(From left, Steve Huling, County Councilmember Joe McDermott, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen)
6:25 PM: We’re at West Seattle High School‘s commons – most easily accessible from the parking lot off California SW – where the presentation has begun at the informational meeting about the upcoming Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen started off with a few words of acknowledgment; he chairs the council’s Transportation Committee. County Councilmember Joe McDermott is speaking now. He told the crowd “Think of yourself as early adopters – you’re here to get the information early … share the information with everybody you can find, because we all need to get the word out as early as possible.” He suggested the nickname “Via-doom,” but said that, like the much-feared Carmageddon in Southern California, it might not turn out to be that way – depending on action taken by commuters.
6:30 PM: Alaskan Way Viaduct project deputy director Matt Preedy is speaking now. He said one myth he wanted to debunk is – no, the entire Viaduct is *not* coming down now, just a section of the south end. And, aside from this closure, as he’s pointing out, Highway 99 will remain open as south-end replacement work (and, starting next year, central-waterfront tunnel work) continues. He’s also reviewing how the detour in the stadium zone will run, once the closure is over, including an explanation that what’s been under construction to the west of the south end of the Viaduct for the past year is the new southbound side – not just “a ramp.” Key point:
WHAT’S OPEN, WHAT’S CLOSED DURING THE NINE DAYS, TEN NIGHTS OCT. 21-31
*CLOSED: Southbound from Battery Street Tunnel to West Seattle Bridge, in its entirety, closed for the duration, as is the northbound side from WS Bridge to Royal Brougham
*OPEN: Northbound between the South Royal Brougham Way onramp and Battery Street Tunnel, 5 am-7 pm on the weekdays (and for special events)
Another slide with key points:
HOW TO GET AROUND DURING THE CLOSURE
*Carpool, vanpool, vanshare
*Take the bus, water taxi, light rail, train, bike
*Work from home
*Adjust your work schedule
*Use alternate routes where possible
*Plan for delays and added travel time
*Listen to radio traffic reports and use electronic message boards to get up to the minute information
*Delay or reschedule discretionary trips
Even if you can only try an alternative ONE day during the closure, Preedy says, that will help. Also – he is stressing that while they’ll take some questions here in the group session, the county, city, and state reps are here for lots of 1-on-1 conversation, so even if you’re not here yet, don’t hesitate to come on down and find somebody to ask.
6:52 PM: Q/A is under way now. We’ll have a separate story with those points and more later.
6:59 PM: Councilmember McDermott mentioned the “We’ll Get You There” website for informational links – if you’re looking for that, it will come up if you Google that phrase, or here’s the direct link to bookmark.
7:06 PM: One other new link that might interest you – WSDOT has just put up “Recommended Routes” and has broken them down by region – find them all linked from here, or to be specific: Here’s the West Seattle info page. WSDOT plans another media briefing downtown tomorrow morning at which they’ll be talking about the alternate routes, among other things.
10:23 PM NOTE: And if you missed this meeting but would like to hear from, and pose a question to, the same WSDOT exec who presented most of the briefing – Matt Preedy is scheduled to be at Tuesday night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting too, 7 pm, lower-level meeting room at Admiral UCC Church (California/Hill).
ADDED TUESDAY MORNING: That’s our video of the 35 minutes during which Rasmussen, McDermott, and Preedy spoke, and fielded questions.