UPDATE: NB Alaskan Way Viaduct fully open again, 6 hours after crab-laden truck goes sideways

(TOPLINE: As of 8:29, six hours after the truck full of frozen crab went sideways, the Viaduct is fully open again)

2:54 PM: That crash has just led to a followup alert that the NB Alaskan Way Viaduct is “subject to closure,” so don’t head that way for a while. Metro is routing 120, 125, and the C Line off NB 99 for now, too.

3 PM UPDATE: Here’s the view from the other side, thanks to a reader who texted us (we’re at 206-293-6302, 24/7):


And another view, texted from a back-seat passenger of someone who was on the Viaduct:


Again, while the photos show left-lane traffic getting by, SDOT has warned that both lanes are “subject to closure,” so an alternate route remains your best bet. Here’s the “live” view:

3:24 PM UPDATE: Tow trucks have arrived.

3:45 PM UPDATE: The southbound lanes also are being closed, says SPD, while they work to right the truck.

4:11 PM UPDATE: Southbound 99 has JUST reopened. Check the “live” view above for an update on northbound – the truck’s been pulled upright, for starters.

4:35 PM: Thanks to the reader who sent this video showing items falling from the truck to the surface below The Viaduct:

SDOT’s latest tweet, meantime: “We’re currently off-loading the truck and will then tow it. Once the structure is deemed safe lanes will reopen.” P.S. Regional media reports the boxes falling off the truck are filled with frozen crab.

4:47 PM: And WSDOT has just tweeted that the truck is being towed. It’s been about two hours since the wreck. (added) You can’t see it in the current “live” view above but other views show MANY boxes left behind, so northbound is going to be out of commission a while longer.

4:59 PM: Thanks to the reader who texted a view showing exactly what we just mentioned:

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5:30 PM: This update from SPD Blotter says it’s been determined the Viaduct does *not* have any structural damage as a result of this, and so it’ll be able to reopen once all the debris are cleared. SPD also verifies that the cargo was frozen crab. (Another side note – it’s been a little more than a year since the infamous fish-truck crash; that too happened around 2:30 pm, but it was on SB 99, not NB.)

6 PM: Northbound 99 is still closed at the crash scene. We’ll continue updating until it reopens.

6:37 PM: One lane of NB 99 has just reopened. The right lane will remain closed TFN because of guardrail damage, says WSDOT.

6:47 PM: Metro says Rapid Ride C and Routes 120 and 125 are back on their regular routes using the Viaduct.

8:29 PM: Six hours after the crash, SDOT just announced that NB 99 is fully open again.

8:45 PM: … with this postscript:

55 Replies to "UPDATE: NB Alaskan Way Viaduct fully open again, 6 hours after crab-laden truck goes sideways"

  • sam-c April 4, 2016 (2:59 pm)

    Yikes. That doesn’t look good.

  • Joe April 4, 2016 (3:02 pm)

    Hopefully not 8 hours to clear.

    • WSB April 4, 2016 (3:22 pm)

      Tow trucks already!

      • sam-c April 4, 2016 (3:36 pm)

        Aren’t they going to have to repair the barrier too, or do they have temp. fixes for that?

    • pupsarebest April 4, 2016 (11:00 pm)

      What a surprise for those of us in the “cynic” camp, eh? 🙄

  • LarryB April 4, 2016 (3:24 pm)

    How the heck did that happen? Was anyone hurt?

    • JanS April 4, 2016 (4:05 pm)

      LarryB …exactly my question…how do you do that? And does the driver need clean clothes….I know I would…his company ain’t gonna like that…(used to be married to a truck driver)

    • sam-c April 4, 2016 (4:24 pm)

      it looks like he came up the hill and around the curve too fast, and maybe tried to correct himself by getting in the right lane, but then, bam!

  • Suzanne April 4, 2016 (3:58 pm)

    Just got a call from my husband on his way home and he says all lanes Southbound are also shut down while they try to right the truck. So there’s a bunch of folks stranded and just walking around.

  • Rose April 4, 2016 (3:59 pm)

    Well this sucks. When will southbound open??? We are all just sitting here stuck.

  • Grace April 4, 2016 (4:00 pm)

    Yeah  how did that happen??

  • ca April 4, 2016 (4:03 pm)

    when will lanes be opened? 

  • old timer April 4, 2016 (4:03 pm)

    Maybe the wind helped a bit.

  • Kelley M April 4, 2016 (4:03 pm)

    What are the possible ramifications for tomorrow mornings commute?  KOMO reports that there was some damage to the guardrail.

    • WSB April 4, 2016 (4:06 pm)

      Yes, it’s clear there’s rail damage. That’s *usually* fixed pretty quickly – rail damage is not at all rare. Too soon to tell otherwise what will happen.

  • Joe Szilagyi April 4, 2016 (4:06 pm)

    The salmon shall have it’s vengeance.

  • Rose April 4, 2016 (4:08 pm)

    When will southbound open?????

    • WSB April 4, 2016 (4:10 pm)

      JUST reopened, one minute ago, per Twitter. (To clarify, SOUTHBOUND reopened, NB still caught up in getting the truck upright/moved.)

  • Sue April 4, 2016 (4:15 pm)

    Metro has not been advising drivers of the SB closure. I got on a 55 at Seneca/3rd at 3:45 and we were stuck at 1st & Columbia waiting for the light – at least 10 cycles – and the bus on the ramp simply wasn’t moving. It wasn’t until a passenger told the driver if the closure that be called and got permission to reroute. Thank goodness we were delayed from getting on the ramp. Traffic is very slow going on 1st as you might imagine. 

  • Trickycoolj April 4, 2016 (4:16 pm)

    SB viaduct is moving now. I can see it from the water taxi. 

    • WSB April 4, 2016 (4:18 pm)

      Thanks, we noted that several minutes ago, also in the story. Don’t know how much longer NB will be blocked but we do have the “live” (refresh the page for newest image) view in the story. And then once that’s cleared, we’ll likely find out the inspection/repair needs.

  • Joe April 4, 2016 (4:26 pm)

    I hear it’s filled with crab this time.

    • WSB April 4, 2016 (4:28 pm)

      And now a texter says whatever’s in the truck seems to be falling to the street below. We also had a photo earlier of a sign apparently knocked off and downed.

      • WSB April 4, 2016 (4:31 pm)

        Update – we have video now of stuff falling from the truck onto the road below. Uploading, stand by.

    • datamuse April 4, 2016 (6:22 pm)

      …I thought you were joking.

      • sam-c April 4, 2016 (6:54 pm)

        Same here ! :)

  • Smokeycretin9 April 4, 2016 (4:27 pm)

    Whaaaat?  This is about 7.5 hrs ahead of their normal scheduled re-opening. 

    Kubly is gonna be pissed.

    • Jon April 4, 2016 (10:21 pm)

      You must be new here.  It’s cute that you believe our local government fixed the issue of clearing seafood-carrying truck crashes on the viaduct in a timely fashion.  You see, crabs aren’t technically fish so they couldn’t execute the fish truck crash plan that the last task force created.  Crabs also aren’t bees so they couldn’t execute the bee truck crash plan that the task force prior to the last task force created. You must be patient.  The city will assemble a task force to create a response plan for crab truck crashes.  

      • Liz April 5, 2016 (12:06 am)

        I logged in to comment that this is the best comment ever.  Thanks Jon for the laugh!

  • miws April 4, 2016 (5:05 pm)

    <blockquote cite=>….whatever’s in the truck seems to be falling to the street below.</blockquote> 

    I’ll bet if Ivar were still with us, he’d have been there with Drawn Butter

    Between crab now, and fish last summer, one has to wonder if the spirit of Ivar is unhappy about all of the changes in Seattle in recent years? ;-) 


    • datamuse April 4, 2016 (6:22 pm)

      It’s Bertha, telling us she wants a party. Expect a tanker full of beer to overturn next.

  • flimflam April 4, 2016 (5:10 pm)

    man, it seems like there are a lot more big rig accidents over the last few years…

    the real horror? think of all that delicious crab! 

  • dale April 4, 2016 (5:46 pm)

    I suspect the contents was not stacked properly and shifted on the curve. Old phrase, “pack to the high side”.

  • Olivist April 4, 2016 (6:37 pm)

    NB open. 635pm. 

    • WSB April 4, 2016 (6:41 pm)

      One lane only, as we just updated. Thanks!

  • JayDee April 4, 2016 (7:21 pm)

    That would have really sucked to be between the West Seattle Bridge and the Stadia.  And I am sure a 3 cubic foot box of crab is spendy. It will probably all be landfilled…

    • chemist April 4, 2016 (10:46 pm)

      Or some SDOT employees are going to be making a lot of chioppino this week.

  • wb April 4, 2016 (7:33 pm)

    Need to be downtown by 5:30 from Tukwila.  Got to my destination at 6:45.  No way to get off first Avenue to Alaskan Way–blocked off.  Just a preview of the upcoming shutdown.

  • AMD April 4, 2016 (7:36 pm)

    All that time and attention paid to make sure overweight and hazmat vehicles stick to certain roads when clearly the cargo they need to regulate is seafood!  

  • kate April 4, 2016 (7:39 pm)

    I need to know what’s going to happen to all that crab! When I was in high school a truck filled with Bonkers flipped and they had to trash all the cargo, but not before a classmate of mine grabbed a bunch of cases and brought them to school. For days EVERYBODY was eating Bonkers. Those were some good times… 

  • sc April 4, 2016 (8:01 pm)


    Thanks for the memory of Ivar!

  • Overthere April 4, 2016 (8:01 pm)

    Just think of this accident once the tunnel is completed, they would be lucky to have it cleared by the morning commute.

    • AMD April 4, 2016 (9:38 pm)

      I hate the tunnel for so many reasons, but in all fairness it would have helped in both this and the fish spill last year because with the new design only one direction of traffic would have to be closed.

      • chemist April 4, 2016 (11:02 pm)

        Kind of curious how they intend to right something like this in the tunnel.  Vertical clearance will be significantly lower (15 ft) and the viaduct’s clearance today is 14 ft.

        They use cranes that hoist up, afterall.

        • Overthere April 4, 2016 (11:21 pm)

          Huh, that clearance does not look like 14′, it appears unlimited. Both this and the fish truck happened in areas with no vertical impairments.

        • redblack April 5, 2016 (5:26 am)

          they’ll clear the tunnel like you clear any other clogged pipe: with a giant plunger.

  • steve April 4, 2016 (8:45 pm)

    Fish, crabs, what next? In 1866 just before he died, Chief Sealth put a hex on the waterfront. He loved everyone and everything,  but he didn’t like the way the fish had been treated.  He said “150 moons until the fish return.” It looks like the fish returned, and now the crabs too. Both in one year. Look it up.

  • pupsarebest April 4, 2016 (8:49 pm)

    Waste, waste, and more waste—people’s time, fuel from grid-locked vehicles, and the crab.

    Please, someone, tell us this commodity is not destined for landfill.

    Can it not, at least, be purchased cheaply by the Seattle Aquarium/Zoo, refrozen, and somehow used to feed their residents?

    • Michelle April 5, 2016 (5:12 am)

      What about Seattle residents? I’m game. 

  • XXX April 5, 2016 (2:36 am)

    Ahhh, the swinging meat clause strikes again… back when I was training for a CDL, one of the things in the test was knowledge of a shifting load — the swinging meat. It’s ultimately up to the driver to make sure that the load in the truck or trailer is stable. In the event that there’s a chance that the load isn’t stable (as in a swinging meat scenario), when taking turns and curves, the load needs to be taken into consideration.

    That stretch of 99 is ripe for tipping if the truck/trailer is going too fast for what the road is engineered for (read: no angle in the curve). That’s what this wreck smells like…

  • Trileigh April 5, 2016 (9:56 am)

    How is the driver? Maybe I missed this in the story, but is he or she OK?

    Also, any info on the cause of the problem?

    • WSB April 5, 2016 (9:58 am)

      No one was hurt – that, we can say definitively. Haven’t heard/seen anything yet about what went wrong.

      • WSB April 5, 2016 (3:00 pm)

        Update – SPD released some more info today, and I’ll be writing a short followup momentarily. The driver was going too fast. Cited for negligent driving. – TR

  • Benny Hill April 5, 2016 (10:52 am)

    So, for those stuck in it, was it better than last time? 6 hours to resolution vs 8-9 hours. The city says their communication was better this time but it seems like 6 hours is still a hell of a long time to resolve something like this.

  • raywest April 5, 2016 (3:34 pm)

    This why I stay as far away from big rigs as possible, especially on the viaduct, which I use every day to get to work.  Amazing a car wasn’t crushed under this or the trunk didn’t go over the side.

Sorry, comment time is over.