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Plan ahead: Construction to mess with Seattle traffic over this weekend

Seattle road work ahead. (Ryan McKnight, Flickr)

Seattle traffic is likely to slow down considerably this weekend. You will need a good plan to get around road closures and construction throughout the city.

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The biggest impact will likely be the lane reductions on the Aurora Bridge. It will be down to just one lane in each direction from 7 p.m. on Friday night through 5 a.m. Monday morning.

This is the third of about 10 necessary closures to make bridge repairs. Over the first two weekends of these reductions, drivers have experienced lengthy delays across the city.

“It does have a ripple effect across all north-south corridors,” Washington Department of Transportation’s Frances Fedoriska said.

Expect slowdowns on the Ballard and Fremont Bridges and I-5, and plan to add about 20 minutes to any trip through the city if you head out during the middle of the day.

Compounding this for southbound drivers is the work on the I-5 Express Lanes. They will be closed at 11 p.m. on Friday, like normal, but they won’t re-open until Sunday morning. The express lanes will be out of operation all day Saturday.

“The I-5 Express Lanes will be closed so we can do some maintenance work on the gates on the south end near Seneca Street,” Fedoriska said. “A lot of people don’t know the mechanisms that controls the gate and moves it around are actually under the roadway. We’re going to have to have some of our crew members pop under those gates to work on it.”

The express lanes will be open in time for Sunday’s Sounders match at Century Link Field at 12:55 p.m.

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No matter where you’re going in the city, you will need to plan ahead for slowing Seattle traffic.

“We ask the traveling public to bear with us and plan ahead,” she said. “Look and see where you’re going, what are you doing, and what are your other options.”

There will also be significant changes at Colman Dock this weekend. A temporary sailing schedule will be in effect Saturday through Monday morning on the Bainbridge and Bremerton runs. Both routes will be sharing the same slip at the dock so workers can pour some concrete. During construction, Colman Dock will only have one slip open. Be sure to check that schedule so you don’t miss your boat.

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