TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates, Viaduct trouble, West Seattle Bridge crash…

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

6:35 AM: Thanks for the texts – the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct is blocked, all lanes, by an incident near Seneca. More to come.

6:44 AM: The incident has been described both as a collision and as a vehicle fire. It already has NB 99 backed up all the way past the West Seattle Bridge.

7 AM: SDOT says one northbound lane is now open. Backups stretch to the 1st Avenue S. Bridge, though. Though Metro has not issued an official alert, some buses have rerouted, we’re hearing via comments and Twitter.

7:14 AM: Commenter and texter say the vehicle involved was labeled as being from Cupcake Royale. We haven’t heard whether anyone was hurt.

7:21 AM: If you’re on Delridge, note that two Seattle Fire units are headed to Louisa Boren STEM K-8 school for an automatic fire alarm. **No** word of an actual fire, but just in case you see the response while stuck in bridge/Viaduct-bound traffic and wonder.

7:30 AM: Back on the NB Alaskan Way Viaduct, Seattle Fire has cleared the scene, and no medic unit was involved, so if anyone was hurt, it wasn’t major. But the lane closures remain.

7:41 AM: The aforementioned fire-alarm call at STEM K-8 has closed, no fire, SFD units back in service. Meantime, on NB I-5 on the north side of downtown, an SFD aid response has blocked a lane, so I-5 as an alternative to 99 has one more challenge right now.

7:44 AM: Metro has now sent an alert about the reroutes that readers have been mentioning:

7:50 AM: The NB I-5 incident has cleared.

8:12 AM: NB 99 has NOT cleared. Here’s the camera we’re watching.

8:20 AM: Looks like a tow truck has shown up at the 99 scene. (Added a few minutes later, screengrab from the SDOT webcam):

8:29 AM: Tow truck’s taken it away. Waiting for word of reopening.

8:32 AM: And that word has just come – all lanes open again – with the caveat about “residual delays.”

8:39 AM: Now that the incident is closed – a reminder that the Viaduct will be *deliberately* closed this weekend for its twice-yearly inspection closure as well as some other work – northbound all weekend (late Friday night to early Monday morning), southbound 5 am-6 pm Saturday and again Sunday (if needed).

9:18 AM: No further incidents. Thanks again to the first person who tipped us to the trouble in the early going – our breaking news hotline, text or voice, 24/7, is 206-293-6302.

9:30 AM: And now … word of a crash on the eastbound bridge, no injuries. Waiting for word on exactly where.

9:36 AM: Looks to be somewhere on the high-rise, per where SDOT is turning one of the bridge cameras.

9:41 AM: From SDOT:

9:49 AM: SDOT says the bridge crash has cleared.

10:14 AM: We’re working on a Viaduct followup but in the meantime, via Twitter, we shared a photo by Brian, who was on scene right after the van fire erupted, and also, Cupcake Royale says its driver is OK.

34 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates, Viaduct trouble, West Seattle Bridge crash..."

  • Karen Therese October 2, 2017 (6:40 am)

    It is moving very slowly, but moving. On C line now just merging from cloverleaf to viaduct.

    • WSB October 2, 2017 (6:49 am)

      Thank you for the update.

  • Aaron October 2, 2017 (7:00 am)

    Route 55 was rerouted on to first ave (which is also really backed up). 

  • newnative October 2, 2017 (7:02 am)

    Our bus driver just announced he is taking Spokane bridge detour.  but we are not on the Spokane bridge.

    • WSB October 2, 2017 (7:07 am)

      Thanks for the bus updates. Metro hasn’t issued any official alerts, just a blanket mention of Viaduct trouble possibly affecting things.

  • Karen Therese October 2, 2017 (7:12 am)

    Finally off viaduct.  Passed by a Cupcake Royale truck all burnt up just before Seneca.

  • Wendy October 2, 2017 (7:17 am)

    Admiral backed up to the top of the hill.

  • newnative October 2, 2017 (7:38 am)

    The 4th Ave reroute added about 7-12 minutes. Not bad. 

  • Delridge Resident October 2, 2017 (7:49 am)

    Metro just issued a text alert at 7:44am:

    “Metro Transit Alert – Expect service delays on rts 21, 55, 56, 57, 113, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125 & the RapidRide C Line due to a blockage on SR-99/Seneca St.”

    • WSB October 2, 2017 (7:52 am)

      It’s added above. Thank you!

      • Delridge Resident October 2, 2017 (8:15 am)

        You’re welcome!

        It took 30 minutes to get off the WSB/99 cloverleaf from Delridge/Holden. Cruising up the bus lane now…

  • Smittytheclown October 2, 2017 (7:58 am)

    Now, if and when that happens in a tunnel……………………………

    • Robert October 2, 2017 (8:34 am)

      From tunnel documents:

      Tunnel sprinklers will help the fire
      department fight fires in the tunnel
      and keep the temperature down, while
      ventilation systems remove smoke. The
      tunnel will be equipped with cameras
      that will verify the location of fires
      in the tunnel. There will also be fire
      extinguishers located throughout
      the tunnel.”

  • Kim October 2, 2017 (8:03 am)

    Admiral-half an hour; like little drips from a leaky faucet is how this is not moving!!! 

  • Taxi rider October 2, 2017 (8:09 am)

    The water taxi is on schedule. No worries.

    • Jort October 2, 2017 (9:59 am)

      This is a great example of why it’s important to have alternative transportation options available!

  • Rebe October 2, 2017 (8:45 am)

    Traffic very backed up from the Junction to the bridge on all routes. Buses are crawling…& I didn’t dress warm enough to stand outside this long!!

  • Jimmy October 2, 2017 (8:48 am)

    At one point this was backed up Avalon then Oregon all the way to California. Including all the usual side street shortcuts. I thought it was just construction so kept with it. After creeping along I said eff it and turned around for home. Going to work from home or bike in or pretty much anything but drive.

  • Jeff October 2, 2017 (8:54 am)

    Heard about this on the news so dashed off about 15 minutes earlier than normal to catch a bus at 6:30.  Our driver apparently got the head’s up and rerouted down 1st Ave, which was slow but at least moving.  Did pass a C Line that apparently hadn’t got the word and was stuck in line to get on the viaduct! Got to work exactly on time, so overall only took 15 min longer than normal which wasn’t bad.

  • Robert October 2, 2017 (8:56 am)

    It’s almost like the Spokane bridge operators know exactly when the worst possible moment is to open the bridge. 


    • Jon Wright October 2, 2017 (9:47 am)

      The Duwamish is considered a navigable waterway and is governed by Coast Guard regulations. The Duwamish is also affected by the tides, so vessels have to take that into account when coming and going. If the tides are favorable, the boats have to move, even if it is rush hour. Local government has no control over whether or not the low bridge opens or closes.

    • Mark October 2, 2017 (9:57 am)

      I don’t think they have a choice.  Doesn’t marine traffic override any other traffic? 

  • Bus commuter October 2, 2017 (8:58 am)

    My 21X is getting rerouted to 4th Avenue. This is a mess. Glad no one was hurt though. 

  • WSR October 2, 2017 (10:18 am)

    Is everyone okay? The Cupcake truck was completely burned up. Looked bad. 

    • WSB October 2, 2017 (10:21 am)

      Just added that above, pending a more-detailed followup later. Cupcake Royale tweeted that the driver’s OK.

  • Doug October 2, 2017 (12:10 pm)

    Please everyone, remember that bad traffic doesn’t warrant more recklessness.

    This morning at about 8:00 am, I was biking northbound the 26th Ave Greenway with my son on the bike on my way to drop him at his preschool. An eastbound car waved me across Genessee, but we were nearly hit from the left by another eastbound car that was driving the wrong way in the westbound lane to try to bypass stopped cars and make a left on 26th. It was terrifying.

    Also, for those who insist on using neighborhood greenways (or other neighborhood streets) as cut-throughs when traffic backs up, please be mindful of your surroundings and follow the 20 mph speed limit. The greenways are designed as low-speed, low-traffic parallel routes for cyclists and pedestrians. 26th Ave did not meet those conditions this morning.

  • nw October 2, 2017 (12:15 pm)

    Days when traffic is like it was this morning taking a 128 route to seatac station then link light rail downtown may be a good alternative to standing outside waiting for bus. Also 120 route to burien transit center then transfer to rapid ride line to link light rail station in seatac into downtown seattle. Or the reverse if coming from downtown to the southwest area neighborhoods. Person has to get creative when our main lines get shut down. 

    • WSB October 2, 2017 (4:50 pm)

      For those still tracking this morning’s Viaduct situation …one piece of the info we need for the followup won’t be available until tomorrow so we’ll be updating then. – TR

  • Marianne October 2, 2017 (6:27 pm)

    I have taken northbound 99 to work for 11 years now.  But between the burning cupcake truck, a stuck train, and an overturned vehicle at the entrance to the Battery Street tunnel in the past two weeks, I may start taking I5  as I did today as soon as I heard about the vehicle fire.  Once on 99 it is very difficult to get off.  At least with I5 there are multiple lanes and options for getting off and driving through town.

  • ST October 2, 2017 (7:35 pm)

    I was wondering if there is a reason that Metro seems to wait about an hour after WSB posts about a blockage on the viaduct to send a text notice of possible delays and reroutes?  This is the second time that I can recall this happened in the last few weeks.  Thank you WSB for your prompt reporting of these incidents.

    • WSB October 2, 2017 (8:19 pm)

      We do what we can, and again, big thanks to the assist from the first folks to message us – primarily via our 24/7 hotline, which is mobile and so goes with us everywhere, with immediate notifications, 206-293-6302 – so we could get this up. We also get Twitter/text alerts for Metro notifications, including individual cancellations of WS-related routes … but that’s not always, as you note, first word. – TR

  • Eric1 October 2, 2017 (8:39 pm)

    What gets me is the two hours to clear a cupcake truck.  Really?  How hard is it to get a tow truck to the scene?  Can’ the city get a fire truck or police car to push the burnt out hulk to the side?  Seattle seems to take the concerns of the commercial vehicle owner’s property into too much consideration as commuters waste thousands of dollars collectively while stuck in traffic.  Remember the salmon and crab semis? Instead of pushing that stuff to the side with readily available construction equipment, SDOT was concerned about the value of the cargo to the owner.  So I guess if salmon and crab are worth 6 hours each, I can see that SDOT thinking cupcakes are worth two hours. 


    • WSB October 2, 2017 (8:49 pm)

      I expect to have some information on that in tomorrow’s followup. The tow truck may have been the hitch, so to speak. But who’s accountable is interesting – SPD referred me to Finance and Administrative Services, which apparently is accountable for the city’s tow contract. Stand by! – TR

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