WSDOT: Traffic headaches ahead for Seattle SB I-5 drivers

WSDOT: Traffic headaches ahead for Seattle SB I-5 drivers
DOT image shows the SB I-5 backup near Mercer St in Seattle, Wash., Feb. 15, 2014. Photo: WSDOT Twitter.
SEATTLE - Heads up for drivers with plans in Downtown Seattle this weekend: Southbound I-5 is down to one lane between Spring Street and I-90.

This is the third of nine weekend closures to replace aging expansion joints.

At 10 a.m. Saturday morning, traffic was crawling by in the southbound I-5 lane near Yesler Way, and the Washington State Department of Transportation said the lanes started to jam at 9 a.m.

Less than two hours later, WSDOT reported the backup approaching Downtown Seattle from SB I-5 was at least 35 minutes.

WSDOT is alerting drivers that to avoid congestion, SR-99 or I-405 are good alternative choices. And with the southbound construction congestion extending to Mercer Street, drivers can attempt to best the backups by taking SR-99, said WSDOT.

Express lanes will operate in the southbound direction from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Crews hopes to end this latest closure by 5 a.m. Tuesday.