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Seattle weekend traffic: The Solstice Parade and I-5 repairs

What’s blocking up traffic this weekend—and how to ride transit to it (or around it)

The Fremont Solstice Parade in 2008.
Mark Atwood/Flickr

Another weekend, another whole list of things that could disrupt getting around. Some of these events might be things you’re doing, too—like the Fremont Solstice festivities. Interested in not getting stuck behind the wheel? Our weekend traffic report is here for you.

We’ve combed through the alerts and advisories from both the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to deliver transit-friendly solutions for your weekend outings.

Some of this weekend’s advisories—and transit-oriented alternate routes to events—are listed below.

Road work

It’s the start of five consecutive weekends of lane closures on I-5 this weekend so the freeway can get some much-needed repairs. That means that northbound I-5 between State Route 516 around SeaTac and the Southcenter area will be down to just two lanes between 10 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday. The SR 516 and South 200th Street on- and off-ramps will be closed. Yikes.

If the I-5 construction is going to affect your commute getting back from the airport, this could be one of those times that it could be faster to take the light rail—it goes from SeaTac to Downtown in about 40 minutes, and doesn’t get backed up by car traffic.

I-90 is also getting some TLC all weekend long: Overnights starting at 11 p.m. Thursday through Sunday night, offramps to eastbound I-90 from I-5 and Rainier Avenue South will experience closures and two to three lanes near the Mount Baker Tunnel will be shut down.

The I-90 closures are only overnight—the lanes and ramps open back up at 5 a.m. each day—but if you’re doing some kind of nighttime commute between Seattle and the Eastside, watch out.

Another smaller, but perhaps impactful, closure: The inside lanes of State Route 513, better known as Montlake Boulevard, across the Montlake Bridge will be closed from 5:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday morning for bridge deck repairs.

Around Downtown and Belltown, SDOT continues doing some repairs:

  • Lenora Street will be closed between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue and reduced to one lane between Second and Third. Pedestrians can still walk on through, though.
  • Third Avenue will be closed southbound between Blanchard and Virginia Streets. (One northbound lane will remain open.)

Sports games

The Mariners are in Texas all weekend and the Sounders are in New York, so your main problems around the stadium district are going to be Rock n Roll Fitness festivities and the Seattle Colleges graduation on Friday.

The one home game this weekend is the Seattle Storm’s game against the San Antonio Stars at KeyArena at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The Solstice parade and more

This weekend’s biggest event is probably the Fremont Solstice Festival—and if you’re not riding your bike there (naked or clothed), there are still ways you can avoid getting stuck behind the wheel on your way. King County Metro routes 5, 26, 28, 31, and 32 will all get you to some point nearby the fair, happening all weekend long—or to the celebration or parade on Saturday. Metro is also running a Saturday-only shuttle to help get people to and from the parade.

Seattle Colleges are having their commencement ceremonies at Safeco Field at 6 p.m. on Friday—and between that and rush hour, going by car could get a little dicey. Link Light Rail to the stadium is a good bet, as well as multiple King County Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit buses.

Next door at CenturyLink, the Vans Warped Tour is going on all day long from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. That’s right, teens don’t have to borrow their mom’s minivan to drive to the Gorge anymore. Same transit applies.

City University is having their commencement—tis the season of graduations—at KeyArena at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The buses that get closest to KeyArena are Metro routes 1, 2, 8, 13, 32, and RapidRide D.

The Seattle Rock n Roll 5K and Marathon are both happening this weekend—the 5K on Saturday at the Museum of Flight, and the marathon all over the city, starting at Husky Stadium and finishing around the SODO stadiums. You can ride Link Light Rail to the start or finish line of the marathon, or King County Metro 124 to the 5K.

A corresponding Rock n Roll Fitness Expo will be happening at CenturyLink all weekend long. Link Light Rail goes there, as well as multiple King County Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit buses. The Rock n Roll Fitness folks have conveniently put together their own transit guide to help people to and from all their events.


305 Harrison St., Seattle, WA 98109

Husky Stadium

3800 Montlake Blvd., Seattle, WA 98105

The Museum of Flight

9404 East Marginal Way South, , WA 98108 Visit Website

Safeco Field

1250 1st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134 Visit Website


4550 38th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98126 Visit Website