Viaduct closure starts 7:30 pm Friday: Today’s news notes

(WSDOT photo from Flickr – more demolition equipment arrives at the Viaduct’s south end)
This is it. Tomorrow’s the night … the nine-day, ten-night closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct begins at 7:30 pm Friday. Unless some other huge news story (heaven forbid) happens in Western Washington, you can expect tomorrow’s news to be All Viaduct, All The Time in advance (for example, WSDOT has assigned a media liaison to be available for interviews at 4:30 am – 15 hours before the closure, but TV morning news will be all over it). Today’s other Vianews highlights:

*The Port of Seattle has made some changes to reduce traffic around the area where many Viaductless drivers will be attempting to get from the “low bridge” to downtown (or beyond). Seattle Times’ transportation reporter Mike Lindblom details them in this story. (As we have reported previously, some relief also may come during afternoon commute, when the “low bridge” is supposed to stay “down” 3-6 pm next Monday-Friday except for “emergencies,” and Burlington Northern has promised to reduce “train-building” in the East Marginal/Hanford area, where that practice often cuts off traffic trying to get from the SODO detour to the “low bridge.”)

*Also mentioned briefly in Mike’s story – announced in a news release earlier today – the city is suspending the $32 flat rate for taxis from downtown to Sea-Tac during the closure period, saying metered rides will “ensure cab drivers are fairly compensated for what are expected to be longer trips due to traffic delays.”

*In response to a question from the last meeting of the South Portal Working Group, WSDOT sent out an update this afternoon saying basically that it can’t guarantee GPS traffic-navigation companies will have maps accurately depicting Viaductlessness. It’s provided the information, the agency says, but it can’t guarantee any of the companies are using it. WSDOT is hopeful, though, that many companies WILL redraw their maps to reflect the Highway 99 construction bypass that will be in place post-closure … but it might take up to six months!

*Still have Viaduct-closure questions? We’re partnering with KING 5 during Viadoom, Viaduct Crunch, whatever you want to call it, for some coverage teamwork, including a live online chat at 11 am Friday – we expect to embed the chat here on WSB, and you’ll find it on the KING site here. Their traffic reporter Tracy Taylor will host the chat; your editor here (Tracy Record) will be part of it to help answer questions.

16 Replies to "Viaduct closure starts 7:30 pm Friday: Today's news notes"

  • Matt October 21, 2011 (5:43 am)

    Harold Camping’s prophecies are coming true! The destruction of the Viaduct was preordained in the Bible! It is the End of Days (for me to commute to Fremont in a car)!

  • z October 21, 2011 (7:26 am)

    Silver Cloud Hotel here I come

  • JunctionMonkey October 21, 2011 (7:53 am)

    You beat me to the punchline! (Cue R.E.M.)

  • sophista-tiki October 21, 2011 (8:03 am)

    BWHAHAHAHAHA I was just going to say….. hey it’s supposed to be the end of the world again today so the Viaduct closure doesn’t really matter.

  • RobertSeattle October 21, 2011 (8:04 am)

    I recall driving through Vancouver BC once and there was a construction sign that said something like “Do Not Trust Your GPS Navigation”.

  • helridge October 21, 2011 (8:09 am)

    Over at KOMO the posters are telling us West Seattleites to get over it already too, but not as creatively as Matt ;)

  • DF October 21, 2011 (8:13 am)

    We walked it entering one late night/early morning meandering on from columbia and 1st ave and continued south on the viaduct once we hit the stretch alongside the railroad tracks I recall hopping from box car to box car we made it half way up the west seattle bridge before a cop stopped driving the other direction. Then we hopped in the back of a pickup west bound and the rest is a blur. True story it was Candy, AK, Me and Clark.

  • Jon October 21, 2011 (8:32 am)

    It has started. We are all officially viaFUCT.

    • WSB October 21, 2011 (8:56 am)

      Well, Jon, not till 7:30 tonight, theoretically … TR

  • Bolvar October 21, 2011 (9:16 am)

    Still not gonna feel safer 80 feet underground during an earthquake,their tunnell logic still escapes me.So does the pricetag,ridiculous!Nice scare tactics though.

  • A October 21, 2011 (9:17 am)

    Jon – that was REALLY funny!! Thanks for making me laugh.

  • easy enough October 21, 2011 (11:09 am)

    Jon – you win. I’m stealing that.
    I’m pretty sure that none of us is so important that the world will end if we’re late for work.

  • Larry October 21, 2011 (11:16 am)

    Anybody ever thought that MAYBE the SCHEDULED 9 day 10 night ESTIMATE for demolition and re-routing just might experience UNEXPECTED and UNFORESEEN delays? Maybe, just MAYBE, the Viaduct closure will last substantially longer then scheduled. I seem to remember ONE of the plans, at one time, included just taking the Viaduct down and then build the new roadway. I’ll take a screen shot of this post and re-post in 3 weeks…if I’m right ;)

  • clark5080 October 21, 2011 (11:36 am)

    I wonder if there is any explosions coming up to demolish the Viaduct. That could be pretty cool to watch.

    • WSB October 21, 2011 (12:12 pm)

      Clark – They are only using backhoe and other excavator/demolition equipment (see the photo atop the story). No explosives, we’re told.

  • Lolly October 21, 2011 (2:36 pm)

    Wasn’t there going to be an opportunity for the public to stand on the to-be-demolished section for a few hours before work begins. I’d love to get a photo or two before the fall begins!!

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