Partial I-5 bridge closure begins Saturday

'Heavy traffic expected' during nine-day bridge repair; traffic will be open in both directions on southbound span

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A nine-day closure of the Interstate 5 Bridge’s northbound span is set to begin Saturday, Sept. 12 and end Sept. 20, as crews replace mechanical parts that help lift and lower the bridge.

The southbound span will remain open to traffic in both directions.

Heavy traffic is expected to impact I-5, Interstate 205, state Route 14 and Interstate 84 around Vancouver and in North Portland during the closure.

Travelers crossing the Interstate Bridge in both directions will share the three existing lanes and sidewalk on the southbound bridge. A movable concrete barrier will shift the lanes to allow for two lanes of traffic to travel in the heaviest direction during commute times. For example, during the morning commute, the bridge will have two southbound lanes and one northbound lane open. During the evening commute, the bridge will have one southbound lane and two northbound lanes open.

Travelers should continue to avoid the area and use alternative modes of travel following the bridge closure, as travel delays will continue on southbound I-5 near the Interstate Bridge, Sept. 21-27, while crews close one lane of I-5 for median barrier work.

The Washington State Department of Transportation has warned that, if travelers do not change their driving habits during the bridge closure, and if traffic levels are at normal levels, the length of back-ups on I-5 may double to four miles and the region may experience up to 16 hours of congestion per day.

WSDOT scheduled the bridge closure for September due to the low river levels, which allow most vessels to travel under the Interstate Bridge without a bridge lift.