Two notes today related to the Highway 99 tunnel:
TOLLS DELAYED: WSDOT confirms what was first reported by citywide media earlier today – that the tunnel tolling, originally expected to start this summer, is now delayed until fall. The state is switching vendors for its tolling system and won’t be ready to go this summer as originally planned.
TRAFFIC ALERT: Last night, we reported that WSDOT said Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition is now at the midway point and moving southward. As part of that, lane closures on surface Alaskan Way just north of the NB 99 pre-tunnel exit might back things up, spokesperson Laura Newborn warns:
At 4 a.m. on Friday, June 14, crews preparing for viaduct demolition will reduce Alaskan Way to one lane in each direction between South King and South Dearborn streets. This lane reduction will last more than a month. Narrowing the roadway is the only way for crews to safely prepare and demolish this section of viaduct. Because this section of Alaskan Way is near the SR 99 northbound off-ramp at South Dearborn, travelers may encounter backups on the northbound off-ramp and, potentially, the northbound mainline entering the tunnel.
We expect the heaviest congestion will occur during peak travel periods, special events and on weekends, when ferry traffic increases and cruise ships are in town. Travelers approaching downtown from the south should plan ahead for longer drive times and consider alternate routes or ways of getting around, including transit and the King County Water Taxi.