C-Tran has finished preparing to use a new bus-on-shoulder lane along southbound I-5 leading to the bridge. Sept. 11 was the last scheduled day of operator training, and the lane was considered “live” as of last week, according to C-Tran spokeswoman Chris Selk.
Buses will be able to use the shoulder to bypass congestion if freeway traffic drops below 35 mph. Opportunities to use the lane have been rare thus far, Selk said, but C-Tran expects that to change once the closure starts.
The traffic transfer to the southbound span will begin with single-closures tonight, Hamilton said, following the same schedule that had been planned for one week earlier. The shift will take place in stages throughout the night, with lanes only closing one at a time in order to minimize disruption and avoid traffic backups.
“This all needs to happen gradually,” he said.
Crews will begin closing lanes on the southbound span starting at 8 p.m., and will close one lane on the northbound span at 9 p.m., following by a second at 10 p.m., with the last northbound span lane closing at midnight. At that point, northbound traffic will shift to the southbound span.
The northbound lanes will cross over the median at Hayden Island and transition back just past the north end of the bridge. The speed limit on the bridge will drop to 40 miles per hour for the duration of the project.