Interstate 5 or I -5 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Washington. The highway forms a north-south route in the west of the state. The highway begins in Vancouver, not to be confused with the Canadian city that is an extension of I-5, and runs through Seattle to the Canadian border at Blaine, where the highway continues as Canadian Highway to Vancouver, BC. The route in Washington is 444 kilometers long.
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I-5 at Tacoma.
I-5 at Downtown Seattle.
The Ship Canal Bridge in Seattle.
Interstate 5 in Oregon crosses the Columbia River at Vancouver (not to be confused with Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada) via the Interstate Bridge, and enters Washington. Vancouver can be considered a suburb of Portland in Oregon. On the north side of the city, Interstate 205in, which forms an eastern bypass through the Portland metropolitan area. You leave the conurbation a little further on, and the highway runs parallel to the Columbia River. The I-5 has a fairly long stretch of 2×3 lanes. It passes by Longview, where the Columbia River branches west to enter the Pacific at Astoria. Just north of Longview, the highway narrows to 2×2 lanes. At Napaville, one crosses US 12, which is briefly double-numbered with I-5. US 12 runs to Yakima in the east, right past Mount Rainier, the highest point in the state at 4,392 meters. At Grand Mound the US 12 leaves the I-5 again, to walk towards Aberdeen on the coast.
One passes by Olympia, the capital of Washington. This is where US 101 rejoins, which has not been seen since Los Angeles. US 101 takes a huge detour around Olympic National Park, northwest of Olympia. There are also tropical rainforests in this area. After Olympia, the road widens to 2×4 lanes as you enter the metropolitan area of Seattle. The first suburb is Tacoma, with 202,000 inhabitants, about 70 kilometers from the center. In Tacoma, the SR-16 exits, which leads to Bremerton. Interstate 705. also strikes in Tacomaoff, a short connecting road in the city. The river Puyallup is crossed via a bridge with 2×4 lanes. This is followed by a row of smaller suburbs. At Federal Way, SR-18 exits, a short link to the SR-167 parallel highway. To the south, Mount Rainier is clearly visible. Interstate 405 exits near Seattle Airport, which runs along the east side of this elongated city. SR-518 runs west to SeaTac International Airport. After this, the highway has 2×5 lanes. A little further on, the SR-599off, a short parallel highway. The highway now runs past the ports of Seattle, and Interstate 90 begins on the south side of downtown, running to Spokane on the east, and eventually all the way to Boston on the east coast, thousands of miles away. The highway here is wide, with 4×3 lanes. From the highway you have a good view of the Seattle skyline. Just north of downtown, SR-520 exits and leads to the suburb of Bellevue. After this one dives into the suburbs, the first of which is Shoreline.
Interstate 405 rejoins at Lynnwood. After this, the highway narrows to 2×3 lanes. One passes Everett, where a large Boeing factory is located. US 2, the northernmost US Highway, also ends here. After this one leaves the metropolitan area of Seattle, and the highway runs parallel to several bays that open into the Juan de Fuca Strait, which leads to the Pacific. You pass the regional town of Mount Vernon, and only then does the highway narrow to 2×2 lanes. Then you enter the forest area. On the other side is already Canada, namely the Vancouver Island, where the capital of British Columbiais located, Victoria. A little further you pass Bellingham, the last major city in the United States. The Canadian border is not far now, and is reached at the border town of Blaine, barely 20 kilometers south of Vancouver. The queues to the United States are usually much longer than to Canada.
Seattle Express Lanes
In Seattle, Interstate 5 has a 11.5 kilometer long interchangeable track. This is the widest reversible lane in the world with 4 lanes. The interchange lane is open to all traffic, and is therefore not HOV only. The shuttle lane also goes over the Ship Canal Bridge. The interchangeable track was put into use in 1962.
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The I-5 was originally numbered US 99, a number that no longer exists today. Already on February 14, 1917, the first bridge over the Columbia River at Vancouver opened to traffic, where a second bridge was built next to it in 1958 to accommodate Interstate 5 at the Oregon border . I-5 was built mainly during the 1960s. In December 1962, the Ship Canal Bridge in northern Seattle opened to traffic. On February 3, 1965, a 20-mile (32 km) stretch from Seattle to Everett opened to traffic. The last stretch of I-5 to open was between Everett and Marysville five miles on May 14, 1969.
Between 2000 and 2022, I-5 in Tacoma was reconstructed and widened in 17 phases, most notably around the interchange with State Route 16. It was one of the longest-running reconstruction projects in the United States. The project consisted of 14 subprojects, cost a total of $1.4 billion and was completed in August 2022.
The express lanes in Seattle use between 31,000 and 47,000 vehicles daily, these intensities are included in the list below (Exit 168 – 171).
|Oregon state line||132,000|
|Exit 40 Kelso||59,000|
|Exit 74 Chehalis||60,000|
|Exit 101 Tumwater||68,000|
|Exit 107 Lacey||126,000|
|Exit 120 Joint Base Lewis–McChord||137,000|
|Exit 125 Lakewood||150,000|
|Exit 129 Lakewood||196,000|
|Exit 137 Fife||172,000|
|Exit 149 Kent||218,000|
|Exit 153 SeaTac||198,000|
|Exit 162 Seattle / Corson Avenue||234,000|
|Exit 169 Seattle / 45th Street||214,000|
|Exit 171 Seattle / SR-522||210,000|
|Exit 173 Seattle / Northgate Way||215,000|
|Exit 175 Seattle / 145th Street||175,000|
|Exit 181 Lynnwood||159,000|
|Exit 193 Everett||186,000|
|Exit 194 Everett||134,000|
|Exit 202 116th Street||111,000|
|Exit 210 236th Street||80,000|
|Exit 226 Mount Vernon||73,000|
|Exit 231 Burlington||53,000|
|Exit 255 Bellingham||80,000|
|Exit 263 Ferndale||42,000|
|Exit 276 Blaine||13,000|
|exit 0||Exit 4||2×3|
|Exit 4||Exit 7 (I-405)||2×2|
|Exit 7 (I-405)||exit 57||2×3|
|exit 57||Exit 82||2×2|
|Exit 82||Exit 104||2×3|
|Exit 104||Exit 111||2×4|
|Exit 111||Exit 122||2×3|
|Exit 122||Exit 142||2×4|
|Exit 142||Exit 164 (I-90)||2×5|
|Exit 164 (I-90)||Exit 165||2×7|
|Exit 165||Exit 166||2×5|
|Exit 166||Exit 168||2×7|
|Exit 168||Exit 169||2×4|
|Exit 169||Exit 171||4+4+4|
|Exit 171||Exit 173||3+3+3|
|Exit 173||Exit 176||2×5|
|Exit 176||Exit 194||2×4|
|Exit 194||Exit 227||2×3|
|Exit 227||Exit 276||2×2|