Remember WB I-90 construction backups? They’re coming back

Apr 6, 2023, 7:17 AM | Updated: 9:53 am

I-90 Traffic Mess...

Traffic was a nightmare for many on I-90 last year (KIRO 7 News)

(KIRO 7 News)

Lane reductions on westbound Interstate 90 into Issaquah caused huge backups last year, and guess what? They’re back again.

We might not be out of the rain, but paving work is ramping up across the state. I-90 drivers are going to start feeling the pain next week as they work to resurface the road into Issaquah.

Sully’s wild Link Light Rail ride to the Mariners game, was it worth it?

“In total, we’re going to have six weeks where we have westbound I-90 reduced to one lane, and we’re also going to have a couple of weeks where eastbound I-90 is reduced to one lane,” the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Tom Pearce said.

The first lane reductions begin at 10 a.m. Monday, April 10, about a mile west of the Preston exit.

These are 24/7 road closures. Westbound I-90 will be fully down to one lane through 6 p.m. again next Wednesday. The same thing will happen from Monday to Wednesday of the following week.

When WSDOT did similar work last year, it created huge backups for drivers.

“People really need to plan ahead,” WSDOT’s Pearce said. “We’re going to be working 24 hours a day. That is going to create issues, particularly when we are working during the morning commute hours. That’s when we saw the biggest backups last year when we were doing this work. We did see some backups during the day, but it really kind of toned down once we got past the morning commute.”

The problem with this spot on I-90 is there are no good detours to get around it, and Pearce didn’t recommend using High Point Way. It saw huge backups last year during this work.

“You’re going to end up running into a huge traffic jam on High Point Way trying to get back onto I-90, and that just causes more trouble for the people who are already on I-90 as well. People really should avoid Northeast High Point Way,” Pearce said. “People should really pretty much just ride it out on I-90.”

Two weeks in May are scheduled for lane reductions from Sunday to Thursday, a little closer to Issaquah. The final weeks of work are still being scheduled.

“The pavement on these bridge decks is the original pavement that we put down more than 40 years ago, so it’s lasted a long time,” Pearce said. “Our goal is to get in there and do a really good job with it this time, and then hopefully, it holds up for decades more.”

We’ll be watching westbound I-90 closely next week to help you get around this, but you should expect several-mile backups, especially in the morning.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.


summer traffic washington...

Chris Sullivan

Summer means traffic delays for Washington highways

It's almost summer, and like the weeds in your yard, the orange cones (and traffic delays) are coming to Washington highways.

9 hours ago

Fish Passage Bellevue...

Chris Sullivan

Ambitious fish passage work begins under I-90 in Bellevue

Four new bridges are being built along the I-90 corridor in Bellevue, but they aren't for cars or bikes. They are for a fish passage.

2 days ago

park shoulder airport fine...

Chris Sullivan

Don’t park on the shoulder at the airport, you can get fined

Don't add to the problem by parking on the side of the airport expressway while waiting for your people to arrive.

7 days ago

travel survey SEATTLE TRAFFIC...

Chris Sullivan

New survey tracks how we travel for the greater good

There's a huge survey underway right now that will help determine the future of travel in our region and how it's developed.

9 days ago

Seattle I-5...

Chris Sullivan

Prepare for NB I-5 closures through Seattle this weekend

All northbound traffic through Seattle is going to be diverted off I-5 and onto SR 520 from 10 p.m. Friday until 10 a.m. Saturday.

14 days ago

Amazon Seattle Traffic...

Chris Sullivan

‘Amazon Effect’ crushing morning traffic into Seattle

We thought that our traffic had returned to pre-pandemic levels. The return of Amazon workers to Seattle shows we hadn't seen anything yet.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Remember WB I-90 construction backups? They’re coming back