#REALIGN99: Tunnel will open Monday morning, WSDOT confirms, with a ramp reminder

It’s official – the Highway 99 tunnel WILL open in time for Monday morning’s commute. That’s what WSDOT’s project boss Dave Sowers just told us and other media on a conference call. He said that starting Sunday afternoon and continuing into the “wee hours” of Sunday night/early Monday, they will be in the midst of all the ramp work – an “item by item, hour by hour” list of steps – to make sure it’s ready to go in time for the Monday commute, by 4:30-5 am Monday.

But for people traveling NB on 99 from West Seattle and points south, it’s vital to remember that for the first week or more, as noted many times, the exit ramp to downtown via Dearborn Street will NOT be open. Transportation authorities promise they will have signage in place to remind you that exiting to NB 99 from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge will be a “no exit until after the tunnel” (they promise to get us the exact verbiage they’ll be using) exit, until that ramp is open. “Pay attention to the signage,” Sowers urged drivers, especially in that interim time.

Sowers was asked if the possible snow toward weekend’s end could bring a setback. “Unless we had six inches of snow during the Super Bowl” – which is NOT in the forecast so far – he doesn’t expect it. But because rain is expected tonight, he said they’re in something of a “mad dash” to finish some final touches such as striping.

19 Replies to "#REALIGN99: Tunnel will open Monday morning, WSDOT confirms, with a ramp reminder"

  • bolo January 31, 2019 (1:34 pm)

    Somebody pinch me! I knew this time would come, but it doesn’t seem to be registering.

  • Railroaded January 31, 2019 (3:59 pm)

    Yippee! It will be even nicer when the eyesore viaduct is gone forever!

    • Me January 31, 2019 (8:09 pm)

      That “eyesore” is a unique landmark that I will miss very much. Enjoy your tunnel view.

      • Ron Swanson January 31, 2019 (10:49 pm)

        A “unique landmark” that spewed noise and pollution all over the waterfront for decades.  Good riddance.  Get out of your car if you want a view.

        • wetone February 1, 2019 (8:47 am)

          Get out of your car ? and what stand in a shadows left from the buildings beside or in front you.  Most views that were for ALL to enjoy will soon be gone forever. City is more concerned about tourism and pleasing top 15% of the $$ holders.  Once called the Emerald city not so much today………. traffic, garbage, fencing, infrastructure falling apart and cost to live here going up much quicker than ones wages ;( 

          • wscommuter February 1, 2019 (9:22 am)

            Incorrect.  1. WSDOT – and not the “City” – built this project.  2.  While it might feel good to spin the false narrative that this project was to benefit the “top 15% of the $$ holders”, the truth nonetheless remains that the purpose of this project was to replace a seismically vulnerable structure.   I guess you have every right to be bitter that someone else is going to benefit as an ancillary consequence of this prudent infrastructure project, but … geez, get a grip.   The world isn’t a conspiracy against you.  Sometimes government has to build stuff that other people end up financially benefited from.  The West Seattle Bridge wasn’t built in 1984 to make my home  more valuable,  but I absolutely benefit financially because we have that bridge – my home is worth more than it would be if we were still using the old 2-lane drawbridge.  Are you jealous of West Seattle property owners too, because we benefited from that particular prudent investment in infrastructure?  

          • Ron Swanson February 1, 2019 (10:07 am)

            Uh, go down to the Market – the new overlook already has great views and it’s going to expand dramatically down to Alaskan Way once the viaduct is gone.  The views are there for everyone free of charge.

        • CMT February 1, 2019 (11:59 am)

          Sheesh Ron Swanson -the person just said he/she would miss the view, as will many.  No need to be snarky.

          • Yes2WS February 3, 2019 (8:33 am)

            I agree. That comment jumped out as completely uncalled for. 

  • Colleen A Harris January 31, 2019 (6:08 pm)

    Has metro confirmed the buses will move to 1st Ave into town? Does that happen on monday?

    • WSB January 31, 2019 (8:42 pm)

      Still waiting for my reply on that. Metro’s second-in-command is speaking at the final media briefing tomorrow morning, so if I can’t get clarity before then, we’ll ask there.

  • Carolyn January 31, 2019 (10:29 pm)

    And will the bus-only lane be removed at the 4th Ave exit for Monday morning’s commute? 

    • WSB February 1, 2019 (12:27 am)

      The lane will be removed “when buses stop using 4th Avenue,” Heather Marx told us when we asked that at Tuesday’s briefing. They want to be prompt about getting things back in order but, she said, they’re also wary of removing it too soon. We’ll be asking at tomorrow’s briefing (this time at the north portal but we’re going since Metro’s deputy GM is expected to be there and we have Metro questions) when they’ll be making those decisions – TR

  • Loretta February 1, 2019 (9:12 am)

    Do we know when they will start to toll the tunnel?

    • WSB February 1, 2019 (9:15 am)

      The date is not set yet. Just “summer.”

    • BornOnAlki59 February 1, 2019 (2:10 pm)

      March thru eternity….

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