Traffic woes abound as I-90 lanes close for construction

BELLEVUE, Wash. - Construction on Interstate 90 is underway. Three westbound lanes between Bellevue Avenue and Mercer Island closed overnight Friday while crews repair aging expansion joints.

The lanes will remain closed for a week while crews replace two aging and deteriorating 92-foot-long bridge expansion joins on the freeway's east channel bridge.

The lane closures also will affect many of Bellevue's on-ramps to westbound I-90. There will also be ramp closures on the 405 interchange as crews re-stripe lanes.

"We're going to see delays up to an hour with potential seven to 10-mile backups from where it starts," Jim Bak, Inrix Director said.

Alternates around the week-long closure are limited, but officials hope to reopen lanes by Friday, July 25 at 5 a.m.

Survival tips:

Leaving home early cannot be overemphasized, in addition, to carpooling, using transit or telecommuting. For cyclists, the bike lanes along I-90 will remain open during the day.

During the week-long closure, drive around Lake Washington via I-405 and reconnect with Interstate 5 or bite the bullet, pay for a GoodtoGo! pass and take 520. Keep in mind, the I-90 express lanes will not be open and some I-90 ramps will be closed. Ramp closures will add extra pressure on Bellevue Way Southeast.

The DOT estimates 45 minutes to an hour range for travel times during the morning rush with the heaviest volumes between 7a.m. and 11 a.m. The afternoon commute is expected to turn heavy as early as 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Unlike the expansion joint repairs on I-5, earlier this summer, the contractors for this project need a full week to replace the joints due to their size and how deeply they're embedded into the concrete.

Whether you're driving a "Little Red Corvette" or a "Little Duece Coup," KOMO's I-90 Survival playlist will get you through the "Crosstown Traffic," and cruising like a "Speed Demon" "On the Road" again.

Bottom line: There's no easy solution or quick fixes to getting around the inevitable gridlock. Follow KOMO's Paris Jackson on Twitter (@ParisJKOMO) for the new routes, or to share creative ways you are getting to work.