Are you ready for the Seattle Squeeze? This photo from our Jack Large Photograph Collection shows the view west over the Alaskan Way Viaduct in January 1967. #SpecialCollectionshttps://t.co/w1vjjVX8S6 pic.twitter.com/BTf6BoVNYI
— Seattle Library (@SPLBuzz) January 11, 2019
7:46 PM: A day full of Alaskan Way Viaduct nostalgia ended with a colorful sunset.
It was a beauty. pic.twitter.com/o71a0Z8bqa
— J. Michael Starling (@jmstarl) January 12, 2019
— anthonyk (@anthonykdrives) January 12, 2019
Now, it’s almost closure time.
No big briefing today but we have new information including responses to reader questions. First, a reminder of the timeline:
-10 pm, Highway 99 officially closes between the West Seattle Bridge and south end of Battery Street Tunnel. WSDOT says the Columbia Street onramp will be the first section closed, around 9:45 pm.
WEST SEATTLE WATER TAXI: Two-boat service begins Monday (January 14th). While seeking answers to readers’ questions, here’s what we have learned:
-Second boat on the run will be the San Juan Express, capacity 245 passengers, which is close to the size of the regular boat MV Doc Maynard. (The much-smaller Spirit of Kingston will remain available as a backup.) From spokesperson Brent Champaco:
The schedule – which is subject to change – has the San Juan Clipper starting the day’s service with the 5:55 a.m. sailing out of Seattle followed by the 6:15 a.m. sailing out of Seacrest. The Doc Maynard will follow with the 6:15 a.m. sailing out of Seattle and the 6:30 a.m. sailing out of Seacrest. The two vessels will alternate until the 9:25 a.m. sailing out of Seacrest.
We’ll use the Doc Maynard for the midday service between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Both boats will resume service beginning with the 3:25 p.m. sailings out of Seacrest (Doc Maynard) and Pier 52 (San Juan Clipper) respectively, until the final sailing at 7:05 p.m. out of West Seattle.
Please note that the 5:05 p.m. sailing out of Pier 52 in Seattle has been moved up to 5 p.m. This is a slight change to the expanded schedule that’s in our printed brochures.
Here’s the planned schedule including the Sally Fox on the Vashon route, which is not adding capacity:
WATER TAXI SHUTTLES: In response to questions about whether larger buses will be used, spokesperson Torie Rynning says no, they’ve just doubled up here too: Two 19-passenger shuttles on each of the two routes during peak hours, one during the added midday hours. The Pier 2 parking shuttles will use a 19-passenger bus and a 33-passenger bus.
ONE MORE WATER TAXI NOTE: King County Executive Dow Constantine plans to be at the dock for a while Monday morning.
RIDE2 CONTINUES: We asked Metro about the Ride2 usage so far: It averaged 26 passengers a day during last week’s non-holidays. If you missed the original announcement a month ago, this is an on-demand service you can use provided your starting or ending point is either The Junction or the Water Taxi dock. Find out more here.
POLICE OFFICERS DIRECTING TRAFFIC: The plan to have police assigned to certain intersections has been in the works for a while. Now, SDOT has provided the list and maps of where – part of this new post on the city’s recently launched traffic-info website. Here for example is the map showing the plan for 4th/Spokane:
TRAFFIC COVERAGE ON WSB: It’s been a priority for a long time and you can count on us to step it way up during the Highway 99 closure and beyond. Your help is always important – now more than ever. If you see a problem and we’re not reporting it, please let us know when you can (once of course you have reported it to authorities, if they’re not on the scene either) – safely and legally – 206-203-6302, text or voice, 24/7. Meantime, we’ll update later tonight once the closure’s officially in effect. And we’ll be adjusting our standard resources (like the cameras page) to reflect “the new normal.”
10:05 PM: The closure has indeed begun – after a crowd of drivers took to the Viaduct to travel it one last time! Separate report to come, but for starters:
— SR 99 (@BerthaDigsSR99) January 12, 2019
11:30 PM: We haven’t published a separate update yet because it’s still not fully closed – it’s taken an hour and a half so far to clear the last vehicles off!
12:07 AM SATURDAY: Finally cleared, says WSDOT.