Expansion joint repairs close 2 lanes of southbound I-5 in Seattle

Jul 13, 2023, 8:13 AM | Updated: 8:29 am

I-5 emergency repairs...

WSDOT announced the two right southbound lanes of I-5 were closed for emergency repairs on an expansion joint.(Photo from WSDOT)

(Photo from WSDOT)

The left two lanes of southbound Interstate 5 are closed through Seattle Thursday morning for crews to make repairs to an expansion joint.

Repairs were originally scheduled for June 29, but multiple instances on other roadways caused too much traffic on other Seattle-area roadways.

Washington roads getting ‘closer to precipice’ with repairs needed

The lanes from the West Seattle Bridge to Columbian Way are blocked off, as crews remove old expansion joints and replace them. The lanes were closed around 7:40 a.m.

Essentially, expansion joints hold concrete slabs together, allowing them to expand and contract according to the weather and weight of vehicles.

The Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) James Poling said they need to fix this spot immediately because crews are worried that the steel could come loose and cause a hazard or damage tires.

WSDOT had previously had to do emergency work on expansion joints on I-5, so these scheduled repairs are necessary to prevent the long back ups and other issues caused by the repairs.

Last year, ten cars hit an expansion joint that popped up in the southbound lanes of I-5 at the Spokane Street Bridge in South Seattle.

The Washington State Department of Transportation announced the lane closures on Twitter shortly after 6:30 a.m. Thursday, saying the work is expected to be finished by early afternoon.

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Expansion joint repairs close 2 lanes of southbound I-5 in Seattle