Revive I-5 returns to Seattle, but maybe not where you expected

Oct 10, 2023, 5:31 AM | Updated: 6:59 am

revive i-5 seattle...

(File photo, KIRO 7)

(File photo, KIRO 7)

Remember how bad traffic was when Revive I-5 went through downtown Seattle? Well, it just started again, this time a little further south.

The 5-mile stretch between the Michigan Curve and the Duwamish Curve, between SoDo and Tukwila, is getting its first real makeover since the ’60s.

Unlike the Revive I-5 projects in downtown and Everett, expansion joints are not a main focus.

More Chokepoints: W. Seattle Low Bridge to close for a week due to mechanical repairs

Amy Moreno, with the State Department of Transportation, said, “this project is going to be more focused on some concrete panels, grinding down some other spots in the road, to just kind of eliminate some ruts, really focused on trying to improve the condition of the road just really trying to improve the driving surface.”

And why is it concrete as opposed to asphalt?

“Concrete does last a lot longer than asphalt,” Spokesperson Tom Pearce said. “Asphalt, you’re probably looking at repaving ten to fifteen years; concrete, you might get twenty to thirty years out of it.”

Work will be done in sections, shutting down lanes and ramps in the work zones between 9 at night and 5 the following morning.

Most of this work is scheduled for late night and some weekends in an effort to have the least amount of impact on traffic as possible.

Weekend closures, however, will not start right away.  Tom Pearce explains by saying, “We’re looking at starting the weekend-long lane reductions, you know, we close two or three lanes and we leave one or two lanes open. We’re looking at starting those; right now, the contractors considering late January for that.”

Once that begins, a dozen weekend closures will be added.

This chapter of Revive I-5 will tackle southbound Interstate 5 before moving over to the northbound direction.

And if you’re wondering what happened to Northgate, Pearce said that it’s still on the docket but will come later.

“We’re not doing it in a linear fashion,” he said. “We need some time to get that whole Yesler to Northgate area, get all of the details sorted out on that, and get our contractor on board.”

The Northgate Project is expected to follow the current work that just got underway.

With over 200,000 daily commuters between Sodo and Tukwila, this preservation work is critical to keep drivers and commerce moving.

“This preservation work is really critical, but at the same time we know that we can’t keep building lanes on the freeway,” Moreno said. “That’s why we do have this Revive I5 plan.  Because we do want to look long term, we’re hoping I5 will be here for many decades to come.”

Check out more of the KIRO Newsradio’s Traffic Team’s Chokepoints.


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