TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday watch; bridge, I-5 trouble

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:58 AM: Good morning – if you’re heading toward West Seattle, we have a bridge problem right now, a crash on the westbound bridge, near the 1st Avenue South on/offramp.

7:13 AM: Now, the first outbound problem of the day – WSDOT reports an expansion-joint problem on northbound 5 near Seneca, and that means a lane is closed as crews head to check it out.

7:23 AM: That situation has the right lane of northbound I-5 closed and backups are building already. Meantime, the westbound bridge crash isn’t clear yet.

7:26 AM: As discussed in comments, the problem on the westbound bridge is affecting the 1st Avenue South on/offramp and that’s led to a chain reaction affecting the 1st Avenue offramp on the eastbound side. Police have been dispatched to try to break it up.

7:37 AM: According to the scanner, the westbound bridge crash has cleared and police have 1st Avenue S. going again. However, the expansion-joint problem on northbound I-5 is not likely to be a quick fix, so you might consider an alternative, or delay.

8:08 AM: Even the alternatives have challenges – Jennifer tweeted that the low bridge is backed up, with a “long line of trucks.”

10:43 AM: The northbound I-5 lane closure is finally over, according to WSDOT via Twitter, though traffic is still ugly out there, per commenters.

17 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday watch; bridge, I-5 trouble"

  • Franci June 10, 2016 (7:17 am)

    I surprised to see how backed up the WB Bridge was this morning.  Even the 1st Ave Exit was backed up all the way up the ramp onto the bridge.  Maybe something was going on on 1st Ave too?

    • WSB June 10, 2016 (7:25 am)

      According to what I’m hearing on the scanner, this crash on the westbound side is blocking the 1st Ave exits and having a chain reaction on the eastbound side. They’re dispatching police to try to reroute people to clear that up.

  • susandennis June 10, 2016 (8:52 am)

    Today was really bad but for the past week or so, that 1st Ave exit has gotten more and more backed up every day. I can’t figure out what’s causing it but every morning now – even when the rest of the bridge is clear – there’s a back up of 2 or 3 light cycles every morning. Weird.

    Anyone have a clue why?

    • Trickycoolj June 10, 2016 (9:58 am)

      Probably because google maps directions to Northgate told me to get off at 1st Ave from the bridge and to re-enter 99 at the stadium. It shaved 15 minutes off my drive to the doctor’s office. 

  • supernova72 June 10, 2016 (9:06 am)

    35 mins from WS to stadium’s via 4th.  Totally jammed up for a Friday…

    1st world problems! 

  • LyndaB June 10, 2016 (9:10 am)

     Fortunately,  I was able to hear the radio report on KIRO this morning and took an alternate route through downtown and hopped back up to I-5 by using the I-5 onramp near Cherry.  The expansion joint was in the center lane it looked like.  Drove right past it.  

  • Mr E June 10, 2016 (9:46 am)

    I wasn’t aware that WA state changed its driving laws to allow motorcyclists the ability to lane-split. Do we need to compound already bad traffic with even worse driving choices?

    And judging from the number of drivers who still feel entitled to use the Bus Only lanes, it would appear that we are unable to police ourselves when driving.

  • Trickycoolj June 10, 2016 (9:59 am)

    50 minutes from High Point to the Pacific Place Parking Garage. First and last time I accept a doctors appointment at the medical dental building  what a nightmare  

  • dcn June 10, 2016 (10:27 am)

    I’ve noticed the 1st Ave backup onto the WSBridge most mornings this week too. Sometimes they change the light cycle timing, and it causes backups. If it continues, it would be worth reporting it to SDOT and ask them to change it back.

    They periodically change the timing of the Spokane street  light cycle at Spokane and 4th Ave S, which can cause the 4th Ave northbound off-ramp to back up because no cars can turn north onto 4th when the light for the off-ramp is green. My guess is that they are trying to fix one problem, but end up causing another.  I report it if it goes on for more than a week, and it usually gets fixed within a few days.

  • Gary June 10, 2016 (10:30 am)

    anybody know if taking the 1st ave south bridge to why 99 is a better option than the WS Bridge?

    • WSB June 10, 2016 (10:37 am)

      One way to check right before you go is via the city’s live video links. They are a little buried – we would link to them directly if we could – but if you follow the link atop our story (it’s there daily) to the city Traveler Information Map, on the lower right corner there is an expandable link to “live video.” West Seattle, Greater Duwamish, and SODO sections have the most helpful cams for our areas (I wish it weren’t so segmented, but at least they recently extended the time you can watch before it cuts off).

  • Stopped June 10, 2016 (10:31 am)

    4th Avenue is not moving at all after the exit for I5.   

  • clulessinws June 10, 2016 (10:38 am)

    10:38 – Still backed up from the high rise. Lots cars using the bus lane.

    • WSB June 10, 2016 (10:43 am)

      The NB I-5 work cleared about 20 minutes ago, according to WSDOT via Twitter. Hope that will help things some.

  • newnative June 10, 2016 (11:01 am)

    The entire region is backed up from all directions.

  • Lagartija Nick June 10, 2016 (12:45 pm)

    Pretty pathetic that one lane closure on I-5 can snarl traffic all over the city.

    • clulessinws June 10, 2016 (5:18 pm)

      True and it has been that way for around 20 years. Great city huh.

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