SEATTLE – Crews continue to make great strides in the demolition of the southern mile of the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct. Today, crews will break up and remove massive chunks of already fallen concrete and rebar to make room for a construction bypass and future roadway. Crews also will remove a key section of the viaduct near South Royal Brougham Way so the new construction bypass can be striped and connected to new ramps to SR 99 in coming days.
“I want to continue to thank the drivers who have adjusted their commutes during the first few days of the closure,” said Matt Preedy, WSDOT Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement program deputy administrator. “We are almost halfway through demolishing the southern mile of the structure, but we need drivers to continue what they’re doing and ride the bus, take the train or work from home.”
Commute recap: north end
The majority of drivers traveled slightly earlier during the Tuesday morning commute. Some travel times on southbound Interstate 5 between Everett and Seattle were 10 minutes quicker than usual as drivers continue to spread out their commute routes. Drivers ran into a four-mile backup from SR 900 to Southcenter during the morning commute. Drivers that chose 15th Avenue West and Elliott Avenue West to downtown Seattle saw their typical travel time increase up to 20 minutes.
Commute recap: south end
Just like their north-end counterparts, drivers left later in the morning and used arterial streets for traveling short distances. Stop-and-go traffic stretched for seven miles on I-5 near Federal Way, an area which usually is heavily congested for only five miles. Drivers using Airport Way South to bypass traffic on I-5 saw a typical 10-minute commute from the south end of Boeing Field to the International District.
First and Fourth Avenues both carried 65 percent more traffic than normal. As a result, it took drivers a few minutes longer than usual to use First Avenue South from South Lucile Street to the sports stadiums. Similarly, drivers on Fourth Avenue South saw delays of up to just a couple of minutes.
Commute recap: West Seattle
Drivers on the West Seattle Bridge saw their commute increase anywhere from three to 10 minutes to reach the stadiums. Other routes, including the Lower Spokane Street Swing Bridge, saw heavy congestion early in the commute as trucks waited to access the Port of Seattle. The backup was quickly cleared out with the help of uniformed police officers.
Drivers urged to prepare for Tuesday’s afternoon commute
Traffic is again expected to be heavily congested during Tuesday’s afternoon commute. Drivers will see extra traffic on regional freeways such as I-5 and I-405 and local city streets during the afternoon’s commute. A good alternate route for drivers to bypass the viaduct closure is Airport Way South. From there drivers can access I-5 near South Boeing Access Road and avoid delays through SODO.
Tools for getting around
· What’s happening now
· Recommended routes in and out of downtown
· Nine-day viaduct closure details
· King County Metro tools for getting around during the nine-day closure
· King County Water Taxi
· Sound Transit schedules
· Community Transit schedules
· Pierce Transit schedules
· Google Trip Planner
Updated closure details
· Northbound SR 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and South Royal Brougham Way remains closed around-the-clock until 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 31.
· Northbound SR 99 from the South Royal Brougham Way on-ramp to the Battery Street Tunnel remains open.
· Southbound SR 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge remains closed around-the-clock until 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 31.
Hyperlinks within the news release:
· SR 99 – Demolition videos: www.wsdotblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/alaskan-way-viaduct-south-end.html
SR 99 Demolition pictures: wsdot.wa.gov/projects/viaduct/camera/
· SR 99 – South Holgate to South King Street project www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR99/HolgateToKing/
· Recommended routes through Seattle: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR99/HolgateToKing/SR99RecommendedRoutes.htm
· Nine-day viaduct closure and helpful links: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR99/HolgateToKing/ViaductNineDayClosure.htm
King County Metro tools for getting around during the nine-day closure: metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/get-you-there/
King County Water Taxi: www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/WaterTaxi.aspx
Sound Transit schedules www.soundtransit.org/
Community Transit schedules: www.commtrans.org/BusService/TripPlanner.cfm
Pierce Transit schedules: www.piercetransit.org/
Ride Share Online www.rideshareonline.com/
Google Trip Planner www.google.com/intl/en/landing/transit/#mdy