CHOKEPOINTS

Construction season is year-round across the Pacific Northwest

Mar 7, 2023, 5:31 AM | Updated: 7:57 am

Seattle construction...

Construction season is year-round across the Pacific Northwest these days. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

There is no such thing as construction season. There is so much work to do around the state that those orange cones are going to be with us around the calendar.

It used to be so predictable. When the weather turned in October, the orange cones and vests would go into hibernation until about April. We’ve seen that off-time shrink and shrink over the years to the point where the Washington Department of Transportation’s Tom Pearce said there is just one long season — all year.

“Construction season is starting early this year, and that’s going to become the norm,” Pearce said. “We’re going to be seeing a lot more work continue through the winter, when it’s possible, because we just have so many projects coming up in the coming years.”

WSDOT to address I-5 chokepoints between Everett, Marysville

And this week is a good example of how things have changed.

Projects up and down Interstate 5 are racing to finish before the next colossal restoration project between Seattle and Northgate begins later this year.

The Seneca project, which will add about 1,500 feet of lane to northbound I-5, is going to do some work overnight this week. Only one lane of northbound I-5 will be open from midnight to 4 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday night.   All northbound I-5 will be closed in this area Thursday night, with the express lanes being your only option through downtown.

“We’re going to keep the (northbound) express lanes open to help with this situation,” Washington State Department Of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Amy Moreno said.

The collector-distributor lanes will close after the Madison off-ramp, so westbound I-90 drivers must exit or continue to 4th Avenue or Edgar Martinez Way.

Up I-5, between Everett and Marysville, there are three projects going on this week.

The first is the overnight lane closure on northbound I-5 to repave the shoulder between Marine View Drive and State Route 529. This is for that new HOV lane we talked about last week.

A little to the south, WSDOT’s Pearce said there will be 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. northbound I-5 lane closures for expansion joint replacement through Thursday night.

There will also be northbound I-5 lane closures under the 12th Street overpass later this month. It was hit by an over-height truck and the work hasn’t been finished. The overpass is the first one north of the Snohomish River. That work should be wrapped up by the end of the month.

And over in Bellevue, people who use the Eastgate Park and Ride or go to Bellevue College must be prepared for five weeks without Eastgate Way.

More from Chris Sullivan: Time to pay up or face Good to Go! toll fees and penalties

An overpass near the park and ride was hit by an over-height truck and needs to be fixed. Eastgate Way closed Monday.

“If you’re going to the park and ride, you’re going to have to approach from the west,” Pearce said. “We have a detour set up that takes you around and over to the southside of I-90, and then you can come around that way.”

This is also a good reminder to give those workers plenty of room as you pass through construction zones.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.

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Construction season is year-round across the Pacific Northwest