TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday bridge trouble; weather alert

(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! No road trouble to report so far. Transportation-news notes:

FAUNTLEROY TRAFFIC MEETING TONIGHT: 7 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW), city leaders will meet with community members about traffic/transportation challenges, as first announced last month. All welcome.

TRANSIT VOTE UPDATE: After two more vote counts, Transportation Benefit District Prop. 1 is at 60 percent “yes.” Here’s our report on the Wednesday morning media briefing about what was called the “framework” of a city-county agreement on where the money will go for starters.

7:15 AM: Scratch the “no trouble.” Just got a text “wreck on the bridge.” It’s just before 99, blocking an eastbound lane. It was not listed on the 911 log, which at least means “no injuries.”

7:32 AM: The regular bridge camera has been down for two days, so we can’t see the crash zone, but commenters say it doesn’t look likely to clear soon. Meantime, the weather alert for today upgraded overnight to a “wind advisory,” noon-6 pm.

7:40 AM: The rain is intensifying. And there’s a new crash reported on the eastbound bridge at 99, possibly 4 vehicles, per scanner.

7:45 AM: From SDOT via Twitter:

Metro has even sent an advisory warning of delays.

7:59 AM: The backup is apparently leading people to drive in the bus lane at 35th/Alaska – heard via scanner, a call for any available enforcement help, so buses can get through.

8:20 AM: The low bridge is open for marine traffic and SDOT says it’ll be a “long” opening. (See the comment section for some background.)

8:36 AM: A stall parallel with Nucor on the bridge, Brian reports; “Wsea” in comments says the Water Taxi is packed and also running slower because of mechanical trouble.

8:45 AM: Lisa via Twitter confirms what sounded on the scanner like a second stall, in the Delridge onramp vicinity. On the “good news” side, we’re seeing some blue sky to the west, so the weather may be calming (until the afternoon “wind advisory”).

9:18 AM: Tow truck has arrived for at least one stalled vehicle, per scanner. Traffic will be temporarily stopped in all lanes so it can get the job done.

9:44 AM: Lost count of the stalls but one has just been picked up by AAA (WSB sponsor), per what we heard on the scanner, while another one is still blocking a lane. Meantime, we just discovered the 11th/Spokane camera is currently turned toward the “low bridge”:

(That is subject to change at any time – SDOT controls it.)

9:54 AM: Speaking of SDOT, they have captured a view of the latest stall:

9:58 AM: Live camera (see top of the story) suggests the stall has now cleared.

72 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday bridge trouble; weather alert"

  • mok November 6, 2014 (7:16 am)

    I think there’s actually an accident on the bridge, east bound. And the SR99/Lander traffic cam has had the wrong time stamp since the 4th. Namely, it’s still stuck on the 4th.

    • WSB November 6, 2014 (7:18 am)

      Yes, it’s not on 911 but someone texted us and it’s in our narrative now. Will also remove the old camera – same thing happened yesterday morning, a bridge cam was stuck on the day before.

  • Kona November 6, 2014 (7:31 am)

    Traffic is backed up before Alaska on Fauntleroy, a mess.

  • CJ November 6, 2014 (7:31 am)

    Rear end collision that will require tow trucks. Both vehicles heavily damaged and leaking fluids.

  • Ktrapp November 6, 2014 (7:34 am)

    Fauntleroy is currently a parking lot. It’s gridlock well past 35th, with the feeder streets all backed up.

  • Jolly November 6, 2014 (7:36 am)

    Took 24 minutes from Morgan junction to the bridge.

  • stb November 6, 2014 (7:37 am)

    Traffic backed up on Fauntleroy to Dawson. Rapidly becoming major mess.

  • SunriseHeights November 6, 2014 (7:46 am)

    Looked like a three car collision in the right lane. All lanes but the exit to 99 were blocked by fire and ambulance.

  • TW November 6, 2014 (7:50 am)

    Backed up Admiral all the way to Belvedre.

  • Trickycoolj November 6, 2014 (7:52 am)

    SR599 and 509 looked quite heavy NB @7:15 resulting in the usual difficulty to get on the 1st Ave bridge when those are heavy. Probably because NB I-5 is so bad down by Federal Way/SeaTac.

  • AG November 6, 2014 (8:00 am)

    What a mess!
    Has anyone else noticed the white pickup truck that’s been sitting on WB Spokane St Viaduct/WSBridge just west of the merge lanes from I-5, Columbia Way, etc? It’s been sitting with a flat tire or something, on the left shoulder, for nearly a week. I’m shocked it hasn’t been towed. It’s not impeding traffic, but it was nearly invisible in yesterday evening’s mist.

  • Mark November 6, 2014 (8:00 am)

    KOMO reported the accident at 7:04 when I just started on the bridge. When I went past the accident at 7:33 there were no police or tow trucks. I called 911 and he said he wasn’t sure if anyone had reported it.

    • WSB November 6, 2014 (8:07 am)

      Thanks, Mark, SDOT was certainly aware of it at least 15 minutes before 7:33 but I don’t know who they coordinate with. In addition to the scanner and cameras *when they are working* (three regular ones are all stuck on 11/4), we watch a custom Twitter group of traffic reporters and emergency agencies. The current scanner dispatch *sounded* like a new crash.

  • Jeff November 6, 2014 (8:04 am)

    I texted, 45 minutes for what usually takes ten and I’m one of the lucky ones. I didn’t hit any slowing until I was already on the ramp down the hill. It’s going to be a really rough morning.

  • Sue November 6, 2014 (8:06 am)

    it’s taken 30 min for my bus to get from 42nd/Alaska to Luna Park Cafe.

  • Tim November 6, 2014 (8:07 am)

    Never ceases to amaze me. Hey Seattle, remember that stuff we get a lot of, rain? Yes that rain stuff, crazy right? Hey guess what? You have to slow down and be extra aware because who knew, its slippery when wet.

  • kana November 6, 2014 (8:16 am)

    There are 2 accidents on bridge and some IDIOT decides this is a good time to raise the lower bridge. Way to go West Seattle.

    • WSB November 6, 2014 (8:17 am)

      Kana, that is not a “West Seattle” thing and nobody just “decides this is a good time.” The feds have say over the bridge and their say is that maritime traffic has precedence. Even local city councilmember Tom Rasmussen has pushed multiple times before to try to keep that bridge open to land traffic during rush hours, and lost.

  • supernova72 November 6, 2014 (8:16 am)

    It’s nasty with that three car wreck this am at SR99 area middle lane. 45 mins to get to I-90 from WS (7am-7:45). If you can telecommute this morning that would be wise.

    No aid cars when I went by at 7:30 but it took 30 mins to actually get to it from the top of the hill (Taco Time).

    The middle SUV was really damage badly. Hoping no injuries.

  • Babs November 6, 2014 (8:23 am)

    20 minutes on my bus so far to go from the Alaska junction to 35th/Avalon. Not looking good.

  • Really? November 6, 2014 (8:23 am)

    And now SDOT is reporting lower bridge closing for a boat.

    • WSB November 6, 2014 (8:29 am)

      Yes, that’s been noted. For anyone interested in the history of this: Here’s just one of the past stories. Coast Guard gets to make final decision. It came up again at West Seattle Transportation Coalition forum this past January.

  • kana November 6, 2014 (8:26 am)

    WSB… So why the difference for the Ballard bridge, First Ave bridge? Those don’t go up during commute hours?

    • WSB November 6, 2014 (8:33 am)

      I don’t know if that’s true or not, but neither one is at as critical a juncture for some maritime business traffic as the WS bridge over the mouth of the Duwamish. It’s been a few years since the last round of this so I have to go look up something more on that.

  • Bob formerly of west seattle November 6, 2014 (8:30 am)

    My only comment is with all the building going on in West Seattle, how many more cars will be adding to the mess? One small accident is going to cause huge back ups. The bus system stinks and not getting a light rail or better public transportation for west seattle shows that the elected officials still treat West Seattle like the bastard child. So short sighted….(sigh)

  • SarahScoot November 6, 2014 (8:32 am)

    Why do people think the bus-only lanes are only bus-only until traffic is bad? The point of those lanes is to give public transit an advantage over cars in traffic like this. Lucky for us on the 21 (~7:25 at 35th & Morgan), our driver is awesome and just goes drives down Avalon in whatever lane is free, cutting back in to the bus lane at the stops.

  • Jack Russell November 6, 2014 (8:32 am)

    Well that explains why it was impossible to exit my driveway on Holden Street this morning…

  • wakeflood November 6, 2014 (8:34 am)

    Dedicated lanes and ramps for TRUE Bus Rapid Transit over the high bridge, asap.

    You could even triage using one of the westbound lanes for outgoing traffic during morning rush until you could build the dedicated lanes.

    It’s not rocket science. Just need to make sure emergency vehicles have ingress/egress westbound.

  • wsea November 6, 2014 (8:34 am)

    Water taxi is packed which makes sense due to today’s traffic. The boat is running slower than normal due to equipment issues. I hope it does not break down.

    • WSB November 6, 2014 (8:35 am)

      Thanks, Wsea. Story coming up later about the Water Taxi’s future, by the way.

  • Ian November 6, 2014 (8:40 am)

    Traffic now backed up west of California Ave to the bridge.

    Laying in supplies for the End Times.

  • aa November 6, 2014 (8:41 am)

    Two stalls by nucor one in rt lane then 100yards further one in left lane

  • Darcy November 6, 2014 (8:41 am)

    Any updates? I’m waiting to go to work :)

    • WSB November 6, 2014 (8:47 am)

      Two stalls on the bridge. (Thanks, aa, I see you already had that.)

  • SB November 6, 2014 (8:47 am)

    Half an hour from Genesee to the bridge via Avalon.

  • RebeKunga November 6, 2014 (8:51 am)

    just stay home, today’s a cf for sure!

  • Villagegreen November 6, 2014 (8:54 am)

    I think there should be fines levied against those who cause bridge blocking accidents during rush hour. Same way you can be fined for blocking an intersection. Good lord. I grew up driving the snow packed streets of Minneapolis and never witnessed such poor driving skills. If you can’t drive in the rain maybe it’s time to reevaluate where you live.

  • JoeB November 6, 2014 (9:00 am)

    AG – i’ve noticed that white truck as well.

    • WSB November 6, 2014 (9:16 am)

      P.S. Will the folks mentioning the white truck please call 206-684-ROAD and tell them about it? As is evidenced in other situations, sometimes everyone thinks something has been reported … and it hasn’t. (The city’s Find It Fix It app might be an option too, sorry I don’t have the direct link at hand at the moment …)

  • junctioneer November 6, 2014 (9:00 am)

    In addition to wsea’s comments about the water taxi running slower, the 8:00 water taxi was delayed several minutes due to “minor mechanical problems”. Hopefully not a problem for the evening commute.

  • please November 6, 2014 (9:01 am)

    Who are the people who are so much more important than the rest of us that they feel its okay to run down the right side of SW Admiral when traffic is backed up and then merge in the left lane at that last moment? You are scum.

  • Dan November 6, 2014 (9:03 am)

    Two break downs in front of the steel mill. First right then left lane.

  • Mike November 6, 2014 (9:08 am)

    Any further updates?

  • Laconique November 6, 2014 (9:10 am)

    That’s it. I’m done with WS. I love it dearly, but getting in and out is just insane. I’m going to practice what I preach about living closer to work and move somewhere where I can commute with one bus ride or a very short drive. One less car on the bridge!

  • Lou November 6, 2014 (9:10 am)

    I sat in traffic from Findlay and California to the Wax Bar. Took an hour and 10 minutes. I finally gave up and went home. I hope everyone involved in the accidents are okay. I’ll keep an eye on this blog and try again!

  • Mark November 6, 2014 (9:11 am)

    SDOT first tweeted the accident at 7:00 a.m. With a picture, their tweet shows they had access to the bridge cameras. The 911 log shows first dispatch was at 7:32:59, which is when I called. My conclusion is that SDOT sat and watched, tweeted, turned on blinking lights, but actually failed to ever contact SPD.

    • WSB November 6, 2014 (9:14 am)

      Their picture was from a bridge camera that is not on the publicly available list. (I checked.) There are more than a few of those around the city.

  • JoeB November 6, 2014 (9:20 am)

    There does appear to be a breakdown somewhere in the chain as far as getting accidents cleared. I’ve seen many examples of 30 – 60 minute delays to just get a tow truck on scene. But maybe that is just the best they can do.


  • Question November 6, 2014 (9:22 am)

    Any traffic update? Bridge open?

  • Laura November 6, 2014 (9:22 am)

    There was a police car with lights flashing behind the white truck last night at 5:30 diverting cars away from it. They should have towed it immediately.

  • WSB November 6, 2014 (9:26 am)

    Looking at the camera atop the story (only WS Bridge camera available this morning), SDOT has spun it around to show one of the stalls.

  • Really? November 6, 2014 (9:30 am)

    Regarding the white truck – there was a police car parked behind it yesterday around 5:20 PM.

  • Grant November 6, 2014 (9:36 am)

    Is the lower bridge still up?

    • WSB November 6, 2014 (9:44 am)

      Grant, lower bridge has had two closures this morning. Not currently, at least per @SDOTBridges, which says the South Park Bridge is closed right now, no idea if that’s a ship coming or going!

  • JoeB November 6, 2014 (9:43 am)

    I like how the sdot tweet at 7:42 says to use alternate routes ( in all caps no doubt) “yeahright”

  • Dan November 6, 2014 (9:44 am)

    New stall at the top of the high rise left lane, cops adjust there. Other two are clearing now

  • austin November 6, 2014 (9:48 am)

    It was disheartening this morning, while patiently waiting my turn on 35th to get on the bridge in that horrible mess, to see so many cars speeding past the line to then cut in to the bridge line at Avalon. Really rude and unnecessary.

  • Question November 6, 2014 (9:56 am)

    Is the earlier accident cleared???

  • a November 6, 2014 (10:15 am)

    I turned around on 35th on my way to the bridge at 7:18 when I saw the sign “collision, expect delays” I found my way to 4th avenue by costco with the help of my GPS, took the I-90 ramp towards Bellevue and made it from West Seattle to Bellevue in 1 hour 30 minutes. Maybe we need another lighted up sign on 35th earlier than down the hill towards the 7-11/taco time? That would be helpful to know before you get stuck in it because once you are there, you are in it…deep…

  • datamuse November 6, 2014 (10:59 am)

    1st Ave S bridge certainly does open during commute hours. It’s just easier to detour around it when it does.

  • Lou November 6, 2014 (11:08 am)

    I just ventured to Bellevue – all is well on the bridge. It took approx 40 minutes.

  • JanS November 6, 2014 (11:12 am)

    and if you have a heart attack in West Seattle during this kind of a rush hour, good luck with that. :(

    • WSB November 6, 2014 (11:37 am)

      Jan – I actually have a screengrab of AMR (without lights, so not likely on a call) stuck in traffic on the camera that shows Fauntleroy by Trader Joe’s.

  • debra November 6, 2014 (11:14 am)

    This morning I decided to leave a bit early around 6:45 and the traffic was smooth however I have noticed increasing speeding that is occuring and hot shots who speed in the bus lane and at the last moment try to merge over…Some police enforcment might help with the speed issue and the folks who think their car is a bus or don’t think the rules apply to them

  • Sara November 6, 2014 (12:04 pm)

    @WSB- I reported the white truck on Monday evening after I got home.

    • WSB November 6, 2014 (12:06 pm)

      Yay! Sorry to have assumed no one did. I know I would have probably thought “oh, for sure someone’s called that in” … Here’s hoping it’s gone by now. Stormy commute on the way.

  • Manolita November 6, 2014 (1:02 pm)

    Believe it or not, I made it from North Admiral to Wallingford in 32 minutes – arrived at 8:45am. Somehow I dodge all the bullets (stand stills). I can’t believe it after reading all the comments

  • Tony November 6, 2014 (3:00 pm)

    Was on the 120 heading downtown at 8:15 this morning. Not impacted by this at all (accident and response were off to far left lane by that time, and that route heads up 99). Did find it ridiculous, even as a daily user of public transportation and reaper of the bus lane benefits, that the police and transit authorities wouldn’t coordinate usage of the bus-only lane for passenger vehicles until the mess was cleared. The bus only lane wasn’t doing much good at that time, with most of the buses stuck up on side streets waiting just to get on the bridge. Mind you, this comment is coming from someone who can’t stand people using the bus lane to pass traffic. Just seems like in scenarios like this, private passenger cars and transit riders would have seen a mutually beneficial outcome from opening that lane to all traffic.

  • flimflam November 6, 2014 (5:25 pm)

    I realize its federal law and for a reason, but the bridge (on any “city” bridge) openings during rush hour seems outdated and not remotely in touch with the reality of thousands of people just try to get to work each day.

  • Elle Nell November 7, 2014 (12:17 am)

    I am so sick of folks who clearly don’t have manners or common courtesy, who complain, and act like nothing else matters but them self and their needs… Driving, customer service, daily interactions..we are normally very respectful to each other here in Seattle. Lots of common sense… What’s happen? Is it allbthenfolks bringing bad habits to our town…Wake up and act right or get out! Real talk..

  • WS-Biz_Start November 7, 2014 (5:03 am)

    Bad traffic = opportunity for more professional services in WS. Come on already – I want to work and live in WS!

Sorry, comment time is over.