If anyone out there doesn’t yet know about the upcoming nine-day closure of the northbound Interstate 5 Bridge, consider this your official warning.
In six days, the northbound span of the twin drawbridges will close to all traffic while crews undertake a $13 million maintenance project to replace parts of its century-old lift system. All freeway traffic will use the southbound span from Sept. 12 to 20.
Halving the capacity of one of the Portland region’s only two Columbia River crossing points has the potential to create some spectacularly unpleasant traffic congestion.
The Oregon Department of Transportation, which manages the bridge, and the Washington State Department of Transportation have spent months urging commuters to plan ahead to save themselves from spending hours stuck in traffic. And if enough drivers take the advice to heart, a trafficocalypse might be averted altogether.
Here’s everything you need to know about what’s on the way:
What are the exact closure times?
The northbound span will close to all traffic for a period that officially runs from 12:01 a.m. Sept. 12 until 11:59 p.m., Sept. 20, according to ODOT spokesman Don Hamilton.