Viaduct warning lights to be “tested” during weekend closure

March 20, 2008 6:40 pm
|    Comments Off on Viaduct warning lights to be “tested” during weekend closure
 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

After the malfunction involving the “Alaskan Way Viaduct Closed When Flashing” lights viaductsign.jpgin West Seattle and elsewhere last month, the city Transportation Department said there would be a test before The Viaduct’s planned closure this weekend. Now, according to a news release sent out by SDOT this afternoon, it appears the “test” will be concurrent with the actual closure, and the system won’t be proclamed “fully functional” until and unless it works throughout the shutdown (6 am-6 pm each day, Saturday and Sunday; the Battery Street Tunnel will be closed for the duration, 6 am Saturday to 6 pm Sunday). Here’s the full text of the city news release:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will test
its new Alaskan Way Viaduct Warning Beacon system this weekend. The
evaluation will be conducted on March 22 and 23 from 6:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The fourteen flashing beacon signs will be tested while the viaduct is
closed for its semi-annual safety inspection by the Washington State
Department of Transportation. Once the system is deemed fully
functional, it will be utilized during planned or emergency viaduct
closures to warn motorists so they can alter their trips and avoid

During the testing, the signs will flash while SDOT confirms that the
beacons are functioning properly. These signs are located on higher
volume arterials in North Seattle and Interbay, along the Aurora
Avenue/SR 99 corridor, in the Duwamish industrial area, in West Seattle
and South Park. SDOT crews will be checking signs to ensure they turn on
and off as directed by radio communications originating from south of
downtown SDOT facilities.

The oversized black on yellow signs, stating “Alaskan Way Viaduct
Closed When Flashing” operate independently of electric lines or phone
lines and are controlled via radio and powered by solar technology. The
signs are directional so that, depending upon the situation, SDOT can
control viaduct approaches for either northbound or southbound traffic
or both directions.

We’ll be out bright and early first thing Saturday morning to see if the lights are up and running.

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