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Seattle weekend traffic and transit: I-5 closure apocalypse

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

Jose Luis Stephens/Shutterstock

Another weekend, another whole list of things that could disrupt getting around. Some of these events might be things you’re doing, too—there’s a Mariners game every day, it’s the University District Street Fair, and it’s fun run season. Plus: northbound Interstate 5 is completely closed for a stretch, really throwing a wrench into getting around.

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.

Weekend events: Upstream

Upstream Music Fest and Summit starts Friday and runs through Sunday in Pioneer Square—meaning lots of musical acts and art shows, but also a lot of crowds and street closures around the Occidental Square area (west of Second Avenue S, south of Yesler all the way down to the stadiums). A full venue map is located here, and definitely see the bus reroute information below.

A whole bunch of buses go to Pioneer Square—about as many as go to the stadiums—but Link Light Rail is going to be a great bet (especially with the freeway closure), and the First Hill Streetcar will run right into the middle of it.

On Sunday, it’s the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, starting and ending at Seattle Center with a route looping up and down Fourth Avenue downtown, meaning street closures and bus reroutes. Get to the starting line at Fifth and Harrison on Metro route 3 or 4.

Via Komen

There’s also a fun run happening at Walt Hundley Playfield in West Seattle on Sunday starting at 11 a.m. Take the 21 or the 128 to get there.

Road work and bus service changes: I-5 is closed

You know how WSDOT has been doing work on I-5 over the past year or so with periodic lane closures? Get ready for a full closure, happening Friday night through Monday morning. The freeway will be closed entirely northbound between the West Seattle Bridge and Olive Way.

Via WSDOT

That closure lasts from 8 p.m. on Friday through through 5 a.m. Monday, weather dependent.

While that stretch will be fully closed, others are getting some lane closures. The Ship Canal Bridge will be down to just two lanes from 2 a.m. to noon on Saturday and 2 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday; traffic will be down to two lanes on the Duwamish River Bridge all weekend, long, too.

As a result, a whole bunch of ramps along the corridor will be closed; there are so many that it’s probably best to just check the WSDOT website on the closure. And because this’ll gunk up the works all around it, also plan for delays if you’re taking any transit that gets mired in with the cars—that includes streetcars and buses.

In addition to the traffic disruptions caused by I-5, other buses are being rerouted off Fourth and around the Seattle Center area because of the Komen run, including the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 13, 21, 24, 26, 28, 33, 40, 47, 49, 62, 70, 131, 132, 522, 545, 554, D Line, and E Line.

Other buses will be rerouted for other reasons; the 21 off 35th Avenue SW in West Seattle for construction, and the 124 for an “aircraft move” along East Marginal Way S.

Note: We put immediate and new closures in this section, but not every single planned street closure appears here. Explore all 98 active SDOT projects, many of which involve street and lane closures, here. Here are Sound Transit rider alerts; here are King County Metro rider alerts.

Sports: Storm, Mariners and Huskies

The Mariners host the Rangers on Thursday and the Rays the rest of the weekend; 7:10 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, then 1:10 p.m. Sunday. Link Light Rail goes to the stadium (get off at, intuitively, the Stadium stop), as do the Seattle Streetcar and a ton of bus routes from Metro, Community Transit, and Sound Transit. Remember, if you take light rail, your game ticket is also your train ticket. If you live out in the ‘burbs, the Sounder train will also be running for Sunday’s game.

The Sounders are out of town this weekend, as are any UW teams that are playing.

Thursday at 7 p.m., the Seattle Storm play the Las Vegas Aces at Key Arena, although the team’s out of town for the Saturday game at Dallas. Take the 1, 2, 8, 13, 32, or Rapidride D.

Seattle Center

305 Harrison Street, , WA 98109 Visit Website

Occidental Square

117 South Washington Street, , WA 98104 Visit Website

Pioneer Square

, , WA 98104