West Seattle, Washington
11:23 PM SUNDAY: It’s official – the Highway 99 tunnel is now open. The video above is by Paul Weatherman, who reports his was the first non-government vehicle to travel the northbound lanes right after they opened around 11 pm (added – full clip here); WSDOT says it’s working to get the southbound lanes open too. No toll until sometime this summer. This sign we photographed during Saturday’s dedication event will verify that for skeptics:
If you’re heading northbound on 99 from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge or from south of here, remember, no downtown exit before the tunnel for another week or so.
12:22 AM MONDAY: And now the southbound direction is open too. With this plus the snow, a unique morning commute is ahead, and we’ll be tracking it all starting at 5 am.
(MONDAY SCHOOL CHANGES: Update – see separate story)
(Added: 4:40 pm in Morgan Junction, photo from Tamsen Spengler)
FIRST REPORT, 3:10 PM: Thanks for all the reports! We’ve seen some of the first light snow ourselves, traveling on Roxbury after leaving a meeting. We’ve also seen evidence that SDOT has been out treating the roads. More coverage to come!
3:28 PM: We’re in The Junction and it’s a steady snow shower. Not yet sticking.
3:44 PM: In south Morgan Junction, it’s sticking on cars and planting strips/yards. Getting similar reports in comments and via Twitter from other areas.
4:32 PM: Continuing to snow lightly. The updated forecast projects about an inch tonight, maybe another inch tomorrow morning. We’ll be watching weather and traffic (roads are bare and wet now – see cameras here) throughout the night and into the morning – if you see something we should know about, our 24/7 hotline (text or voice) is 206-293-6302.
6:05 PM: While the roads were bare and wet just over an hour ago, when we took the picture above this line, that’s changed – at least on side streets:
7:31 PM: Driving home from a Super Bowl party? Be careful. Snow has stopped for now, and no major road problems are reported, but temps are close to freezing and we might see ice as they drop further. No official total yet but Kristina, near West Seattle Nursery, sends this measurement:
7:55 PM: Update from here in Upper Fauntleroy:
Snowing again. Plus @seattledot snowplow sighting pic.twitter.com/cwJE07PRAy
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) February 4, 2019
8:08 PM: New weather alert – Winter Weather Advisory saying at least another inch of snow is likely.
8:43 PM: Regarding buses – “Metro currently plans to pre-chain most of the bus fleet as a precaution prior to the AM commute. (But) We don’t yet know whether buses will shift to snow routes.”
9:16 PM: From the West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor):
WEST SEATTLE AND FAUNTLEROY DELAYED OPENING ON MONDAY: Due to the overnight weather advisory predicting 1-3” of snow, both our West Seattle and Fauntleroy locations will open at 9am on Monday. There will be no AM Kids Corner at Fauntleroy YMCA. All school based programs will follow the SPS weather schedule (no decision has been made by SPS yet).
9:23 PM: Now the school announcements are rolling in. We will start a separate story for these soon but first we’ll add them here:
Hope Lutheran School, closed, no preschool/extended care
Seattle Lutheran High School, 10:30 am start
Highline Public Schools, 2 hours late, morning/afternoon classes canceled for preschool and ECEAP.
Vashon Island School District, 2 1/2 hours late.
(NOTE: PLEASE SEE THIS NEW MONDAY MORNING LIST FOR SCHOOL INFO)
ADDED 10:06 PM: Seattle Public Schools, 2 hours late, buses on snow routes, other details here, including:
o door-to-door service. No preschool or Head Start. No out of district service. No taxi cab, therapy, partial day or shuttle transportation. No before school activities. Check with your school regarding athletic events. Check with your childcare provider about child care.
ADDED 10:21 PM: South Seattle College starts at 10 am. Classes scheduled to start earlier are canceled.
12:42 AM: No additions to the list yet.
5:04 AM: Changes are coming in, including SPS now CLOSED for today. We’re starting a list here. Call or text us at 206-293-6302 with school (and other) info.
We can’t say this enough: When the Highway 99 tunnel opens – hours from now – there will be a transitional week or so during which the exit to NB 99 from the EB West Seattle Bridge is a “tunnel only” exit, because the offramp to downtown, before the tunnel, isn’t done yet. Separate from that, some new ramps/intersections HAVE just opened on both ends of the tunnel, including the one that you will use to get to SB 99 just south of the tunnel. WSDOT has just published this update that we’re reposting in its entirety:
The Feb. 4 opening of the SR 99 tunnel brings big changes to several important intersections at the tunnel’s north and south ends. New intersections can be confusing, so use the renderings below to help familiarize yourself with what you will encounter on the road. You can also preview the intersections via narrated videos.
North end of the tunnel: Harrison Street and Aurora Ave North
New northbound SR 99 on-ramp
New southbound SR 99 off-ramp
Harrison Street open east-west across Aurora Avenue North
The new tunnel dives underground at Harrison Street, several blocks north of where the now-closed Battery Street Tunnel begins. The new intersection of Harrison Street and Aurora Avenue North is where the northbound on-ramp begins, and the southbound off-ramp ends. Harrison Street is now also open east-west across Aurora Avenue North.
Note: Construction begins this month on the inside lanes of Aurora Avenue North between Denny Way and Harrison Street (yellow zone at bottom). Learn more about how the North Surface Streets project is rebuilding Aurora Avenue North.
North end of the tunnel: Republican Street and Dexter Avenue North
New northbound SR 99 off-ramp
The intersection of Republican Street and Dexter Avenue North is where the northbound SR 99 off-ramp ends. New signals will control traffic coming off the highway. From the off-ramp drivers will be able to turn left toward Mercer Street, head straight toward South Lake Union, or turn right to head toward Denny Way. Stay alert for people using the Dexter Avenue bike lanes on both sides of the street.
South end of the tunnel: Alaskan Way, South Dearborn Street, and First Avenue South
New southbound SR 99 on-ramp
New northbound SR 99 off-ramp [NOT YET OPEN]
New east-west street, South Dearborn Street
New primary path between First Avenue South and Alaskan Way
Alaskan Way extended farther south
One of the biggest changes to surface streets is at the tunnel’s south end, just west of CenturyLink field. Alaskan Way no longer ends with a jog under the viaduct onto Railroad Way South. Instead, it continues straight to a new intersection with a new road, South Dearborn Street.
South Dearborn Street is the new east-west connection between Alaskan Way and First Avenue South. This intersection connects SR 99, Alaskan Way and First Avenue. Alaskan Way continues south from this intersection toward East Marginal Way South. Railroad Way South is currently closed from First Avenue South, and when it reopens it will be a local-access-only road.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The northbound SR 99 off-ramp bridge is still under construction and will open one to two weeks after the tunnel opens.
Note: The rendering above does not show the now-closed Alaskan Way Viaduct, which sits in the yellow-highlighted work zone and will be removed section by section over the next six months.
South end of the tunnel: South Royal Brougham Way and First Avenue South
New northbound SR 99 on-ramp
New southbound SR 99 off-ramp
Colorado Avenue South with two-way traffic to South Atlantic Street
Drivers who previously joined SR 99 northbound from Royal Brougham Way will find striking changes to that intersection. Where once there was a ramp to the viaduct, now there are two ramps to the tunnel. This is where southbound drivers in the tunnel will exit to reach SODO, the stadiums, and I-90 and I-5. This is also where drivers coming from I-90 or the stadiums will enter the tunnel for northbound SR 99.
Note: A shared-use path along Colorado Avenue South will be built in a future phase of the project.
South end of the tunnel: South Atlantic Street and Colorado Avenue South
New surface-street connection to Alaskan Way South
Colorado Avenue South with two-way traffic to Royal Brougham Way South
The changes around South Atlantic Street are less drastic but still worth knowing. The Atlantic Street overpass over SR 99 is now a complete connection to Alaskan Way (to the north) and East Marginal Way South (to the south). You can now reach both via South Atlantic Street by taking the ramp labeled below.
Colorado Avenue South (previously called East Frontage Road) is now a two-way street, providing a north and south route between South Atlantic Street and SR 99 on- and off-ramps. A common path from SR 99 southbound to reach I-90 will be to take Colorado Avenue south, then take a left turn onto South Atlantic Street.
Note: At tunnel opening South Atlantic Street does not pass beneath the SR 99 overpass to Alaskan Way South. That connection will open later in winter/spring 2019.
Again, no specific time yet for the actual tunnel opening – but WSDOT has said it’ll be in time for the earliest edge of tomorrow’s morning commute (4 am-ish). We’ll have a separate update when it’s announced, and we also still have one more report in the works from Saturday’s tunnel dedication.
10:59 AM SUNDAY: The “for lease” sign has been down for a bit but there’s been no hint of what’s ahead for the former Tully’s at 2676 Alki Avenue SW – until now. A “site plan” has just showed up in city files. The early-stage plan is for remodeling the space into a “new eating and drinking establishment” that the document names as “Harry’s Beach House.”. What’s on file also notes that the siding and windows will be replaced, but the alterations otherwise are interior only. That’s all the info so far. It’s been 11 months since the Alki Tully’s suddenly closed, part of a wave of other closures around the area, followed by legal action for eviction a few weeks later.
EARLY MONDAY: In finest community-collaborative-news style, more information has unfolded in the comment discussion – thanks to Will o Wisp saying he’d learned of an affiliation with Harry’s Fine Foods on Capitol Hill, we found a clue, that Todd then confirmed.
(Cormorant in sunset reflection, photographed by Dan Ciske)
It’s not all about the football on this you-know-what Sunday. From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and inbox:
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, stroll the market to find out what’s fresh this week. (California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon)
CAMP SECOND CHANCE COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE: 2 pm at Arrowhead Gardens, the monthly meeting for updates, questions, and concerns related to the sanctioned encampment on the Myers Way Parcels. (9200 2nd SW)
SUPERB OWL PARTY: 2 pm at Parliament Tavern, which opens early for “the annual epic throwdown between the folks from that one corner vs. the folks from that other corner. Hosted by Science Mike.” 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
OPEN HEARTS: 2 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, a “celebration of Brazilian and American music in support of Centro Espirita Beneficente, Uniao do Vegetal // Nucleo Claridade Divina.” (4408 Delridge Way SW)
AUTHOR AT C & P: 3 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor):
West Seattle author Elise Hooper will be offering an alternative to devouring Super Bowl seven-layer dip this Sunday (2.3.19) by visiting C & P Coffee Company at 3 PM to give a talk about Learning to See, her new novel about pioneering photographer Dorothea Lange. Publisher’s Weekly says, “Historical fiction fans will gobble up Hooper’s novel and be left with the satisfied feeling that they have lived through much of the 20th century with Dorothea Lange.” Library Journal describes Learning to See as “a fascinating and sometimes surprising introduction to a woman known for her iconic photographs but not her eventful life.”
Hooper’s previous novel, The Other Alcott, a 2017 Washington State Book Award nominee that People Magazine called “irresistible,” told the story of the real women behind the beloved characters in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. The New York Times Book Review raved “[May’s] adventures illuminate the world of intrepid female artists in the late 1800s, a milieu too little appreciated today.”
Page 2 Books will be providing book sales and Hooper will be giving a brief talk about her work, answering questions, and signing books.
(5612 California SW)
FAMILY MEDITATION: 5 pm at West Seattle Contemplative Church. Open to all. Free but RSVP requested at WSContemplativeChurch.org. (4157 California SW)
‘WOMEN OF WAKANDA’: Variety show and fundraiser at The Skylark, 6 pm, all ages – details in our calendar listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
TRIANGULAR JAZZTET: 7 pm music at The Alley in The Junction. (4509 California SW)
LOOK BEYOND … via our complete calendar.
All four varsity basketball teams from West Seattle High School and Chief Sealth International High School have postseason games in the next few days, following their regular-season-ending crosstown clashes Friday night:
The Seahawks hosted the Wildcats, and the girls were up first.
1:01 AM: Getting reports of a power outage – so far hearing from Gatewood, Arbor Heights, The Arroyos. Anyone else?
1:07 AM: Big outage – just showed on the map (always a lag). 4,700+ homes/businesses.
1:10 AM: No official word of the cause yet but we have at least two reports from Gatewood of a “zap” heard and flashes seen. (Added atop this story: Screengrab of City Light map, for the record.)
1:21 AM: As noted in comment discussion, SCL has assigned an estimated restoration time of 7 am, but those are always just guesstimates – could be much sooner … or later.
2:01 AM: Second hour of the outage. SCL says its crews are still investigating.
2:32 AM: After an hour and a half, we’re getting reports that at least some have their power back.
2:37 AM: The SCL map is now updated. 3,000+ customers still out.
2:51 AM: And now everybody else (except for 1 customer) is back on, the map shows. (Added) SCL says via Twitter that while the cause is still under investigation, crews “rerouted power to restore the affected area.”
ADDED TUESDAY: SCL says an underground cable failure caused the outage.
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