South Sounders planning to drive to Eastern Washington via Interstate 90 this weekend should find alternatives to using state Route 18 to get up to I-90.
Contractor crews hired by the state Department of Transportation will close the eastbound lanes of Route 18 near Southeast Auburn-Black Diamond Road just east of Auburn.
The closure will begin about 11 p.m. Friday. The eastbound lanes are expected to remain closed until 5 a.m. Monday.
Closing the eastbound lanes will allow workers to replace 500 feet of cracked pavement, the Transportation Department reported.
That portion of highway was damaged by heavy rains Dec. 8.
Water saturated the slope beneath the road, which caused highway to shift, the department reported. Cracks as wide as 3 inches developed in the pavement in one of the lanes, which has been temporarily closed.
The work, estimated to cost about $500,000, will include rebuilding the roadway’s foundation, laying new asphalt and painting lane stripes. Crews already have installed a dozen drains in the slope.
Westbound lanes will remain open.
Transportation Department officials warned drivers that routes such as northbound Interstate 405 and northbound Interstate 5 might see heavier traffic as people avoiding Route 18 seek outlets.
“We would like to thank drivers for their patience, as fixing this stretch of state Route 18 hasn’t been easy,” said Mike Askarian, a department engineer.