VIADUCT CLOSURE PREPS: City Council briefing Monday, after SWDC discussion this week

Still no date set for the ~2-week Alaskan Way Viaduct closure that’s planned when the Highway 99 tunneling machine goes beneath it. But WSDOT is continuing to make presentations about the preparations. Monday morning, the slide deck you see above will be part of a briefing given to the City Council. Nothing major or new in it, but it includes graphics showing bus rerouting plans as well as extra parking for West Seattle Water Taxi riders. In the slide deck, you’ll again see the promise that advance notice of the closure will be provided; this past Wednesday in West Seattle, WSDOT reps were at the Southwest District Council meeting to talk about closure preps, and they reiterated the intent for two weeks’ warning. If that holds true, it means we’re getting closer to having the closure in May. SWDC members expressed concern that the closure would slide into the summer months, pointing out how busy Harbor Avenue gets on summer nights even without potentially hundreds of commuters returning to their vehicles. Monday’s scheduled briefers are Todd Trepanier and Dave Sowers from WSDOT; SDOT director Scott Kubly; and Victor Obeso from King County Metro. The council briefing meeting starts at 9:30 am Monday, and this is on the agenda for 10:25 am; you can watch live via Seattle Channel, cable 21 or

13 Replies to "VIADUCT CLOSURE PREPS: City Council briefing Monday, after SWDC discussion this week"

  • Ray April 9, 2016 (7:48 am)

    I really hope this goes as well as possible. I have a feeling this will act as a preliminary test run for when the tunnel is fully operational.

     Since the tunnel has no exits into downtown, this will be the most recent chance to see how much the street traffic in Seattle craters under the onslaught of all those vehicles/busses that have to use alternate routes into downtown.

    • Shawn April 9, 2016 (8:34 am)

      I would predict that this full closure would have a greater impact on downtown traffic now than when the tunnel is open. With a closed viaduct and tunnel, everyone makes their way through no matter the destination. If the tunnel were open, many of those people will be going through the tunnel, thus bypassing downtown streets.

      I noticed that the RapidRide C line has been much emptier with the recent route adjustments. I haven’t timed it, but during my commute times the buses seem to be coming more frequently. I expect them to all be full again while the viaduct is closed. Metro has even been running a green C-line bus in the afternoons heading out of downtown. 

  • Matt April 9, 2016 (8:27 am)

    They should route all W.S. buses to the SODO light rail station during this closure…….DUH

    • Tyler Simpson April 10, 2016 (4:39 pm)

      Yep, and then go on the busway (5th ave). This is gonna be an absolute mess. All the times I’ve been on my bus rerouted along 4th avenue, it’s delayed the bus by 20+ minutes by the time we get downtown. I think I’ll be biking to SODO station those two weeks.

      • Trickycoolj April 10, 2016 (11:01 pm)

        I would get off at Lander and walk the block to the light rail from 4th. 

  • KBear April 9, 2016 (9:00 am)

    Ray, there will be a downtown exit at each end of the tunnel. 

    • AG April 11, 2016 (5:27 pm)

      Kbear, those are hardly DOWNTOWN exits.

  • wb April 9, 2016 (5:53 pm)

    Judging by the utter gridlock of the crab truck fiasco, 1st avenue and other roadways will be at a standstill.  When you cut off the heart to downtown, expect to pay the consequences.

  • canton April 9, 2016 (10:07 pm)

    With the eventual viaduct closure it will be two weeks of gridlock. The only reason the current system is slow is because of the S curves by the stadiums. Notice how either direction opens up after that choke point. They need to get rid of the lowering crane at the entrance, and make it a straight shot.

  • K. Davis April 10, 2016 (2:56 pm)

    When the tunnel opens, there will be surface street access for folks who aren’t using the tunnel – NB SR99 will have direct access to re-built Alaskan Way with downtown access.  It will be different than now (losing Seneca and Western exits), but better access to the south and mid-parts of downtown.  

  • canton April 10, 2016 (10:22 pm)

    @k.davis, If… The tunnel opens up. Do you really think the now closed alaskan way, even when revamped, can handle displacement of the 110,000 that may not want a toll? Alaskan way was a tourist, bus , bike route, not a arterial the corridor needs for N/S traffic flow.

  • Tony R. April 11, 2016 (2:06 pm)

    When will the extra water taxi parking become available?

    • WSB April 11, 2016 (2:56 pm)

      When the closure starts.

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