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Originally published Friday, June 13, 2014 at 8:02 PM

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Roadwork, graduations to snarl traffic for the weekend

Here’s what Seattle-area drivers need to know this weekend.

Seattle Times staff

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Now that Mercer is a two-way street... Yesterday the traffic was backed up to Fifth Aveneue WEST during rush hour. ... MORE
@QA Hawk Fan Part of the problem with Mercer right now is that there's only 4 lanes total, a lot of construction to... MORE
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Seattle’s Denny Way, which tends to be busy on summer weekends, will close Saturday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. where it passes over I-5, so an expansion joint can be replaced. And the work will be noisy, the city says.

Detours will take eastbound traffic to the Olive Way overpass and westbound traffic to the Pine Street overpass.

Meanwhile, King County Metro bus routes 10, 43 and 49 will be detoured to avoid the Pine Street and Broadway intersection, where electrical work for the future streetcar will close the area Saturday and Sunday.

All that adds up to a mess for the western slope of Capitol Hill, with spillover effects to Mercer Street and South Lake Union.

But unlike last weekend, Highway 520 will remain open, to carry traffic to and from the University of Washington graduation activities. Only the 108th Avenue Northeast/Northup Way ramps to Highway 520 will close, for drainage and signal work, all weekend.

Speaking of graduations, expect big traffic jams around Husky Stadium on Saturday, and smaller jams around KeyArena Saturday and Sunday, as area universities hold commencement exercises.

• The University of Washington expects 5,300 graduates and more than 40,000 family members, friends and faculty observers to be part of undergraduate and graduate commencement exercises at Husky Stadium on Saturday, beginning at 12:30 p.m., when graduates begin lining up and doors open for guests. The procession starts at 1:30 p.m., and the ceremony is scheduled to conclude at 4:30 p.m. The commencement speaker is former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

• Seattle Pacific University’s undergraduate commencement will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at Seattle Center’s KeyArena. The commencement speaker is Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund and the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar. The ceremony is expected to end at 3:30 p.m.

• Seattle University’s undergraduate commencement will begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at KeyArena. The speaker is Jo Luck, former president and CEO of Heifer International. It is scheduled to end at 1 p.m.

A few other events will be under way this weekend, including a Seafair bike parade from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday surrounding Westlake Park.

Airport Way South through Georgetown will close Saturday at noon and through the evening for a neighborhood festival. Repaving will close one or two lanes of Rainier Avenue South at South Charles Street, next to I-90, throughout the weekend.

Seattle Times reporters Mike Lindblom and Katherine Long contributed to this report.

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