This is it. Barring some surprise, this will be the third and final week of Highway 99-less-ness, post-Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. A few things to know going in:
REMEMBER THE RAMP: The new Dearborn St. offramp that will take you into downtown from NB 99 before the tunnel entrance is still expected to take a week or so extra to open. So unless there’s a dramatic shortening of that estimate soon, non-tunnel users are really more like halfway through this phase of the squeeze. The tunnel is still expected to open in time for the Monday, February 4, morning commute.
ONE LIGHT(ER) DAY THIS WEEK: Wednesday (January 30th), no classes for Seattle Public Schools (“day between semesters”). Also of note, the Vashon Island School District marks that day Monday; Highline Public Schools, immediately south of here, has no classes Monday for grades 7-12.
CELEBRATION THIS WEEKEND: If you missed our progress-report roundup on Friday and are planning to go to this weekend’s goodbye-viaduct-hello-tunnel celebration, check it out here. The celebration website shows free tickets sold out for all Saturday times, but WSDOT said on Friday’s conference call that there would be some room for walk-ups. The West Seattle Water Taxi will run Saturday (not Sunday – special schedule expected soon) and you’re advised to take sea or land transit to get to the viaduct/tunnel event – “there’s no parking” in the area, you’re warned.
SPEAKING OF THE WATER TAXI: If you’re thinking long term, remember that its two-vessel schedule is scheduled to continue until the 7-days-a-week season starts at the end of March. Not the extra parking, though.
TRAFFIC COVERAGE: We’re back at it at 5:30 am.