Traffic | Heavy Weekend Traffic Possible, Westbound I-90 Detoured to Express Lanes

Heading out of the Valley and toward Seattle or Bellevue this weekend?  Well then you may want to be prepared for possible traffic backups.

90 closure

Starting last night (Friday), October 9th at 11PM,  contractor crews from IMCO General Construction detoured westbound Interstate 90 traffic to the express lanes until 5AM Monday, Oct. 12th, while they upgrade operations systems in the westbound Mount Baker and Mercer Island tunnels.

WSDOT says drivers should plan ahead for delays and give themselves extra time to cross Lake Washington using I-90 or consider alternate routes like State Route 520 or I-405. Westbound I-90 traffic will be reduced to one lane near East Mercer Way then rerouted to the express lanes .

The majority of the construction work takes place inside the tunnels and out of the view of drivers. However, Mercer Island-bound drivers will continue to exit at East Mercer Way but now have the option to use East Mercer Way or Island Crest Way to reach the island.

Crews had also hoped to re-stripe the express lanes exit in Seattle to two lanes, but that work will not happen this weekend due to rain.

Closure details

Friday, Oct. 9th – Monday, Oct. 12th

  • At 11 p.m. contractor crews will shift all westbound I-90 traffic between Bellevue Way and Rainier Avenue South to the express lanes
  • Drivers wishing to access Mercer Island will need to exit westbound I-90 at East Mercer Way. There are no westbound exits to Mercer Island from the express lanes.
  • Those traveling from Mercer Island to Seattle should enter the express lanes at 77th Avenue Southeast or Island Crest Way.
  • Westbound I-90 drivers will be unable to exit to Rainier Avenue South and should follow the signed detour using Fourth Avenue South and eastbound I-90.
  • Drivers transporting flammable materials westbound across Lake Washington must use alternate routes such as I-405, SR 520 or SR 522.
  • The I-90 Trail will not be impacted during the closure.

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