Another Weekend of I-90 Congestion, as Westbound Mainline Closed, Rerouted Again

Anyone heading into Seattle, or even Bellevue, on I-90, including those heading to Safeco Field for the Mariner’s weekend home stand, will want to plan ahead – or they could be late.

At 11PM Friday, April 17th, crews working for Washington State Department of Transportation and Sound Transit rerouted all westbound lanes of I-90 to the express lanes between Bellevue Way and Rainier Avenue until 5AM Monday, April 20th.

A similar weekend closure two weeks ago backed up westbound I-90 traffic all the way to the Factoria/Eastgate area at times.

The closure allow contractor crews to continue upgrades to the operations and safety systems in the westbound Mount Baker and Mercer Island tunnels.

This is the third of as many as 30 weekend-long directional closures during the next two years as part of the I-90 Two-Way Transit and HOV Operations project. Additional weekend work is scheduled for eastbound May 1s–4th and westbound May 15th–18th before crews wrap up weekend closures in time for summer.

Closure details
11 p.m. Friday, April 17th, until 5AM Monday, April 20th 

  • Westbound I-90 traffic between Bellevue Way Southeast and Rainier Avenue South is routed to the express lanes from 11PM Friday to 5AM Monday.
  • Mercer Island traffic will need to exit westbound I-90 at East Mercer Way. There are no westbound exits to Mercer Island from the express lanes.
  • Drivers heading to Seattle from Mercer Island should use the 77th Avenue Southeast or Island Crest Way express lane on-ramps.
  • The westbound I-90 exit to Rainier Avenue South will be closed. Drivers will follow the signed detour via Fourth Avenue South and eastbound I-90.
  • Flammable materials will be prohibited on westbound I-90. Drivers must use alternate routes such as Interstate 405 State Route 520 or State Route 522.
  • The I-90 Trail will not be affected during the closure.
  • View an animated map of the detour.

Special events
Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers at Safeco Field

  • 6:10PM Saturday, April 18th
  • 1:10PM Sunday, April 19th

Snoop Dogg concert at the WaMu Theater

  • 8PMSunday, April 19

Project background 

The I-90 closure is the third of up to 30 weekend-long directional closures as part of WSDOT and Sound Transit’s I-90 Two-Way Transit and HOV Operations project, which is adding carpool lanes to both directions of I-90 between Seattle and Bellevue.

This collaboration will keep the number of general-purpose lanes for solo drivers while adding all-day carpool lanes to I-90. Building the new HOV lanes on the outer roadway of I-90 will enable construction of Sound Transit’s 14-mile East Link light rail extension from Seattle to Redmond, which is expected to start serving the Eastside in 2023.  The I-90 express lanes will close to vehicle traffic in 2017.

Digital animation of Sound Transit's future light rail line across I-90m floating bridge.  Photo: Sound Transit website screenshot
Digital animation of Sound Transit’s future light rail line across I-90m floating bridge. Photo: Sound Transit website screenshot


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