I-5 Widening Kicks Off in Downtown Seattle

Congestion relief is promised as the Washington Department of Transportation begins to rework the existing I-5 roadway in Downtown Seattle to mitigate a stretch of freeway with a reputation as the state's worst bottleneck.

May 18, 2021, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


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Jose Luis Stephens / Shutterstock

A freeway reconfiguration project a decade in the making, resulting in more lanes on Interstate 5, is ready to break ground in Seattle.

"After a decade on the drawing board, construction begins this month to add a third northbound lane to Interstate 5 at Seneca Street, known as the worst bottleneck in Washington state," reports Mike Lindblom.

"The $27 million project, built on the existing elevated road decks, is expected to reduce the traffic jams that occur from Sodo to downtown Seattle when it’s finished in fall 2022," explains Lindblom.

The project will add a third northbound lane by replacing side barriers and restriping existing exits and onramps.

Mark Hallenbeck, director of the Washington State Transportation Center at the University of Washington, is quoted in the article promising that the project will reduce congestion on Interstate 5. There's plenty of evidence to suggest that whatever congestion relief the project affords will only be temporary. Time will tell.

Monday, May 17, 2021 in The Seattle Times

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