SEATTLE – Before fireworks begin exploding in the sky over Lake Union on Thursday, drivers heading into Seattle should be prepared for heavy congestion, along with evening lane and ramp closures on southbound Interstate 5.
Starting at 9 p.m., state Department of Transportation crews will begin close:
• The southbound I-5 off-ramp to Roanoke Street
• The Boylston street on-ramp to southbound I-5
• The southbound I-5 exit-only lane and off-ramp to Mercer Street
The ramps and lane will all reopen at the conclusion of the fireworks display.
Each year, DOT closes these ramps with the help of the Washington State Patrol and Seattle police to ease congestion and prevent drivers from stopping on I-5 to watch the fireworks.
The closures also provide troopers with a secure zone to work from as they monitor traffic and keep it flowing smoothly during the display.
Drivers should also keep in mind that July Fourth is a very popular day for boating and the Highway 520 bridge drawspan will open with 2-hour prior notice.
To reduce the number of openings, contractors working on the Highway 520 replacement bridge have moved barges from the east navigational channel. Boaters with vessels up to 59 feet tall may use this channel and drawspan openings will be limited to boats 59 feet and taller.