The sights and sounds of the Blue Angels flying their aerobatic fighter jets through August skies are a Seattle tradition – but this weekend, there are a few new twists.
The biggest twist in the Boeing Seafair Air Show takes place on the ground rather than in the air: The I-90 floating bridge is no longer being closed for the Blue Angels’ hour-long demonstrations on Aug. 2, 3 and 4.
To minimize disruption to light-rail construction work on the bridge, the flight path for the air show over Lake Washington has been moved slightly south. That means the bridge is now outside the Federal Aviation Administration’s safety zone, known as “the box,” and traffic no longer needs to be halted. That also means spectators will no longer be allowed to stop and gawk from the bridge.
“Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to access the bridge’s pathway for the duration of the flights. However, it may not be used for stopping and viewing the Blue Angels. The path is a heavily used route for commuters and should be viewed similarly to a roadway,” the Washington State Department of Transportation says in an advisory.
State patrol officers will be monitoring traffic to make sure motorists don’t stop to watch the show. And it goes without saying that drivers should keep their eyes on the road rather than trying to snap a smartphone picture while they’re at the wheel. That’s what passengers are for.