Chinese president leaves Western Washington, but not before one last traffic nightmare

SEATTLE (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping left Seattle for Washington, D.C. Thursday morning. But not before he gave Western Washington one last traffic headache.

Xi left the Westin hotel in downtown Seattle around 9 a.m. and headed toward Paine Field in Everett. The express lanes on Interstate 5 was shut down a half an hour in advance of his departure. Portions of northbound Interstate 5 were shutdown near Everett.

View our archived live blog on the traffic backups below.

Xi will have a private dinner with President Barack Obama and on Friday, Obama will formally welcome his Chinese counterpart to the White House for an official state visit.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry met with relatives of Chinese dissidents.

The Obama administration wants to show that it won't be glossing over the human rights issue during Xi's visit.