Traffic alert: Two weekends of snarled I-5 still coming - but not this weekend

The South King slowdown is speeding toward the finish line.

Only two more weekends of crushing lane restrictions on southbound Interstate 5 between Tukwila and Federal Way remain, according to the state Department of Transportation, and the upcoming weekend isn’t one of them, thanks to Seafair.

But during Aug. 12-15, drivers headed south out of Seattle on I-5 can expect lane closures from the Duwamish River Bridge to Klickitat Drive as contract crews replace expansion joints and make drainage repairs.

The weekend of Aug. 19-22 will see lane closures on the Duwamish River Bridge for more expansion joint replacements.

The work is part of a project to rehabilitate I-5 from Tukwila to Federal Way. It includes replacing concrete panels in some places, laying fresh asphalt in others and changing out expansion joints in still others.

During three previous weekends, MidMountain Contractors paved 2.7 miles of I-5 in SeaTac and Des Moines.

The smooth ride did not come without some pain.

“We saw backups of about 4 miles and delays of 20 to 30 minutes each of these weekends, but they would have been much longer without drivers’ cooperation,” said Mike Swires, a Transportation Department traffic engineer.

The department has been encouraging people to seek alternate routes during the lane restrictions.

Weeknight lane restrictions remain in effect on southbound I-5 this week from South 188th Street to South 320th Street. The closures will be in effect from 8 p.m. until noon the next day.

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644, @TNTAdam