I-90 bridge to close for Seafair jets

by Bart Treece

After a one-year break, some old friends have booked a return flight. The skies above Seattle will again be the playground for the F/A 18 Blue Angels of Seafair. This of course means the Interstate 90 floating bridge between the Emerald City and Mercer Island will be closed periodically for safety precautions. In other words: no drivers, cyclists or walkers.

Courtesy: US Navy
Courtesy: Patriots Jet Team

The Federal Aviation Administration requires a safety zone below the area where both the Blue Angels and the Patriots Jet Team practice and show-off for captivated crowds. This zone, we call “the box,” covers part of Lake Washington and the floating bridges - hence the closure.

Airshow Safety Zones
With the Blue Angels back in the Seafair lineup, both directions of I-90, (including the mainline and the express lanes) will be closed between I-5 in Seattle and Island Crest Way on Mercer Island.

Here’s the closure schedule:

  • Thursday, July 31: 9:45 a.m. - noon; 1:15 - 2:40 p.m. (practice) 
    • Express lanes closed from 9:45 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. 
  • Friday, Aug. 1: 12:15 p.m. - 2:40 p.m., (practice) 
    • Express lanes closed from 12:15 to 2:40 p.m. 
  • Saturday, Aug. 2: 12:15 p.m. - 2:40 p.m., (full show) 
    • Express lanes closed from 12:15 to 2:40 p.m. 
  • Sunday, Aug. 3: 12:15 p.m. - 2:40 p.m., (full show) 
    • Express lanes closed from 12:15 to 2:40 p.m.

Additionally, several ramps to I-90 will be closed during these times.

SR 520 floating bridge
The State Route 520 floating bridge will remain open for traffic and tolls will be collected according to the rate schedule. There will be no boat openings while the I-90 bridge is closed. You can expect heavier traffic on SR 520 and other routes between Seattle and the Eastside. To help keep traffic moving throughout Seafair weekend, the east navigation channelwill be open to boats up to 58 feet tall which should reduce the number of marine openings.

Regardless of where you travels take you Seafair weekend, be sure to plan your trips beforehand and know before you go.