Seattle area braces for three-week SR 99 closure

Expect more congestion, longer commutes.

File photo

File photo

State Route 99 will be closed for three weeks of construction starting Friday, Jan. 11. The closure begins near the West Seattle Bridge and stretches all the way to the southern end of the Battery Street tunnel.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), this is the largest highway closure that the Puget Sound region has ever seen. As a result, local residents must plan around high levels of traffic spilling across the greater Seattle metropolitan area until construction finishes in early February.

WSDOT is closing the highway to realign it into a new tunnel parallel to the Alaskan Way Viaduct, with eight new ramps connecting the tunnel to city streets. However, when State Route 99 reopens in February, the viaduct will stay closed until the city begins demolition later in the month.

As a result of the closure, commute times are likely to increase along major routes including Interstate 90 and State Route 520 between Bellevue and Seattle, according to WSDOT studies from the 2016 closure of the viaduct. The same statistics suggest commuters could spend an extra 30 minutes in their cars on Interstate 5 between Federal Way and Seattle, and between Everett and Seattle.

“There are 90,000 vehicles that travel the viaduct every day,” said Laura Newborn, media relations for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. Newborn recommends that Seattle area residents work from home if they can, take different modes of transportation around Seattle, or failing that, carpool.

The Alaskan Way Viaduct was built more than half a century ago. While it survived the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, the tunnel is still vulnerable to another seismic event. The new tunnel will replace the viaduct along with an Alaskan Way surface street on the same stretch as the viaduct.

Seattle commuters have four days left to use SR 99 before it closes.

More in News

Local project gives small farmers a big boost

SnoValley Tilth’s Experience Farming Project gives new farmers a chance to muddy their boots.

District Court Judge Peter Nault dies after 25 years on the bench

The county council will appoint a judge to fill the open spot.

Kenmore discusses Saint Edward ball field renovations

The state Parks and Recreation Commission is beginning the EIS process for the proposed project.

Snohomish County shares Southwest Urban Growth Area Boundary Planning Study

The study can be used as a resource to inform future planning.

The majority of the schools had networks installed in the early 1990s with cable that cannot support current network needs. The upgrades made this summer will increase the network speeds, expand wireless coverage areas, and improve reliability for students and staff. Courtesy photo
NSD updates network connections over summer

This modernization project is made possible by the approval of the 2018 bond.

Courtesy photo 
                                Cameron Devine (left) and Bryce Devine (right) of Troop 61 are receiving their Eagle Scout rank on Aug. 16.
Two Bothell Boy Scouts earn Eagle Scout rank

Cameron and Bryce Devine of Troop 61 are receiving their Eagle Scout rank on Aug. 16.

Most Read