TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens after truck crash

1:49 PM: That photo tweeted by SFD shows a truck crash that has closed the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct from the Battery Street Tunnel southward. No injuries, and the driver got out OK, but the SB lanes of The Viaduct will be closed until this is cleared.

(Image tweeted by SDOT)

Buses are being rerouted too, according to an alert just in from Metro. Updates to come.

2:32 PM: A tow truck is on scene.

3:23 PM: No time estimate yet on SB Viaduct reopening. But there’s some bad news if more people head to the West Seattle Water Taxi to get around the 99 problem – King County just sent an alert that the smaller Spirit of Kingston is on the WS route tonight. Meantime, most SB surface routes are backed up, according to info including the SDOT Travelers’ Map (look for the red).

3:32 PM: The southbound Viaduct has just reopened. The left lane is closed for repairs, though.

6:35 PM: The repair closure isn’t over yet, according to SDOT.

6:57 PM: All lanes are open again. (See comments below for some examples of this afternoon/evening’s nightmarish traffic.)

54 Replies to "TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: Southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens after truck crash"

  • Jono January 25, 2018 (1:54 pm)

    C line from downtown is being rerouted via I-5

  • Queen Anne Commuter January 25, 2018 (2:18 pm)

    Glad everyone is OK.   And Eff.

  • KBuell January 25, 2018 (2:28 pm)

    So does it leave 3rd & Columbia and take Cherry east to 6th Ave to the I-5 onramp? Just trying to envision the route.

  • ProudPapa January 25, 2018 (2:54 pm)

    Luckily he’s not hauling fish so they should be able to reopen the road in under 10 hours. 
    That looks like a rather scary spot to go through the guardrail.

  • West Seattle since 1979 January 25, 2018 (3:08 pm)

    I saw a C and a 120 going south on 1st Ave. in the Pioneer Square area at about 1:45. Maybe that was before they decided to use I-5? 

    Also, the viaduct is still backed up.  Traffic isn’t moving.  (I can see it out my window at work.)

  • Taketheviaductdown January 25, 2018 (3:17 pm)

    So Scary!

  • Julie Ann January 25, 2018 (3:19 pm)

    On C line now, turned from Columbia to 2nd, then 4th to I-5, which is slightly backed up on SB ramp.

  • JJA January 25, 2018 (3:30 pm)

    Looks like it just reopened. Left lane remains closed for repairs, though.

  • BB January 25, 2018 (3:30 pm)

    Those railings are just falling apart!!! 

  • HelperMonkey January 25, 2018 (3:30 pm)

    per SDOT it’s reopened, but the left lane remains closed so it will be slow going. 

    • WSB January 25, 2018 (3:33 pm)

      Yup, just added that update. Thank you!

  • Lauren Reid January 25, 2018 (3:45 pm)

    Question remains, when will the left lane open? 

  • West Seattle since 1979 January 25, 2018 (3:56 pm)

    Traffic is still moving ve-e-e-ry sl-o-owly!

  • Vince January 25, 2018 (4:08 pm)

    All – Google Maps says I-5 is faster if you’re headed to WS

  • Vicki January 25, 2018 (4:50 pm)

    Northbound is clear?

  • David January 25, 2018 (4:55 pm)

    99 is so slow right now. Take alternate routes. I’m on the #57 and it took us 30 minutes just to make it on to the Columbia ramp.

  • Meyer January 25, 2018 (5:01 pm)

    Been stuck on the c line forever, haven’t even gotten on the viaduct yet. Try the 116/118/119 if you can

  • John January 25, 2018 (5:02 pm)

    Been stuck on a C for 35 mins and only made it from Virginia to Columbia St.  Fun times!

  • CAM January 25, 2018 (5:24 pm)

    For those headed for the bus, it just took 23 minutes to get on any bus heading for the junction at 3rd and Columbia. 

  • Mary January 25, 2018 (5:35 pm)

    Painful getting home to WS from DT on the bus. Lots of SOV blocking the box, busses unable to get through intersections cycle after cycle. Hop the water taxi home if you can! I spent a few minutes on my going nowhere 55 and emailed Jenny, Dow, and Joe. You can too! It’s time to prioritize busses and restrict SOV in our city.

    • CAM January 25, 2018 (6:07 pm)

      Very true, Mary. After taking forever for a bus with space to even be able to make it through the cars illegally driving on 3rd during rush hour it took an additional 20 minutes to even be able to get on the viaduct. We need greater enforcement of bus lane violators and increased priority for buses during rush hour traffic. 

      • Mark January 25, 2018 (6:16 pm)

        +1 to enforcement.  I take the 21 (I’m sitting on it right now, not like it’s really moving) from 3rd Ave & Virginia St in the evenings and I always see a steady stream of cars turning left onto Virginia St from 3rd Ave, which is not allowed from 3PM to 7PM.  Sigh.

        • DK January 25, 2018 (6:57 pm)

          Try driving a bus with those people. This is why I’m on HBP medicine

          • Mary January 26, 2018 (5:24 am)

            DK – thank you for being an operator! I lucked out on my 55 home last night, we had a younger female driver with the patience of an angel. I told her when I got off how much I appreciated her and her patience, and I sent Metro a nice note about her – as well as the Mayor, Dow, and Joe. I would blow up in rage if I had to navigate all the chaos of traffic each day. I am doing my part to reduce it by taking the bus.

    • Kevin January 25, 2018 (6:30 pm)

      Do also have some ideas for making up for lost tab tax revenue when the Seattle adopts your idea?  

      • CAM January 25, 2018 (6:43 pm)

        I think that’s a misconception that because people commute using public transit means they don’t have cars. I ride the bus daily and use it for almost all travel. I still own a car, which is registered, that I use for trips that the bus would not be suitable for. There are definitely people who adopt a fully carfree lifestyle but I don’t think the majority of bus commuters don’t own a car. They just recognize that the bus is a far more efficient way to travel for certain purposes than sitting alone in a car in traffic. 

        • Mary January 25, 2018 (6:58 pm)

          Ditto CAM! I take the bus to & from work, I ride the bus all over WS, I walk, I bike in the summer – and yes, I own a car. I don’t drive it often, it mostly sits but it’s mine and is a useful tool at times. But man, so many people commuting to & from downtown in SOV is making it so so much worse for all of us. People in SOV dislike sitting in traffic, us bus riders dislike sitting in traffic – we gotta find a better way! Move people efficiently. More bus lanes, more bike lanes, it’s the only logical answer!

    • T January 25, 2018 (10:17 pm)

      Good luck getting any enforcement of traffic laws in Seattle and West Seattle. I’ve emailed a Capt directly several times with the offense, location, and time frames and nothing happens. I’ve filled out online forms, even put up videos on YouTube. It’s still the same violations every day. The problem is too big to make a dent or maybe there just aren’t enough traffic cops. Not sure what they are doing but it doesn’t seem like it’s traffic enforcement. It seems only those breaking the laws are the ones getting anywhere. That’s the wrong message or reward to send IMO.

  • C January 25, 2018 (6:41 pm)

    So this is what we have to look forward to when the viaduct actually closes in the near future.  Get it together Seattle!!!

  • newnative January 25, 2018 (6:42 pm)

    I walked from lower Queen Anne to third and Columbia, stopped at Target, and Chinese BBQ along the way. Still managed to catch the 57  still sitting on it. I heard a rumor  that there was a concert at key arena that contributed to side street traffic. 

  • Sam January 25, 2018 (6:49 pm)

    I work near Seattle Center, and left at 3:25 heading down 2nd. It took an hour and forty minutes to get to the Viaduct on-ramp at Columbia, and then fifteen minutes to get to the Admiral District, so nearly two hours to head home on a commute that I did in under twenty minutes this morning. Next time this happens I’ll try something else.

  • BB January 25, 2018 (7:08 pm)


    if you are at Seattle Center you can get on 99S at Thomas Street. You dont have to go to Columbia Street. We got on at Thomas tonight and we were home in 70 mins


    • Sam January 25, 2018 (9:39 pm)

      BB, thanks. I’ll try that next time. I’m coming from just south of Denny, and sometimes get on at Elliott if the traffic map looks right, although on normal days my experience is that taking 2nd to Columbia is quicker, as 2nd moves more than the creep on the 99 south of the Battery St tunnel.

      What we saw today was that the dump of traffic from the cross-streets, and the constant “temporary” blocking of the bus lanes by Ubers and Lyfts (forcing buses left into the car lanes just to get around one of them) just shut down 2nd. There were several blocks that took at least 10 minutes to traverse. Broad to Pine took more than an hour.

  • TJ January 25, 2018 (7:49 pm)

    Yes Mary and Cam, let’s “prioratize busses” because it benefits you. The evil SOV mentality by some in this city is comical. Almost like a moral thing for them, like car commuters are selfish. Nevermind most people drive cars now and will in the future. Sorry, busses shouldn’t get any extra priority during these nightmare commutes than cars. Sounds like something Kim Jong-un would say…very socially engineered. But I know, it would allow you to get home faster to comment on these stories. Thanks for the email addresses, I am emailing them to tell them to come back to reality with transportation and address traffic with all in mind. Doubt they will respond

    • CAM January 25, 2018 (9:33 pm)

      Yay! I’ve achieved Kim Jong Un status. I’m going to call my mother. She’ll be so proud. And fyi, it is incredibly selfish to understand that you are contributing to numerous societal ills and yet continue to engage in the same behavior anyways because you “like” it better. Part of being in any society is recognizing the impacts your choices and behaviors have on the rest of your environment. I would expect any adult to be able to grasp that concept. If you feel that you should be allowed to behave however you wish despite the negative effects it has on others, pretty sure that there’s a vacant cabin in the woods where you could hole up ala the Unabomber. ( Look I can throw out derogatory names too!)

      • Mary January 26, 2018 (5:26 am)

        CAM – we are totally on the same wavelength. Thanks for putting my thoughts into words! “Part of being in any society is recognizing the impacts your choices and behaviors have on the rest of your environment. I would expect any adult to be able to grasp that concept.” BINGO! Among other things, this is why I use my brain and ride the bus from WS to DT to work each day. It’s quite a simple concept.

    • T January 25, 2018 (10:20 pm)

      Well said TJ.

    • AJP January 25, 2018 (10:33 pm)

      And what, pray tell, is the answer to traffic problems in this water-bound, population-expanding city? How do we accommodate more and more and more SOVs? Would you really like all those people sitting on the bus in front of you, some 20-100 people depending on the time of day, to become 20-100 cars sitting in front of you? Really????

    • newnative January 26, 2018 (8:20 am)

      Someone has lost his grip on reality and reading comprehension. Yes, some of us believe that driving cars is evil and most of the cars on the Seattle streets are likely unnecessary. However, the complaints here were those specific drivers that were breaking the law by blocking intersections and driving in lanes they were not allowed to. If people actually followed the light system and didn’t continue to roll through stop lights/signs and sit in the middle of the intersection, the traffic would flow. Last night I was able to walk faster than the buses because people kept pulling in front of them. 

  • Jeff January 25, 2018 (7:52 pm)


    There was an accident, albeit unfortunate, and there was traffic. Put some music on, or call your mother, and relax! Traffic comes with living in a metropolitan city. Today’s traffic sucked, but my mom is doing well. She was glad I called. 

  • Michelle January 25, 2018 (8:18 pm)

    I think Metro made a big mistake in not diverting buses from Columbia for longer…or even to Marginal to low bridge. Enough drivers were in the area to report to base that the 99 on ramp at Columbia was a nightmare. I dont know why Metro didnt make the call.

    No need to ban single occupancy vehicles…just manage traffic flow better. Perhaps Seattle PD could have dispatched reserve officers to monitor the clogged intersections? 

    By the way…bus rage was palpable on my ride home. It was rough on everyone. 

  • Mike January 25, 2018 (10:08 pm)

    2 hours to get home, 8 miles.  First two c-line where packed, second one so much the rear door tried closing twice before the guy in the doorway shoved people forward to have the door close.  Third c-line was vacant for two stops then so full by the time we passed Pike people started getting cranky.

  • TJ January 25, 2018 (10:25 pm)

    Cam, if the behavior you are talking about that is “negatively effecting others” is driving, then you are reinforcing my point. The self rightousness and feeling of entitlement of some bus commuters is perplexing in comments like yours. The thing is, I like busses and that as a transportation system. Just not the priority they have been given in lanes and road usage. And I am not going anywhere. Just built my dream house here and have a pickup and 2 suv’s so I will never take the bus. But while I don’t have a cabin, I do have a residence outside of Spokane that I have registered all 3 vehicles at to avoid the exorbinant car tabs here

    • WSB January 25, 2018 (10:39 pm)

      Regarding ‘entitlement,’ you have it the other way around, given how much less space buses take up. I’m a driver and we’re the ones who are using more space than we are truly entitled to, especially when we drive alone. (Haven’t you ever seen that image showing the stark comparison? Added – here’s one of many easily findable versions of it – I appreciate how many cars are not on the road thanks to people choosing to ride buses instead (and light rail where available).

      • Mary January 26, 2018 (5:28 am)

        Yes! Thank you WSB!

      • TSurly January 26, 2018 (6:41 am)

        I am going to assume, given the graphic you posted, that you appriciate those of us who ride bikes everyday as well :).


        On a serious note, and this is truely not meant to be a dig on everyone who sat in traffic yesterday, it took me my usual  35ish minutes to bike home yesterday. I know some people absolutely have to drive (I have to drive sometimes as well), but alot of people really dont have to, they choose to.

        • WSB January 26, 2018 (7:26 am)

          And those who walk, and … In our case, for 10 years now, we have been lucky to be able to work from home, so we ourselves represent two fewer cars on the bridge (we both had downtown-and-vicinity jobs before starting WSB). The contention to which I was responding was about bus riders so that’s all I mentioned.

        • markinthedark January 26, 2018 (8:30 am)

          Amen to the consistency of a bike commute!

    • Mike January 26, 2018 (7:14 am)

      TJ, you realize you’re in violation of state laws for registering your vehicles that you use primarily here at a location other than your primary residence, right?  What’s your address, what are your vehicles.  I’d like to have you pay the same taxes the rest of us that are not looking for a government handout always pay.  Maybe you’d prefer the jail time instead for your violation?

      • Lagartija Nick January 26, 2018 (10:02 am)

        Mike, of course TJ realizes he’s breaking the law. He just doesn’t care because he’s “entitled” to for his own convenience. A couple weeks ago he admitted to forcing his way into oncoming traffic to get around the busses at bus bulbs. Because where he needed to be was way more important than the 30 people on the bus and the dozen or so oncoming cars who were legally traveling in their own lanes. 

  • TJ January 26, 2018 (8:34 am)

    Actually Mike, I take advantage of a business loophole that allows me to register them there because of the type of business I own. Now, I do know a couple people who register their vehicles to vacation property they own elsewhere in the state. That’s what happens when people get huge tax increases from things they don’t vote for from people who want to spend their money. But trust me, I pay a ton still in taxes

    • Mike January 27, 2018 (7:32 am)

      So you never use them for anything other than business use?  You know you can only use it for business use if you register it as commercial.  Otherwise you’re in violation

  • thatdtlife January 26, 2018 (9:09 am)

    Yes! Thank you. I’m glad your mom is well. I’m glad you called her too.

    Also, If it’s taking 2 hours to get a couple of miles, just get off the bus and walk… it’s better for the environment. it’s better for your health. it’s better for traffic.

  • Citizen Sane January 26, 2018 (9:56 am)

    We really need to stop demonizing SOVs. I take the bus whenever I can, but the reality is that our current transit scheme is great for those going into or out of downtown, but not so great otherwise. A trip from WS to, say, Columbia City would be much longer via bus than car. And it doesn’t help that Metro, like City Hall, turns a blind eye to the vagrants and punks who use the bus and don’t pay. Just this week I was on the C line when a vagrant came on board with his big dog (clearly not a assistance dog), sat him in the seat next to him, and the driver didn’t say a thing!!! Last month I was on the light rail, and found a used hypodermic needle on the seat next to me!!!! 

    Until Metro is more aggressive about making its buses safer for paying, law-abiding riders, there are a lot of folks who will stick with their SOVs

Sorry, comment time is over.