Scroll below these six live cams (refresh this page any time for the latest images and info) for our updates from the morning commute on what did, and didn’t, happen out there:
(l to r below: latest from cams over WS Bridge midspan looking east, WS Br. I-5 ramps, I-5 @ Spokane Street in whichever direction WSDOT chooses to point it)
5:40 AM: State update page confirms bridge ramp to NB 5 is open again. WSB-mobile heading out. One of us is checking out the main routes and alternatives and will phone/text/send pix back to HQ for the other to add here.
6:10 AM: First Water Taxi run has 50 passengers. Announcement heard – no chairs upstairs because of some sort of problem. One television camera crew and KIRO radio at dock.
6:30: Admiral to I-90 took nine minutes. Sky more crowded than road – two choppers, two planes over I-5. (Below is the view right after turning onto NB 5 from WS Bridge.)
7 AM: We’re changing places. Team member just back from the road reports First Avenue South looking good past the stadiums, the bridge looked great heading east as we headed back west. Beware — some of the “I-5 ramp closed” detour signs are still up in places on the WS side — that is NOT true; the ramp to NB I-5 is open and we saw it with our own eyes. If you drive that stretch, be careful not to get distracted by what’s happening with the construction on the right side of the road — interesting welding, etc., but keep your eyes on the car in front of you!
7:07 AM: As our road crew heads toward the bridge for the next firsthand report, radio traffic reporter says the Viaduct is starting to bunch up. Meantime, another note for people taking I-5 to 90 — the right lanes of 5 are blocked till right before the ramp — no time to see it and merge over, so make sure you stay on the right side from the moment you get onto 5, if that’s where you’re headed.
7:19 AM: First report from road crew since switchover: Everything still looking good. Taco Time on 35th to 1st Avenue South off The Bridge — four minutes. Delridge onramp starting to get busy but not bad. 35th moving well. Large contingent of traffic officers spotted at the bottom of the 1st Avenue South offramp.
7:27 AM: Coming back the other way, eastbound bridge still looking good, 35th “almost deserted.” Radio traffic reports say the Eastside are where things are fairly ugly — a lot of people taking 405 to avoid 5, apparently. If you commute that way, beware.
7:33 AM: Radio traffic reporter says she’s going 45 mph — posted limit — past the construction zone on NB 5 between WS Bridge and I-90, all’s well. She also echoes what we noticed last hour, the work itself is a sight to see. WSDOT update page says things are starting to slow at 509/99.
7:41 AM: This WS-based LJer who left for work “at the crack of dawn” writes what many are thinking … OK, today’s OK so far because we all had the living daylights scared out of us; tomorrow (and beyond) could be a different story.
7:54 AM: Just drove The Bridge from 35th to 1st S again. Still just four minutes, moving at the speed limit. Now our road crew is back on the WS side and reporting that parking is a challenge in the water-taxi vicinity — even up to the diagonal spots at the viewpoint several blocks west. So if you want to take the WT, don’t bring your car — catch a shuttle.
8:06 AM: The Water Taxi is definitely the story of the morning. Radio reporter says the last run set a record — 191 passengers (you’ll recall WT was recently recertified to carry up to 250). Just got a photo of the line, which is now stretching toward the street …
8:25 AM: Checked out The (high) Bridge yet again. Our road crew reports “still NOBODY out here.” Times blog has a dispatch from someone who bicycled in from WS. WSB-mobile now on the way to check out the low bridge.
8:31 AM: Radio says the Water Taxi’s sudden success has pushed it a bit behind schedule; the WT run that was supposed to leave at 8:10 am “didn’t even get to the dock till 8:25.” We’ll check later with King County folks to see if any changes are planned for tomorrow.
8:38 AM: Low bridge and WT dock both quiet — looks like the morning rush is over. WSDOT folks are frantically warning, don’t let this fool you into going back to your regular habits tomorrow, this only worked BECAUSE so many people changed their ways.
8:45 AM: WSDOT also reminds us, there’s a Mariners’ game tonight at Safeco. Even without the benefit of I-5 construction, that usually means trouble driving home to WS in the early evening, so everyone beware. We’re wrapping up this round of posting but keep adding your observations; we’ll be up early to track things tomorrow too, and of course we’ll get back to the rest of the WS news for today …