FIRST REPORT, 11:12 AM: We are at the south end of the Highway 99 tunnel to cover the 11:30 am dedication/ribboncutting ceremony. Driving on otherwise-closed 99 to access the media-parking zone, we got a look at some of the new signage:
Runners/walkers finishing the 8K are passing by, steps away. Among the West Seattleites waving at us, Deb Greer and Karen Berge of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network:
Gathering for the ceremony, many who were involved in making the tunnel happen, from politicians to advisory-group members. West Seattleites we’ve already seen include, in the former category, ex-Mayor Greg Nickels (below with wife Sharon Nickels), and in the latter, longtime advisory/stakeholder group members Vlad Oustimovitch and Pete Spalding.
Also seen already, former Gov. Chris Gregoire, who signed the tunnel bill almost 10 years ago. A West Seattleite who stood by at that Seattle Aquarium ceremony, King County Executive Dow Constantine, is one of today’s scheduled speakers. More former mayors sighted as we got ready to publish this – Mike McGinn, longtime tunnel critic, and Ed Murray, who also was there at the 2009 signing.
Again, though the tunnel is being dedicated today as a prelude to an afternoon/evening of events inside it and up on the soon-to-be-demolished Alaskan Way Viaduct, WSDOT doesn’t plan to open it until early Monday morning.
12:36 PM: Minutes ago, the ribbon was cut:
And a photo:
Full coverage later. First – on to the afternoon of viaduct/tunnel celebrations.