West Seattle Blog... » Alaskan Way Viaduct http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Wed, 27 Aug 2014 23:28:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Just in case you’re not sure: The Alaskan Way Viaduct will be open tomorrow. Highway 99 north of there won’t. http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/just-in-case-youre-not-sure-the-alaskan-way-viaduct-will-be-open-tomorrow-highway-99-north-of-there-wont/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/just-in-case-youre-not-sure-the-alaskan-way-viaduct-will-be-open-tomorrow-highway-99-north-of-there-wont/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 04:49:31 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283565 With some simply describing the Highway 99 work as a “4-day closure,” here’s a reminder: For the part most used by West Seattleites, it’s not. The Alaskan Way Viaduct WILL reopen by 5 am Monday, WSDOT says (as will 99 between the AWV and West Seattle Bridge). What will NOT be open (yet) is Highway 99 north of The Viaduct – from the Battery St. Tunnel north to Valley Street on Lower Queen Anne, as shown here:

That section is supposed to remain closed for bridge work until early Wednesday. Though The Viaduct will be open again, it’s still wise to avoid it if you can, since anyone still on 99 past Seneca will have to exit at Western, and that’s likely to back things up. South of there, state crews spent the weekend closure replacing concrete panels; WSDOT’s latest update says, “The final concrete has been poured on these new panels and will cure overnight. Drivers should experience a smoother ride in SODO during Monday morning’s commute.” We’ll be monitoring morning traffic here as usual, with live cameras in our daily update as well as on the WSB Traffic page.

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Another traffic alert: Nighttime lane closures on Highway 99 http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/another-traffic-alert-nighttime-lane-closures-on-highway-99/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/another-traffic-alert-nighttime-lane-closures-on-highway-99/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 01:58:23 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=282925 Before we get to this weekend’s big Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct closure (which continues north of the Viaduct for two days beyond that, WSDOT has announced some nighttime lane closures this week for prep work, starting tonight. Here’s the alert:

Drivers who use State Route 99 through Seattle’s SODO district should plan ahead for possible nighttime delays this week.

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close up to two lanes in both directions between Spokane and Atlantic streets nightly for pavement rehabilitation work.

The southbound lanes will begin closing at 9 p.m., and the northbound lanes will begin closing at 10 p.m. All lanes will be open by 5 a.m.

In addition to the weeknight closures, the eastbound West Seattle Bridge off-ramp to northbound SR 99 will close from 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21 until 5 a.m. Friday, Aug. 22.

The work will help prepare the roadway for the upcoming weekend closure of SR 99 in which 81 damaged concrete panels will either be repaired or replaced. The $10.08 million project on the south end of the Alaskan Way Viaduct will extend the life of SR 99 and provide a smoother, safer ride for drivers.

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Traffic-alert reminder: Viaduct/99 closure NEXT weekend http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/traffic-alert-reminder-viaduct99-closure-next-weekend/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/traffic-alert-reminder-viaduct99-closure-next-weekend/#comments Sat, 16 Aug 2014 14:52:29 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=282723

While everything is status quo with the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Highway 99 north of the West Seattle Bridge THIS weekend, WSDOT reminds you that won’t be case by this time NEXT weekend. The map above shows the planned closure – for various reasons you can read about here – starting 10 pm next Friday night, August 22, with the exception of two access points for traffic exiting the Seahawks game until midnight. By Monday morning, August 25th, the WS Bridge-to-Battery St. Tunnel section should reopen, but the tunnel-to-Valley St. section will stay closed two more days:

Again, that all starts NEXT Friday night. And we’ll be reminding you daily in our regular WSB traffic coverage between now and then.

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West Seattle traffic alert: New details about Highway 99 closure next month http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-traffic-alert-new-details-about-highway-99-closure-next-month/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/west-seattle-traffic-alert-new-details-about-highway-99-closure-next-month/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 22:09:13 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=279006 In June, we reported on WSDOT’s plan to close part of Highway 99 (including the Alaskan Way Viaduct) in late August for repair work. Today, new details are out – see them here – since WSDOT has locked in more details. Key points: 99 will be closed both ways from the West Seattle Bridge to Valley Street from late Friday night, August 22nd, until early Monday morning, August 25th; the section from the WS Bridge to the Battery Street Tunnel will reopen then, but the stretch north to Valley will remain closed until Wednesday, August 27th.

P.S. If you have questions about ongoing Highway 99 work, including (or not) the tunnel, WSDOT has a booth here at West Seattle Summer Fest, all weekend long.

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Early warning: Alaskan Way Viaduct repair closure in late August http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/early-warning-alaskan-way-viaduct-repair-closure-in-late-august/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/early-warning-alaskan-way-viaduct-repair-closure-in-late-august/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 20:03:18 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277370 ORIGINAL TUESDAY REPORT: New information today about a full Alaskan Way Viaduct closure coming up later this summer. It was mentioned – without a date – when WSDOT‘s Secretary Lynn Peterson and Todd Trepanier spoke to the West Seattle Transportation Coalition earlier this month (WSB coverage here); Trepanier talked about keeping The Viaduct in good shape for its remaining years of usage, and noted a repair closure was ahead. Then this past weekend, chatting at the Morgan Junction Community Festival, Pete Spalding, a West Seattleite on the “stakeholders’ group” that WSDOT convenes quarterly, told us the group had just been given a specific date. We have now confirmed it via WSDOT spokesperson Laura Newborn:

WSDOT will be replacing or repairing 81 concrete panels on SR 99 between Forest and Holgate during the weekend of August 23. These panels are aging and as a result are cracked, potholed, and some have failed and need to be completely replaced.

The panel work and additional work needed on the North Access portion of the tunnel project will require a closure of SR 99 in both directions from the West Seattle Bridge to Valley Street, just north of the Battery Street Tunnel. We will have more specific details when the work plan is finalized, but your readers should note that SR 99 will be closed from the bridge to the tunnel on the weekend of August 23.

That day is a Saturday; the yet-to-come details, of course, will include specific start and end times. More details about the repair project are here.

ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: As a postscript, an update from WSDOT with a few more details, including plans for the north portion of the closure to extend past the weekend:

WSDOT will be replacing concrete panels on SR 99 in SODO and rebuilding SR 99 where it crosses Broad Street north of the Battery Street Tunnel. To complete this work, crews will close SR 99 in both directions between South Spokane Street and Valley Street the weekend of Aug. 23 and 24. Work on SR 99 north of the Battery Street Tunnel will continue on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 25 and 26. We are still finalizing the timing and location of this closure and will share information with the public as soon as we have it.

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Traffic-alert update: Northbound 99 open again http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/traffic-alert-update-northbound-99-open-again-to-downtown/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/traffic-alert-update-northbound-99-open-again-to-downtown/#comments Sun, 22 Jun 2014 23:03:11 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277251 4:03 PM: Thanks to West Seattle Hipster for the tip – confirmed via WSDOT tweet – Northbound 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct has reopened between here and the Western Avenue offramp. But it’s still closed from Battery St. to Valley St., so if you’re heading beyond Belltown (etc.), you’ll still have to detour.

7:08 PM: 99 is fully open, says WSDOT.

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How Highway 99 tunnel machine will be dug up, broken down, put back underground http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/how-highway-99-tunnel-machine-will-be-dug-up-broken-down-put-back-underground/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/how-highway-99-tunnel-machine-will-be-dug-up-broken-down-put-back-underground/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 20:57:05 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276656

Just last week at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s monthly meeting (WSB coverage here), top WSDOT executives answered a few questions about the stalled tunnel machine and its pending repairs. Today, the contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, is out with its official repair plan, and animation (above) showing what’ll happen during its phases. According to the timeline toward the end of the plan, they’re still expecting to resume tunneling in late March of next year.

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Viaduct closures, tunnel travails, and more: State transportation boss Lynn Peterson @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/viaduct-closures-tunnel-travails-and-more-state-transportation-boss-lynn-peterson-west-seattle-transportation-coalition/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/viaduct-closures-tunnel-travails-and-more-state-transportation-boss-lynn-peterson-west-seattle-transportation-coalition/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 19:33:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=276140

(WSB video of the entire WSTC appearance by WSDOT’s Secretary Lynn Peterson and Todd Trepanier)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition usually has something topical to discuss at its monthly meetings, with no shortage of transportation-related challenges lately.

For example, last night, the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct had been closed for five hours because of a crash investigation when the WSTC meeting began. Coincidentally, the long-scheduled guest was the woman in charge of the Viaduct and other state highways – Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson.

In her second year on the job, she offered lots of background information and big-picture observations, but the discussion invariably turned its most intense focus on the Viaduct Replacement Project and the present/future of the stalled tunneling work. In Q&A, she also addressed other topics such as whether any Fauntleroy-bound ferries would be diverted downtown, since much of the vehicle traffic heads that way anyway.

Peterson, who came here from Portland, introduced herself by explaining her background as a traffic engineer who found herself organizing her neighborhood to get a traffic circle installed, and then “suddenly I was running for City Council” – listing achievements including getting light rail extended while she was on the County Commission in the Portland area. “I’m very multi-modal,” she summarized. “I don’t see the world as one mode or the other, I see land use as the need to be served (otherwise) we’ve lost sight of the job we’re supposed to be doing.” She also said: “We will always have cars” – whether they are small and electric, or something more.

“Modal integration” is vital, she said, making sure there are not gaps between transportation modes “so the system works.” She talked about modernizing WSDOT – “we just haven’t been training our people,” and with many WSDOT workers in mid-career, “things have changed since they were in school.” Community engagement, in particular, is big, she said – “one of the ways that’s very public right now is the ferry director hiring process,” noting that the two finalists are in Bremerton at a “meet-and-greet” event right now. She says she believes in getting stakeholders involved in the beginning, rather than getting to the end and having people wonder how whatever happened, happened. “You have to represent everybody who’s in the room and everybody who’s not in the room,” she said.

Also high on her list – “smart technology … we still need to find efficient ways to move people,” and that involves getting lots of data out, and adding more technology into WSDOT operations. “.. Maybe we’ll be one of the states that gets the automated vehicles out there faster.” Those cars will be able to travel with less of a gap because they’ll be able to “react faster,” she noted.

As you know if you were there, or you’ll see if you watch our video above, Peterson is clearly a storyteller – bringing up anecdotes from her past, talking about technology that could even change the lane structure of a road or dock, through LED changes – “endless opportunity … that’s what keeps me going every day. … The biggest thing I thought I would let you know is 10 reforms that go along with strategic goals we have … ‘how do we not make the mistakes of the past’….” She also expressed enthusiasm for “practical design” such as using safety data to plan roadway features. And she showed a “strategic plan” that fits on a card (we tweeted the photo during the meeting, after it was handed around):

Twenty minutes in, she was speaking about how speeds were set for curves – based on testing many decades ago with the Model T Ford. “As technology moves on, so should we.” … “When we go out into the public right of way, we want to feel safe.”

Then it was on to current specifics. Todd Trepanier, who’s in charge of the entire Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project – which, keep in mind, is more than the tunnel – had joined the meeting, and she handed it over to him for most of the questions about the project, after a qualifier: “I came in just over a year ago,” she qualified, talking about the differing opinions with which she met. “(The tunnel) was controversial, I get it.” (but) “It is our duty to carry out (the) direction (of voters and elected officials).” She noted the “land-use tension” with the port right nxt to downtown.

“The machine is the contractors’, and they need to fix the machine.” The contractor still has an obligation to provide a tunnel, she said – (but) “we don’t know exactly what date we’re going to be opening that tunnel now.” There are deadlines for the contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, she explained – “for every day after January 2nd, 2016, we will be deducting $50,000 a day from any bill they send us and from every day after November 9th, 2016, we will be deducting $100,000 a day.” That latter date is when they expect the tunnel to be open to traffic – that’s why the bigger fine, if it’s not.

But, she insisted, “We are confident that they are going to come through” because they have reputation and it’s in their best interest to continue to attract other customers “with this kind of technology.”

Even while the tunneling machine remains stalled beneath ground, Peterson noted, “In the meantime there’s a lot of good stuff going on (above ground) and a lot of congestion that results from all that work.”

Trepanier said they are also focused on “keep(ing) the Viaduct operational until the tunnel is completed.” Asked about the new cracks that appeared recently, Peterson:vowed, “If it’s unsafe, we’re going to shut it down.”

Speaking of shutdowns, they revealed that one is coming up later this year:

Trepanier talked about an expansion-joint problem on the Viaduct, saying cracks could/would be filled with an epoxy “actually stronger than concrete.” But a major repair closure is coming up in the fall – no date yet – but likely a time “when we’re already closing it because of something in the north end – (it will be closed) over a four- to five-day period.” This will be announced well in advance, with a major publicity campaign, and “people will be encouraged to take alternative modes,” he promised. He also reiterated that it is not urgent, and they’re working on the contract for this repair work now.

Overall, Trepanier said he believed nothing would take the Viaduct permanently out of commission before it’s ready to be retired – WSDOT believes “we’ll be able to nurse (the viaduct) along until we get the tunnel open.”

But what happens if, for example, another major earthquake renders it unsafe? “Then we just have to implement other plans … those plans are in existence. … It’s a pretty comprehensive plan; everyone is involved; everyone’s a player in this – knock wood, that’s not going to happen … we don’t dwell on it every day because we’re also trying to make sure STP’s getting that machine going.”

Moderating the discussion, WSTC’s Michael Taylor-Judd asked if the plan/status reports are available for public inspection, so that people are truly informed about the structure’s status and how things would work if it were out of the picture. He talked about the South Park Bridge shutdown order four years ago seemingly coming out of nowhere. “What happens if (the tunnel project) gets longer and longer and an inspection happens and” the Viaduct has to be taken fully or partially out of service?

Peterson asked Trepanier if they could put together a one-pager explaining what those steps would be so that people would be forewarned (he noted some elements are visible day in and day out, such as the “earthquake gates“). “We interact so routinely with the county and city on everything, that it would happen pretty quickly.”

Also mentioned: As first reported here, a closure is expected once the tunnel machine goes beneath the Viaduct. Trepanier said it would likely be about 10 days long, and they expect they would have/give at least two months’ warning.

The tunnel project came up one more time before the meeting was over, with Trepanier confirming that WSDOT is closely monitoring the machine-repair process: “When they get to (the point of) restarting the machine, we’ll be asking a lot of questions .. asking them to submit a lot of things to us” so that WSDOT is confident it’s good for the rest of the way. (But) “This is their (STP’s) nickel, so they get to decide how to do it.” And after the tunnel project is over, the machine still belongs to STP, not to WSDOT, so its future will be up to that group – it might be usable for some other project the partners seek.

Asked when the Viaduct would come down, assuming the tunnel is indeed completed, the WSDOT reps said “within 18 months” of the tunnel’s opening – that would be May of 2018, if the November 2016 opening-date expectation is indeed made. (Side note: Trepanier declared, “This machine is not stuck” – it can move.)

From the Q&A on non-Viaduct topics:

Another question of major West Seattle interest, regarding the traffic through West Seattle going to and from Kitsap County and Vashon Island via the Fauntleroy ferry dock: With Colman Dock remodeling, “are there any plans to move some or all of those ferry runs … into downtown?” asked Taylor-Judd, “or divert peak-hour ferries into downtown?”

“Not that I’m aware of,” said Peterson. She cited cost. She said that a coordinated conversation with King County (regarding the Vashon Island Water Taxi‘s role) would be in order to address the overall concerns: “How do we make sure the transit connections are working?”

WSTC’s Marty Westerman brings up trains at rush hour, blocking key vehicle routes. Trepanier said they “don’t have the answer to that.”

The topic of 99 getting bollixed up by even seemingly minor incidents, like one a few months back, came up as well – couldn’t an Incident Response Team crew be stationed on the Viaduct? There was no simple answer. Or, WSTC’s Deb Barker asked, could WSDOT take over Highway 99 traffic coordination until the project is over? Peterson said they would have to check to see “what the protocols are now.”

(Side note – As of publication time for this story, we are continuing to follow up on the specifics of Tuesday’s decision to close 99 far to the north of the crash-investigation scene – we have several responses and interviews already but are awaiting one key point of information before finishing the report.)

Again, to see and hear the entirety of the hour-plus conversation with Peterson, Trepanier, and WSTC, watch the video clip above. The WSTC meeting adjourned shortly thereafter; other business included the announcement of which board members hold which leadership positions, following the recent election of a permanent board:

Chair & Communication Chair: Joe Szilagyi
Co-Chair & Action Chair: Amanda Kay Helmick
Co-Treasurer: Alon Bassok
Co-Treasurer & Research & Solutions Chair: Tod Rodman
Co-Secretary: Martin Westerman
Co-Secretary: Vicki Nelson

We are still looking for an Outreach Committee Chair!

Next month, the centerpiece topic for WSTC is Sound Transit; they’re still awaiting confirmation of who ST will send, but you can mark your calendar for the meeting, second Tuesday in July, 6:30 pm July 8th, at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center.

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Highway 99 tunnel trouble: ‘See’ Bertha and the repair timeline http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/highway-99-tunnel-trouble-see-bertha-and-the-repair-timeline/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/highway-99-tunnel-trouble-see-bertha-and-the-repair-timeline/#comments Wed, 14 May 2014 16:00:01 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=273336

9 AM: For all the talk about the stuck Highway 99 tunnel machine, we’ve had a tough time visualizing exactly where it is. A new set of a dozen renderings made public by the state has fixed that. It’s part of a new online update from WSDOT; at the lower right of the rendering shown above, that’s Pier 50, where the West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxis dock downtown. Work has begun underground on the 120-foot-deep “access pit,” according to the WSDOT update – scroll through the renderings to see how that is supposed to unfold. The WSDOT update also points to an added webcam showing the work zone on the surface (top right of this page). Bottom line, though, no change in the timeline, which still projects that tunneling will resume in/by “late March 2015.”

12:23 PM: We followed up with WSDOT regarding some questions that came up in comments. Spokesperson Laura Newborn says the utility-relocation cost is part of the repair work and: “The cost associated with the entire fix, is, in WSDOT’s opinion, STP’s responsibility. Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities have done a remarkable job in helping us relocate these utilities, which should be wrapped up by next week.”

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Highway 99 tunnel machine won’t dig again before March 2015 http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/highway-99-tunnel-machine-wont-dig-again-before-march-2015/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/highway-99-tunnel-machine-wont-dig-again-before-march-2015/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 22:13:47 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=271132 In case you haven’t heard – there’s new timetable for getting the Highway 99 tunnel going again. Digging is expected to resume in “late March 2015,” according to the latest update from WSDOT’s contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners. That would be 15 months after the tunnel machine’s December 2013 stall. At one point, the tunnel was supposed to open by the end of 2015. The state says 2016 might still be possible.

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Speaking of road work: New info on tunnel-machine repairs, including a wall you’ll soon see http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/speaking-of-road-work-new-info-on-tunnel-machine-repairs-including-a-wall-youll-soon-see/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/speaking-of-road-work-new-info-on-tunnel-machine-repairs-including-a-wall-youll-soon-see/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 00:34:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=269553

Though it’s a state project, Mayor Ed Murray brought up the Highway 99 tunnel trouble during his keynote speech at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce awards breakfast today (full story, with video, in the works). “Bertha is broken,” he noted, and said that if he had to make a guess, he’d say the tunneling won’t resume for at least 9 months. Later in the day, WSDOT published an update on the preparations for tunneling-machine repairs, including:

Drivers on SR 99 in Seattle will soon see a noise-blocking wall rise out of the ground near the spot where crews will dig a pit to reach and repair Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine. The double-plywood wall, which will be as tall as the lower deck of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, is designed to shield neighbors from construction noise associated with the repairs. It will stretch along the west side of the viaduct between South Jackson and South Main streets. Construction of the wall should take about two weeks.
WSDOT also published some conceptual renderings of what’s in the works; see them here. The tunnel contractor, says the state, is still finalizing the repair plan.

]]> http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/speaking-of-road-work-new-info-on-tunnel-machine-repairs-including-a-wall-youll-soon-see/feed/ 31 West Seattle traffic-alert update: Highway 99 open again http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/west-seattle-traffic-alert-update-highway-99-open-again/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/west-seattle-traffic-alert-update-highway-99-open-again/#comments Sun, 23 Mar 2014 02:08:54 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=268482

(“Live” cam at south end of remaining elevated AWV, from the WSB Traffic page)
The Alaskan Way Viaduct “follow-up inspection” is over and Highway 99 is open again, WSDOT has confirmed. From its announcement:

… During today’s inspection, WSDOT engineers took a closer look of areas previously covered in ivy on the 60-year-old highway and installed monitoring devices to gather data over several weeks.

Next steps: Late-night drivers could see some single-lane closures in coming weeks, while repair crews fill cracks with epoxy.

It will take months for engineers to analyze the information from the newly installed monitoring devices, which could shed more light on the cause of the cracking along the elevated highway and if a more robust fix is needed.

P.S. The SDOT Blog website featured some interesting background this week on AWV traffic volume and why the numbers seem to have changed recently.

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West Seattle traffic alert: No 99 closure tonight; latest on Saturday’s Alaskan Way Viaduct closure http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/west-seattle-traffic-alert-no-99-closure-tonight-latest-on-saturdays-alaskan-way-viaduct-closure/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/west-seattle-traffic-alert-no-99-closure-tonight-latest-on-saturdays-alaskan-way-viaduct-closure/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 20:01:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=268060 Two traffic updates, both about Highway 99 closures: First, WSDOT‘s Kris Olsen tells WSB there will be NO 99 closure tonight – the next one is tentatively scheduled for 9 pm Wednesday night-5 am Thursday, East Marginal to Atlantic for Spokane St. Overcrossing re-striping/realignment. Also, WSDOT’s Laura Newborn confirms that the time frame for Saturday’s Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection-followup closure is 4:30 am-7 pm.

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Viaduct to close March 22nd for ‘follow-up inspection’ after cracks found http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/viaduct-to-close-march-22nd-for-follow-up-inspection-after-cracks-found/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/viaduct-to-close-march-22nd-for-follow-up-inspection-after-cracks-found/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 17:47:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=267211
Alaskan Way Viaduct - Column 79B Top N Face

(WSDOT photo, added 3:27 pm)
WSDOT has just announced results of the recent Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection, and says they’ll need a followup inspection as a result:

Washington State Department of Transportation bridge engineers have scheduled an additional in-depth inspection of the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct on Saturday, March 22.

During the viaduct’s most recent inspection on March 1, engineers observed new cracks, as well as movement and widening of existing cracks along girders and supports near Spring and Seneca streets. While the viaduct remains safe for travel, engineers need a second inspection to gather more information about the cracks before they can make repairs. The inspection requires a one-day closure that will take place Saturday, March 22. Details of the closure will be available soon.

During the March 22 inspection, engineers will conduct an in-depth evaluation of the area, perform tests to determine how the cracks respond to heavy loads on the viaduct, and look for other issues. They will also install monitoring devices on the columns to track the movement and growth of the cracks over time. They will use this data to help identify potential repairs. If additional work is needed, such as filling the cracks with epoxy, further closures will be required.

This section of the viaduct is more than a half-mile north of the current location of the SR 99 tunneling machine. While the cause of these cracks is still to be determined, it is not related to tunneling activity.

No other significant changes to the viaduct were observed during the March 1 inspection. …

Read the entire news release here; see the Viaduct’s inspection history here.

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West Seattle traffic alert: Viaduct will NOT close again Sunday, but … http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/west-seattle-traffic-alert-viaduct-will-not-close-again-tomorrow-but/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/west-seattle-traffic-alert-viaduct-will-not-close-again-tomorrow-but/#comments Sun, 02 Mar 2014 03:22:08 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=266460 Inspection work on Highway 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel is done for the weekend, so that stretch will NOT close again on Sunday. We just confirmed that with WSDOT spokesperson Laura Newborn. However, until about noon Sunday, 99 will remain closed north of the tunnel – until 6 am, to Valley Street for construction work, and then for the rest of the morning, to the Woodland Park Zoo area for the Hot Chocolate 15/5K.

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