Just back from a media briefing that was held steps away from that view of the section of Alaskan Way Viaduct that will be demolished starting Thursday. Also discussed: Getting around in south downtown.
That’s Heather Marx, SDOT’s downtown mobility director. She says Alaskan Way will be temporarily opened to two lanes each way for the Dearborn demo period, Thursday through September 21st. You’ll still be able to get off northbound 99 there, but since Dearborn will be closed, you’ll have to take Alaskan – your first opportunity to turn into downtown will be Alaskan to King Street. 1st Avenue will remain open during the demolition but will be narrowed in the Dearborn vicinity to one lane each way.
That’s Bill Bryant of Metro. He reiterated that NB buses will be temporarily rerouted during the Dearborn closure. He and Marx (a West Seattleite who rides the bus) stressed the importance of keeping up on announced bus stop moves. We asked Bryant about early reviews on the new SB reroutes that started Monday; he said the first day looked good (Marx said her 21X ride went well) but it’s only one day, so they’ll be watching closely for the next few weeks.
As for the Viaduct – WSDOT before-and-almost-after photos above – demolition is now 92 percent complete. Teardown is expected to be over by early October, with cleanup continuing the rest of the month.
P.S. – TUNNEL CLOSURES: Also coming up this weekend, both directions of the Highway 99 tunnel will be closed 10 pm Friday to 8 am Saturday; the NB direction will close again 10 pm Saturday, reopening by 8 am Sunday.