It’s the sound of summer in Seattle — the roar of the jets overhead, reminding you that this is the big weekend when the Blue Angels take to the skies over Lake Washington. But as everybody knows, they spend a couple of days practicing, and that means closures on the I-90 bridge. Here’s the scoop, straight from WSDOT:
Drivers in the greater Seattle and Bellevue areas should prepare for traffic to slow to a crawl several times between Thursday, July 30, and Sunday, Aug. 2, and consider alternate routes.
The Washington State Department of Transportation is required by the Federal Aviation Administration to close the Interstate 90 floating bridge five times to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians while the Blue Angels practice for and perform at the Seafair Air Show. The closures are to keep the public and pilots safe and to minimize distractions.
The closures will extend from Interstate 5 in Seattle to Island Crest Way on Mercer Island. Certain I-90 and I-5 ramps will also close 30 minutes to one hour before flight times. Drivers who need to cross Lake Washington should plan to do so at least one hour before the closures or use an alternate route, such as Interstate 405, State Route 520 or State Route 522.
I-90 floating bridge closures
- Thursday, July 30: 9:45 a.m. to noon and 1:15 to 2:40 p.m. (practice)
- Friday, July 31: 11:50 to 2:40 p.m. (practice)
- Saturday, Aug. 1: 11:50 to 2:40 p.m. (Seafair Air Show)
- Sunday, Aug. 2: 11:50 to 2:40 p.m. (Seafair Air Show)
- Northbound I-5 to eastbound I-90 (up to 30 minutes prior)
- Southbound I-5 to eastbound I-90 (up to 30 minutes prior)
- Northbound Rainier Avenue South to eastbound I-90 (up to 30 minutes prior)
- Southbound Rainier Avenue South to eastbound I-90 (up to 30 minutes prior)
- Eastbound I-90 to West Mercer Way (up to 30 minutes prior)
- East Mercer Way to westbound I-90 (up to one hour prior)
- Island Crest Way to westbound I-90 (up to 30 minutes prior)
- 76th Avenue Southeast to westbound I-90 (up to 30 minutes prior)
- West Mercer Way to westbound I-90 (up to one hour prior)
SR 520 open during I-90 closures
During the I-90 closures, the SR 520 floating bridge will remain open to traffic and tolls will be collected according to the rate schedule. Infrequent users of the SR 520 bridge may want to consider setting up a short-term Good To Go! account for Seafair weekend.
In the Puget Sound area, drivers can get real-time traffic information on their phone with the WSDOT traffic app, by tracking the WSDOT traffic Twitter feed, and checking the What’s Happening Now page for detailed information.
And if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like inside the cockpit of one of those Boeing F/A-18 Hornets, take a look at this: