Traffic alert: Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct weekend closure

March 24, 2012 at 6:00 am | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, Transportation, West Seattle traffic alerts | 12 Comments

(Newest traffic-cam image of traffic-less Viaduct)
If all is going according to WSDOT‘s schedule, the (remaining) Alaskan Way Viaduct, and Highway 99 from there to the West Seattle Bridge, is closing about now, and is scheduled to stay closed until Monday morning. This is the twice-yearly inspection closure, and some maintenance work is being done too. (Then it’ll close again the weekend after next, Friday night 4/6 through Monday morning 4/9.)

1:28 PM UPDATE: Anne from Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor) shares this photo showing bridge traffic a little while ago:

Meantime, a commenter asks about the reason for the early April closure – as explained by WSDOT here, it’s for reinforcement work in advance of tunnel-boring.


  1. Oooooh I hope they finish early. Traffic coming in from I5 wasn’t too bad but I get major major anxiety driving on it. Also almost doubles my commute from Fremont when the Viaduct is closed :/

    Comment by Chivahn — 9:40 am March 24, 2012 #

  2. …”Then it’ll close again the weekend after next, Friday night 4/6 through Monday morning 4/9.)”… Can’t wait to hear why this will be necessary so soon after this current closure.

    Comment by KT — 1:00 pm March 24, 2012 #

  3. Reinforcement work because of tunnel project. Explained here:

    Comment by WSB — 1:27 pm March 24, 2012 #

  4. traffic yesterday 4:30pm was like this on eastbound bridge, and viaduct northbound, and Western/15th northbound, without notice or explanation; at least when we have notice of closures/traffic issues, we can plan, somewhat; it took me an hour yesterday late pm to get to Magnolia

    Comment by Diane — 3:35 pm March 24, 2012 #

  5. What a flippin mess!!! It took me nearly one hour from West Seattle to Magnolia on Saturday afternoon. I am sick on this already.

    Comment by Mike — 4:20 pm March 24, 2012 #

  6. Ninty minutes to get to the Seattle Center this afternoon.

    Comment by kathleen — 5:32 pm March 24, 2012 #

  7. It was terrible … I’m just back from a run downtown that took about two hours, mostly because of the traffic IN downtown, more than the traffic TO downtown, though of course the bridge was backed up. Took 4th Avenue to the 1st Avenue South Bridge to get back, and once I got to the south end of downtown, 4th was no problem. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 6:10 pm March 24, 2012 #

  8. Just the latest in this blind, idiotic city reducing the citizens of west seattle to third world conditions.

    I can’t describe the ridiculous route I had to take last night to get from 1st Ave SoDo to Admiral. Spokane access was closed. I was in a parade of cars that took a route including going the wrong way down a one way street and U turning in front of the lower bridge. There was no other way home.

    I wish everyone involved in every miscalculated, blundered step of the endless de-construction work would have to drive from SoDo to West Seattle daily, as their deserved purgatory.

    Comment by bret — 7:13 pm March 24, 2012 #

  9. a friend called this morning (from Fremont) suggesting that we go with the kids for a hike at Discovery or Schmitz park. I kept trying to say .. but the viaduct is closed, we should do it another weekend ! he was fairly agreeable to coming to West Seattle. I don’t know how long it took him to get home this afternoon, but maybe he might obey the viaduct closure next time.

    Comment by sam-c — 7:35 pm March 24, 2012 #

  10. Took over an hour to get from the west end of the bridge to Fremont when I left work at 5:00. I might just have to cancel my appointments next time this happens – will the city be reimbursing my lost pay, please?

    Comment by Chivahn — 8:53 pm March 24, 2012 #

  11. Is this the future…viaduct closing every other weekend during construction of the the useless tunnel? Is there any elected politician residing in West Seattle concerned about the effects this has on the community? Will it actually be like this as normal once the tunnel is complete? The worst case possibilities are ugly.

    Comment by KT — 9:23 am March 25, 2012 #

  12. bret … lighten up.

    KT … same. Your inaccurate hyperbole serves no point. Yes, getting stuck in traffic on the weekends is a pain. Ask the east-siders who are – and will be – living through this for the next 5 years with the 520 construction and the 405 modifications. Ask the Tacoma folk who have been dealing with the SR16 mess.

    Our infrastructure is old and needs to be fixed. When we fix/replace decrepit infrastructure, then those using the existing stuff get inconvenienced temporarily. Grown-ups recognize that this is part of reality. The alternative is to avoid dealing with things until they break and collapse. The DBT IS happening – I suggest you deal with it.

    And no – it actually won’t be like this when the DBT is done. You’ll be back on a 6-lane road (3 each way) from the W. Sea bridge to the DBT. Yes – we lose our Seneca and Western exits, but we also gain new access points on other east/west streets which will tie into the new Alaskan Way. Look at the City of Seattle model for Alaskan Way – 6 lanes + transit and bike options, with actual connections up the hill. We’ll adapt and it will be fine.

    Comment by WS commuter — 11:52 am March 26, 2012 #

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