Contents tagged with home

  • Weekend of SR 99 closures is underway

    UPDATE: As of 5:30 p.m., Saturday, March 28, the Alaskan Way Viaduct is now open from South Spokane Street to the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel. Bridge crews completed all of their work during today’s viaduct inspection, so tomorrow’s inspection closure is canceled. SR 99 remains closed from the Battery Street Tunnel to Valley Street until 5 a.m. Monday, March 30.

    Highway construction, utility work and a regular inspection of the Alaskan Way Viaduct have closed portions of SR 99 through Seattle this weekend. Closures along both directions of SR 99 began at 7 p.m. Friday and will last until 5 a.m. Monday.

    SR 99 closure details
    7 p.m. Friday, March 27, until 5 a.m. Monday, March 30

    • Seattle Public Utilities crews will close two northbound lanes and one southbound lane of SR 99 between Ward Street and Highland Drive from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. 
    • WSDOT and SDOT contractor crews will close SR 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

    6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 28, and Sunday, March 29

    • WSDOT bridge inspection crews will conduct a scheduled inspection of the Alaskan Way Viaduct between South Spokane Street and the Battery Street Tunnel.

    Westbound I-90 closure

    The SR 99 closures are part of a busy weekend of highway construction in the region. Drivers heading across Lake Washington from the Eastside will see westbound Interstate 90 detoured to the express lanes as crews upgrade tunnel operations systems inside the westbound Mount Baker and Mercer Island tunnels.

    11 p.m. Friday, March 27, until 5 a.m. Monday, March 30

    • Contractor crews will shift all westbound I-90 traffic between Bellevue Way and Rainier Avenue South to the express lanes from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. 
    • Drivers wishing to access Mercer Island will need to exit westbound I-90 at East Mercer Way. There are no westbound exits to Mercer Island from the express lanes. 
    • Those wishing to travel from Mercer Island to Seattle should enter the express lanes at 77th Avenue Southeast or Island Crest Way. 
    • Westbound I-90 drivers will be unable to exit to Rainier Avenue South and should follow the signed detour via Fourth Avenue South and South Dearborn Street. 
    • Drivers needing to transport flammable materials westbound across Lake Washington must use alternate routes such as Interstate 405 or state routes 520 or 522. 
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  • March 27 project update: Final lift approaches

    Seattle Tunnel Partners is nearly ready to lift the SR 99 tunneling machine’s front end to the surface for repairs. On Thursday, the massive red crane that will make the lift was rolled into place above the tunnel access pit. Crews are now connecting rigging and will spend the weekend making final preparations to lift the 2,000-ton piece to the surface. In addition to the machine’s five-story-tall cutterhead, the section being lifted includes the motors and parts that enable the cutterhead to rotate. It also houses the main bearing and seal system that will be replaced during the repairs.
    Because the piece is so large, the lift could take 16 hours or longer, but there is no set schedule. Crews will take as long as necessary to prepare for and safely complete the lift. The crane doing the lifting was built by Mammoet, a firm that has performed similar lifts around the world, including the successful recovery of a Russian nuclear submarine from the bottom of the Barents Sea. Equipped with nearly seven miles of steel cable, the crane bringing Bertha to the surface is capable of lifting more than 2,400 tons. Check out our time-lapse video (links to YouTube) showing the crane’s assembly.  
    This will be the fourth and final lift in STP’s repair effort, which our narrated video (links to YouTube) explains in detail. To date, crews have removed three pieces of Bertha’s exterior from the pit, the largest weighing 270 tons. The first lift, which occurred on March 19, can be seen from the perspective of the crane operator in this time-lapse video (links to YouTube).
    You can track the action on our time-lapse camera and follow @BerthaDigsSR99 on Twitter for updates. We’ll also continue to post photos and videos as STP’s work progresses.
    The crane that will lift the tunneling machine's front end to the surface rolled into position on Thursday.
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  • March 23 project update: Third piece of tunneling machine lifted to the surface

    Seattle Tunnel Partners has successfully lifted the third piece of the SR 99 tunneling machine to the surface for repairs. Crews lifted the machine’s 90-ton right side body from the pit Monday afternoon. Like the previous two pieces removed from the pit, the right side body is part of the machine's exterior shield.

    The first lift, which occurred last week, can be seen from the perspective of the crane operator in this time-lapse video (links to YouTube).

    With the machine's upper shield removed, STP will turn their attention to the final lift: Bertha's massive cutterhead and main drive unit. Crews will use the giant red crane, called a modular lift tower, to make the 2,000-ton lift. This narrated video (links to YouTube) explains the repair plan in detail.  


    Crews lifted Bertha’s 90-ton right side body from the pit on Monday.

    Three pieces of Bertha's shield have been brought to the surface for repairs. 

    You can track the action on our time-lapse camera and follow @BerthaDigsSR99 on Twitter for updates. We’ll also continue to post photos and videos as STP’s work progresses. 

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  • Take a virtual tour of SR 99 tunnel construction

    Keeping the public informed about our work to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct is an important part of what we do every day. Our goal is to give you as much access as possible to this amazing project, which is why we regularly post updates, photos and videos of our progress. We even offer walking tours from our information center, Milepost 31, to a viewing platform that overlooks the pit where tunneling began in summer 2013.

    Unfortunately, there’s one frequently received request … more

  • New narrated video explains Bertha repair work

    As reported elsewhere on our website, work to access and repair the SR 99 tunneling machine is coming along. We’ve heard from some people that Seattle Tunnel Partners’ repair plan is hard to picture. Enter STP’s Chris Dixon, who was nice enough to narrate a video that explains what crews are doing to resume tunneling by March 2015. Watch it on YouTube or download a WMV file.

    Other resources 

    Seattle Tunnel Partners repair work plan (pdf 4.8 Mb) … more

  • What we’re doing to keep traffic moving during the four-day SR 99 closure

    We’ve been asking you to do your part to reduce congestion when SR 99 closes for four days starting Friday night, Aug. 22. That includes things like changing your commute habits and choosing an alternate way to get around.

    But what are we, the agencies tasked with keeping traffic moving during this closure, doing to help? Quite a bit, actually. Here’s a roundup of some of the steps we’re taking to help you and your fellow commuters through the closure.

    Washington … more

  • Traffic shift underway on State Route 99 near the stadiums

    Less than three years ago, crews demolished the southern mile of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. When they did, they shifted traffic onto a new section of State Route 99 south of downtown Seattle.

    Much of that new section of SR 99 is permanent, but the piece west of the stadiums is temporary. This curving stretch of road takes drivers around the SR 99 tunnel construction site and connects to the remaining section of the viaduct near South King Street. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s … more

  • Celebrate Bike Month on our new path

    Just in time for Bike Month, we opened a new permanent connection between the on-street bike lanes south of South Atlantic Street and the shared-use path from South King Street. Here’s a map that shows the improvements, which include:

    A dedicated, 14-foot-wide shared-use path with improved paving.

    Improved lighting.

    A separate northbound and southbound path for more efficient navigation.

    Signs warning of vehicles crossing the intersection of … more

  • The SR 99 tunnel contract you’ve never heard of

    You may have noticed more construction along State Route 99, just north of the Battery Street Tunnel. That work is part of the SR 99 Tunnel Project, but it has its own name – the North Access Project. It’s also being built under a completely different contract than the one we have with Seattle Tunnel Partners, the contracting team responsible for most of the tunnel work. A map of major contracts within the program can be found here (pdf 1.1 Mb).

    Our contractor for the North … more

  • SR 99 tunnel’s north portal taking shape near the Space Needle

    A few blocks northeast of the Space Needle, crews are building the north portal of the SR 99 tunnel. It’s a huge piece of the overall tunnel project, but it’s largely invisible to the thousands of people that pass by it every day.

    About the only place you can see the north portal taking shape is from the viewing deck of the Space Needle because most of the construction is underground, inside a pit that’s every bit as impressive as the launch pit where Bertha, the SR 99 … more