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Short backups for start of I-90 construction closures

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Bellevue Way SE & I-90

150th Ave SE & I-90

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Drivers are avoiding westbound I-90 between Bellevue Way and the East Channel Bridge to Mercer Island. Like the morning commute through the area, the afternoon commute went smoother than expected.

The Washington State Department of Transportation said the backup on I-90 Monday afternoon started right after the I-405 exit and was only about a mile long.

Chokepoints: What you need to know about the I-90 closures

Now the worry is drivers will take a chance Tuesday and ignore the warnings.

The WSDOT tweeted Monday afternoon: “Thinking about taking WB I-90 tomorrow? So are 20K others! Stay your course, it’s working!”

At the tail end of the commute, KIRO Radio traffic reporter Kimi Kline said, “If drivers do what they did Monday morning and afternoon, we’ll be in good shape Tuesday morning. The afternoon commute with the president in town could get crazy.”

Details are still a little sketchy, but President Obama is expected to land at Boeing Field after noon on Tuesday and then travel to Madrona and the Eastside. It’s not clear which route he’ll take during the I-90 closure, but his last Eastside visit included a helicopter.

The president is not expected to spend the night in the Seattle area, which means he’ll be traveling back to Boeing Field sometime during the evening commute to head to San Francisco for more fundraising events.

WSDOT originally estimated westbound backups on I-90 that stretch 7 to 10 miles. The longest backup reported during the Monday morning commute was three miles. The afternoon backup measured about one mile long.

KIRO Radio races reporters

In an effort to determine which route from Bellevue to Seattle would be the fastest, KIRO Radio raced three reporters Monday morning.

From a parking lot in Bellevue at 6:30 a.m., KIRO Radio’s Chris Sullivan headed west on I-90, Tim Haeck took the westbound route on 520, and Jillian Raftery took I-90 by bike.

Haeck’s commute time proved to be the quickest, arriving in the KIRO Radio’s newsroom on Eastlake in Seattle at 6:50 a.m. Sullivan came in second place, arriving at 7:14 a.m. Raftery, on her bike, arrived at 7:48 a.m.

Read more:
Expectant parents, emergency responders brace for I-90 construction backups
President Obama plans Seattle-area visit in middle of I-90 ‘carmageddon’
WSDOT Secretary responds to Dori Monson’s I-90-closure conspiracy theory

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