CHOKEPOINTS

Sullivan: Major disruptions to impact drivers who use I-5 overpass at 145th Street

Mar 28, 2024, 6:27 AM | Updated: Mar 29, 2024, 11:21 am

I-5 overpass 145th seattle...

The 145th overpass of I5, taken from the east side of the freeway. (Photo: Chris Sullivan, KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo: Chris Sullivan, KIRO Newsradio)

It’s one of the most popular ways to get across Interstate 5 (I-5) in North Seattle, and it’s about to go away.

The North 145th Street overpass of I-5, right there at the new light rail station, is about to close for seven months. You will not be able to cross the freeway starting Monday night.

And talk about under the radar. I had no idea this was coming. It took a listener text on Tuesday to realize just what is happening here, and I’m glad this person reached out because this is a huge deal.

More on Wash. roads: Late-night I-5 closures coming up this week as WSDOT works on new tunnel

145th needs serious improvements to handle all the upcoming growth created by the new light rail station.

“We’re going to be putting in left turn lanes, and we’re gonna be widening the roads,” City of Shoreline’s Communications Program Manager Eric Bratton said. “We will have sidewalks that are accessible for everybody to use. There’s a lot that needs to be done to improve 145th.”

The city will also be removing all the signals on either end of the overpass, replacing them with two, two-lane roundabouts.

“Roundabouts turned out to be the best way of making sure we had an efficient flow of traffic through the region otherwise it would just get bogged down,” Bratton said. “We’re going to be putting roundabouts at either end which will help with that traffic flow much better. You’re not going to have to cut across traffic.”

These roundabouts should greatly reduce the crashes at either end because people will no longer be running the red lights to access I-5. This full, seven-month closure will get the project done faster and for less money.

“We recognize it’s going to be a bit of a pain for people to move around, but it really is going to be better for the project and shorten the time frame,” Bratton said.

So what are drivers supposed to do during this closure?

More from Chokepoints: Driving with headphones, windshield obstructions in Washington

145th is a major access point for I-5 drivers, both on and off the freeway. One lane in each direction will remain open on the overpass to allow access to the freeway.

“The overpass will be reduced to one lane, but it’s still accessible for access to I-5,” Bratton said.

The best way to cross the freeway will be to take Northeast 155th Street or North 130th Street.

And while this seven-month closure is going to be a huge pain, it isn’t the end of the work. The widening of 145th west of I-5 will continue through the fall of 2025.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints here. You can also follow Chris on X, formerly known as TwitterHead here to follow KIRO Newsradio Traffic’s profile on X.

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Sullivan: Major disruptions to impact drivers who use I-5 overpass at 145th Street