‘Viadoom’? Viaduct closure meeting at WSHS, as-it-happened

(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:

*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:

*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.

19 Replies to "'Viadoom'? Viaduct closure meeting at WSHS, as-it-happened"

  • byebyeviaduct October 10, 2011 (6:32 pm)

    In mourning already…

  • Andi October 10, 2011 (7:11 pm)

    This will make things tough all around. I put together a web app that may help out with planning a route. It contains all the web and for the WS bridge, upper and lower, SODO, I 5, 99 and the Lake Wa bridges. Also the last 5 WA DOT Tweets and a general traffic map. See if it helps with the morning commute and the viadoom. Just place a shortcut to it on your desktop. The app is at: http://seacam.redoctober.com.

  • Amanda October 10, 2011 (7:12 pm)

    I’ll just check the West Seattle Blog. You guys always have current info and the added benefit of “people on the ground” (ie, comments). It’s going to be okay, just hope for the best and expect the worst. Thanks for all you do Tracy and Co.

  • Jbsc October 10, 2011 (7:27 pm)

    Great resources and the more the better! Thanks WSB and Andi!

  • Mc October 10, 2011 (7:56 pm)

    Cool app Andi. Thanks!

  • Mannamc October 10, 2011 (8:29 pm)

    Andi- awesome app! I’ve got it pinned on my phone. Thanks!

  • Andi October 10, 2011 (8:48 pm)

    Thanks all and thanks WSB. You guys do awesome work and are a great resource. As a WS resident, and very much a tunnel not-liker I am trying to figure out my commuting life. I figure if we all help each other out this too shall pass. Maybe easier.

  • kumalavula October 10, 2011 (8:58 pm)

    as someone who’s lucky enough to live and work in west seattle, you’d think my life would be set. but i do go across the bridge with great frequency and appreciate you sharing your efforts for the greater community good.
    we’re all going to experience this closure so we might as well help each other out as much as possible.

  • Scooper October 10, 2011 (8:58 pm)

    Thanks Andi, I appreciate you thinking about your WS community.

  • Amanda October 10, 2011 (9:36 pm)

    Wow Andi! Power to the People. Thank you!

  • Noelle October 10, 2011 (9:40 pm)

    ‘Traffic-a-gedden’ or just life in a big city. Hopefully more people will take the bus & Water Taxi.

  • Beehive October 10, 2011 (10:11 pm)

    Thanks Andi, you rock!

  • East Coast Cynic October 11, 2011 (5:38 am)

    Uh, Light Rail, uh yeah thats a viable option for us West Seattlites.

    Noelle, its not life in a big city that knows how to create viable public transit options for people all over the city, certainly not ours.

  • Neighbor October 11, 2011 (8:16 am)

    Life in the big city means crews working on projects 24/7 to keep the commerce of the city flowing. Nothing like this has happened at all. It is failure of duty that the ramps aren’t completed before this is taking place. It is failure of duty that the Vashon ferry hasn’t been rerouted. This entire project could only happen in such an ass backward cowtown like Seattle. We don’t have the will nor the sophistication to be worldclass, instead we get the city government we deserve.

  • Fansman October 11, 2011 (8:31 am)

    I have a feeling the app will come in handy very soon.

  • Laurie October 11, 2011 (9:40 am)

    Andi, I bookmarked your app and will use it. Thanks for sharing!

  • jedifarfy October 11, 2011 (12:37 pm)

    I take a bus out of West Seattle every morning, either the 125 or 23 depending on my motivation and when I get out of the house. Each bus has people standing as we leave West Seattle and neither gets an articulated bus in the morning. How are we to fit even more people on the bus? I don’t think I’m even on the bus for many of the students heading to SSCC or SCCC (the 125 after the one I get usually is packed to the gills with students). I get that this will suck, and I’m already planning on getting a bus, or two, earlier to accomodate. I’d like to hear what Metro is planning, how they will accomodate buses that may be so full they can not take more passengers, and proposed routes.

    Edit: Ok, now I see Metro updated their site with info on route changes and such. I’m just afraid of the buses being jammed full to capacity. I see it at least twice a week with a 128, and it’s happened while riding the 125 and 23.

  • SD October 11, 2011 (8:39 pm)

    Looking forward to putting your app into action Andi. Thanks.

  • sophista-tiki October 12, 2011 (6:45 am)

    The list of suggestions, ,,,, really?!, in other words we’re trapped here. I MISS THE SOUTH PARK BRIDGE!!! I’ve already so drasitcally adjusted my work schedual because of this Im now drivng one day a week and doing a 16 hr day and spending the rest of the time working from home. I leave at 6AM take the lower bridge because its the most direct route to where I need to be, make it through all the construction confusion and end up getting trapped by a train thats just sitting on the F’n tracks. AAAAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!! then the only detour around the train leads you right into a road closed dead end.with no signage. this scenario has happened mutiple times since the closure of the South Park Bridge which was my previous regular route. I dont know how much more “adjusting” is even possible for me. If I wasnt responsible for hauling stuff for elderly people and a community center I wouldnt even need to drive, but I can’t take a load of stuff to goodwill or the dump on the bus. this better all be worth it in the end!

Sorry, comment time is over.