erik lundegaard

Can’t Get Theah from Heah

Last night I drove to Sea-Tac airport to pick up Patricia, who had spent a week in Chicago helping relatives with their new baby. It was 10:30 PM so traffic was light on I-5, but I noticed when I got onto 518 that the opposite lane was slowed by construction. I couldn’t tell if it was moving construction or not. I also couldn’t think of a better route home—other than 99—so I hoped it would clear.

There were the usual delays associated with picking someone up at the airport. The cell phone lot was crowded, then the traffic to arrivals was backed up; so I texted P to meet me in departures after she’d picked up her bag. We got out of there around 11, later than anticipated, but still feeling lucky and rather sneaky.

Then we hit the constuction.

On 518, four lanes narrow to three, but they’d blocked off one lane to narrow it to two. It was the left lane that led to the I-5 North exit, and home. Even after all the cars merged, traffic was still at a crawl. Because? Because construction, or “construction,” eventually narrowed 518 to one lane. Meanwhile, orange cones actually prevented us from taking our I-5 exit to Seattle. Was that the construction project? The exits onto I-5? Regardless, we had no choice but to keep going. So instead of heading north and home, we wound up driving east, to Renton.

The whole thing seemed nuts to me. They cut off I-5? You could pick up someone at Sea-Tac but you couldn’t take them back to Seattle?

“Shouldn’t we have heard something about this?” I asked Patricia.

“When they close I-90 for repairs, they mention it all the time,” Patricia said helpfully.

That’s how we wound up on the other side of Lake Washington, taking 405 to Bellevue, then the I-90 bridge back to Seattle. I was still half-fuming, half-amused by it all; but at least we were nearly home.

Then I saw the orange cones blocking our Rainier Avenue exit.

Except, no, there was an opening that allowed us to actually exit onto Rainier. A minute later, orange cones prevented us from merging from Rainier onto Boren. Ever feel like the city’s against you? Even after we did the detour—down Jackson to 12th, then up 12th to Boren—I was now on the lookout for orange cones. I figured they would be around every corner, blocking me. Or warning me? Don’t go home!

Here’s the big news on the I-5 constuction. Apparently I should need to read the SeaTac blog more often.

UPDATE: I told the above story to my friend Evan, who responded, “The real question is: What did you do to piss off Chris Christie?”

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Posted at 07:46 AM on Tue. Jul 14, 2015 in category Seattle  

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