TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Alaskan Way Viaduct’s final morning

(SDOT MAP with travel times/ Is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE/ West Seattle-relevant traffic cams HERE)

7:15 AM: Good morning. No incidents or transit alerts right now for our area. But the headline is – the Alaskan Way Viaduct closes permanently tonight, and Highway 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and the Battery Street Tunnel will be closed until the tunnel opens in about three weeks.

WHAT HAPPENS, WHEN: WSDOT says the Columbia Street ramp will be first to close tonight, around 9:45 pm. Also: Because a small section of the Viaduct has to be removed so the NB ramp into downtown at Dearborn can be built, Railroad Way South will be closed all weekend. (The rest of the demolition won’t begin until after the tunnel is open.) Here are the details.

7:38 AM: Still quiet. If you’re thinking of trying bicycling because of the closure – and/or because of the permanent changes ahead – another “Survive #Realign99” ride is planned (corrected) SUNDAY, JANUARY 13. Details here.

7:48 AM: Just sent by Metro via text and tweet:

7:52 AM: Live WSDOT traffic cam showing the spot on 99 where rampbuilding will ramp up once the highway’s closed tonight:

13 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Alaskan Way Viaduct's final morning"

  • Kathy January 11, 2019 (8:45 am)

    Correction: This ride is planned for Sunday, January 13th, arrive at 9:15 Alaska Junction Starbucks.

  • Sleep Mode January 11, 2019 (8:54 am)

    Thanks for your excellent coverage of the Hwy 99 closure, WSB! Two questions (and sorry if I missed this, there’s a lot of info to wade through): Will WSB traffic coverage start any earlier in the day next week? And, are there any forums for commuters to compare notes on routes/experiences next week? For example, “Drove from WS to Beacon Hill via the WS bridge at 6 am, commute time was 45 mins.” Or something like that… 

    • WSB January 11, 2019 (10:55 am)

      Yes, we plan to start Monday at 5:30 am and see how that goes.

      As for discussion … over the years our comment threads have certainly served that role in instances like that, with the bonus that they are accessible and visible to all (no social-media membership required) and predictably archived /findable (with a by-date news story instead of lost in a “group” or on a “page” somewhere). You could certainly launch a topic in our forum and I’d be happy to link it, but I expect at least some will use the daily traffic comments, as has been the case in traffictastrophe circumstances many times over the past decades (snowstorms, for example!, or that bollixed morning commute the other day) … I am also considering running a PM thread, at least through the realignment weeks, depending on how it goes … TR

  • MrsL January 11, 2019 (9:12 am)

    The Survive #Realign99 ride is on Sunday, Jan 13 according to Cascade Bike link you provided. The text in the blog post states the ride is on tomorrow.

    • WSB January 11, 2019 (10:53 am)

      Sorry, I’ve fixed it. Thanks, I hope I would have noticed that before writing the standalone post that’s next up …

  • psps January 11, 2019 (9:34 am)

    Just where is this mysterious “Columbia Street ramp” to the viaduct?

    • newnative January 11, 2019 (11:11 am)

      It’s not mysterious at all. It’s the southern most onramp to get on the Viaduct going southbound. It starts at Columbia and 1st Ave. Most West Seattle-bound buses have used it when leaving downtown ((C)rapidride, 56/57, 55, etc). 

      • WSB January 11, 2019 (11:14 am)

        Thanks, and maybe this Google Street View will help? It’s how to get out of the heart of downtown onto southbound Highway 99 … until about 9:45 tonight.

  • James Clark January 11, 2019 (12:11 pm)

    Sure am glad I retired before all of this takes place. Plus I wont have to pay the toll to go to and from work.

  • zephyr January 11, 2019 (1:40 pm)

    WSB wrote:  “Thanks, and maybe this Google Street View will help? It’s how to get out of the heart of downtown onto southbound Highway 99 … until about 9:45 tonight.”
    Oh, I am sooo going to miss this onramp.  Loved coming down that hill (Columbia) late at night and swooshing onto the Viaduct and suddenly I am on the West Seattle Bridge looking back at downtown.  Good ol’ days.   
    Anyone else been for a last drive on the Viaduct?  Yesterday I went to Fremont and back just for the last view during the midday lull.  The weather looks nicer today.  Maybe should have waited. 

  • LatteRose January 11, 2019 (4:12 pm)

    Went today for a last drive. Noticed a lot of colorful paint splashes on the pavement (northbound), more than usual. Will miss the beautiful views from there.

  • Tracey January 11, 2019 (5:14 pm)

    I did my final drive on Tuesday to Green Lake.  I will miss the view and being somewhat cut off from our northern neighbors.  As a claustrophobe, I won’t be able to use the tunnel.  See you later Queen Anne, Ballard and Fremont.  

  • Mark Ufkes January 11, 2019 (8:11 pm)

    I did my final drive north on the Viaduct this afternoon with the sun out and the Olympic Mountains in all their glory, while listening to Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare to the Common Man”.  This was a toast to those of us who cannot afford a view home but could find the best view in Seattle by driving on the upper deck of the Viaduct.   You have served us well!  And I’m excited to see the re-development of our waterfront.   Thanks Greg Nickels for your leadership on this effort.  Mark Ufkes 

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