Alaskan Way Viaduct – West Seattle Blog… http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sun, 18 Feb 2018 04:04:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 OVERNIGHT TRAFFIC ALERT: SB Alaskan Way Viaduct lane closure all week http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/overnight-traffic-alert-sb-alaskan-way-viaduct-lane-closure-all-week/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/02/overnight-traffic-alert-sb-alaskan-way-viaduct-lane-closure-all-week/#respond Tue, 13 Feb 2018 07:04:06 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=908780

Thanks to Bruce for the tip via Twitter: Road work has a lane closed on the SB Alaskan Way Viaduct/Highway 99, and that’s backing up traffic, even at this hour. We found the advisory on the right sidebar of this WSDOT page – it says the left lane will be closed between Columbia and Royal Brougham every night through Thursday night/Friday morning, 7 pm-5 am.

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ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT: Your chance for a bicycle ride before it’s gone http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/alaskan-way-viaduct-your-chance-for-a-bicycle-ride-before-its-gone/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/alaskan-way-viaduct-your-chance-for-a-bicycle-ride-before-its-gone/#comments Tue, 30 Jan 2018 19:20:39 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=907564 Since the Alaskan Way Viaduct might close forever before this year is out, this might be one of your last chances for an up-close-and-personal look: Cascade Bicycle Club is including The Viaduct on its Emerald City Ride route this spring, and even if you’re not up for the full route, you can sign up for the 3-Mile SR 99 Viaduct Experience, “designed for families with children and beginning riders.” It’s not a race, so, the club explains, “You’ll be able to stop, look around, take a photo, and enjoy the view.” This is happening the morning of April 8th on the northbound Viaduct (so even if you’re not interested in the ride, note that it’ll be closed to motorized vehicles for a few hours). Registration just opened today, and you can find out more here.

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TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens after truck crash http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/traffic-alert-truck-crash-closes-southbound-alaskan-way-viaduct/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/traffic-alert-truck-crash-closes-southbound-alaskan-way-viaduct/#comments Thu, 25 Jan 2018 21:49:28 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=907219

1:49 PM: That photo tweeted by SFD shows a truck crash that has closed the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct from the Battery Street Tunnel southward. No injuries, and the driver got out OK, but the SB lanes of The Viaduct will be closed until this is cleared.

(Image tweeted by SDOT)

Buses are being rerouted too, according to an alert just in from Metro. Updates to come.

2:32 PM: A tow truck is on scene.

3:23 PM: No time estimate yet on SB Viaduct reopening. But there’s some bad news if more people head to the West Seattle Water Taxi to get around the 99 problem – King County just sent an alert that the smaller Spirit of Kingston is on the WS route tonight. Meantime, most SB surface routes are backed up, according to info including the SDOT Travelers’ Map (look for the red).

3:32 PM: The southbound Viaduct has just reopened. The left lane is closed for repairs, though.

6:35 PM: The repair closure isn’t over yet, according to SDOT.

6:57 PM: All lanes are open again. (See comments below for some examples of this afternoon/evening’s nightmarish traffic.)

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TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Battery Street Tunnel closure over http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/traffic-alert-battery-street-tunnel-closed-2/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/traffic-alert-battery-street-tunnel-closed-2/#comments Sat, 13 Jan 2018 14:18:29 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=906204

6:18 AM: Reminder that the Battery Street Tunnel closure is under way right now – closed for an inspection related to plans for its decommissioning after the Alaskan Way Viaduct is taken out of service. The closure is scheduled to continue until 10 am; if you are headed northbound on 99, you will have to exit at Western, and if you are headed southbound, you will have to exit at Denny.

10:19 AM The SDOT webcam above verifies the tunnel has reopened.

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HIGHWAY 99 TUNNEL: It ‘could open … as soon as this fall’ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/highway-99-tunnel-it-could-open-as-soon-as-this-fall/ http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/highway-99-tunnel-it-could-open-as-soon-as-this-fall/#comments Thu, 11 Jan 2018 01:29:39 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=906008 (Northbound deck inside Highway 99 tunnel – WSDOT photo from last week)

WSDOT‘s newest Highway 99 tunnel update is out, and the state says that Seattle Tunnel Partners‘ newest schedule indicates “the tunnel could open to drivers as soon as this fall.” They’re not ready to estimate a date yet, and WSDOT notes that a “significant amount of work remains between now and tunnel opening,” but it’s getting closer. And WSDOT’s update includes the reminder that when “the tunnel is ready to open, SR 99 through downtown Seattle will be closed to traffic for approximately three weeks” so that connections can be finalized. You can read the entire update here.

P.S. As we’ve been reminding you in the morning traffic/transportation updates, the Battery Street Tunnel will be closed for four hours this Saturday morning, 6-10 am, for an inspection related to its future decommissioning

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ADVANCE ALERT UPDATE: Battery Street Tunnel closure January 13th http://westseattleblog.com/2018/01/advance-alert-alaskan-way-viaduct-partial-closure-january-13th/ Fri, 05 Jan 2018 23:15:44 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=905592 ORIGINAL JANUARY 5TH REPORT: Early heads-up: One week from tomorrow – on Saturday morning, January 13th – the Alaskan Way Viaduct will close for four hours, both ways from Seneca to Denny, including the Battery Street Tunnel. This is for an inspection related to plans for decommissioning the BST when the Highway 99 tunnel goes into service and takes the Viaduct out of service. The closure is scheduled for 6 to 10 am on January 13th.

JANUARY 8TH UPDATE: The boundaries of the closure, originally published on SDOT’s weekly construction/closure advisory, were wrong, WSDOT tells us today, and it’s basically just the Battery Street Tunnel, so if you are northbound during the closure, you will be able to exit at Western; if you are southbound, you will be able to exit at Denny. And the Elliott Avenue onramp to SB 99 will remain open.

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TUNNEL TOLLS: State Transportation Commission gets briefing next week http://westseattleblog.com/2017/12/tunnel-tolls-state-transportation-commission-gets-briefing-next-week/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/12/tunnel-tolls-state-transportation-commission-gets-briefing-next-week/#comments Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:25:33 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=903104 (WSDOT photo: Southbound tunnel portal near the stadium zone, photographed 2 weeks ago, shared to WSB Flickr group)

Though the Highway 99 tunnel is a little over a year from replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the tolls aren’t set yet – though the $1 vicinity was recommended almost four years ago. So what will they be? The next step toward decisions is set for next week, when the state Transportation Commission meets in Olympia, with the agenda for its two-day meeting including:

On December 12, the Washington State Department of Transportation Toll Division will present initial traffic and toll revenue projections for the tunnel replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct portion of SR 99. The Washington State Legislature has directed that tolls raise $200 million toward project construction costs over time. Although the commission will not adopt toll rates until fall 2018, the data will be used to determine how toll rates will vary by time of day to manage congestion on the facility and impacts on surface streets.

You can see the full agenda here. The full meeting announcement notes that the tunnel toll rates are not expected to be finalized until fall of next year. (If you follow the link, you’ll see the two-day meeting includes some other hot topics, including the pilot project for a road-usage charge, and getting ready for “self-driving” vehicles.)

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VIDEO: ‘2 miles of tunnel in 2 minutes’ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/video-2-miles-of-tunnel-in-2-minutes/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/video-2-miles-of-tunnel-in-2-minutes/#comments Sat, 21 Oct 2017 02:59:32 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=898275

In case you haven’t already seen it – with the planned opening of the Alaskan Way Viaduct-replacing tunnel getting closer all the time (still estimated for early 2019), WSDOT has put together a two-minute video featuring a drone’s-eye view of what it looks like inside right now. It’s been six and a half months since the tunneling machine finished its part of the job. A short WSDOT update accompanying the video says the tunnel’s upper deck is 85 percent complete. For a more-detailed progress report, go here. And if you’ve forgotten details such as “how do you get from West Seattle to downtown once the tunnel opens,” this might help.

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FOLLOWUP: Why did it take so long to clear traffic-blocking vehicle off Viaduct? The traffic http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/followup-why-did-it-take-so-long-to-clear-traffic-blocking-vehicle-off-viaduct-the-traffic/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/followup-why-did-it-take-so-long-to-clear-traffic-blocking-vehicle-off-viaduct-the-traffic/#comments Mon, 16 Oct 2017 23:16:20 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=897758 (October 2nd photo by WSB reader Brian)

Two weeks ago today, a crash on the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct sparked a van fire that resulted in more than two hours of morning-commute trouble. We brought you updates during our morning traffic coverage that day. As noted there, the vehicle that burned was a van belonging to Cupcake Royale, which said its driver was unhurt. The fire, while briefly big, as the photo above shows, was out before too long – SFD was dispatched at 6:14 am and the last engine left at 7:13, according to the incident log – but the burned van blocked a lane on the Viaduct for another hour and a quarter.

Given the commitment to clear key routes quickly, we asked what happened. Seattle Police, which handles incidents on the Viaduct though it’s a state structure, pointed us to the Department of Finance and Administrative Services, which oversees the city’s towing contract. FAS deputy communications director Cyndi Wilder researched it for us:

Initially, it appeared to be a breakdown in communication that caused the towing response time. However, we’ve reviewed information from SPD and Lincoln Towing’s dispatch data, and we determined that the response time to clear the incident was due to delays in retrieving the flatbed truck SPD requested.

SPD had requested three tows, which included the request for a flatbed truck. The City’s tow contractor, Lincoln Towing, dispatched two line trucks to the scene and sent a third to Lincoln’s Aurora Avenue North location to pick up the flatbed truck. The line trucks arrived on the scene at 6:58 a.m. and 7:05 a.m. Due to heavy traffic to pick up the flatbed truck and return to the incident scene, the flatbed did not arrive at the scene until 8:15 a.m.

Although Lincoln Towing’s response times met the performance standards of the towing contract (excerpts from the contract are below), we are working with Lincoln Towing on ways to improve response times for future incidents. When special equipment is requested (like a flatbed truck), we’ve asked Lincoln Towing to reach out to its subcontractors to determine if they have the requested equipment in a location where they can respond to the scene more quickly.

Here are the excerpts Wilder provided from the city’s towing contract:

5.a.ii- Minimum Performance Standards

With an officer standing-by or inside the Downtown Traffic Control Zone (DTCZ), Vendor will respond within 30 minutes when a Class A tow truck is needed to perform a tow. When a Class B, Class C or Class E tow truck is needed to perform a tow, Vendor will respond within 60 minutes.

7.a.ii-Exemptions to Minimum Performance Standards

……The following subsections describe situations when the City will grant an exemption
Two or more Tow Trucks Requested to One Impound Site: When two or more tow trucks are requested at one impound site, the first arriving tow truck will be held to the response time standard. SPD will grant an exemption for each tow truck arriving, provided the second tow truck arrives at the location of the impound within 60 minutes.

Back in 2015, after the notorious “fish-truck crash” blocked southbound 99 for nine hours, a variety of policy changes were recommended. Looking back at that, we’re seeing fodder for another followup.

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VIADUCT CLOSURE OVER: 99 open both ways http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/viaduct-closure-over-99-open-both-ways/ Mon, 09 Oct 2017 00:08:24 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=897065

Crossing the eastbound West Seattle Bridge about 10 minutes ago, we noticed the ramp to NB 99 was open again, unannounced. And now WSDOT has confirmed the closure is over – Highway 99 is open again both ways.

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VIADUCT CLOSURE UPDATE: Southbound 99 reopened for remainder of weekend http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/viaduct-closure-update-southboond-99-reopened-fir-remainder-of-weekend/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/viaduct-closure-update-southboond-99-reopened-fir-remainder-of-weekend/#comments Sun, 08 Oct 2017 00:22:20 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=896989 From WSDOT:

Inspectors for the Washington State Department of Transportation completed their work early and reopened southbound State Route 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle for the remainder of the weekend.

Drivers, please note: Northbound SR 99 remains closed between South Spokane Street and the Battery Street Tunnel for work related to the future SR 99 tunnel.

Northbound SR 99 and the viaduct will reopen to traffic by 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 9.

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VIADUCT CLOSURE NEXT WEEKEND: This one’s a 2-part plan http://westseattleblog.com/2017/09/viaduct-closure-next-weekend-this-ones-a-2-part-plan/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/09/viaduct-closure-next-weekend-this-ones-a-2-part-plan/#comments Fri, 29 Sep 2017 23:05:16 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=896327 If you missed the brief mention in today’s morning traffic report – WSDOT has scheduled the next twice-yearly Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection closures for next weekend. But this time, it’s a 2-part plan:

NORTHBOUND Highway 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and Battery Street Tunnel is scheduled to be closed all weekend, 11 pm Friday, October 6th, until 5 am Monday, October 9th. In addition to the twice-yearly inspection, parts of this stretch are also scheduled for other projects including utility work.

SOUTHBOUND Highway 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and Battery Street Tunnel is scheduled for closure 5 am to 6 pm each day on Saturday, October 7th, and Sunday, October 8th.

(As always, we’ll be monitoring all this for updates in case the closures end early.)

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FOLLOWUP: ‘Online open house’ about Alaskan Way Viaduct, now ready to read http://westseattleblog.com/2017/08/followup-online-open-house-about-alaskan-way-viaduct-now-ready-to-read/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/08/followup-online-open-house-about-alaskan-way-viaduct-now-ready-to-read/#comments Thu, 03 Aug 2017 21:14:15 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=890885 (WSDOT photo)

Back on Monday, we reported that WSDOT was launching (and advertising) an info campaign about the Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition that’ll start after the Highway 99 tunnel opens, expected in early 2019. As part of it, an “online open house” was set to go live today. While it wasn’t ready when we looked this morning, it is now. Go here to check it out, including some of the side topics that have been discussed here, including the transitional tunnel-to-Viaduct plan, and what happens to the Battery Street Tunnel. The last page of the “open house” site includes a chance to comment – and remember there’s also an in-person open house downtown a week from tonight (drop in 5-8 pm Thursday, August 10th, 1400 Western Ave.).

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Wondering how Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition will happen, once tunnel opens? WSDOT is ready to answer questions http://westseattleblog.com/2017/07/wondering-how-alaskan-way-viaduct-demolition-will-happen-once-tunnel-opens-wsdot-is-ready-to-answer-questions/ http://westseattleblog.com/2017/07/wondering-how-alaskan-way-viaduct-demolition-will-happen-once-tunnel-opens-wsdot-is-ready-to-answer-questions/#comments Tue, 01 Aug 2017 03:07:22 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=890538 Though the Highway 99 tunnel is still about a year and a half from opening, WSDOT is ready to talk about what happens once it’s open – the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Published on the AWV website today:

With tunnel boring complete, we’re deep in the planning stages for demolition of Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct. On Thursday, we’ll launch an online open house to show what’s ahead and give the public a chance to comment on the work to come.

Removing the seismically vulnerable viaduct will be the most visible change to Seattle’s waterfront in decades. The demolition work begins after the new State Route 99 tunnel opens, which is estimated for early 2019.

WSDOT has successfully completed this type of work before. In 2011, we demolished the viaduct’s southern mile and built a new road in its place. However, the remaining section of the viaduct is more challenging, as it is much closer to buildings, businesses, homes and the busy Colman Dock ferry terminal.

Demolition is expected to take up to nine months, with the viaduct being demolished in sections to minimize localized disruptions. This contract will also involve other project elements, like filling in the Battery Street Tunnel and reconnecting several surface streets across Aurora Avenue North, which will take additional time.

Several weeks before the new tunnel opens, WSDOT will shift Alaskan Way to the west of the viaduct, which will allow traffic to move along the waterfront before and during viaduct demolition. This new video below explains some of the planning for the demolition.

Online open house
The online open house will be live from August 3 – 14.

In-person open house
WSDOT is also hosting an in-person open house on August 10 for anyone interested in the work or who wants to speak with project staff. Representatives from Waterfront Seattle, Center City Connector Streetcar, Colman Dock, King County Metro and One Center City will also be available to answer questions.

Date: Thursday, August 10
Time: 5 to 8 p.m. (walk-in style, no formal presentation)
Where: Waterfront Seattle, 1400 Western Avenue

We’ll publish a reminder Thursday when the “online open house” is ready to go.

(Note: WSDOT is advertising the open houses on WSB right now to help get the word out.)

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Northbound Highway 99 open again http://westseattleblog.com/2017/07/traffic-alert-northbound-highway-99-open-again/ Sun, 30 Jul 2017 02:53:08 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=890350
(SDOT camera framegrab as the ramp reopened a moment ago)

The northbound Highway 99 closure for the Seafair Torchlight Run is over, and 99 is open again both ways. But if you are headed downtown, remember that the parade is now under way, which means surface-street closures continuing for the next few hours, primarily 4th Avenue – the parade heads southbound on 4th from Seattle Center to the International District.

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