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Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Travis Phelps, Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program, 206-462-0554 (cell)
Greg Phipps, Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program, 206-805-2862
Quick info link. See the latest construction photos.
First viaduct demolition set to begin in SODO
SEATTLE – Two weekends of big changes are in store for drivers heading between the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seattle’s SODO neighborhood as crews relocate a ramp and gear up to demolish another.
Starting Friday night, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will begin a series of changes to the viaduct’s First Avenue S. ramps that will shift the access point to S. Royal Brougham Way between Alaskan Way S. and First Avenue S. This round of construction marks a significant milestone as crews open the new East Frontage Road and demolish a piece of the viaduct, altering a familiar route drivers have used since 1953.
“After years of planning and groundwork, we’re excited to open the first stretch of new pavement for this project while removing the first piece of this vulnerable structure,” said Matt Preedy, WSDOT’s Alaskan Way Viaduct construction director.
SR 99 drivers will be without a southbound off-ramp to First Avenue S. from Feb. 11 through the morning of Feb. 14. Drivers will be without a northbound SR 99 on-ramp from First Avenue S. for up to six weeks starting Feb. 18, as crews begin demolition and construction work.
“We need drivers help to keep traffic moving,” Preedy said. “We understand that it may take awhile for drivers to get used to these changes, but we need them to stay informed to help reduce potential backups.”
Here’s what’s in store for the next few weeks:
Southbound viaduct off-ramp change
- Friday evening, Feb. 11 until the morning of Monday, Feb. 14 – The southbound SR 99 exit to First Avenue S. will be closed from 7 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday. When the southbound exit opens on Monday morning, drivers will follow a newly extended ramp all the way to S. Royal Brougham Way.
Northbound viaduct on-ramp closed for up to six weeks
- Friday, Feb. 18 – Friday, April 1 – The First Avenue S. on-ramp to northbound SR 99 will be closed for as long as six weeks. During this time crews will demolish a portion of the existing ramp and finish building a new northbound ramp connection.
First Avenue S. and southbound viaduct off-ramp closed for up to three days
- Friday, Feb. 18 until the morning of Monday, Feb. 21 – First Avenue S. will be closed between S. Royal Brougham Way and S. King Street from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. Railroad Way S. between Occidental Avenue S. and First Avenue S. also will be closed during this time. These closures will give crews room to demolish the ramp safely. While these streets will be closed to through traffic, we will maintain access to local businesses.
To keep drivers informed and help manage potential congestion, WSDOT works with King County, the City of Seattle and the Port of Seattle to coordinate construction traffic through downtown Seattle. WSDOT publishes a weekly construction traffic update to provide frequently updated and accurate information to drivers.
Why is WSDOT moving the ramp access to S. Royal Brougham Way?
These ramp changes are necessary to keep traffic moving while we replace the southern mile of the viaduct. The new ramp alignments will eventually work in conjunction with an SR 99 mainline detour that will allow us to keep both directions of SR 99 open through construction.
The upcoming mainline detour will connect the new SR 99 roadway south of S. Royal Brougham Way to the existing viaduct north of S. King Street. Drivers will use the southbound mainline detour starting in late 2011 and the northbound mainline detour in early 2012.
The project’s website has more details about why we’re changing the ramp access and building an SR 99 detour and has maps that will help drivers navigate the changes.
For more information on the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement program, visit www.alaskanwayviaduct.org.
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