TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Viaduct’s last Wednesday watch

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

7:17 AM: Good morning. Third-to-last day for the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which closes forever at 10 pm Friday. Texter reports a problem backing things up on NB 99 near the stuadiums.

STILL HAVE A VIADOOM/SEATTLE SQUEEZE QUESTION? We’re going to the next multi-agency media briefing this morning and taking along any lingering questions – comment, or contact us, if you have one.

7:52 AM: Don’t know if it’s new or the same blockage but official traffic reports now mention a stuck truck blocking right lane of NB 89 at Holgate.

Commenters say Admiral is way backed up.

8:01 AM: Reports of other approaches to the bridge backed up too.

8:15 AM: Low bridge backed up too. SDOT says an incident response team is with the truck on 99. Also – crash reported at 35th/Morgan.

8:47 AM: SDOT says the truck on 99 has been moved to the shoulder.

10:05 AM: We’re on the way to the Viadoom briefing and the high bridge is still backed up to Nucor. Also, two cars pulled over in the right eastbound lane across from Walking on Logs – couldn’t tell if it was a fender bender or one driver assisting another. No emergency vehicles on scene.

10:15 AM: Made it to the 1st Avenue S. offramp.

59 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Viaduct's last Wednesday watch"

  • Kim January 9, 2019 (7:23 am)

    Backed up up Admiral 

  • newnative January 9, 2019 (7:31 am)

    On the 57,  the driver just announced we are going on a reroute due to the viaduct backup. 

    • newnative January 9, 2019 (9:18 am)

      I was pretty happy with our reroute. No one was on 6th Ave (or whatever road we were on) and we likely only added five or ten minutes to our normal commute. In fact, we beat the bus that I had missed earlier. A lot of people are making references to next week but you’re forgetting the fact that the reroutes and supplements haven’t taken effect yet. I sure hope people don’t continue to commute like they expect nothing to change. 

  • Megan January 9, 2019 (7:33 am)

    Ugh the good holiday traffic is over.  Backed up to the admiral viewpoint.  

  • Stuck on a bus January 9, 2019 (7:51 am)

    At a dead stop on a 120 before Oregon on Delridge. 

  • me on 28th Ave SW January 9, 2019 (8:02 am)

    I’ll admit, I find it VERY frustrating that there wasn’t any warning on the multiple signs  heading out of West Seattle BEFORE getting on the viaduct about that right lane being blocked.  That truck was broken down before 6:30 this morning and all the signs said was “viaduct closure Jan 11-early Feb”.   If that poor truck had sputtered ten more feet, it could have pulled over in a lane blocked by cones.  Not impressed that SDOT wasn’t faster getting it pulled out of the way.

  • Bob January 9, 2019 (8:02 am)

    Delridge is really backed up.  Not moving much

  • D January 9, 2019 (8:04 am)

    On route 120 bus is about 20 minutes behind at this point 

  • EAA January 9, 2019 (8:14 am)

    On RR C, backed up on Avalon. Bus running 20 minutes late.

  • KD January 9, 2019 (8:23 am)

    Seacrest to Hwy 99 via Harbor Ave and WS Bridge – 41 mins. Oy.  

  • Sue January 9, 2019 (8:29 am)

    30 min so far for the 55 to get from the Junction to Luna Park!

  • MAH January 9, 2019 (8:36 am)

    Welcome to the hellscape that is our future. Great job City of Seattle leaders! Hope that waterfront developer money you pocketed was worth it! 

    • AMD January 9, 2019 (10:44 am)

      The tunnel is a state project, not a city one.  Details, friend.

  • JL January 9, 2019 (8:37 am)

    Just passed the incident – it is a broken down truck. Based on the response to this my view of how the viaduct closure will go is worsening. Yes, incident response and police were there but based on the timing in that post, that was at least an hour after the initial report, if not longer, and the truck was still blocking 99 with no sign of moving. 

  • David Barnes January 9, 2019 (8:39 am)

    If this traffic event was caused by one lane out… how are we going to handle the whole damn thing closed! Seriously worried at this point. 

  • K January 9, 2019 (8:41 am)

    What happened to those incident response teams that sdot is supposed to have added?

  • Kristin January 9, 2019 (8:43 am)

    Been on the C for an hour and finally rounding the ramp to 99.

  • Jason January 9, 2019 (8:48 am)

    Admiral way to 5 merge via low bridge 1 hr

  • AM January 9, 2019 (8:48 am)

    I think all the “pro tunnel” voters should have to try to commute out of WS for the next 3 weeks. Especially the genius’s who work for SDOT and thought this was a great idea.I have literally been trying to get to South Seattle College for the past 30 minutes. IT’S 8 MILES FROM MY HOUSE!?!?!

    • KBear January 9, 2019 (9:06 am)

      AM, your comment makes no sense. Yes, the next 3 weeks are going to suck, and it will never go back to the way it was. But if it weren’t for the tunnel, the viaduct would have been torn down years ago and there would be no Highway 99 through downtown.

      • rpo January 9, 2019 (9:38 am)

        Exactly, kbear.  It will be better once the tunnel opens. Just imagine how bad it would be if the viaduct collapsed during a moderate earthquake as was predicted to happen within the next few decades.  We’d go years instead of weeks without a road replacement.

      • Mel January 9, 2019 (9:44 am)

        That’s correct – there was a loud outcry to just get rid of a freeway altogether and make it surface streets with traffic lights. If McGinn had his way, that’s likely what we’d have.

    • Shawn January 9, 2019 (9:48 am)

      Agree with KBear. Your statement is ridiculous. How does a temporary closure to allow for the completion of road work a failure? Is it merely because you were inconvenienced? By the end of February we’ll see how things settle. The biggest permanent change I see is that after bus traffic exits 99 going into downtown by the stadium, it will travel along Alaska Way to Columbia instead of Seneca. And I’m sure adjustments to flow patterns will be made over time.

    • Sadtaco January 9, 2019 (5:17 pm)

      Geniuses should not have an apostrophe. 

  • Mnw January 9, 2019 (8:53 am)

    Took me an hour and a half to get from Morgan Junction to Belltown. Painful!

    • Sm January 9, 2019 (1:44 pm)

      About the same for me from Highland Park!

  • Cindi Barker January 9, 2019 (9:07 am)

    An hour and 15 minutes to go from Morgan to the stadiums on the 21. 1st Ave was a crawl the entire way. What was 4th like on the C line or 21E?

  • Cindi January 9, 2019 (9:08 am)

    An hour and 15 minutes to go from Morgan to the stadiums on the 21. 1st Ave was a crawl the entire way. What was 4th like on the C line or 21E?

  • Ann B January 9, 2019 (9:10 am)

    On the 21 for over an hour. First Ave is bad and will only get worse.  Does anyone know if the sidewalk on Lander between First and 4th is open?

    • sw January 9, 2019 (9:13 am)

      Yes.  Pedestrians and bikes have access on Lander between 1st & 4th.

    • WSEA January 9, 2019 (9:23 am)

      Yes, the sidewalk is open on lander street during the construction.  I bike that path daily.

  • Joe Z January 9, 2019 (9:19 am)

    C line was 45 minutes from Avalon to 3rd. It averages 20-25 min but could be 10 min if the whole corridor was bus-only. We all know the bus lanes are poorly designed—they are completely incapable of helping people avoid bad traffic. It’s going to be a tough lesson for the city to learn next week when people discover  the “take the bus to avoid viadoom” message was a lie.

    • rpo January 9, 2019 (9:43 am)

      The city never stated that taking the bus would allow people to avoid viadoom. It will only lessen the number of vehicles on the road, and any reduction will help traffic move more quickly than without. That may not be noticeable as a commuter, but it is the case.  

    • Mel January 9, 2019 (9:45 am)

      It’s only a “lie” if most people still drive.

  • JCW January 9, 2019 (9:20 am)

    Big, big thanks to the Water Taxi for holding the last run a few min — our shuttle from the Junction got stuck in the Avalon traffic on the way down! Currently heading across to Coleman Dock. 

  • Judah January 9, 2019 (9:35 am)

    Westbound lane of Genesee is blocked at 26th (corner of Delridge skate park) by an accident. Police are directing traffic around it

  • Gale January 9, 2019 (9:37 am)

    From 0800 to now (0936) – nothing but long lines of traffic trying to get on WS bridges on Avalon, Delridge and all through Youngstown, esp. SW Nevada St. Nothing but taillights!

  • Matt January 9, 2019 (9:37 am)

    I just got to read for an hour from Morgan Junction to downtown. Only downside was it was hot in the bus.

  • Mickymse January 9, 2019 (9:40 am)

    If this is the backup from a breakdown on 99, what is it going to be like next week when ALL OF THE TRAFFIC on 99 has to reroute elsewhere?Folks should start planning now for alternative forms of transportation or shifting schedules or changing appointment times. We’re only going to get through January and early February if everyone who can tries some change…

    • Shawn January 9, 2019 (10:02 am)

      I think it would actually be better in terms of bus traffic. The buses would have more options to skirt around traffic issues and likewise for the broken down vehicles, whereas when on 99 there’s nowhere to escape the clog.

  • Mike Lindblom January 9, 2019 (9:47 am)

    Joe is on the right track here. Some people will try the bus and be repelled by the crowds or delay. The data from past “Viadoom” events shows that people revert to their previous mode, including solo driving, after everything reopens. What does shift the needle is a clear bus lane, built in 2011 when the rest of the Viaduct was shrunk from three lanes to two (and parking, congestion worsened downtown). Transit use in West Seattle is up over 50 percent this decade. The Sodo bus lane gave buses a 15m to 20m advantage over general traffic, but that improvement was often squandered downtown where the city failed to give buses easy passage up Seneca Street.  

    • Joe Z January 9, 2019 (11:49 am)

      Exactly, today was just a brutal reminder that the city has done next-to-nothing to help its regular bus commuters during the viaduct closure. If buses can’t help people on bad traffic days, they will continue to drive. Especially when the bus ‘experience’ is equivalent to being in a can of sardines. 

  • Tsurly January 9, 2019 (9:59 am)

    Smooth sailing by bicycle today. In fact, I was a few minutes faster than my average pace due to the nice tailwind!

  • Rick January 9, 2019 (10:25 am)

    I used to drive from West Seattle to Kirkland in 35 minutes back in the late 70’s and from Roslyn,Wa in the 90’s in 90 minutes consistently.  I don’t believe it is strictly numbers as much as social engineering.

    • West Seattle since 1979 January 9, 2019 (1:05 pm)

      What are you referring to as social engineering?  The fact that traffic has increased since the 1970s?  What about the population increase since then? Might that not have caused some of the problem?

  • Mel January 9, 2019 (11:33 am)

    Admiral Hill was backed up all the way to California Street after sitting for a half hour I tried to go around and get to Avalon mistake and then try delridge even worse mistake and so I went back home and works for an hour and a half remotely and then reason to work at 11:15. I think the lesson to be learned today is shifting schedules will probably work better than solo driving bus taxi Uber or whatever I know the 56 on admiral is habitual for not showing up if they are more than a certain amount of time late anyway you slice it it’s going to suck

  • Hpdp January 9, 2019 (11:46 am)

    Little late on this comment but I noticed the low bridge is still opening during morning commute hours. That’s not going to happen starting next week, right?

  • just wondering January 9, 2019 (12:08 pm)

    Let the games begin!

  • WSB January 9, 2019 (12:10 pm)

    There were a lot of interesting little details, no big headlines, full story on briefing, with video, later this afternoon. For a preview, you can check our Twitter timeline (you don’t have to be a Twitter user to read it) – we tweeted toplines from each participating agency. https://twitter.com/westseattleblog

  • T January 9, 2019 (12:36 pm)

    Did the new car czar do anything to help things this morning? He began work January 2. Also, I am seriously concerned given the bus commuters comments here over the past few years regarding routes being canceled with no notice or notice 20-30 after the bus was supposed to arrive. How does this help on an average day and why would the city be promoting this option during the Viaduct closure? 

    • WSB January 9, 2019 (12:52 pm)

      Mike Lindblom asked about half a dozen questions trying to get at what the general has contributed so far. Basically seemed to boil down to, he’s still getting up to speed. (You’ll see on our video, which will be uploaded in time for the story to be up by 2:30ish or sooner if I possibly can.)

  • Rude January 9, 2019 (1:09 pm)

    Let’s discuss the horrible woman on the water taxi this morning at around 6:50 who was so unbelievably rude and  entitled in regards to her Orca card. It wasn’t working and the staff of the taxi were telling her it didn’t work and that she needed to pay cash. Her comment: “IT WORKS!” and I’m not paying you.!” she stormed on and sat down anyway. I overheard the deckhand tell her that if her Orca card didn’t work on the trip back and she wasn’t willing to pay, she’d have to find an alternate mode of transportation. I cannot believe the amount of entitlement some people think they have. You don’t get a free ride. and you don’t  treat the staff like that. 

    • Kim January 9, 2019 (1:48 pm)

      How full is that 6:50 boat?  Just wondering BEFORE the viaduct shutdown.

  • BG January 9, 2019 (2:34 pm)

    Perhaps this morning’s traffic mess is a sign that up zoning and increased density will not be a good thing for West Seattle.

    • T January 10, 2019 (1:44 am)

      I was saying this 10 years ago..

  • RUDE January 9, 2019 (2:50 pm)

    Oh it was under 100 for sure. Not many. That will change on Monday I’m sure. 

  • Kathy January 9, 2019 (3:05 pm)

    I highly recommend, if you are physically capable, to trade all this angst for investment in a commuter bike (maybe even one with electric pedal assist), some rain gear and lights. West Seattle Bike Connections/Cascade Bicycle Club is going to have another trial ride for routes to downtown and South Lake Union this Sunday, January 13th, starting at 9:15 am at the Alaska Junction Starbucks. Survive Realign99 Version 2The benefits: a predictable arrival time, no exposure to germs like you get on a crowded bus, healthy exercise that reduces stress instead of increasing it. After all, it is only 7-8 miles. For that matter, if you allow enough time, you could walk, although biking is 4 times more efficient.

  • Gman January 9, 2019 (6:46 pm)

    Where is the new traffic Czar we are paying 200k/yr to fix problems like this, Oh yeah that guy lives in Olympia and works from home, unbelievable!!!

    • WSB January 9, 2019 (7:51 pm)

      He will be part of tomorrow’s briefing at SDOT HQ.

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