Seattle-area roadways will be a major challenge starting this Friday, April 29, when the Alaskan Way Viaduct closes for approximately two weeks. The closure will give our contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, the time they needs to tunnel beneath the viaduct. It will give drivers a reminder of what its like to live without one of three major north-south highways through Seattle.
We put together a series of short videos to help you get ready for the closure. The videos cover a variety of topics ranging from alternative commute methods to tools that will help you stay informed. Theres no easy solution for getting around during the closure, but planning ahead is your best bet for avoiding the worst congestion.
We hope the videos will help jumpstart your planning. We also encourage you to share tips and tricks with fellow commuters. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #99closure on social media.
Know before you go
This is your "survival guide" for getting around during the #99closure. Learn about the tools that are available at www.99closure.org. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and consider downloading the WSDOT and SDOT apps.
Does the #99closure feel like Déjà vu? If so, it may be because we closed the viaduct in 2011 for one week as crews tore down the southern mile of the structure. You might also remember the heavy congestion that occurred while the viaduct was closed. Expect more of the same this time around. Why? Since 2011, weve seen tremendous population growth in the area. That means more cars on the road. The good news is that transportation infrastructure has improved some since then. The City of Seattle opened a new streetcar line, WSDOT opened the Atlantic Street Overpass by the stadiums and Sound Transit last month opened University Link.
Its not too late to adjust the way you commute. Vanpools, biking, taking a ferry and riding the bus are just a handful of options available for those able to do so. Weve teamed up with our partner agencies to help move people during the #99closure:
- King County Metro is rerouting 12 routes and will deploy 22 extra buses to help maintain schedules.
- King County Water Taxi will add two extra trips to its Vashon route.
- King County is providing extra parking lots and spots along Harbor Avenue Southwest in West Seattle for Water Taxi riders.
- Seattle Police Department will direct traffic at key intersections.
- Temporary parking restrictions along key routes will facilitate transit and general purpose travel.
- SDOT is expediting planned intersection markings along East Marginal Way South to assist bicycle and pedestrian routes.
- Traffic flow and temporary parking changes will help get vehicles on and off Aurora at Denny Way, Wall Street and Battery Street.
- SDOT is restricting lane closure requests by third parties on city streets.
- I-5 express lanes will remain open in the northbound direction overnight.
- Southbound I-5 HOV lane between Mercer Street and Corson Avenue will be "open to all" during the closure.
Cant avoid driving during the #99closure? Make sure to plan ahead before hitting the streets. Here are some tools you can use to make your commute as painless as possible.
- WSDOTs live map and traffic cameras show real-time conditions on state roads.
- SDOTs live map and traffic cameras show real-time conditions on local streets.
Peak commute times will likely be longer than usual during the #99closure. We expect congestion to start earlier and end later in the day. For those who can, nows a great time to consider working from home, taking a vacation or changing your work hours. Many employers allow it, and the earlier you ask the better. Itll save you time, plus fewer cars on the road is better for everyone.