West Seattle traffic alerts 1722 results

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 7: Thursday morning traffic & transit updates

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:04 AM: Good morning! Welcome to the last day of the first week of the Viaduct closure. Since last Friday, the tunneling machine has dug 175 feet of the 385-foot distance it needs to go to be clear of the Viaduct’s underside – that’s the total as of about an hour ago.

Share This

ROAD WORK: 30th/Avalon/Yancy crosswalk installation Thursday

Heads up for tomorrow: The last major component of the 30th/Yancy/Avalon/Andover safety project is scheduled for tomorrow, NOT Friday as previously reported: SDOT says the crosswalk striping across Avalon will happen on Thursday, outside peak hours, the contractor promised the city. Pushbuttons for the flashing crossing beacons on both sides of Avalon are scheduled for installation tomorrow, too. The work at this multi-point intersection has been under way for more than a month.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 6: Afternoon/evening commute coverage for Wednesday

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4:05 PM: No incidents so far but we’re committed to having traffic/transit watch atop the page during peak commute times as the Viaduct closure continues, so here we go for Wednesday afternoon.

5:08 PM: Crash on the 1st Avenue South Bridge – Seattle Fire and Washington State Patrol are on the way. Don’t know which side yet. (Update – here’s the camera view.)

5:24 PM: If you haven’t seen it yet, we did cover today’s multi-department media briefing on how traffic’s going. (Have finally added the video, too.) Bottom line, they’re still urging you to continue whatever changes you’ve made, because they’re helping. And if you take the Water Taxi – consider shifting earlier or later so passenger loads are more spread out. Speaking of which, thanks to Ashley for this photo of the line for the 5:15 from downtown:

ashleyphoto

5:52 PM: Just in from Jeff Switzer at KCDOT, Water Taxi numbers:

199 riders at 4:45 pm, 221 riders at 5:15 pm

5:58 PM: The “low bridge” has just closed to surface traffic.

6:11 PM: And the bridge has reopened.

7:50 PM: Another tunneling update tonight from WSDOT – 162.5 feet along the under-Viaduct way, getting closer to the halfway mark. Here’s the full evening update, including an overview of pm traffic and transit.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 6: Wednesday morning traffic/transit coverage

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:05 AM: Good morning! It’s the sixth day of the two-weeks-or-so Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. The state is now posting early-morning tunneling updates as well as late-morning and mid-evening, and as of this morning, the tunneling machine has gone 148 feet of the 380-foot stretch that will get it clear of the Viaduct’s underside.

If you are using the Water Taxi this morning, and driving to Seacrest, you have a new reason to try the Pier 2 parking, which still hasn’t been even half-utilized – there’s an added no-parking zone in the area, on the inland side of the street across from Don Armeni, ~20 or so spaces off-limits 8 am-5 pm for the next three weekdays for utility-related work on the project that’ll be at the ex-Alki Tavern site. There’s also a morning event in the area – the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s annual awards breakfast bringing ~200 to Salty’s (WSB sponsor).

5:32 AM: So far this morning, no incidents, and the bridges/roads are still relatively quiet. Transportation authorities are hoping you’re not going back to your regular departure time – stretching the commute across a wider timespan is key to getting through the closure period.

6:07 AM: Trouble on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry run – from WSF, “The 5:45 am sailing from Vashon (was) cancelled due to a shortage of Coast Guard documented crew. Replacements have been dispatched. The Issaquah will resume service with a late 6:10 am sailing from Fauntleroy.”

6:15 AM: The high bridge is all brake lights, as the camera view above shows.

6:20 AM: We’re checking in on the Water Taxi again this morning – here’s the first run leaving Seacrest:

IMG_4336

95 passengers on this run (the 6:15 to downtown).

6:31 AM: If you’re using surface streets to head to the north side of downtown or beyond, be forewarned there’s a big fire response on 1st Avenue in Belltown (at Lenora) right now. (update) The call has been updated to Western/Lenora, where Western is closed off right now for the SFD response.

6:51 AM: 156 on the second Water Taxi run, up from 144 yesterday, but still leaving with 100+ empty seats. The bridge remains jammed. See the comments for some early bus reports. And if you have a question about how things are going traffic/transit-wise – please comment, or e-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com – we’re going to this morning’s 11 am briefing downtown with reps from all the key departments and we’ll do our best to get an answer.

7:11 AM: Update on the Harbor Avenue parking situation mentioned earlier – Just heard from West Seattle architect Tim Rhodes, our contact on the project in the 1300 block Harbor, with whom we spoke yesterday after local resident Carolyn pointed out the new no-parking signs. He says, “Our project has agreed with SDOT to hold on the required utility investigation work on the west side of Harbor Avenue and do the work on weekends for the time being to lessen any impacts to the the street parking. We know that this will help the neighborhood with parking during this difficult viaduct closure.”

7:16 AM: Weather update – a little bit of drizzle.

7:38 AM: Admiral Way update from Jeff via Twitter:


Water Taxi update – 218 passengers on the 7:15 run.

7:48 AM: 159 on the 7:45 West Seattle-to-downtown Water Taxi run, substantially down from yesterday. Sorry we missed the alert on the low-bridge closure – according to @SDOTBridges (which remains linked atop this story so you can check it directly), it was closed to surface traffic 7:31-7:45 am.

8:16 AM: Washington State Ferries warns that Issaquah, on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run, is still half an hour behind. You can check on it via Vessel Watch. Meantime, as you can see in the cameras we feature above (refresh the page any time for the newest image), 1st and 4th are about as busy as the bridge. If you can go to work much earlier than usual, you’re probably in the best position to beat the jams until the Viaduct closure is over.

9:26 AM: The low bridge has closed to surface traffic.

9:39 AM: And now it’s open (to surface traffic) again.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 5: Afternoon/evening commute updates for Tuesday

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4 PM: The return trip is already under way – this update came in via Twitter a few minutes ago:


Other notes as we start the pm-commute coverage:

Tunnel contractor tells media on conference call that the under-Viaduct tunneling is “going very well” (our story includes drone video inside tunnel and machine)

-All sides of 30th/Yancy/Avalon intersection are open; SDOT says crews will be back Friday to stripe the new crosswalk, likely midday & short-term

-Added no-parking zone on Harbor, inland side of street, mostly across from Don Armeni, next three days 8 am-5 pm, attributed to construction company (working to find out more – thanks to Carolyn for the tip – UPDATE: Project rep says it’s “utility investigation” work that has to be done before they can finally get a demolition permit for the ex-Alki Tavern-and-vicinity site)

5:02 PM: Crash at 37th/Andover is blocking Andover both ways, per scanner. Also, there’s a fire alarm – but no fire visible, per arriving SFD crews – at 3250 Avalon Way.

6:35 PM: Commenters are still reporting delays with the southbound bus reroutes on Lander. We’ll be asking about that at tomorrow’s megabriefing downtown with reps from the county, state, and city, regarding how traffic/transit is going. Meantime, some numbers from this afternoon’s Water Taxi runs from downtown to West Seattle, via the KCDOT – a capacity run at 5:15 again:

Preliminary ridership for peak commute Tuesday evening, leaving Pier 50:

4:45 pm: 191 riders (last Tuesday was 51)

5:15 pm: 278 riders (1 did not board) (Last Tuesday was 101)

5:45 pm: 186 riders (last Tuesday was 60)

8:32 PM: Latest progress report on tunneling – 131 of the 380 feet it’ll take to get to the point where they’ll reopen the Viaduct. Here are the details as well as traffic recaps from the afternoon/evening.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 5: Tuesday morning commute coverage

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:04 AM: Good morning! Welcome to Day 5 of the two-weeks-or-so closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct while the Highway 99 tunnel machine goes beneath it. Our expanded morning-commute coverage starts with some numbers:

106 feet: How far the tunneling machine has gone as of about an hour ago, since its restart last Friday
2,047 bicycle trips: New record for the counter on the low bridge, set yesterday as of 5:45 pm, 200 more than the old record on 5/14/15 per Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections
1,189 West Seattle Water Taxi riders: Morning commute total Monday, more than triple the previous Monday’s ridership. (Still lots of room at the Pier 2 park-and-ride lot, so try it if you need parking! – info here.)

5:21 AM: If you have been using I-5 northbound *south* of the West Seattle Bridge, this is NOT the time to do it – big emergency response at Albro for a rollover crash [traffic cam here] blocking the two center lanes.

6 AM: That crash has now cleared to the shoulder, but – again, this is SOUTH of the West Seattle Bridge, so it won’t affect you if you’re going to NB I-5 *from* the bridge – miles of backup will take a while to clear. No other incidents in this area so far in the early going.

6:22 AM: As we’ve seen the past two weekday mornings, the (high) bridge is getting busier earlier. General advice from commenters’ commute stories has been to time-shift. Meantime, we just heard from co-publisher Patrick Sand at Seacrest – no number yet for the 6:15 am West Seattle Water Taxi run due to some communication problems but they’ve put out cones to improve the line organization:

IMG_4322

6:29 AM: 125 for the first Water Taxi run, up from 87 yesterday.

6:53 AM: The high bridge is in full-usage mode. The Water Taxi’s 6:45 run had 144 people, only two more than yesterday. Also just in, a new final count for Monday bicycle trips across the low bridge – 2,525. (Check our daily calendar preview around 9:30 am for your next chance to get training, if you’re thinking about trying bike commuting soon.)

7:03 AM: Scanner reports “3- or 4-vehicle collision at 3261 Avalon Way,” police and medics en route. That’s just east of 35th. If you’re on a bus or otherwise in passenger mode and go by, please let us know what you see.

7:09 AM: Jennifer reports “nothing there,” which explains why the SFD callout has already closed.

7:24 AM: 208 riders for the 7:15 am Water Taxi run, down a bit from yesterday’s 221. They’re working to speed things up in a variety of ways – not just line organization as mentioned earlier but also sending staffer with ORCA Card reader down the line while people wait:

payment

Thanks to the texter who sent us an informal count from on board in case we didn’t get an official one!

7:40 AM: 1st Avenue South is “congested” per scanner – we’re listening to SPD discussions of logistics to try to address traffic trouble spots while the Viaduct closure continues. They’re describing 4th Avenue NB as looking “real good,” meantime.

7:54 AM: 192 on the Water Taxi run at 7:45, down twenty from yesterday.

8:03 AM: Avalon trouble reports: For one, @allonsy says there’s a “broken-down C Line at 35th and Avalon.” A little further north/east, we’ve had reports of cars in the bus-only lane. And Chris sent this photo from the Luna Park area:

chrisavalon

Chris explained, “In the picture you can see people making illegal left turns by Luna Park Café. This is a problem for people who have been waiting in traffic legally. While waiting in the queue I saw at least 20 cars cut in front.” Via Twitter, the SDOT Traffic Ops Center says they’ll make sure SPD knows Avalon might be in need of enforcement.

8:22 AM: 177 for the 8:15 Water Taxi run, only two-thirds of what it was yesterday.

8:48 AM: 4th Avenue has slowed down considerably, according to reports we’re hearing. So if you’re leaving late and headed that way, allow extra time.

8:50 AM: 134 on the Water Taxi run that’s under way now, up from 120 yesterday. We’re leaving the dock but our commute watch continues.

9:07 AM: From the scanner – stalled vehicle on the eastbound bridge before the 4th Avenue exit. A tow truck is en route.

9:14 AM: The “low bridge” (Spokane St. Swing Bridge) has just closed to surface traffic so vessel traffic can get through, first closure this morning.

9:42 AM: The bridge closure is over.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 4: Afternoon/ evening commute coverage for Monday

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4 PM: We’re launching afternoon/evening commute coverage, headed for West Seattle and vicinity, since it’s only the second weekday of the tunneling-related precautionary closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and patterns are far from settled. We’re watching and listening for incidents and anything else of note. Special request: If you’re taking the Water Taxi home, let us know how things are looking, as we aren’t able to get to the downtown dock today – editor@westseattleblog.com, text or voice 206-293-6302, or Twitter @westseattleblog – thanks!

4:27 PM: First report from the Water Taxi dock downtown – big line – “get there early,” advises the texter. Photo (thanks!):

IMG_9093

Also, KCDOT is making new A-boards to help point people to the added parking areas on the West Seattle waterfront in the morning (see our pictorial how-to if you’re confused or haven’t done it before). And we have an update from WSDOT – they’ll be adding another daily progress report: “We will update the Bertha tracker around 4:00 a.m. (this is newly added), 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.”

Incident: Crash at 4th and Royal Brougham (stadium zone).

4:45 PM: SFD has closed out of that incident. Now there’s an SFD response on 1st at Walker (added, “light smoke from a transformer”). Note that we have 1st/4th cameras up at the top.

5:12 PM: Scanner: “4th Avenue SB is now clear.”

5:30 PM: Two updates – multiple reports that 5:15 pm Water Taxi from downtown was a full house, some have to wait for next run. But meantime, if you’re thinking of Water Taxi’ing tomorrow, the Pier 2 parking lot is still underutilized – 32 vehicles today, room for 200. Across from 7-11. Look for new signage.

signs

Second update – crash at 1st/Columbia in the heart of downtown, blocking southbound. So if you’re coming from there or north of there, find an alternate route until you’re further south.

5:40 PM: Not on the 911 log, so apparently no injuries, but SDOT’s Traffic Ops Center reports a crash at 4th/Lucile in SODO.

5:52 PM: Comments and tweets suggest a challenging bus commute again this afternoon. (Added) Also via Twitter – capacity sailing for 5:45 pm Water Taxi.

6:14 PM: If you’re headed south on 99 before the closure zone – warning, there’s a “car fire” call described as Aurora to Denny, sounds like a bus.

8:48 PM: Commute reports are continuing in comments. Meantime, WSDOT’s evening progress report is up – 91 feet so far for the tunneling machine. We have updated the report originally published here around noon.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 4: Monday morning traffic/transit watch

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:03 AM: Good morning! We’re back on early traffic/transit watch for the second weekday of the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. That includes the Water Taxi (which has its first run from Seacrest at 6:15 am) and low-bridge closures, if any (Friday morning’s commute had just one). No incidents so far. If you missed the weekend progress reports, after the expected slow start, the tunneling machine had gone a tenth of the under-Viaduct distance as of Sunday afternoon.

5:40 AM: The bridge is getting busier, as you can see in the camera views above. Still no problems. Forecast high today is 20+ degrees above normal – going into the 80s.

6 AM: SDOT notes that NB I-5 through downtown is getting busy. E-mail from Kristina reminds us of an update on some West Seattle road work – SW Yancy has reopened at Avalon as of Friday, but 30th SW was still closed on the south/east side of the intersection. We’re checking with SDOT today on how much longer work is expected to last.

6:15 AM: High-bridge backed up already, as John points out:


Taking the bus? Despite the Friday afternoon delays on Lander, Metro is not making changes so far. Today we will also again have an afternoon/evening traffic/transit watch with updates on how it goes. No sports in SODO tonight, though – the Mariners are on the road @ Oakland.

leddy
(Sunrise over early Water Taxi arrivals – photo by J. Leddy – thank you!)

6:28 AM: Our crew at Seacrest reports the Water Taxi’s first run was a little busier than last Friday – 87 passengers this morning, compared to 78. But there’s still room for MANY more (capacity 270+). We meantime asked what happens if the free shuttle runs late. During peak commute periods, WT reps tell us, the boat does not wait for the shuttle, though during off-peak periods it can wait a few minutes if it gets word of a delay.

6:51 AM: Bridge is backed up all the way to the 35th/Fauntleroy entrance, so allow tons of time if you have to use it any time soon. Meantime, 6:45 am Water Taxi passenger count was 142, up from Friday’s run at 124, but still lots of room, and remember the extra parking at Pier 2 (across from the 7/11) if you’re driving.

7:03 AM: Just getting going? Summary so far: No incidents. People leaving early – bridge already jammed. Water Taxi usage up a bit but lots of room remains, and it’s a beautiful day for a boat ride (see our crew’s 6:45 am photo here). Atop this report, we’ve added 1st Ave. S. and 4th Ave. S. cameras by request since those streets are carrying so much more traffic during the Viaduct closure.

7:31 AM: Definitely a busier commute than Friday, as many expected it would be. Water Taxi update from co-publisher Patrick Sand monitoring the situation at Seacrest – 221 for the 7:15 run, up from 180 on that run Friday. (Added: Carolyn Newman‘s overview photo of those who lined up for it:)

13087212_1109328819089563_9056657087493067311_o

And we have an update on the shuttle problems that some riders have reported. The county acknowledges “driver error” which included a “missed stop.”

7:45 AM: Texter reminds us that the 15th/Holden light for the Delridge-Highland Park Greenway is now activated, just a bit east of signalized 16th/Holden, and says backups have resulted.

8:02 AM: Thanks to everyone who’s reporting how their commute went. At the Water Taxi dock, we’ve learned that the 7:45 run had 212 passengers (was 180 on Friday). Via Twitter, we got a question about whether they’re maxing out on bicycles yet. No, the WT reps tell us, but if they did hit the full 26-bike capacity of the rack, they can still fit another half-dozen or so here or there around the boat. On the roads – still sloooooooooooow going.

8:20 AM: Try the bus! Josh tweeted this:


8:25 AM: First crash reported this morning in this general area – 1st Ave. S. and East Marginal Way. Haven’t heard yet on injuries or traffic effects.

8:33 AM: Almost capacity for 8:15 am Water Taxi sailing – 255 passengers. Spirit of Kingston (the old WT) has just come over for an unannounced extra run.

kingston1

Meantime, if you’re at the dock and noticed the SFD emergency response going by – automatic fire alarm at Salty’s (WSB sponsor) nearby, BUT the arriving crews found NO problem so they’re being dismissed.

8:50 AM: More commute reports in the comments, and on Twitter, suggesting that the later going today was much faster than Friday.


This is a lot like what happened during 2011’s “Viadoom” – the real trick here in the days ahead will be, don’t go back to your old ways – keep up with the alternatives/changes, so everything gets spread around.

8:55 AM: 120 on that run with the Spirit of Kingston, which basically became the 8:45 Water Taxi, our crew says, since the near-capacity crowd on the 8:15 run pushed its departure back. (Added: KCDOT clarified in e-mail: “The Doc Maynard had 255 riders on the 815am sailing, which left late at 828am. To help serve customers, we did this: Our Spirit of Kingston boat was done with the extra 99Closure trips to Vashon, so it was brought over to make sure the scheduled 845am departure from West Seattle left on time, and left carrying 131 riders (capacity is 147). It operated kind of like a standby bus does for Metro, maintaining the published schedule. It was not providing an added trip, just a reliable one. It is a back-up plan we can use when we need to help service stay on schedule, but only works when the boat is available. It had the capacity for the riders who needed it.”)

9:17 AM: Earlier, we mentioned the 30th/Yancy/Avalon project, and that we were checking its status with SDOT. The reply:

SW Yancy St is now permanently open. The crews will return to stripe the crosswalk across SW Avalon Way, which will require very short-term lane closures. We will send out an email update to our listserv later today with these details, once the schedule is confirmed.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 1: Friday afternoon/evening traffic/transit updates

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL INFOSITE for #99Closure; BRIDGE CLOSURES; morning coverage HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4:05 PM: Good afternoon – we’ll be covering traffic/transit this pm in our usual morning style, since it’s the first inbound commute of the two-weeks-or-so Viaduct closure.

Updates first: WSDOT confirms that the tunneling machine did start its beneath-the-Viaduct journey around 9 am. The first progress report is expected in a few hours … @voght tweeted that the 30th/Yancy/Avalon intersection, scene of safety-project work the past few hours, is now fully open again.

4:17 PM: Car vs. pedestrian crash reported at 1st/Horton. … Moments later, also via scanner, police report they and SFD responders aren’t finding either car OR pedestrian.

4:52 PM: Multiple commenters report the Lander bus reroute headed this way is delay-plagued because of trains.

5:08 PM: Remember the stadium zone is extra-busy because the Mariners are home tonight, hosting Kansas City. We’re headed outbound to see what the inbound routes look like outside of webcam range.

5:21 PM: Crash under the bridge, near 26th/Spokane, with injuries. We’re heading that way. (added) Per the photo Josh tweeted, passing on a bus, it’s along the trail on the westbound side of Spokane. Per scanner, victim is a pedestrian hit by a vehicle; injuries include a broken leg.

5:39 PM: Right lane of westbound Spokane is blocked, right by the 26th SW sign (and a “stop for pedestrians” sign).

scenespok

Left lane is getting by. Bike/pedestrian trail is open. The victim, a 57-year-old woman, will be taken to the hospital by medic unit. The driver is still at the scene, talking with officers. Transit note: Standing-room-only 21 just went by.

5:47 PM: After leaving that scene, we’re continuing eastbound to see how some of the inbound routes look. Low bridge is wide open. We’re on surface East Marginal north of Spokane now, passing the cargo terminals; little traffic also flowing well both ways – more southbound bicycles than any other vehicles.

5:58 PM: Heading back into West Seattle. The crash scene mentioned above on westbound lower Spokane is now completely clear.

6:24 PM: For the first time in more than 12 hours, and only the second time today, the “low bridge” is closing to land-based traffic so it can open for vessel traffic, per @SDOTbridges (which we are linking to the top of each commute report during the Viaduct closure).

6:34 PM: Big current problem – apparently a train-crossing gate on Lander is stuck in the down position and buses using that as the reroute are backed up in a big way.

6:38 PM: The “low bridge” has reopened to land-based traffic.

7:01 PM: Scanner – the train gates should be “functioning” again. Meantime, the Water Taxi’s about to shift into its hourly mode for the rest of the evening. We stopped by Seacrest briefly about an hour ago.

watertaxi

As a sizable group (we’re hoping to get the pm numbers later) disembarked, a downtown-bound line awaited. In comments, Elton says about 100 people were in line downtown a short time ago, awaiting the current run back this way. Michelle shared this look at what the downtown queue for the 5:15 trip to WS:

515friwatertaxiline

That photo was courtesy of her sweetie, who was first in line.

8:30 PM: We’ve learned from King County DOT that the run all those people were waiting for had a ridership of 236 – not far from capacity, and more than four times the passengers on the same run last week.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 1: Friday morning traffic/transit watch

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5 AM: Good morning! We’re on traffic/transit watch early for Day 1 of the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure, and will be updating what’s happening in/from West Seattle, including the Water Taxi dock at Seacrest. No incidents so far.

5:30 AM: Still quiet. We have a crew headed to the Water Taxi dock now; remember, extra parking, bigger shuttles (here’s the special info brochure). First run to downtown is at 6:15; here’s the schedule.

5:57 AM: The West Seattle “low bridge” is closing to surface traffic for the first time this morning. We’ll update when it reopens. We also have a direct link to the @SDOTbridges Twitter account (which tweets other bridge openings around the city) atop this story.

6:10 AM: “Low bridge” closure over, available to land-based users again. Meantime, we’ve just heard from our crew at the Water Taxi dock, as the first run from West Seattle gets ready to go. There’s a line but not the 270+-passenger capacity, so if you’re WT-bound, there should be room. Meantime, a commenter says early-morning towing shows the city is serious about those overnight parking restrictions on Harbor to save space for WT parking.

6:25 AM: As you can see in the “live” camera views above (refresh the page for newest images), the high bridge is busier than usual for this time of day. Meantime, the official passenger count for the 1st Water Taxi run out, 78 – we’re told that’s more than triple the usual ridership for the 6:15 run.

6:48 AM: Todd Orwig reports that the high bridge is definitely “slower than usual.” The cameras are showing that too. We’ve added the I-5/Spokane webcam above, because WSDOT has it pointed west toward the bridge, so you can see the volume headed for 5. … Water Taxi update – 124 for the 6:45 am run. Just under half full. (Here’s our Instagram video of the line.) Street parking near Seacrest looks maxed; we’re checking on the temp lot across from the 7-11 at Florida. (Update: LOTS of room in that lot. Single-digit usage so far; has 200 spaces.)

7:02 AM: High bridge is wall-to-wall. No incidents in the corridor or on the peninsula, so this is 100 percent just people trying to get where they need to go.

7:19 AM: Low bridge is looking busy too (remember, we have a view of that above, too). And keep in mind some alternatives are new since the infamous 2011 “Viadoom” closure. For example, the South Park Bridge – see the live eastbound view here.

7:26 AM: 180 passengers on the 7:15 Water Taxi run – still room for almost 100 more. Both the high and low bridges are very busy – remember that the high bridge is two lanes outbound since the 99-bound lane is coned off (see the top-right camera). Only incident in the area is a truck stall on *southbound* 1st at Atlantic near the stadiums; police are working to get the truck off 1st and onto Atlantic. Also a note – we are tweeting some photos and observations in addition to this narrative – even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can see our tweets here (also on the right sidebar of WSB in desktop/laptop/tablet-landscape views).

7:42 AM: Scanner has word of a crash at Delridge and Dakota – no other details. Meantime, though there’s no traffic cam showing the Admiral approach to the bridge, the southbound hill is gridlock, WSB’s Christopher Boffoli tells us.

7:52 AM: Deb reports in comments that 4th Avenue S. is backed up bigtime (she’s on the 37 outbound from WS). Meantime, the 7:45 am Water Taxi had 180 passengers – which, again, means there’s room for almost 100 more.

8:01 AM: Via Twitter, @voght reports the Delridge/Dakota crash is on the southbound side, and traffic is getting by both ways, on the shoulder on the southbound side. Weather report from co-publisher Patrick Sand at Seacrest – “It’s starting to rain.” And from Mike Jensen via Twitter (@mjtwit): “Took 40 minutes from West Seattle to I-90 via First Avenue.”

IMG_4266

8:23 AM: Looks like the Water Taxi peaked last hour – 135, half capacity, on the 8:15 run from Seacrest to downtown (added: photo of line @ pier). The temp lot at Pier 2 also has lots of room for more usage – we asked and as of 8 am, it had only about 20 vehicles, one-tenth capacity. Meantime, the roads and bridges are still status-quo, now rain-enhanced. (Monday is supposed to be sunny and warm.) See comments as well as Twitter for bus riders’ firsthand reports – some rave reviews for the temp stop at 4th/Lander if you want to connect to light rail. Update from Christopher, who as mentioned above was outbound from Admiral – the low bridge was moving fairly well, if you’re looking for an alternative. (We’ve only had one bridge opening for vessel traffic this morning, the one way back at 6 am, mentioned above. Don’t know if that’s because of the tides or the city’s request for voluntary “compliance” in rush hours, as reported yesterday.)

8:38 AM: Another Delridge crash, per scanner – actually two at Delridge/Thistle. First was reported to not be affecting traffic, not sure about the second, so avoid if you can.

8:50 AM: 119 passengers for the Water Taxi run that just left. Among them, Junction-residing City Councilmember Lorena González [tweeted photo here]. Also, WT riders were given a survey to fill out – Kathleen tweeted a photo. Rain’s intensifying. Also, we have a suggestion from local community advocate and transit user Amanda Kay Helmick via Twitter: Try the Route 113 bus from 20th/Roxbury or Olsen/Myers park-and-rides.

9:02 AM: We’ve left the Water Taxi dock but are continuing to watch the commute. We’ll also have an afternoon narrative going later today, something that, unlike morning traffic coverage, we DON’T usually do, but this calls for it. And of course we’ll cover major incidents between am and pm commutes. Once we start adding more news for the day, this will still be linked from the ticker atop our site, and from our “spotlight” boxes atop the home page. Meantime, another WS crash – 48th/Spokane.

9:32 AM: Bridge is still busy but for example, no longer backed up all the way to 35th/Fauntleroy, on that end. So if you’re leaving later than usual, things are getting better. However, when you’re looking for where to exit – “4th Avenue is the real problem now,” we are hearing via the scanner. “Very problematic at this time.”

9:45 AM: Crash on the northbound 1st Avenue S. Bridge – see an image in SDOT’s tweet.

10:26 AM: First bridge crash today – eastbound West Seattle (high) Bridge at Delridge. Medic unit being called, per scanner, for person who thinks they might be having a heart attack, post-crash.

10:35 AM: The 35th/Fauntleroy entrance to the eastbound bridge is being temporarily closed because of the crash.

11:15 AM: Traffic is now getting by in one lane at the crash scene. We believe that means the onramp is open again but are going over to check in person to be sure.

11:27 AM: Before we could get there, SDOT tweeted that the crash scene is clear, so everything’s open again.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch; Viaduct closure starts TONIGHT

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:56 AM: Good morning and welcome to the last pre-Viaduct-closure morning commute. As we noted again last night, WSDOT says onramps will be closed starting at 10 pm tonight (which is when Metro reroutes take effect), and the full closure will be in effect by midnight. One more media megabriefing/Q&A opportunity is coming up later this morning so if you have any unanswered questions, let us know so we can seek answers.

As for this morning’s commute – no incidents in/from West Seattle so far.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates; 2 days until Viaduct closure

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:34 AM: Good morning! Two days until the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure – which the city’s electronic signage warns will start at 11:59 pm Thursday. As for this morning, no incidents in/from West Seattle and vicinity so far.

8:14 AM: Still quiet this morning, and the impending Viaduct closure remains the big topic. WSDOT has just sent a media alert clarifying the start time – the alert says 12:01 am Friday BUT “onramps will start closing at 10 pm Thursday.”

9:52 AM: More times from WSDOT – the promised online updates about tunneling progress during the closure are now expected to be around 11 am/8 pm weekdays, 2:30 pm weekends.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday watch; 3 days until Viaduct closure

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:59 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far. Two reminders: Day 2 of the southbound 26th SW repairs between Barton and Roxbury; three days until the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s two-weeks-or-so closure.

TONIGHT: One month after Sound Transit announced its draft plan for a ballot measure this fall laying out its 25-year vision, including light rail to West Seattle in 2033, it’s the official West Seattle meeting for info and feedback, 5:30-7 pm at West Seattle HS (3000 California SW), with Metro’s Long-Range Plan also on the agenda. (Presentations at 6 pm.)

7:21 AM: Big response for a crash at West Marginal Way South and South Holden, which is the vicinity of the freeway entrance between West Seattle and South Park that gets you to the northbound 1st Avenue S. Bridge.

7:27 AM: The response has just been scaled back. We’re en route to check on if and how it’s affecting traffic in the area.

8 AM: It’s blocking a northbound turn lane to South Park from W. Marginal, but traffic’s getting around in all directions with SPD help:

wmarginal

SFD is leaving. We’re told at the scene that no one needed to be taken to the hospital.

8:18 AM: Two issues right now: A crash on the northbound 1st Avenue South Bridge, and a medic response on NB I-5 in the Convention Center vicinity.

8:30 AM: 509 seems to be the trouble magnet right now. Police are checking out a reported vehicle crash or stall at Olson/1st (the hill to/from 509).

9:16 AM: The I-5 backup is reported to be 7 miles. A texter says the EB West Seattle Bridge is backed up to 35th. The incidents on 99/509 further south are reported to have cleared.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Driver hits pole in The Junction, City Light repairs under way

IMG_4226

5:09 PM: Thanks to Kyle for the tipCity Light is currently repairing a utility pole on 45th at Oregon in The Junction. We went over to find out more; police tell us a driver had brake trouble and hit the pole, knocking it sideways. With SPD directing traffic, vehicles are getting through the area, but we’d advise avoiding it for a while.

6:25 PM: Just went back to check; scene’s clear now.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates; 4 days until Viaduct closure

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:34 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Work is scheduled to start this morning on southbound 26th SW between Barton and Roxbury. And of course, Friday is the scheduled start of the two-weeks-or-so Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. Details on both, and a few other notes, are here.

9:13 AM: Commenters on the aforementioned story provide reminders of the two big meetings coming up this week related to West Seattle’s potential future light rail – the Sound Transit 3 open house (also featuring the Metro Long-Range Plan) Tuesday, 5:30 pm (presentations at 6) at West Seattle High School (3000 California SW), and the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s meeting focused on ST3, 6:30 pm Thursday at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW).

TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Fauntleroy/Oregon crash

IMG_4415

5:37 PM: Thanks to the texter who sent word of this – it’s not on the 911 log, so apparently no major injuries – a multi-car crash on westbound Fauntleroy Way in The Triangle, just past Oregon. “Slow going,” says our tipster.

6:04 PM: Just went by to check; scene is completely clear.

SATURDAY TRAFFIC ALERT: Concrete pour to bring extra truck traffic to Murray CSO

Before the year’s out, the county expects to complete the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project across from Lowman Beach Park, north of Lincoln Park; our most-recent project update followed the briefing presented last week to the Fauntleroy Community Association. There’s still some major work to be done, and some of it will bring dozens of concrete trucks to the site tomorrow. Here’s the alert:

King County’s contractor will be pouring concrete on-site tomorrow, Saturday, April 23 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to encase an electrical duct bank on the north side of the facility building (see photo). The electrical lines will provide power to the facility building and underground storage tank. The concrete will protect the electrical lines from moisture and heat.

Up to 10 trucks an hour will deliver concrete to the site. One concrete pump truck will be located on the east side of Beach Drive S.W. to pump the concrete onto the duct bank. Trucks delivering concrete will enter the site from Lincoln Park Way S.W. and exit using 48th Ave S.W. Trucks waiting to pour will park on Lincoln Park Way SW. Expect traffic delays and congestion while the pour is underway. Flaggers will be on site to safely direct traffic through the work zone.

Thank you for your continued patience during construction. Please contact the project hotline 206-205-9186 with any questions or concerns.

The million-gallon storage tank that’s at the heart of the project is expected to keep sewage from overflowing into Puget Sound when stormwater overwhelms the system.

P.S. Questions about this project? Next Tuesday (April 26), 5-7 pm, is your chance to drop by the site, look for the info tent that will be set up, and ask!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates; 1 week until Viaduct closure

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:27 AM: Good morning! It’s Friday, and now a week away from the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s two-weeks-or-so closure. SDOT has just reported a crash at 26th and Roxbury. No word on traffic effects but there’s no associated Seattle Fire dispatch so apparently no major injuries.

Updates and reminders, starting with one big one:

FAUNTLEROY EXPRESSWAY WORK POSTPONED: We received and published the news late yesterday – SDOT’s spokesperson for the Fauntleroy Expressway earthquake-safety-pad-re-replacement project says its start will be delayed until at least mid-May. This is the project that will bring overnight closures of the west end of the West Seattle Bridge and lane closures day AND night on surface Spokane St. beneath it. Those closures had been announced as starting next Wednesday.

VIADUCT CLOSURE STARTS NEXT FRIDAY: Early next Friday (April 29th) morning, Highway 99 will be closed between the Battery Street Tunnel and the West Seattle Bridge, for about two weeks – however long it takes for the tunneling machine to go beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct. (There will be progress reports at least once a day here.) Is your plan all set? Any questions still unanswered?

WHAT’S CHANGED SINCE 2011 ‘VIADOOM’: We’ve been thinking about this one – some major additions to the local transportation scene since the fall 2011 one-week-plus Viaduct closure:

1st Avenue ramp to/from westbound bridge (opened late summer 2012)
RapidRide C Line (launched September 2012)
South Park Bridge open (new one opened in June 2014)
-Larger West Seattle Water Taxi (Doc Maynard, double the capacity of Spirit of Kingston, took over the route in January of this year)

Anything to add? Also notable, SDOT says fewer vehicles use the Viaduct now compared to then, 90,000/day compared to 110,000/day. And conversely, more use transit. But this all means that even if you have a crystal-clear memory of how things went in 2011, it might not apply.

BREAKING: City to delay bridge-closing Fauntleroy Expressway work to avoid Viaduct-closure overlap

4:59 PM: Just got word that the city has changed its mind about launching the bridge-and-more-closing Fauntleroy Expressway bearing-pad re-replacement project next week, right before the tunneling-related Alaskan Way Viaduct closure starts. Paul Elliott from SDOT just told WSB the bridge work will be delayed at least until mid-May.

6:06 PM: Backstory now that we’re (briefly) back at headquarters – the April 27th start date for this city work was announced just hours before the state announced the April 29th start date for the Viaduct closure, though it had been in the works for many months. When city, county, and state reps briefed the media on the Viaduct closure back on Monday, we asked the SDOT rep why they were still going ahead with the overlap. He mentioned they didn’t think there would be a problem because the bridge closures for this work would be late at night and early in the morning. We pointed out that the under-the-bridge surface daytime lane closures were more of a concern to commenters, and he said he would “take that back” to SDOT HQ. Back to this afternoon: Paul Elliott says an advisory is expected out tomorrow. And if you were still catching up to what this was all about – you might have seen the portable signboards in spots like Fauntleroy Way west of the bridge, talking about bridge closures 4/27-4/29 – that was for this (again, now postponed).

ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: Here’s the official city announcement.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch; 8 days until Viaduct closure

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:03 AM: Good morning! We start as almost-usual by looking ahead:

NEXT MONDAY: Road repairs start Monday (April 25th) on 26th SW south of Westwood Village. Here’s the updated city-issued alert.

NEXT TUESDAY: The draft version of Sound Transit 3 includes light rail to West Seattle. For it? Against it? Want to make sure it’s done a certain way? Have ideas for doing it better? Take some time to go to the official West Seattle meeting next Tuesday (April 26th) – open house starts at 5:30 pm, presentations at 6 (King County Metro’s long-range plan is being discussed too), your chance for commenting throughout (and take the online survey ASAP) – West Seattle High School, 3000 California SW.

NEXT WEDNESDAY: The Fauntleroy Expressway (west end of high bridge) earthquake-safety-cushion re-replacement project is scheduled to start April 27th with a series of overnight closures plus some surface Spokane St. lane closures at other times under that section of the bridge. Still awaiting final-final word from SDOT.

FRIDAY, APRIL 29TH: The Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s two-weeks-or-so tunneling closure is set to start in 8 days, BEFORE the morning commute. Lots of info here, including a reiteration that the surface streets/paths/sidewalks UNDER the Viaduct are not expected to have to close.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates; 9 days to Viaduct closure

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:58 AM: Good morning! The list of upcoming traffic alerts is longer this morning:

ROAD REPAIRS ON 26TH SW: Starting Monday, south of Westwood Village, with some detours/re-routes, explained here.

FAUNTLEROY EXPRESSWAY CLOSURES: The nighttime closures on the west end of the bridge start one week from tonight. We’re still awaiting an update from SDOT with final word on lane closures under the bridge.

ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT CLOSURE: And we’re now 9 days away from the Alaskan Way Viaduct being closed while the Highway 99 tunneling machine goes beneath it – that’s set to start before the morning commute on Friday, April 29th. The online clearinghouse of closure info is at 99closure.org – even a page where the state promises to post tunneling progress reports once or twice a day during the closure.

8:22 AM: Crash at 35th/Holden … but it is reported to have cleared quickly.

8:55 AM: If you are a Water Taxi rider – this afternoon on the downtown dock, it’s your chance to get a look at the upcoming Colman Dock overhaul:

King County Water Taxi and WSF staff will be at Pier 50 from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. to share the latest design for the Seattle Multimodal Terminal at Colman Dock. This includes the design of the new Water Taxi facility. Please stop by to learn more and ask questions.

MORE ROAD WORK: Bus-battered street panels in Westwood to be replaced starting next week

IMG_2175
(WSB photo from March)

FIRST REPORT, 11:56 AM: The city is about to start replacing concrete panels on 26th SW north of Roxbury. The Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council shone light on this problem during its March meeting, which we covered here; residents along that stretch of 26th south of Westwood Village point out that both the road and their houses have been literally rattled by the dramatic increase in bus traffic since the area became a “transit center” a few years ago. WWRHAH leadership just got this notice from SDOT and shared it with us to help get early warning to you:

SDOT Maintenance and Operations staff will be reconstructing portions of older, thinner concrete pavement on 26th Ave SW that are failing due to heavy Metro bus loads. Work will commence on Monday April 25th, 7:00 a.m.

All southbound traffic, including Metro buses, will be detoured for the duration of the project. Metro buses will continue to use northbound lanes. The roadway will be closed to general traffic, however local access, including solid waste vehicles, postal carriers, etc. will be able to travel northbound only. It is anticipated that the roadway will be reopened no later than 6:00 p.m., Sunday May 1st. Areas adjacent to work zone will be no-parked; Uniformed Police Officers will be assisting during active construction periods.

WWRHAH leadership was told the first phase will be between Roxbury and Cambridge.

ADDED 4:23 PM: An advisory just sent by the city spells it out this way:

From 7:00 a.m. on Monday, April 25, to 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 1, travelers can expect the following:

• The southbound direction of 26th Ave SW between SW Roxbury St and SW Cambridge St will be closed to general traffic.

• All southbound traffic, including Metro buses, will be detoured for the duration of the project.

• The northbound direction of 26th Avenue SW will be open to traffic, including Metro buses.

• Local access will be available in the northbound direction only.

• There will be no parking in areas adjacent to the 26th Avenue SW work zone.

They refer bus riders to Metro’s site for bus-detour info, though we’re not seeing it posted there yet.

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann