New look for I-90: Striping work to add HOV lanes across Lake Washington begins April 21

Publish Date

This news release was issued jointly by the Washington State Department of Transportation, Sound Transit.

SEATTLE – With two-and-a-half years of work complete in the Mercer Island and Mount Baker tunnels, the next step in the Interstate 90 Two-Way Transit and HOV Operations project is restriping the roadway to add new HOV lanes. Weekend striping work begins Friday, April 21.

The Washington State Department of Transportation and Sound Transit are scheduled to open a new HOV lane in each direction of I-90 between Seattle and Bellevue Saturday, June 3. At the same time, the I-90 express lanes will permanently close to allow Sound Transit to begin construction on the East Link light rail extension.

"This is the final countdown. We have three more weekends of directional closures left on I-90," said WSDOT Project Engineer Aleta Borschowa. "But we need dry weather to do the work. We can't paint 14 miles of roadway in the rain."

In order to make room for the new HOV lanes, contractor crews need to change the roadway's existing lane configuration by shifting the three general-purpose lanes to the right. Restriping the roadway is weather-dependent and rain could postpone the work.

Closure details

During the final weekend-long closures, crews will close one direction of I-90 and reroute all traffic to the express lanes. The weather-dependent closures are scheduled from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday during the following weekends:

  • April 21–24 (westbound)
  • May 5–8 (eastbound)
  • May 12–15 (westbound)

Drivers will see orange barrels along the left shoulder as crews complete the work needed to open the new HOV lanes.