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I-405 weekend closures could cause big backups

Interstate 405 in Renton and between Renton and Bellevue will present some short-term challenges for travelers for the next three weekends.

Starting tonight (Friday) to Sunday afternoon, crews will close the southbound SR 167 to southbound I-405 ramp and one to two lanes on southbound I-405 between SR 169 and SR 181. The lane and ramp closures are a necessary step to shift traffic onto the new southbound I-405 bridge over Oakesdale Avenue Southwest and Springbrook Creek. This work lasts one weekend only.

Farther north on I-405, at 11 p.m. tonight (Friday) crews will completely close southbound I-405 and several ramps in Bellevue between Southeast Eighth Street and the I-405/I-90 interchange to begin removing the Wilburton Tunnel in South Bellevue. This work will take three weekends.

A complete list of the ramps that will be closed is available at the Washington State Department of Transportation's Web site.

“Our traffic experts predict back-ups could reach up to 13 miles if people don’t alter their weekend travel plans,” said I-405 Deputy Project Director Stacy Trussler. “Even with reduced travel, drivers should give themselves two extra hours to get around the region. If you need to travel, do it early or late in the day, and leave plenty of time.”

Crews will open southbound I-405 at 5 a.m. Monday morning. Southbound I-405 will also be closed for the following two weekends:

• 11 p.m., Friday, Aug. 15 to 5 a.m., Monday, Aug. 18

• 11 p.m., Friday, Aug. 22 to 5 a.m., Monday, Aug. 25

This section of I-405 represents one of the region’s largest traffic chokepoints. To help relieve congestion, crews are removing the tunnel to make room for more southbound I‑405 lanes in south Bellevue. The Wilburton Tunnel spans 360 feet and is located near downtown Bellevue on southbound I‑405, just north of the I-90/I-405 interchange. With the new reconfiguration, WSDOT expects to improve current and future road conditions by reducing congestion, increasing capacity and providing safer merge conditions for drivers approaching the I-90/I-405 interchange.

For up to date road closure information for projects on I-405 visit the I-405 construction updates Web page: http://wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i405/conupdates.

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