Crews will close all lanes of I-5 just south of the I-205 junction this weekend for construction work on the new, NE 139th Street interchange. All lanes of the interstate will be closed by 11 p.m. Friday, June 7, and will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, June 10. I-205 will remain open throughout the weekend, and is the primary detour route for interstate drivers.
Disclaimer: Before we get into the details, I want you to know there’s a lot of information in this update. I tried to sort it out based on the FAQ’s we’ve received during the past two weeks. As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions that aren’t answered below.
- Southbound I-5: Closed from I-205 to NE 134th Street. The southbound off-ramp to NE 134th Street will remain open through the majority of the weekend. Crews will close the off-ramp if exiting traffic backs up onto I-205 and interferes with the interstate detour. If the off-ramp is closed, local traffic should exit at NE 179th Street and use NE 20th Avenue to get to the Salmon Creek area. View this route online.
- Northbound I-5: Closed between SR 500 and I-205. Northbound on- and off-ramps will be closed at E. 39th Street, NE Highway 99/Main Street, NE 78th Street and NE 99th Street.
Why is northbound I-5 closed at SR 500 when the work is taking place five miles north at the I-205 junction in Salmon Creek?
The short answer is that we have to keep interstate traffic moving, and want to avoid the gridlock that will occur if thousands of detouring drivers exit I-5 onto local roads.
During the closure, we’re asking approximately 90,000 daily drivers to move from I-5 over to the I-205 detour. The only roads in Vancouver that can get all those drivers from I-5 to I-205 are SR 14 and SR 500. We truly appreciate your patience this weekend – we know this will create some driving headaches for anyone heading to local destinations. Unfortunately, our detour options are limited by the sheer capacity of I-5 and number of vehicles that travel it daily.
If your weekend plans include any local travels, check out the closure and detour maps online, and budget for some extra traveling time.
Are there any other impacts drivers should be aware of?
We’re making some changes to traffic signals on SR 500 to help the highway handle the traffic increase and keep people moving. For all intents and purposes, SR 500 will be a freeway for the weekend. Drivers won’t be able to cross SR 500 or make left turns at the intersections of 42nd Avenue/Falk Road and 54th Avenue/Stapleton Road. You will still be able to turn right at those locations, but use St. Johns Boulevard or Andresen Road if you need to head north/south across SR 500 during the closure weekend.
Where can I find information during the closure?
- Smart phones: Download WSDOT’s mobile app. It’s free, fantastic, and has the best real-time traffic map around. (That’s no exaggeration – I check the traffic conditions on the app every day before heading home.)
- Online resources: Find real-time traffic info on our traffic alerts page, and follow the girder-setting progress by viewing the traffic camera on NE 134th Street. We’ll also be tweeting updates throughout the weekend – follow us at @wsdot_sw.
- Phone: Call 511, or 1-800-695-ROAD (7623) to find highway traffic information and updates.