If you didn’t see it Saturday — either via WSB or via being stuck in it in person — Creighton sent that photo of the eastbound bridge backup during the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s shutdown for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon (compounded by other road changes/closures). SDOT did send out lots of advance warning, as noted here and elsewhere, but on Saturday, numerous WSBers reported that the “Viaduct Closed” warning lights in West Seattle and on The Bridge weren’t on. Marybeth Turner from SDOT acknowledges it was human error, not a mechanical problem:
SDOT’s procedure for using the warning lights that alert motorists that the Viaduct is closed is clear: in coordination with the Seattle Police Department, if the Viaduct is closed, the lights should be on. This weekend, the policy was not followed. We have re-acquainted and re-focused key staff on our procedure.
Something similar happened last October. The lights were installed in late 2007. ADDED 12:51 PM: So if it DOES happen again, whether a human or mechanical failure, is there a hotline to call? we asked. Turner’s reply:
People may call (206) 386-1218 and report the lights are not functioning. There is someone on hand to answer this phone 24-hours a day.
That’s the same number you’d call about emergency road problems “after hours.”
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