FOLLOWUP: Dearborn demolition done early, but NB bus reroute won’t end just yet

Just in from WSDOT, that video and this update:

Demolition crews made quick work removing the section of the Alaskan Way Viaduct above South Dearborn Street, one of the structure’s last remaining sections. As a result, the intersection of South Dearborn Street and First Avenue South will reopen Wednesday, Sept. 18 by 6 a.m. – much earlier than initially planned. By tomorrow morning First Avenue South will once again have two lanes in each direction and northbound Railroad Way South will also reopen. The video shows the work that took less than a week to complete.

What’s next?

Starting at 4 a.m. tomorrow morning, Alaskan Way will be narrowed to one lane in each direction near Marion Street so demolition teams can take down the one remaining span of viaduct along Seattle’s waterfront.

Later this week, crews will stripe a bus-only lane on northbound SR 99 between South Spokane Street and South Dearborn Street. This lane existed during SR 99 tunnel construction and helps ensure reliable trips for King County Metro buses carrying about 30,000 passengers a day into downtown. The bus lane is scheduled to be in place by Sunday, Sept. 22 but the work is weather dependent. King County Metro’s northbound buses will remain on temporary reroute until start of service on Sunday, Sept. 22.

23 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Dearborn demolition done early, but NB bus reroute won't end just yet"

  • Sna September 17, 2019 (3:37 pm)

    >>”Later this week, crews will stripe a bus-only lane on northbound SR 99 between South Spokane Street and South Dearborn Street. This lane existed during SR 99 tunnel ”This will only slow the busses down on the approach to 99.  This lane isn’t backed up now.  Not sure why they’re doing this.

    • Theo frey September 17, 2019 (5:02 pm)

      Once they start tolling the tunnel in November I’ll guarantee that lane will be backed up with all the people exiting to avoid the toll.  

    • Kyle September 17, 2019 (5:10 pm)

      I agree. Do our elected officials ride the bus? Forcing the cars to merge there creates a backup on the clover leaf where everyone sits.

    • Mark Schletty September 17, 2019 (5:22 pm)

      99 between the bridge and Dearborn has been working really well. That irritates SDOT and the car haters, so they are putting in the bus lane again that caused much trouble before. Typical and predictable. 

      • Jon Wright September 17, 2019 (5:36 pm)

        d00d, th3y c0m1n6 f0r y0ur c4rZ!!!

    • M September 17, 2019 (9:10 pm)

      Just wow.  Opening the tunnel has relieved so much pressure from the Admiral Way a.m. traffic jam.  Adding the bus lane back to nb 99 = major backups on Admiral. 

    • psps September 17, 2019 (10:57 pm)

      Sure, you know why. People in Seattle aren’t supposed to own or drive cars.

      • Jim Walker September 18, 2019 (6:38 pm)

        Why would you drive into downtown from West Seattle?   Good grief!

        • Ed Asner September 19, 2019 (7:48 am)

          Because riding the C line makes my commute from west Seattle to downtown nearly 2 hours.

  • AlkiResident September 17, 2019 (4:13 pm)

    great job on finishing early!  that’s awesome!

  • Chris K September 17, 2019 (5:04 pm)

    Sweet video!

  • Tim September 17, 2019 (5:25 pm)

    I liked the Baseball Stadium closing and opening in the background just really fast on the video.

  • ac September 17, 2019 (7:01 pm)

    The rerouting NB on the sodo bus way is much faster than taking the Dearborn exit to 1st Ave, and you don’t have those awful days where you get stuck for 5 lights trying to turn onto 1st Ave. I’m not sure why they aren’t keeping it.  I remember a couple months ago they said the only reason it felt faster in ‘Viadoom’ was because people stayed home and there were police officers directing traffic, but if they were to do it without those conditions it would be slower… Which was clearly proved wrong…

    • Ice September 17, 2019 (8:53 pm)

      My (likely imperfect) understanding is that the post-viaduct bus-rout post-viaduct will continue onto Alaska Way (so going straight instead of turning onto 1st Ave) and then will later turn up Colombia. This seems like it would be the fastest rout possible by a lot, especially if they have bus-only lanes the whole way. 

      • Dan Keller September 18, 2019 (1:09 am)

        This is correct.

  • mnw September 17, 2019 (8:17 pm)

    I can’t believe they are extending the bus lane like it was before. That is what caused huge back ups on the bridge. Currently, cars and buses get onto 99 just fine. I fail to understand how this will help. Agree with SNA, this will just make bus trips longer due to sitting in traffic waiting to get on 99. 

  • Sue H September 18, 2019 (6:56 am)

    I’m very disappointed to hear that they’re putting back in the full bus lane again. One of the biggest bottlenecks on the West Seattle Bridge to 99N during morning rush hour was caused by that bus lane on 99 forcing all the cars over as soon as they get on 99. I take a bus to work and haven’t noticed buses getting backed up on the way to the current bus lane unlike before when everyone got backed up. Everything has been working fine, so not sure why they feel they need to extend it at this time. There is so much going on right now that is delaying West Seattle bus commuters, and it’s as if they’re trying to see where our breaking point is to add even more delays.

  • Kanakitty September 18, 2019 (7:14 am)

    Wow. Does SDOT do any research? Have they not commuted from West Seattle to see how the opening of the tunnel and opening of the right lane on NB 99 has relieved traffic for all of us. Buses included! I’m sure going back to the old way is to ensure if there is an accident in the tunnel that the buses won’t be affected by traffic stopped on 99. But let’s not kid ourselves-if you have lived through any of the carmageddons you know no ones moves. Bus lane or not.DEAR SDOT, PLEASE DONT STRIPE THE BUS LANE! You’re only creating more traffic for your buses from West Seattle!

  • Sunuva September 18, 2019 (7:18 am)

    Noooo!!! Don’t put that 24/7 bus lane back on 99! That was a major bottleneck for traffic getting out of WS. Why, just why, would they deliberately put that back in place??

  • JW September 18, 2019 (8:52 am)

    The lack of an extended bus lane on 99 has been working so well, buses aren’t even using the bus lane on the WS bridge to get onto 99 (my unscientific observation at various times in the AM).  Traffic is flowing.  (As a bus rider, I’ve wondered how drivers feel about this.)  The logic is making my head spin, but maybe, just maybe, we don’t need the bus lane on the bridge as long as traffic moves smoothly onto 99 (gasp). Of course, you put the bus lane back on 99 and then we need one on the bridge too… sigh, I’m sure smarter people than I can make sense of this. :/ For the record, I’m all about making it better for buses… but most of us bus riders are drivers at some point, too.

  • wscommuter September 18, 2019 (9:15 am)

    This is really a bad idea.  Agree with the commenters above.  Buses move at full speed – with the rest of traffic, with the right lane open to cars.  Instead, SDOT would have us go back to the two left lanes jammed  with cars bumper to bumper,  moving at 5 mph, pumping emissions into the air.   I’m no scientist, but this has to be an environmentally dumb idea.I’ve called Herbold’s office to offer my opinion.  I urge others to do so.  SDOT needs to hear loud and clear that this is a bad idea that needs to be stopped.  

  • SunriseHeights September 18, 2019 (6:53 pm)

    I agree there is no need for the bus lane on 99. It is the only lane that moves the vast majority of the time. With both cars and buses at the same time. The question is…who do we contact to keep this from happening? Or to reverse it once it’s happened as it’s likely too late to stop now?

  • West Seattle Resident September 23, 2019 (8:46 am)

    I will vote no for the bus lane for sure, unfortunately we did not have the chance.
    Anyone can share the phone number/website for us to protest?
    It’s very important to let SDOT hear our voice!
    I won’t think it’s too late. They can change it now, then they can change it back.

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