Friday, January 25, 2019

SR 99 Tunnel Grand Opening: 5 things to know before you go

By Steve Peer

There's a celebratory light at both ends of Seattle's new SR 99 tunnel. We're hosting a family-friendly Grand Opening event on February 2 and 3 so visitors can explore the new tunnel and enjoy one last visit on the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Here's what's going on:

Saturday, February 2
The weekend celebration begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday with an 8K fun run. The run, starting in the shadow of the Space Needle, will take runners through the new tunnel, onto the viaduct and even through the Battery Street Tunnel. Later that morning, we'll cut the ribbon for the new tunnel and launch activities that will last all afternoon. Visitors have the opportunity to:
  • Walk through and learn more about the state-of-the-art SR 99 tunnel
  • Take part in STEM activities at both ends of the new tunnel
  • Walk along the Alaskan Way Viaduct and imagine the new waterfront
  • Enjoy an arts festival and listen to live music on the viaduct
  • Enjoy cuisine from food trucks
More than 25,000 have already signed up for the 8K Fun Run through the tunnel and on the viaduct - sponsored by HNTB.

Sunday (SOLD OUT)
The weekend concludes Sunday morning, February 3 with a 12.5-mile bike ride through the tunnel (traveling north and southbound) and onto both levels of the viaduct. 12,000 people signed up for the ride – setting a record for the largest bike ride in Washington state

How to make the most of your visit
These events are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the past, present, and future of the Seattle waterfront in one afternoon. But if you're coming, you need to be prepared.
Similar to the 2016 SR 520 Grand Opening, we’re expecting big crowds for the Step Forward event.

Even if you already have a free ticket, you'll need to be prepared: 5 things to know:
  • If you've signed up, show up. Be sure to get to the event within 15 minutes of the time you signed up for. For example, if you signed up to tour the tunnel at 12:30 p.m. and don't show up until 1:15 – you may have to wait in line. The tickets were issued during time slots to better manage crowd flow.
  • If you don't have a free ticket, there will be lines for non-ticketed guests. We believe the best arrival window for un-ticketed guests will be between 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. We plan to accommodate all un-ticketed guests, however, we are not able to guarantee access if the wait extends past the 6:30 p.m. end time.
  • Take public transportation. You don't want to get stuck. There is limited parking near the event entrances but plenty of transit options, including the monorail. And remember that the #Realign99 closure is still on, so you need to be prepared.
  • Be a good visitor! We expect crowds. Please be patient and considerate of others. We want you to enjoy all the events, but remember there are others who want to come join you, so please make room for them so that everyone can enjoy the event.
  • Plan to walk a lot. The tunnel is 2 miles long and the viaduct is about 1.5 miles. Be sure to hydrate, dress appropriately and plan to spend a lot of time on your feet. The viaduct road surface is not in the best condition, so plan to wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes.


A.V. said...

I signed up for 2 tickets but never received a confirmation. How do I reconfirm my time slot?

WSDOT said...

Hi, A.V. Please contact, and we can resend your ticket confirmation email.

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