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Seattle weekend traffic: The Montlake Bridge is closing

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


Another weekend, another whole list of things that could disrupt getting around. Some of these events might be things you’re doing, too: Both South Lake Union and the Rainier Valley are having neighborhood festivals, the Mariners and the Sounders both have home games, and Slayer is playing.

Plus: Roadwork closures are heating up again, including Interstate 5 lane closures and a complete closure of the Montlake Bridge.

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.

Sports and the stadium district

This is going to he a busy one for the stadiums: The Mariners are home all weekend long at Safeco Field, with games against the Angels at 7:10 on Thursday and Friday, then 6:10 p.m. Saturday (it’s Edgar Martinez’s number retirement ceremony so it’s a doozy) and 1:10 p.m. on Sunday.

Meanwhile on Saturday, the Sounders play the Sporting Kansas City at 1 p.m. at Century Link.

The Sounder train will run for Saturday’s Sounders game and Sunday’s Mariners game. Link Light Rail goes to the stadium, as does the Seattle Streetcar and a ton of bus routes from Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit.

Add one more thing to Saturday: Slayer plays on Saturday night at WaMu Theater. Build in a good amount of travel time—attendees could be contending with a Sounders game getting out and a Mariners game starting.

The Seattle Storm are in Arizona this weekend.

Neighborhood festivals and more

Seattle Opera’s Madame Butterfly is expected to draw a crowd Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. The 2, 3, 4, 13, and 19 will all get you close to McCaw Hall.

Between 7 and 8 a.m., police will be escorting two-day participants for the Obliteride bike ride from Fred Hutch in South Lake Union to Colman Dock on the waterfront. Get your bike to Fred Hutch using the 70—or if you really need to save all the strength you can before riding a bike for two days, the two-mile South Lake Union Streetcar route goes there.

It’s still neighborhood festival season

On Friday, food and music festival South Lake Union Block Party is happening at SLU Discovery Center at Denny and Westlake. The 8, the 40 the C Line, and the South Lake Union Streetcar go right there.

On Saturday, the Rainier Valley Heritage festival, parade, and car show runs along Rainier Avenue South between South Dawson and South Alaska Street—and that whole stretch of Rainier will be closed. The parade starts at 10 a.m., with a festival and car show running from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The 7 will take you right there. (Take note: If you just happen to need to ride the 7 somewhere, it’s rerouted to MLK for that stretch.)

Two more car shows!

On Sunday, Slim’s Last Chance’s Greaseball Custom Car and Bike Show—plus bands!—closes First Avenue South between South Lucille and South Fidalgo Street from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The 131 or 132 should get you a few blocks away.

Meanwhile in Magnolia, and also on Sunday, the Magnolia Village Car Show runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on West McGraw Street between 32nd and 34th Avenue West. Unlike the Greaseball show, Hobosexual is not playing. The 19 and the 31 will take you there.

Road work

With Seafair over, it’s back to our busy roadwork season.

The Montlake bridge, along with the State Route 520 offramp to Montlake, will be closed completely from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. This the buses that run on the bridge or ramp—the 43 and 48, plus the 271 to Issaquah—will be rerouted.

WSDOT is resuming crucial repaving work on Interstate 5 this weekend, with lane reductions around SeaTac and Tukwila starting at 8 p.m. on Friday through 5 a.m. Monday. While alternate routes are encouraged, says WSDOT, those will probably be slower, too. “We’ve seen backups as long as four to six miles,” said one traffic alert email.

Speaking of I-5, the right lane of the southbound Northeast 40th and 50th street offramp, plus the southbound 50th Street onramp, will be closed on Sunday from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. Yes, those are the ones right before the Ship Canal Bridge. Good luck.

The northbound right and center lanes of the Aurora Bridge will be closed 5 to 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday for inspections.

In Burien, a State Route 509 median needs repair—so the left lane in both directions will be closed between 168th and 112th starting at 7 p.m. on Friday through 6 a.m. on Monday.

In the northend, continue to expect periodic lane closures around Aurora Avenue North and North 92nd Street for a pedestrian signal installation.

Belltown will be kind of a mess: Broad Street between First and Third Avenue and Cedar Street between Third and Fourth Avenue will be closed all day Friday through Sunday.

Adjacent, Virginia Street will be closed westbound and reduced eastbound between Eighth and Ninth Avenue and at Terry Avenue all day Friday through Sunday.

CenturyLink Field

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Safeco Field

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