SEATTLE –Mother Nature may be the top dog and the Seahawks are the underdogs, but Puget Sound area drivers can get the upper hand by planning for possible snow, game day traffic and road construction this weekend.
Forecasters are calling for the possibility of snow and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) urges all drivers to be prepared for winter conditions on the road this weekend.
WSDOT crews will be spraying anti-icer on the roads ahead of the storm and are ready to go at a moment’s notice with snowplows and sanders.
“But we also need drivers’ help,” said Dave McCormick, WSDOT’s assistant regional administrator for maintenance and operations. “We need drivers to slow down in snow and ice and let our plows get by so they can clear roads and keep drivers moving.”
In addition to winter weather, drivers also will encounter heavy Seattle-bound traffic on Saturday. More than 60,000 football fans are expected at Qwest Field for the 1:15 p.m. Seahawks playoff game against New Orleans Saints. Drivers should allow plenty of extra time to get to the game and while traveling through Seattle. WSDOT is making changes to the express lanes schedules to keep traffic flowing:
· The I-5 express lanes will remain open in the southbound direction until 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The lanes normally close at 1 p.m. for reversal to northbound.
· The I-90 express lanes will be open in the westbound direction from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The lanes are normally eastbound on weekends.
Down near the stadiums, drivers face another challenge on First Avenue S. The road is reduced to one lane in each direction between S. King Street and S. Royal Brougham Way around-the-clock. The lane closure is in place while crews build the support structure for the new SR 99 on-ramp. This work is part of the SR 99 – S. Holgate Street to S. King Street Viaduct and Seawall Replacement program.
Next week: All eastbound lanes on SR 520 floating bridge closing nightly
Drivers should plan for all eastbound lanes of the SR 520 floating bridge to close overnight starting Monday, Jan. 10, and nightly through the week. Additional closures also are planned in coming weeks.
· Monday, Jan. 10, through the morning of Friday, Jan. 14: Crews will close all eastbound lanes of the floating bridge from Montlake Boulevard to 92nd Avenue NE each night from 11:59 p.m. to 4 a.m.
· Single lane closures also are planned overnight in the westbound direction in Medina and on the floating bridge.
· There will be complete westbound closures on the floating bridge later in the month.
During the closures, workers will begin hanging roadway signs and equipment for the upcoming tolling of the bridge. These closures will be the first visible milestones of the tolling project.
WSDOT has many tools available for drivers to check before they leave and while on the road, including apps for mobile phones:
NEW! Traffic products for your mobile phone and other wireless devices: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle/products/
Seattle area traffic: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle/
Tacoma area traffic: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/tacoma/
Traffic cameras: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/default.aspx
Travel alerts: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/trafficalerts/
Mountain passes: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/passes/
Puget Sound traffic on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wsdot_traffic
Call 511 for traffic updates
Tune to Highway Advisory Radio and watch electronic highway signs for information
WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/news for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 511.
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