Westbound I-90 across Lake Washington reduced to single lane for construction May 20-23

Publish Date

Combine trips, carpool and take transit to beat backups

BELLEVUE – Drivers heading west across Lake Washington, including fans heading to Saturday night's Sounders match, should plan ahead for construction and delays Friday, May 20 through Monday, May 23 as part of ongoing work to add around-the-clock HOV lanes to Interstate 90.

Beginning at 11 p.m. Friday, May 20, until 5 a.m. Monday, May 23, westbound I-90 will be reduced to a single lane near Bellevue Way, and all traffic will be routed into the express lanes.

During the lane reduction, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation and Sound Transit will continue upgrading the operations and safety systems inside the Mount Baker and Mercer Island tunnels as part of the I-90 Two-Way Transit and HOV operations project.

Drivers traveling to Seattle from the Eastside should plan for lengthy delays along Interstate 405, westbound State Route 520 and westbound I-90 in Bellevue.

Weekend work

During the temporary lane reduction and traffic shift on I-90, crews will upgrade portions of the air ventilation systems that clear roadway exhaust and help maintain visibility inside the westbound Mercer Island tunnels. Similar work occurred in the eastbound tunnel in February.

After the new HOV lanes are open on the outer roadways of I-90, Sound Transit will begin construction of the 14-mile East Link light rail extension from Seattle to Redmond in the express lanes.

Traffic details

8 a.m. Friday, May 20, until 5 a.m. Monday, May 23

  • Flammable cargo will be prohibited on both directions of I-90 across Lake Washington. Vehicles carrying flammable cargo must use an alternate route such as Interstate 405 or state routes 520 or 522.

11 p.m. Friday, May 20, until 5 a.m. Monday, May 23

  • All westbound I-90 traffic between Bellevue Way and Rainier Avenue South will shift to the express lanes.
  • Drivers heading to Mercer Island will exit westbound I-90 at East Mercer Way. There are no westbound exits to Mercer Island from the express lanes.
  • Those wishing to travel from Mercer Island to Seattle should enter the express lanes at 77th Avenue Southeast or Island Crest Way.
  • The westbound I-90 exit to Rainier Avenue South will be closed. Drivers will need to use the Fourth Avenue South exit and follow a signed detour via eastbound I-90.
  • The I-90 Trail will remain open.

Special events

Sounders vs. Colorado at CenturyLink Field

  • 7 p.m. Saturday, May 21

University District Street Fair

  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 21
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, May 22

WSDOT needs help from drivers to keep traffic moving

Thousands of vehicles travel across the I-90 floating bridge on a typical weekend. WSDOT needs drivers' help to prevent regional gridlock:

  • Know before you go:check the Seattle traffic website, call 511 for real-time travel information, and plan for delays and added travel time.
  • Allow extra time to travel westbound on I-90 or on alternate routes.
  • Ride transit, carpool or use other alternative modes of transportation.
  • Travel early in the morning or later in the evening, or reschedule discretionary trips.
  • Expect congestion on alternate routes such as I-405, I-5 and SR 520.

During the day, drivers should expect increased congestion on local streets, especially Rainier Avenue South, Fourth Avenue South and South Dearborn Street in Seattle; and Bellevue Way Southeast in Bellevue.