The state Department of Transportation will close Interstate 90, west of I-405 in Bellevue, nightly for the next two weeks as crews install new signs as part of a "Smarter Highways" project.
Drivers traveling on I-90 between Seattle and Bellevue may notice what drivers on I-5 and SR 520 have seen for several months -- new sign bridges popping up. Over the next two weeks, WSDOT crews will close I-90 between I-5 and I-405 overnight as they lift 17 sign bridges into place.
The new Smarter Highways traffic management system features a network of sensors and electronic signs that will provide drivers with lane-specific information about traffic ahead. Drivers headed for east or westbound I-90 between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. should be prepared for delays and detours on the following nights this week:
- Tuesday, May 18: Crews will close eastbound I-90 between I-5 and I-405 and detour traffic onto the I-90 express lanes. They will also close the ramps to eastbound I-90 from northbound I-5, Rainier Avenue S., Island Crest Way, E. Mercer Way, Bellevue Way and the eastbound I-90 transit lane.
- Wednesday, May 19: Crews will close westbound I-90 at Southeast 37th Street and detour traffic onto Southeast Eastgate Way, west on Richards Road and back to westbound I-90.
- Thursday, May 20: Crews will close eastbound I-90 at Richards Road and detour traffic onto Richards Road, Southeast 36th Street and to 150th Avenue to return to eastbound I-90. They will also close the ramps to eastbound I-90 from north and southbound I-405, Bellevue Way and the 142nd Place Southeast HOV ramp.
Drivers should also plan ahead for overnight closures on segments of westbound I-90 between I-405 and I-5 next week, Monday, May 24, to Thursday, May 27.
Starting this summer, overhead electronic signs on northbound I-5 in south Seattle and on SR 520 between Seattle and Bellevue will alert drivers to reduce speeds or change lanes when there are collisions or backups on the road ahead. Crews will also activate the high-tech signs on I-90 between Seattle and Bellevue in spring 2011.
Washington is one of the first states to implement cutting-edge, Smarter Highways technology that uses real-time traffic information to improve safety and reduce congestion.
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