FAA-mandated safety zone no longer affecting bridge.
The Interstate 90 floating bridge will remain open this year during the 2019 Boeing Seafair Air Show weekend, Aug. 2-4.
The change is due to the flight path of the Blue Angels — the U.S. Navy’s fighter jet stunt team — being pushed further south of the I-90 bridge.
The Federal Aviation Administration mandates a safety zone, referred to as “the box,” to extend a certain radius from the jets’ flight path. In past years, the box has covered Lake Washington to the I-90 bridge, necessitating roadway closures.
WSDOT, Washington State Patrol and Seafair worked together to adjust this year’s Seafair show to keep all lanes open. Though pedestrian and bicyclist paths will also remain open, WSDOT warns against using the bridge as a viewing place and congesting a major commuter corridor.
“We understand everybody wants to see the Blue Angels and we just want to make sure people are doing it in the safest areas, and we don’t want people stopping and watching it where they shouldn’t be,” Washington State Trooper Chase Van Cleave said. He added that there will be extra patrols on the bridge during that weekend to enforce illegal lane or shoulder parking.
According to a press release from the city of Mercer Island, North Mercer Way on/off ramps — a popular Seafair viewing spot when closed — will remain open this year.
Rachelle Cunningham, public information officer for Sound Transit, said construction crews will continue light rail work on the bridge tracks as normally scheduled.