OPEN AGAIN: Highway 99 reopens, 12 hours after deadly crash

The bus and “Duck” involved in the deadly Aurora Bridge collision 12 hours ago have both just been towed away, and Highway 99 has reopened both ways, SDOT just announced. The investigation into the crash that killed 4 college students will continue Friday with the arrival of a National Transportation Safety Board team.

11 Replies to "OPEN AGAIN: Highway 99 reopens, 12 hours after deadly crash"

  • ACG September 25, 2015 (7:22 am)

    Are there any periodic closures expected as the investigation continues, or have they wrapped up that phase?

    • WSB September 25, 2015 (7:30 am)

      ACG, currently there’s nothing left on the bridge to merit a closure – it was completely cleared by the time it reopened, with the wrecked bus and Duck hauled off to SODO (SDOT detailed the convoy moment by moment on Twitter). Of course, if the NTSB decides it needs a closer look, who knows – we’ll continue monitoring that through the day.

  • Born on Alki 59 September 25, 2015 (7:32 am)

    Hey Ed Murray, put your money where your mouth is and fix this road. Two lanes each way with a jersey barrier on this bridge would go a long way towards vision zero. I have driven commercial vehicles across the Aurora bridge many times and it is white knuckle driving. Just do it.

  • workdowntown September 25, 2015 (7:46 am)

    I saw a tweet yesterday from Canlis that they decided early on that would close their restaurant last night due to the accident. Then noticed quite a few pictures of them catering to the hard workers on the bridge. Class act.

  • Seatownguy September 25, 2015 (10:35 am)

    I don’t want to be crushed by these Ducks. I don’t want my children crushed by them either…I don’t want any more people hurt by this business… Let’s kick them out of Seattle ASAP…

  • Big Jer September 25, 2015 (10:45 am)

    Yay Canlis! Amazing community spirit!

  • Dick September 25, 2015 (11:31 am)

    Alki 59, how many accidents did you get in while crossing that bridge? How may fatality accidents have occurred on the bridge through the years? How many annually? Through the years there’s been talk of putting a barrier on that bridge, but as I heard on the morning news today, it hasn’t been done because the bridge can’t handle the added weight. I’m just as saddened by this tragedy as anybody, but I don’t think we can or should impulsively enact lane reduction every time there’s a fatality accident.

    • WSB September 25, 2015 (11:44 am)

      Perhaps some innovation will be found, if it’s decided to divide the bridge … those of us who’ve been here 20+ years will likely remember that the “West Seattle Freeway” (aka Spokane Street Viaduct) couldn’t be divided because there was no room for a divider, and then somehow the narrower, lighter barriers were found, and the rest is history (including the more-recent widening) … TR

  • RT September 25, 2015 (12:39 pm)

    An alternative to a concrete or other weighty barrier could be reducing traffic to two lanes each way, widening those lanes, and then creating painted (Orange/red) or bumpy two foot wide marked off center visual barrier. I’ve been on that bridge many times and backed off to create distance whenever the Duck or other 1+lane vehicles are near. It was noted yesterday that existing lanes on this bridge fall short of standards for width. It’s a white knuckle drive most of the time, even for “regular” vehicles.

  • metrognome September 25, 2015 (7:58 pm)

    the Aurora Bridge is owned by the state, not the city, so Mayor Murray doesn’t have the authority to change the lane structure. The lane widths (10′, 9.5′ and 9′) do not meet current design standards (11′ – 12′), so installing a median would mean losing at least one lane. And Dick is correct; the bigger issue is that the bridge would not be able to safely support the add’l weight of a median.
    if the bridge lost a lane or two, the bridge capacity would be substantially reduced. Within a day or so of the reduction, north-end commuters would be screaming about the amount of time added to their schedule.
    it seems highly unlikely that lane width had anything to do with this accident, altho the NTSB report will be the definitive analysis of the causes. anyone who drives that bridge on a regular basis knows the unwritten rule re: allowing bigger vehicles to split two lanes for safety.

  • Born on Alki 59 September 26, 2015 (11:55 am)

    While 99 is a state road, Murray can influence the needed changes. The bridge can support a center jersey barrier with two lane reductions, as it would equal less capacity. State engineers must calculate bridge weight with all lanes full. Reducing two lanes would reduce potential load calculations by such. It’s a blooming miracle that bus was there to stop the duck from taking flight off the side, or all would have perished aboard the duck. Reduced lane width can indeed cause accidents. There have been nearly 144 accidents on this bridge in 10 years, and luckily no fatalities until this week. The potential for a major loss of life on this span is very real. By the way Dick, we have lost several side mirrors on our fleet of commercial vehicles on this bridge. I’d be happy to take you across Aurora in a class 8 Peterbilt sometime. You might see things a little differently.

Sorry, comment time is over.