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Early construction closures on tap for Seattle drivers

WSDOT crews will start their construction season right after the first of the year to keep up with all of the projects on their list. (WSDOT image)

Roadwork is no longer just a summer thing for the Washington State Department of Transportation. With so much work to be done in the coming year, crews are hitting the road starting next week for what'll be four straight months of closures around the Seattle area.

"We have closures on I-5, or ramps leading to and from I-5 every single weekend from January until the end of April," says WSDOT spokeswoman Jamie Holter.

Workers will be doing maintenance and restoration work on some of the worse spots around Seattle, including expansion joint work on I-5 and concrete work on Highway 99.

Holter says officials determined starting construction now is the best way to get everything done with the least amount of disruption. Among the projects are the replacement of expansion joints on ramps linking I-5, the West Seattle Bridge and Columbian Way; grinding and smoothing southbound lanes of I-5 between 50th Street in the University District and Roanoke Street and replacing of timber on the old SR 99 bridge over Spokane Street near the West Seattle Bridge.

"It's really maintenance and preservation," Holter says. "We're doing the worst of the worst."

Along with the Seattle area projects, WSDOT is planning more than two dozen other small and large construction projects around King County. They include paving State Route 18 in Federal Way and I-5 in Shoreline, along with a number of projects on I-405 in Bellevue and State Route 518 near SeaTac. Work will also continue on the SR 99 tunnel project in Seattle, construction of the new SR 520 floating bridge and installation of express toll lanes on I-405.

Check the current traffic conditions

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