Around-the-clock work on I-5 may bring big backups to south Skagit County

Travelers should prepare for temporary reconfiguration of lanes and reduced speed limits

By Ally Barrera

Springtime is usually related with change, and a enormous switch is at the horizon for people who journey on northbound I-5 in south Skagit County.

Starting Sunday, May 5, contractor crews with our concrete rehabilitation mission among Conway and Arlington will start five immediately days of lane closures and visitors reconfigurations. No have got to panic,'s in simple terms temporary. And navigating your method via the construction zone could be simpler than you think.

Hard five days of work

Since this mission started final summer, crews largely labored overnight to update masses of broken concrete panels and grind down hundreds of thousands more. The goal: to maintain the street and create a smoother riding floor for the 85,000 automobiles that use it each day.

Now, they may near NULL out of three lanes of northbound I-5 at Starbird Road from 7 p.m. Sunday, May 5 to midday on Friday, May 10. These five days of around-the-clock work will provide crews the time and area to update 200 of these cracked and rut-riddled concrete panels. That's nearly sufficient to hide an complete soccer field.

Hundreds of concrete panels on I-5 among Conway and Arlington are riddled with cracks and ruts like these, and are within the task of being replaced.
Hundreds of concrete panels on I-5 between Conway and Arlington are riddled with cracks.
and ruts like these, and are in the process of being replaced.

The shift is on
To preserve site visitors moving, we devised a technique to get NULL lanes of site visitors previous the work zone, especially than simply one. On Sunday night, crews will temporarily restripe northbound I-5 so what is commonly the center lane will shift to the right, and what is commonly the far proper lane will shift automobiles to the Starbird Road exit. Motorists will then rejoin northbound I-5 utilizing the Starbird Road on-ramp.

The arrows present how crews will preserve NULL lanes of site visitors shifting throughout the two-lane closure.
The arrows show how crews will keep two lanes of traffic
moving during the two-lane closure

As you'll have the opportunity to see at the map above, automobiles shifted onto the Starbird Road go out could be capable to rejoin northbound I-5 utilizing the on-ramp. During the visitors shift, the pace restrict on I-5 will scale back from 70 mph to 55 mph. Those selecting to make use of the Starbird Road go out ought to pass 25 mph.

This shift will make getting round extra complex for locals. In order to maintain the street visitors invariably flowing, we are capable of near the Starbird Road overpass to traffic. The maps beneath present a few of the change methods folks can get to I-5.

Folks residing west of I-5 can nonetheless entry southbound I-5 at Starbird Road, but will ought to make use of a detour for northbound.

Even with this brief striping and site visitors shifts, we anticipate as much as three-mile backups on northbound I-5 throughout height journey periods, especially within the overdue afternoons. Travelers will possibly encounter the largest backups on Monday, May 6, as motorists alter to this new configuration.

Why are we doing this?

Reducing I-5 with the aid of capacity of NULL lanes for five days is a large ask, but we've nice motive to do it. Three nice causes in fact.

First, with this uninterrupted lane reduction, crews will condense 30 nights of work into five days. This will save us time and funds simply due to the fact staff will in simple terms ought to arrange and take down site visitors manage as soon as pretty than 30 times. It also capacity fewer delays for late-night and early-morning travelers.

Second, the great of work can be upper as the crews can focus at the concrete and never be preoccupied with reopening the freeway in time for the morning commute. A upper great product capacity the street will reside smoother for longer.

Third – and perhaps predominant – we are doing this to maintain our crews safe. Working this five-day stretch capacity crews will spend much less time running along 70 mph site visitors with simply plastic barrels to defend them.

During their shifts, crews are simply ft clear of automobiles traveling at freeway speeds. This around-the-clock work will imply crews will spend much less time in harm's way.
During their shifts, crews are just feet away from vehicles traveling at freeway speeds. This around-the-clock
work will mean crews will spend less time in harm's way.

Plan ahead
Alternate routes round this work zone are constrained on this neck of the woods. If you are like me and have to make use of this stretch of I-5 among May 5-10, imagine different techniques to assist you keep away from the backups:

Leave earlier than or after height journey durations (6-8 a.m. and 2-6 p.m.)
Carpool or vanpool
Ride Skagit Transit
Telework, should you can
Stay updated with the challenge and the site visitors backups by means of means of following our WSDOT North Twitter account and signing up for our weekly Skagit County construction emails.


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