New northbound Highway 99 bridge to open by Monday morning

September 11, 2012 at 10:36 am | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, West Seattle news | 16 Comments

(WSDOT photo, via Flickr)
Our day-by-day list of road closures for the week includes one this weekend for part of northbound 99 just north of the West Seattle Bridge. Today, WSDOT confirms it’s so they can get the new northbound Highway 99 bridge open by Monday morning – which means more room for vehicles on that section of 99. Here’s the official announcement:

This weekend the Washington State Department of Transportation will close another chapter in the replacement of the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct.

WSDOT crews will close a section of northbound SR 99 through SODO Friday night to put the finishing touches on the new highway that replaces the viaduct’s south end. Unlike the double-deck viaduct, this new section of SR 99 features twin, side-by-side bridges. By 5 a.m. Monday, Sept.17, northbound traffic will use the newly completed east-side bridge, while southbound traffic remains on the west-side bridge, which was completed in October 2011.

“In a little more than two years, our contractor’s team (Skanska USA Civil) tore down the viaduct’s southern mile and built a brand new Highway 99 in its place,” said state transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “Accomplishing this feat ahead of schedule and on budget is a statement. It shows what we can achieve with clear direction, a solid management team and skilled contractors.”

Weekend closure details
· Northbound SR 99 will be closed between the West Seattle Bridge and South Royal Brougham Way from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.
· The left lane of southbound SR 99 will be closed between South Royal Brougham Way and the West Seattle Bridge from 11 p.m. Friday to 11 a.m. on Saturday.
· Huskies and Seahawks fans heading to Saturday and Sunday afternoon games at CenturyLink Field should plan for delays on routes to the stadium and consider leaving early and taking transit.
· Up-to-the-minute traffic information is available at www.wsdot.com/traffic/seattle and via WSDOT’s voice-activated driver information line, 5-1-1.
What drivers can expect when northbound SR 99 reopens
Currently, SR 99 is reduced to two lanes in each direction between South King and South Holgate streets. After this weekend’s closure, drivers can expect the following changes:
· Drivers on southbound SR 99 will travel in two lanes through a construction bypass from South King Street to just south of South Atlantic Street. At South Atlantic Street the road will widen to three lanes with shoulders.
· Northbound SR 99 traffic will use the newly completed lanes from the Starbucks building to just south of South Atlantic Street. This section will have three lanes, with the right lane reserved for buses. The bus lane will end south of South Atlantic Street, and the remaining two lanes will veer east along the construction bypass to South King Street.
· The construction bypass that moves traffic around the giant SR 99 tunnel construction site will remain until the tunnel opens in late 2015.

16 Comments

  1. I’m not sure how this thing works. Doesn’t it just end abruptly? I haven’t seen the ramp connected with anything. Do you fly through the air to land on the construction bypass?

    Comment by Mightymoh — 10:55 am September 11, 2012 #

  2. Am I missing something? It looks like they have the entire end section to finish of the new northbound bridge. How are they going to do that in less than a week?

    Comment by Happy — 10:56 am September 11, 2012 #

  3. An interesting piece of this story is how NB traffic will transition from the newest bridge to the other bridge in mid-air. The new NB bridge, as you can see in the picture, doesn’t have a northern landing yet. Geofoam foundation, fill, and paving for this northern connection will be done by a different contracting team.

    Meanwhile, buses will gain several hundred feet more of their own lane — moving the merge point from near Spokane Street to its midair location atop the new NB bridge, just in time for the Sept. 29 Metro Transit service changes affecting RapidRide C and Route 120.
    – Mike Lindblom, Seattle Times (WSB partner..)

    Comment by Mike Lindblom — 11:27 am September 11, 2012 #

  4. Does WSDOT have any drawings that show how this is going to occur ?

    Comment by David — 11:36 am September 11, 2012 #

  5. Great news about the continuation of the northbound bus lane. Will this be permanent, or will SDOT remove it once the construction finishes and the bottleneck at Atlantic disappears?

    Comment by Jake — 11:42 am September 11, 2012 #

  6. Mightymoh & Happy – the three Northbound lanes on the new bridge will merge into the existing 2 lanes on the Southbound bridge that are currently being used for Northbound traffic. On the North end of the bridges, you’ll see that there is not a permanent median installed yet – that is where the merge will take place.

    Comment by Moe — 11:49 am September 11, 2012 #

  7. Is there a diagram of how this will work? Like other commenters said, I’m having trouble figuring it out.

    Comment by Jay — 11:49 am September 11, 2012 #

  8. Agreed that the description and picture are not crystal clear. Below is copied from WSDOT website (http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/News/2012/09/11_H2Kclosure.htm)

    “What drivers can expect when northbound SR 99 reopens

    Currently, SR 99 is reduced to two lanes in each direction between South King and South Holgate streets. After this weekend’s closure, drivers can expect the following changes:

    Drivers on southbound SR 99 will travel in two lanes through a construction bypass from South King Street to just south of South Atlantic Street. At South Atlantic Street the road will widen to three lanes with shoulders.
    Northbound SR 99 traffic will use the newly completed lanes from the Starbucks building to just south of South Atlantic Street. This section will have three lanes, with the right lane reserved for buses. The bus lane will end south of South Atlantic Street, and the remaining two lanes will veer east along the construction bypass to South King Street.
    The construction bypass that moves traffic around the giant SR 99 tunnel construction site will remain until the tunnel opens in late 2015.”

    The same info is included in the official announcement above, but you have to read the whole thing as it is at the bottom so i missed it first time through

    Comment by olivist — 12:21 pm September 11, 2012 #

  9. Note that the press release states that the transition to the bypass occurs south of Atlantic St., which is below the high point of the new overpass. So no midair transitions required.

    Comment by Jim — 12:33 pm September 11, 2012 #

  10. Thanks to Mike L for dropping in to provide some info. The WSDOT announcement came in when we had one foot out the door to run off to something; stopped down to publish it fast and then was AFK for a while. Re: the visual, I will ask WSDOT if a quick check of their site doesn’t bring one up. They have offered all kinds of simulations and graphics over the past four-plus years we’ve been covering this, it won’t likely be hard to find … stand by. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:40 pm September 11, 2012 #

  11. For starters, note this page:
    .
    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR99/HolgateToKing/EndResultMap.htm

    Comment by WSB — 12:43 pm September 11, 2012 #

  12. I want to see Mario drive this new route!

    Comment by celeste17 — 2:05 pm September 11, 2012 #

  13. Dukes Of Hazard Dodge Chargers required for northbound commuters. Sorry bus riders, no fun for you!

    Comment by Bubba — 2:59 pm September 11, 2012 #

  14. Bubba, there is that bus jump off of the movie speed that bus riders could attempt.

    Comment by celeste17 — 3:45 pm September 11, 2012 #

  15. Will the commute be better? That is the question. The flying through the air was very funny. Made me laugh which says alot since i have wanted to cry each day since this whole tunnel s—started.

    Comment by denbol — 9:53 pm September 11, 2012 #

  16. For those who are still trying to visualize – WSDOT sent this graphic:
    .
    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/92379AFC-BDEC-45B3-86A0-7D62AF5B04A1/0/South_End_TieIn_090712.pdf
    .
    We will have a separate update later today, since a WSDOT executive is speaking to the WS Chamber right now, and will include this, but wanted to share for anyone still checking back on this comment thread. – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 12:21 pm September 12, 2012 #

Sorry, comment time is over.

All contents copyright 2014, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^