SEATTLE SQUEEZE: Now two Highway 99 ramps will close early for tunnel transition

Another change just announced – new since the briefing we covered Monday night – for the viaduct-to-tunnel transition: Now TWO ramps in the stadium zone will close on January 4th, a week before the mainline closure.

WSDOT had already announced plans to close the SB 99 offramp to Atlantic Street starting January 4th; today, the state says the NB 99 onramp from Royal Brougham will also be closed starting January 4th: “This additional week will allow the contractor more time to perform critical work (including unburying tunnel on- and off-ramps) that has the potential for some unanticipated challenges, giving crews additional flexibility during the mainline closure.” WSDOT’s short time-lapse video above shows the construction of the tunnel ramps that will be “unburied” at that time.

Today’s full update is here, including a note that the NB 99 transit lane in SODO will be shortened by a third of a mile starting December 14th, for repair work.

12 Replies to "SEATTLE SQUEEZE: Now two Highway 99 ramps will close early for tunnel transition"

  • I. Ponder November 28, 2018 (3:41 pm)

    Can someone please explain why the ramps were buried in the first place? I watched the video but it happened too quickly for me to really understand.

    • miws November 29, 2018 (10:18 am)

      I. Ponder, here is an explanation from the vid’s Youtube page:

      During construction of Seattle’s double-decked State Route 99 tunnel, workers built, then buried ramps on the tunnel’s south end. Crews then built a temporary road on top of the ramps to keep traffic moving during tunnel construction. In 2019, crews will unbury the ramps as they work to realign SR 99 into the new, two-mile long tunnel. This time lapse condenses two years of work and shows what it looked like to build and bury the ramps in 2014.

      • I. Ponder November 29, 2018 (11:08 am)


  • Tony November 28, 2018 (4:30 pm)

    Will the same WSDOT video music be played while we drive through the tunnel on reopen?   Trying to decide if I want to keep my car windows open or closed.

  • 1994 November 28, 2018 (9:09 pm)

    Keep ’em closed Tony because you may be in there longer than you expected. The driving tempo in the tunnel will be at a much slower pace than the music we hear in the video.  My west to east 9 mile drive may be impacted by the northbound crawl through the south end of town.  Hoping at least for dry weather during January.

  • Boodah November 29, 2018 (8:48 am)

    It’s almost like they’re purposefully closing everything at once to make people angry. We’re already like three years and millions over time/budget. Is there an award for worst project manager of the year?

    • KBear November 29, 2018 (9:39 am)

      Boodah, they’re “purposefully closing everything at once” so they can connect Highway 99 to the new tunnel. The fact that they’ve managed to keep 99 open throughout most of the construction is nothing short of remarkable. And it isn’t “millions over budget”. The contractor is obligated to honor the bid unless the courts determine otherwise.

    • No Win Situation November 29, 2018 (9:56 am)

      You think it’s so easy, try it sometime.

      • KBear November 29, 2018 (1:59 pm)

        No one said it was easy. But there’s no need to whine about the ramp closures—a minor inconvenience considering what could have been YEARS of the entire highway being closed. 

        • sam-c November 29, 2018 (2:44 pm)

          I don’t know. I appreciate that they made the decision about the ramp closures.  It would be better than them realizing an issue during the three-week 99 closure, and having to change it to a four-week closure instead.  

  • Rick November 29, 2018 (10:08 am)

    Welcome to “King County’s Colossal Cluster”. One more for the history books. And the courts only have taxpayers best interests in mind.  It’s that bottomless piggy bank mentality.

  • Greystreet November 29, 2018 (10:57 am)

    Goodbye Northwest Seattle, after this all goes through I’ll no longer visit that side of town unless absolutely necessary as it will take an astronomical amount of time to get there, and it sucks, that’s a beautiful area and Ballard is one of my favorite places…Yes I agree, traffic will indeed move at a much slower pace with only two lanes in either direction when there are currently at least 3 for most of the viaduct before it shortens to two at the south end of the southbound lanes.

Sorry, comment time is over.