation says the closures are needed so work crews can replace joints in the roadway. Aleta Borschowa, Project Engineer for WSDOT, said the bridges are about 50 years old and the joints are deteriorating. “If you drive over them, you’ll hear the 'clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk,'" she said. "And if you get close you’ll see that they’re leaking, concrete is breaking and the steel is coming off of many of these joints."
Borschowa said the work is planned for the weekend when there will be fewer vehicles. She said on a typical weekday, about 20,000 vehicles use this particular route.
Typically the state transportation department doesn’t do major roadwork until March or April. But the department says work is starting earlier than normal because there are so many projects being planned throughout the year.
The closure also affects the connection between South Columbian Way and the Spokane Street Viaduct. Officials say detours will be clearly marked, and that delays could add as much as 20 minutes to your travel time.
You’re advised to try an alternate route and of course, to be patient. When the work is complete officials say the drive should be quieter and smoother.