Alaskan Way Viaduct to close for three weeks in January — traffic all over city will be terrible
By Gwen Davis
This coming January will not be a fun month for Seattle commuters.
Starting on January 11, 2019, the Alaskan Way Viaduct will close for approximately three weeks. This will be the longest major highway closure the Puget Sound Region has ever seen. Transportation all over the greater Seattle area will be significantly impacted, including side streets.
Advice? Stay off the roads, if possible, especially during peak commute times.
On Thursday, South Seattle College hosted a transportation forum, where speakers from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), King County Metro and the City of Seattle updated community members about the details of the viaduct closure, as well as other upcoming transportation projects.
Details of closure:
WSDOT will close SR 99 on Jan. 11 through downtown Seattle to realign the highway with the new tunnel. During this closure, both the viaduct and the tunnel will be closed. Additionally, the ramps near the stadiums will be closed for an extra two to three weeks. The new SR 99 northbound off-ramp to Alaskan Way S. and downtown will open around two weeks after the tunnel opens. Also, the SR 99 southbound off-ramp to South Atlantic Street will close approximately one week before the main closure begins.
When the closure ends, the tunnel will open and SR 99 drivers will have a direct route from the stadiums to the Space Needle. The viaduct and Battery Street Tunnel will both be permanently closed in preparation for the start of viaduct removal.
Seattle's new SR 99 tunnel:
Seattle’s newest tunnel will provide a direct route on SR 99 between the stadiums and the Space Needle. It is the largest double-deck highway tunnel of its kind in the country, according to WSDOT. It will be two miles long, have two lanes in each direction, plus an eight-foot safety shoulder. There will be no mid-tunnel exists or entrances.
The tunnel will be toll-free until approximately the summer of 2019. This will give commuters the chance to get used to the tunnel, and figure out what routes work best for them.
When tolling starts, the tunnel will cost $1.00 to $2.25, depending on the time of day, with a Good To Go! pass.
For more information on the Viaduct closure, visit: http://wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/