Seattle traffic: Get ready for traffic nightmares with sports, Seafair, and I-5 construction

Expect major traffic delays this weekend on I-5 in Seattle due to several big events scheduled, and construction on I-5.

Seafair is also back this weekend. 

For some, it has been years since they have seen the Blue Angels and the hydroplane races in person, and it is a reason for excitement.

However, it is not the only thing to look forward to in the city this weekend. Seattle is jam-packed with sporting events over the next few days.

The Mariners are taking on the Los Angeles Angels for a doubleheader on Saturday, and an afternoon game on Sunday.

The Seahawks are back with a mock game on Saturday.

The OL Reign are also playing on Sunday.

Finally, sports history will be made on Sunday, as Sue Bird hits the court for the last regular season game of her career to a sold-out crowd.

Also, I-5 is under construction.

With the crowds of people packed into the city for all of the events and the road closures due to interstate work, it will be the perfect storm for traffic nightmares.

Starting Friday night at 7:30 p.m., construction starts on I-5 extending throughout the entire weekend, until Monday at 5 a.m.

Expansion joints are the bumps in the road every few feet along the interstate when driving south of Seattle. These expansion joints also prevent the road from breaking temperatures change.

A total of 56 expansion joints will be replaced during the total project. WSDOT says so far 24 expansion joints have been replaced.

As crews work through the weekend, there will be lane closures, as well as on, and off ramp closures.

Three right lanes of I-5 south will close where the collector/distributor rejoins mainline I-5 from 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5 through 5 a.m. Monday, Aug 8. This will require several changes:

  • The collector/distributor ramp to southbound I-5 will be closed. People will be able to enter the collector/distributor, but must use one of the exits, which include I-90, Dearborn Street, Fourth Avenue South and Airport Way.
  • People will be able to use the on-ramp from James Street into the collector/distributor, but they will have to use one of the exits.
  • The Forest Street off-ramp will be closed.
  • The Spring Street on-ramp will be closed.
  • The eastbound and westbound I-90 ramps to southbound I-5 will remain open all weekend.
  • The express lanes will operate on their regular weekend schedule.

WSDOT officials say expect delays.

They also say try to leave early (before 8 a.m.) or late (after 8 p.m.).

They suggest leaving your car behind if possible, and instead using public transportation or carpooling.

Crews are expected to complete the work on the expansion joints sometime in the fall.