Getting around when construction is complete
The Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program will transform how drivers use SR 99 to reach or bypass downtown Seattle. The new SR 99 tunnel is designed to work in conjunction with a new Alaskan Way surface street that will be built in the footprint of the to-be-removed viaduct.
The map below shows how common trips will look when the tunnel is open and Alaskan Way is rebuilt.
The SR 99 tunnel will provide a direct route for vehicles seeking to bypass downtown entirely, and is designed to accommodate the current volume of viaduct traffic that does not use any of the mid-viaduct ramps.
When work is complete, the traffic that today uses the viaduct’s mid-town ramps to enter or leave downtown will instead use the new Alaskan Way surface street. A new connection above the railroad tracks at the surface street’s north end will help vehicles connect to Elliott and Western avenues without being blocked by trains. Visit the Waterfront Seattle website for more information about the design of these elements.
At the tunnel’s north end, three roads currently interrupted by SR 99 (John, Thomas and Harrison streets) will be reconnected, improving east-west connections between South Lake Union and Uptown.
These new route options will make some current trips shorter and other trips a little longer, while improving safety for the travelling public by replacing the viaduct with a tunnel built to modern safety and earthquake standards.