Advisories and Updates 2013

2013 Program News

  • We won’t know more about Bertha’s blockage until 2014

    People love a good mystery. That would explain why we’ve been all over the national news this week, and why we’re continuing to be flooded by questions (and suggestions) about what’s blocking Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine.

    Unfortunately, the only answer we have to offer isn’t very satisfying: we simply don’t know yet.

    But we have a plan and we’re working hard to get Bertha moving again. Last week, our contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, started drilling wells to pump water out of the ground near Bertha. So far, they’ve removed more than 300,000 gallons. If that sounds like a lot of water, you’re right. It is. And there’s a lot more where that came from.

    On Wednesday, crews were able to turn the machine’s screw conveyor and remove some muck from the excavation chamber. As the muck lowered, a crew member was able to take a quick peek through a hatch near the top of the machine. What they saw inside was dirt, sand and cobbles – nothing extraordinary. Because water quickly filled the part of the chamber that was previously occupied by muck, they were only able to look around for a few minutes before they had to close the hatch.

    Since our visual inspection yielded no obvious clues about what is going on in front of or inside the machine, our next step is to continue doing what we’ve been doing: lowering the water pressure around Bertha so crews can get a closer look.

    Over the holidays, we’ll be drilling more wells, maintaining Bertha and preparing to reconfigure the launch pit so construction of the highway within the tunnel can begin. We’ll continue to update you on our progress, but we don’t expect to know more about what’s blocking Bertha until after the first of the year.

    We’ve received a lot of questions about how the stoppage in tunneling might affect the project’s cost and schedule. It’s too early to tell. Our focus is now on addressing this issue safely and in a timely manner so we can resume tunneling as soon as possible.

    We hope you have a fantastic holiday season. It’s been a productive year for Bertha and the tunnel team, and we can’t wait to dig into 2014.

    Previous updates

    Dec. 13, 2013 update -- Tunnel crews lowering groundwater to get a closer look at what's blocking Bertha

    Dec. 5, 2013 update -- Seattle Tunnel Partners: Almost the proud owners of the world's largest tunneling machine

    Nov. 25, 2013 update -- Bertha has much to be thankful for as she nears South Jackson Street

    Nov. 14, 2013 -- Bertha takes on the complexities of King Street

    Nov. 7, 2013 -- Several days at the dentist: new teeth will give Bertha more bite

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  • Tunnel crews lowering groundwater to get a closer look at what’s blocking Bertha

    Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), our design-build contractor for the tunnel project, has taken their first step toward identifying and removing the potential obstruction that last week stopped the progress of Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine. STP is installing up to 10 wells approximately 120 feet deep on the construction site near the machine, which is located about 60 feet below the surface between South Jackson and South Main streets, to the west of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

    The wells will lower the water pressure in the ground to create a safe environment for workers to enter the excavation chamber at the front of the machine, where they'll be better able to assess the situation. High groundwater pressure combined with loose soils has to this point prevented safe worker access. Well installation started on Thursday and will continue into next week. STP hopes to begin inspecting the machine by late next week. 

    To date, crews have successfully installed more than 1,000 feet of tunnel. Work continues inside the tunnel as well as in the north and south portals.

    Previous updates

    Dec. 5, 2013 update -- Seattle Tunnel Partners: Almost the proud owners of the world's largest tunneling machine

    Nov. 25, 2013 update -- Bertha has much to be thankful for as she nears South Jackson Street

    Nov. 14, 2013 -- Bertha takes on the complexities of King Street

    Nov. 7, 2013 -- Several days at the dentist: new teeth will give Bertha more bite

    Oct. 30, 2013 -- Bertha begins her week of scheduled maintenance

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  • Seattle Tunnel Partners: Almost the proud owners of the world’s largest tunneling machine

    It’s been more than two years since our contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), inked a deal with Hitachi Zosen Corp. to buy Bertha, the world’s largest tunneling machine.

    Since then, the machine has been designed, manufactured, assembled, tested, given a name, disassembled, packed, shipped across the Pacific Ocean, transported to the launch pit, reassembled, tested again, celebrated by a crowd of 5,000 and launched into the soils beneath Seattle.

    Even though Bertha has now dug 1,000 feet, she still technically belongs to Hitachi. STP’s contract with Hitachi was structured this way to give crews the opportunity to work with Hitachi’s experts during this critical first phase of tunneling. Now that the machine has made significant progress, it’s almost time for Hitachi to hand STP the keys to Bertha.  

    That hand-off should happen sometime in the next week, after the machine digs far enough to install the tunnel’s 200th concrete ring. The change of ownership won’t mean much to crews or Bertha – digging is digging, no matter whose name is on the machine’s title.

    Still, it’s worth noting the change as a reminder of the precautions we’re taking to minimize risk as we build the tunnel. Another thing worth noting: Bertha’s dig is now 10 percent complete.

    Bertha’s progress as of Dec. 5
    Total distance traveled: 1,000 feet     
    Number of rings installed: 147
    Depth (to the top of the machine): 60 feet 

    Previous updates

    Nov. 25, 2013 update -- Bertha has much to be thankful for as she nears South Jackson Street

    Nov. 14, 2013 -- Bertha takes on the complexities of King Street

    Nov. 7, 2013 -- Several days at the dentist: new teeth will give Bertha more bite

    Oct. 30, 2013 -- Bertha begins her week of scheduled maintenance

    Oct. 24, 2013 -- Bertha closing in on King Street

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  • Mercer Corridor Project to close SR 99 and Mercer Street next two weekends

    The City of Seattle's Mercer Corridor Project will close a portion of State Route 99 and Mercer Street for the next two weekends (Dec. 6 to 9 and Dec. 13 to 16). The closures will allow crews to complete critical Mercer Street widening and SR 99 bridge replacement work to meet an important deadline allowing for construction of the SR 99 tunnel’s north portal next summer. This work is weather dependent and may be canceled and rescheduled for later dates if inclement weather occurs.

    Closure details

    11:59 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 to 5 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9

    • SR 99 will be fully closed to traffic between Valley Street and the southern end of the Battery Street Tunnel. Traffic traveling through Seattle via SR 99 will be directed to I-5 in northern Seattle at 85th Street or in southern Seattle at East Marginal Way and South Spokane Street. More information about alternate routes during construction are available at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/mercercorridor.htm.
    • Mercer Street will be fully closed to traffic between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter Avenue North. Traffic heading east toward I-5 from Queen Anne will be detoured to eastbound Broad Street and will reconnect to Mercer Street at Ninth Avenue North to continue toward the I-5 ramps at Mercer Street.
    • The sidewalk on Mercer Street will also be closed between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter Avenue North. Pedestrians will be detoured to Broad Street.
    • Broad Street and the I-5 on- and off-ramps at Mercer Street will remain open during the weekend work.

     

    11 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 to 5 a.m. Monday, Dec. 16

    • SR 99 will be fully closed to traffic between Valley Street and the southern end of the Battery Street Tunnel. Traffic traveling through Seattle via SR 99 will be directed to I-5 in northern Seattle at 85th Street or in southern Seattle at East Marginal Way and South Spokane Street. More information about alternate routes during construction is available at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/mercercorridor.htm.
    • Mercer Street will be fully closed to traffic between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter Avenue North. Traffic heading east toward I-5 from Queen Anne will be detoured to eastbound Broad Street and will reconnect to Mercer Street at Ninth Avenue North to continue towards the I-5 ramps at Mercer Street.
    • The sidewalk on Mercer Street will also be closed between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter Avenue North. Pedestrians will be detoured to Broad Street.
    • Broad Street and the I-5 on- and off-ramps at Mercer Street will remain open during the weekend work.

     

    Early warning signs will be available in advance of the SR 99 lane restrictions and Mercer Street detours. Travelers can expect significant traffic and delays and should plan ahead and use alternate routes.

    Access to Seattle Center from I-5 on Mercer and Broad streets and from SR 99 will be open during both weekends.

    Additional weekend closures will continue over the course of the project, which is scheduled for completion in mid-2015. Closures are coordinated with other construction projects and special events in the area, including activities at the Seattle Center, and will be announced as dates are confirmed.              

    Visit the Mercer Corridor Project page for more information.                          

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  • Bertha has much to be thankful for as she nears South Jackson Street

    Sometime in the next few days, Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, will find herself surrounded by soil that spent thousands of years under the weight of mile-thick glaciers. Fortunately, there’s no place she’d rather be.

    Bertha will encounter eight different types of soil as she digs her way beneath Seattle, each with different characteristics. In general, the looser the soil, the more likely it is to move as you tunnel through it. Sand, for example, is harder to control than soil compacted by glaciers.

    Until recently, Bertha had been digging through ground that crews strengthened with concrete. She then pushed her way into untouched glacial soils topped by a thin layer of unstable fill soil dumped in her path by Seattle’s early settlers. By the time she reaches South Jackson Street, Bertha will be completely buried in glacial till, which is the kind of soil she'll tunnel through for the remainder of her journey. 

    Maybe she owes those glaciers – which made most of the soil she’ll encounter dense and stable – a debt of gratitude as she digs her way toward the Thanksgiving holiday.

    Other things Bertha is thankful for

    Barges
    On Nov. 23, crews started using barges to remove excavated soil from the dig site. The barges will take the soil to Mats Mats, a quarry near Port Ludlow. Previously, crews used trucks to remove soil and dispose of it at facilities in the Puget Sound region. Moving forward, they’ll use a combination of barges and trucks, which will increase the speed and efficiency of the tunneling operation.

    Good friends
    @BerthaDigsSR99 recently welcomed her 8,000th Twitter follower. Not bad for a tunneling machine.

    A favorite milepost
    Milepost 31, the SR 99 tunnel project information center, has seen more than 20,000 visitors since it opened in December 2011. It's a great way for the public to learn more about Bertha, WSDOT's efforts to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seattle's historic Pioneer Square neighborhood. Milepost 31 will celebrate its second anniversary with a public event on Dec. 5 

    Firm ground
    The ground above Bertha has remained steady since crews discovered (and quickly filled) a sinkhole above the machine on Nov. 14. Given the soil conditions, crews may see some additional ground movement before the machine reaches Jackson.  

    Great progress
    Bertha has tunneled nearly 350 feet in the two weeks following her last scheduled maintenance stop. She’s traveled a total of 774 feet and installed 111 concrete rings since the start of tunneling.  

    Crews hope to reach Jackson before they break for the holiday. What’s on Bertha’s Thanksgiving menu? You should know by now.

    — more —
  • Bertha takes on the complexities of King Street

    Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, resumed digging at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13, following two weeks of scheduled maintenance. Crews spent the machine’s downtime performing inspections, tuning up equipment and installing new cutting teeth

    As she emerged from her protected maintenance area, Bertha faced a new challenge – the ground beneath South King Street, which offers conditions she hasn’t yet experienced and won’t see again during her drive beneath the city.

    Having dug similar tunnels all over the world, our contractor knew that tunneling beneath King would be tricky. They closed the street before tunneling resumed, and will keep it closed until Bertha reaches South Jackson Street, about 200 feet to the north. They also made plans to tunnel around the clock until they safely reach the other side of King, since continuous forward progress limits ground movement around the machine. 

    Sure enough, the morning of Thursday, Nov. 14 brought Bertha an unwelcome, but not unexpected, visitor: a sinkhole.

    Located in the construction yard just south of King, the sinkhole was about 15 feet long, 20 feet wide and 7 feet deep. The hole was quickly filled in as Bertha continued on her way, but not before it illustrated why our contractor spent $53 million building a protected area at the start of the tunnel drive. If ever there was a good spot for a sinkhole, it’s here, in a restricted area protected by underground walls.

    Why King Street is unique
    The conditions near King Street are unique for a number of reasons. For the first time in her journey, Bertha is digging through soil that hasn’t been strengthened with concrete. Some of that soil is glacial till, which is dense and good for tunneling, but a layer near the surface is fill material dumped in Bertha’s path by Seattle’s early settlers. This fill includes loose soil, sawdust and timber piles that, if disturbed during tunneling, can create voids above the machine.

    The good news is that Bertha will say goodbye to fill soil by the time she reaches Jackson. Until then, crews are prepared to respond to any voids or other ground movement that may occur.

    Removing the roof
    Before Thursday, it was impossible for Bertha to create voids at the surface. That’s because she’s been tunneling beneath the 5-foot-thick slab of concrete that extends all the way back to the launch pit. The slab was there to keep the machine from floating toward the surface. How does a 7,000-ton machine float? Lots of groundwater combined with the shallow depth of the tunnel in the early part of the tunnel drive. Now that Bertha has reached a depth of 35 feet, it’s time to take off the roof, which increases the likelihood that any voids created above the machine will travel to the surface.

    The path forward
    Thankfully, deeper soils are coming. Our understanding of the machine and the best way to operate it is also deepening with each ring we build. As any experienced miner will tell you, there’s always a learning curve at the start of a tunnel drive.

    It’s like learning to ride a bicycle. Early on, you use training wheels. Maybe someone holds on to the seat to help keep you steady. You take extra caution, stop frequently. Then, slowly, you start to catch on.

    Bertha’s training wheels are still on. But we’re no longer holding the seat. And before we know it, our little machine will be riding on her own beneath the city.     

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  • Tunnel and overpass construction to close State Route 99 ramps and lane in SODO this weekend

    If your Saturday plans include a trip to SODO, you can cross the State Route 99 ramps near the stadiums off your list of route options.

    Crews working for contractors building the SR 99 tunnel and the South Atlantic Street overpass will close the on-ramp from South Royal Brougham Way and the off-ramp to South Atlantic Street for much of the weekend. The right lane of southbound SR 99 will also be closed south of downtown Seattle. The ramps and lane will reopen two hours before the kickoff of Sunday’s Seahawks game at CenturyLink Field. 

    Closure details

    Friday, Nov. 15 – Sunday, Nov. 17

    • The right lane of southbound SR 99 between South King and South Atlantic streets, as well as the southbound off-ramp to South Atlantic Street, will be closed from 10 pm. Friday, Nov. 15 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 17.
    • During the lane and ramp closure, crews will remove steel and timber beams that supported construction of the new South Atlantic Street overpass. The overpass is scheduled to open by the end of 2013.

     

    Saturday, Nov. 16 – Sunday, Nov. 17

    • The South Royal Brougham Way on-ramp to northbound SR 99 will be closed from 7 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday.
    • During the closure, crews will install drainage and move a power pole.


    The overpass and tunnel ramp work are both part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program.

    Drivers can stay up to date with all closures and roadway conditions by checking the Seattle traffic page, the What’s Happening Now page, or WSDOT mobile app.

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  • State Route 99 to close this weekend through Seattle

    Crews working above, below and on the ground will close State Route 99 through Seattle this weekend. 
     
    In SODO, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will unveil the permanent concrete shape of the South Atlantic Street overpass above SR 99 by removing temporary steel and timber beams that supported construction. 
     
    North of downtown, contractor crews working for the Seattle Department of Transportation will install a sewer line under the road for the Mercer Corridor project and grind the pavement in the southbound lanes of the Battery Street Tunnel. 
     
    “Scheduling all this work at the same time avoids several weekends of closures and keeps our construction on track,” said Matt Preedy, deputy administrator for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. “Drivers can help by planning their trips before they’re stuck in traffic.” 
     

    Closure details 

    Friday, Nov. 8 – Monday, Nov. 11 
     
    • Northbound SR 99 will be closed between South Spokane Street and Valley Street from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.
    • Southbound SR 99 will be closed from the north end of the Battery Street Tunnel to Spokane Street from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.
    • Southbound SR 99 will be reduced to one lane between Highland Drive and the north end of the Battery Street Tunnel from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.
     
    WSDOT recommends leaving early, carp​ooling or taking transit. Drivers can stay up to date with all closures and roadway conditions by checking the Seattle traffic page, the What’s Happening Now page, or WSDOT mobile app
     
    Next weekend, additional construction on the South Atlantic Street overpass will affect SR 99 through downtown Seattle. Crews will close the right lane of southbound SR 99 between South King and South Atlantic streets, as well as the southbound off-ramp to South Atlantic Street from 10 pm. Friday, Nov. 15 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 17. 
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  • Several days at the dentist: new teeth will give Bertha more bite

    It’s been a little over a week since Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, stopped near South King Street for scheduled maintenance. Crews have been thoroughly testing Bertha’s various systems and examining things like hoses and belts to see how well they weathered the first 430 feet of tunneling. The consensus so far is that Bertha is turning out to be the efficient workhorse we’d all hoped for.

    Still, as you might imagine, chewing through concrete, rebar, soil and timber hasn’t exactly made Bertha the model dental patient. Crews are swapping out 24 of Bertha’s giant teeth so that she’ll have a stronger bite when she resumes digging next week. Our contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, had initially planned to resume tunneling this week, but decided to change out more teeth now rather than waiting until Bertha’s next scheduled maintenance stop just south of Yesler Way.      

    Bertha’s dental visit is about more than just dealing with wear and tear. Her new rectangular teeth are better suited for the glacial soils she’ll soon encounter than the round teeth she’s been using to tunnel through the much harder grout-injected soils along the early part of the tunnel route.

    Overall progress through Nov. 7:

    • Feet traveled since tunneling started: 430
    • Rings built since tunneling started: 58
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  • Bertha begins her week of scheduled maintenance

    Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, has pulled into the shop for a tune-up. The shop, in this case, is actually a protected area underground where crews can safely crawl out of the machine to swap out cutting tools and perform other scheduled maintenance. Items on the to-do list include things like changing wheels in Bertha’s segment feeder, checking her high-pressure water system and making adjustments to the conveyor system.

    “Bertha is functioning really well,” Seattle Tunnel Partners Project Manager Chris Dixon said. “Our crews are becoming more and more efficient as the tunnel drive progresses, and we’ll continue to make improvements when we resume tunneling following this maintenance stop.”

    Overall progress through Oct. 30
    Feet traveled since tunneling started: 430
    Rings built since tunneling started: 58

    — more —
  • Bertha closing in on King Street

    Often times, when you reach an intersection you have to stop. That will be the case for Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, when she reaches the ground beneath South King Street in the next week or so. This will be the second of three scheduled maintenance stops in the first leg of Bertha’s journey beneath downtown. Crews will spend about one week tuning up the machine and making adjustments to the conveyor system that’s removing soil from the tunnel.

    Overall progress through Oct. 23
    Feet traveled since tunneling started: 372
    Rings built since tunneling started: 49

    — more —
  • SR 99 tunneling machine passes 300-foot mark

    We’ve said it before, but after the week Bertha just had, it’s worth saying again: Tunneling is a notoriously uneven endeavor. Some days the digging is easy. Other days you don’t move at all.

    After passing the 200-foot mark in the early part of last week, Bertha spent the latter part of the week in a holding pattern so crews could perform routine maintenance. She was back at it on Monday, Oct. 14, digging 18 feet. Then came Tuesday, which saw Bertha dig 46 feet, her most productive day yet.

    Total it all up and you’ll see that Bertha traveled 92 feet in seven days, an average of 13 feet per day – a respectable number that becomes more impressive when you consider the fact that she was sitting idle for three of those days.

    Bertha has now dug a total of 301 feet and built 38 permanent tunnel rings. She’s completely buried underground, digging her way toward South King Street.

    Check out this short video of Bertha in action, and don't forget to follow @BerthaDigsSR99 on Twitter for the latest on her journey beneath downtown.

    — more —
  • Milepost 31 Speaker Series -- Archaeology and the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program

    Past meets future as Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, begins digging through Seattle’s first neighborhood, Pioneer Square. Join us for this month’s speaker series to hear how the Washington State Department of Transportation is protecting 20th century history as we build this 21st century project. See what archaeologists have uncovered in the south and north portal areas, and learn about their monitoring plans as the project continues.

    Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013

    6 – 6:30 p.m.

    Milepost 31, 211 First Ave. S., Seattle

    After the talk, be sure to leave enough time to explore the rest of the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square. Milepost 31 is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and stays open until 8 p.m. on First Thursdays. Free parking is available for First Thursday Art Walk patrons in Pioneer Square. Please visit www.FirstThursdaySeattle.com for information about participating garages.

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  • Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens early, Aurora Avenue North remains closed

    Highway crews reopened the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct Saturday night after an inspection closure; however, all northbound viaduct traffic must exit at Western Avenue until 5 a.m. Monday.

    The viaduct was closed until 5 p.m. Saturday for a semiannual inspection. Crews completed detailed inspections and maintenance work ahead of schedule, so the viaduct will not close Sunday as planned.

    A section of SR 99 north of downtown, including the Battery Street Tunnel, will remain closed while crews working for the City of Seattle’s Mercer Corridor Project install a sewer line beneath Aurora Avenue North.

    Travelers should anticipate congestion north of downtown Seattle on Sunday and give themselves extra time to reach their destination.

    Closure details

    Friday, Oct. 4, to Monday, Oct 7:

    All lanes in both directions of SR99/Aurora Avenue North will be closed between the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. Mercer Street, Broad Street and the I-5 on- and off-ramps at Mercer Street remain open.

    Saturday, Oct. 5:

    All lanes in both directions of the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopened between South Spokane Street and the Battery Street Tunnel at 5:00 p.m. Northbound viaduct traffic must exit at Western Avenue until 5 a.m. Monday.

    Drivers can stay up to date with all closures and roadway conditions by checking the Seattle traffic page, the What’s Happening Now page, or WSDOT mobile app.

    — more —
  • The SR 99 tunneling machine digs again

    Bertha is back at it.

    At 4:48 a.m. on Sept. 23, after a monthlong stoppage and several days of startup time, the world’s largest tunneling machine resumed digging at the south end of downtown Seattle. Over the next two days, Bertha dug more than 20 feet and was preparing to install the first of 1,450 permanent concrete rings that will fit together to form the tunnel walls.

    The rings Bertha has installed to date are temporary, which, as we explained previously, take longer to build than the permanent rings. Production should speed up considerably after permanent ring installation begins. By the time Bertha is under the heart of downtown, she is expected to dig an average of 35 feet per day.

    Crews used the break in mining to optimize Bertha and make sure she’s operating as efficiently as possible when she tackles the difficult work ahead. Our contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), will have opportunities to make up time as tunneling progresses. Crews can work longer shifts, for example, and take advantage of improvements made to the machine over the last month.

    Check out his short video of Bertha in action during her first day back, and don't forget to follow @BerthaDigsSR99 on Twitter for the latest on her progress. 

    — more —
  • Back to work for Bertha

    Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, will start digging again soon after spending the past month awaiting the outcome of a labor issue. Labor negotiations will continue, but the International Longshore and Warehouse Union on Sept. 17 agreed to remove its picket line at the SR 99 Tunnel Project work site, clearing the way for tunneling to resume.

    Our contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, plans to have Bertha digging later this week – she’ll let you know herself when it happens. 

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  • Mercer Corridor Project: overnight closures of northbound SR 99, eastbound Mercer Street scheduled for Sept. 17

    The City of Seattle's Mercer Corridor Project will close northbound State Route 99 and a section of eastbound Mercer Street overnight on Tuesday, Sept. 17. The eastbound Mercer closure will also be in effect overnight on Wednesday, Sept. 18. Crews will use the closures to set girders for a new SR 99 bridge over Mercer. 

    Tuesday, Sept. 17

    Northbound SR 99, between the south end of the Battery Street tunnel and Valley Street, as well as eastbound Mercer Street, between Fifth Avenue North and Ninth Avenue North, will be closed from 10 p.m. Sept. 17 through  5:30 a.m. Sept. 18.   

    No pedestrian access will be allowed on Mercer Street between Fifth and Dexter during the closure. Pedestrians will need to use the sidewalk on the north side of Broad Street to cross SR 99.

    Southbound SR 99, westbound Mercer Street, Broad Street, and the I-5 on- and off-ramps at Mercer Street will remain open during the work.

    Wednesday, Sept. 18

    Eastbound Mercer Street, between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter Avenue North, will be closed from 10 p.m. Sept. 18 through 5:30 a.m. Sept. 19.

    No pedestrian access will be allowed on Mercer between Fifth and Dexter during the closure. Pedestrians will need to use the sidewalk on the north side of Broad Street to cross SR 99.

    Westbound Mercer Street, Broad Street, SR 99, and the I-5 on- and off-ramps at Mercer Street will remain open during the work.

    Visit the Mercer Corridor Project website for more information.

    — more —
  • Thursday at Milepost 31 – Learn about the buildings that support the tunnel systems

    The new SR 99 tunnel’s vital functions – safety, lighting and ventilation systems – will be controlled from buildings located at both ends of the tunnel. Crews have already begun construction of the building at the south end just to the east of the tunneling machine’s launch pit. Join us to learn about these sophisticated buildings, how they are sustainably designed, and what the completed structures and their surroundings will look like.

    Thursday, Sept. 5
    6 to 7 p.m.
    Milepost 31
    211 First Ave. S., Seattle
    Admission is free. 

    After the talk, be sure to leave enough time to explore the rest of the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square. Milepost 31 is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and stays open until 8 p.m. on First Thursdays. Free parking is available for First Thursday art walk patrons in Pioneer Square. Please visit www.FirstThursdaySeattle.com for information about participating garages.

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  • Canceled: Sept. 6-7 closure of northbound SR 99, Mercer Street

    The Seattle Department of Transportation has canceled the Sept. 6-7 closure of northbound SR 99 and Mercer Street due to impacts from rainy weather and availability of materials. A full closure of northbound SR 99 and Mercer Street is tentatively rescheduled for mid-September. Further information including closure dates will be provided as the work is confirmed. 

    Visit the Mercer Corridor Project website for more information.

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  • Aurora Bridge lane closures Aug. 24 - 25

    On Saturday, Aug. 24, two lanes of southbound SR 99 will be closed across the Aurora Bridge from 6 a.m. to noon for maintenance.

    On Sunday, Aug. 25, two lanes of northbound SR 99 will be closed across the Aurora Bridge from 6 a.m. to noon. 

    View our weekly update for more information about closures in downtown Seattle and SODO.

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  • Mercer Corridor Project: Monday and Tuesday Night - Lane restrictions on Fairview Avenue North and I-5 Mercer Street off-ramps

    Crews working on the City of Seattle's Mercer Corridor Project will restrict lanes on Fairview Avenue North and the I-5 off-ramps at Mercer Street to accommodate repair work starting Monday, Aug. 19, for approximately two nights:

    * The I-5 off-ramp left turn onto southbound Fairview Avenue North will be restricted to one lane.

    * The left lane on southbound Fairview Avenue North between Mercer and Republican streets will be closed. One southbound through lane will remain open at all times.

    Work hours will be during off-peak travel times from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. 

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  • SR 99 closures for South Spokane Street Overcrossing work Aug. 16 - 17

    Crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close a section of SR 99 Aug. 16-17 for work related to the South Spokane Street Overcrossing Project. Crews will close all lanes in both directions to shift traffic from the west half to the east half of the bridge, allowing crews to finish demolishing and rebuilding the bridge one half at a time.

    Closure details:

    10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16 to 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug 17:

    Northbound SR 99:

    • All lanes of northbound SR 99 between South Nevada Street and South Royal Brougham Way will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday.
    • The East Marginal Way South off-ramp remains open.
    • The West Seattle Bridge exit to northbound SR 99 will be closed.

     

    Southbound SR 99:

    • All lanes of southbound SR 99 between South Atlantic Street and South Nevada Street will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday through 8 a.m. Saturday.
    • Drivers heading to the West Seattle Bridge will be detoured to East Marginal Way South via the South Atlantic Street exit.

     

    8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17 - noon Saturday, Aug. 17:

    • All lanes of southbound SR 99 will be closed from just south of the West Seattle Bridge exit to South Nevada Street.

     

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  • Milepost 31 Speaker Series - Tracking Bertha's Progress Beneath Downtown

    Join us for this month’s speaker series to learn what Bertha will encounter as she digs through eight different types of soil, passes beneath other tunnels, and digs as deep as 200 feet beneath downtown.

    Thursday, Aug. 1

    6 to 7 p.m.

    Milepost 31, 211 First Ave. S.

    View flier (pdf 597 kb)

    Admission is free. Milepost 31 is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and stays open until 8 p.m. on First Thursdays. After the talk, be sure to leave enough time to explore the rest of the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square. Free parking is available for First Thursday art walk patrons in Pioneer Square. Please visit www.FirstThursdaySeattle.com for more information about participating garages.

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  • Seafair Torchlight Run to close northbound lanes of the viaduct Saturday evening

    The Seafair Torchlight Run will close northbound SR 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and the Western Avenue off-ramp from 5:30 to approximately 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The run is part of a busy slate of Seafair and other activities that will affect traffic over the weekend. A full list of upcoming closures is available at our traffic page.

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  • Mercer construction to close SR 99, Mercer Street this weekend

    The City of Seattle’s Mercer Corridor Project will fully close a section of State Route 99 and Mercer Street from midnight Friday, July 5 through 5 a.m. Monday, July 8. The closures will allow crews to demolish the eastern side of the SR 99 bridge over Mercer Street.

    Closure details

    SR 99 will be fully closed between Valley Street and the southern end of the Battery Street Tunnel. Information about alternate routes during construction is available at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/mercercorridor.htm.

    Mercer Street will be fully closed to traffic between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter Avenue North. Traffic traveling east toward I-5 will be detoured to Harrison and Broad streets at Fifth Avenue North, and will reconnect to Mercer Street at Ninth Avenue North to continue east.

    The I-5 on- and off-ramps at Mercer Street and Broad Street will remain open during this work.

    Early warning signs will be available in advance of the SR 99 lane restrictions. Travelers can expect significant traffic and delays, and should plan ahead and use alternate routes. Visit the Mercer Corridor Project page to learn more.

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  • Street and Transit Update – A Waterfront Seattle Event

    Join Waterfront Seattle on Wednesday, June 26, for an interactive update on Alaskan Way design and options for waterfront transit. Building on community input gathered during conceptual design, the design team will share street design and local waterfront transit updates for community feedback. The event is free and open to all.

    Event details:

    June 26, 2013

    5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

    Washington State Convention Center

    800 Convention Pl, Room 6E

    For more information about the event, such as directions and RSVP, visit www.WaterfrontSeattle.org. Waterfront Seattle is being led by the City of Seattle. Questions can be sent to info@waterfrontseattle.org.

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  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon to close part of northbound SR 99 this Saturday

    On Saturday, June 22, about 25,000 runners will take to the streets for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon. The race will affect I-5, I-90, State Route 99 and a number of nearby surface streets:

    • Northbound SR 99, including the Alaskan Way Viaduct, will be closed between South Hudson Street and South Roy Street from 5 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on June 22.
    •  
    • Streets near the Seattle Center, such as Mercer Street and Fifth Avenue, will be closed from midnight on Friday into the morning in preparation for the event. 
    •  
    • From the morning into early afternoon, other key closures include the I-5 and I-90 ramps at Columbia, Dearborn and Rainier; the I-90 express lanes; Broad Street; the downtown core from Second Avenue to Fifth Avenue; Rainer Avenue S and Lake Washington Boulevard.
    •  

    Additional details with maps are available at: seattle.competitor.com.

    Motorists should expect heavy traffic on streets surrounding both events. The Seattle Department of Transportation urges motorists to consider parking the car and taking one of the many alternate modes of transportation available - Metro Transit, the West Seattle Water Taxi, Sounder commuter train, Link light rail, car pool, bicycle or walk, if feasible. 

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  • Southbound lanes of Battery Street Tunnel to close overnight Thursday, June 13

    Crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close all southbound lanes of the State Route 99 Battery Street Tunnel at 10 p.m. Thursday. Lanes will be reopened by 5 a.m. Friday. Northbound lanes will remain open.

    Travel impacts

    Thursday, June 13:

    • All southbound lanes of SR 99 between Denny Way and the Elliott Avenue on-ramp will be closed from 10 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday.

     

    Alternate routes

    • Use the Elliott Avenue on-ramp to southbound SR 99.

     

    The closure will allow crews to install ground monitors as part of a comprehensive program to protect structures above and near the SR 99 tunnel route.

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  • Northbound SR 99 on-ramp from South Royal Brougham Way closed Sunday, June 2

    The Washington State Department of Transportation will close the State Route 99 on-ramp from South Royal Brougham Way, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 2.

    Finding a few hours between popular events in the SODO area of Seattle can be a challenge, and WSDOT is working to minimize traffic impacts. Signs will direct drivers around the closures. Access to parking lots, buildings and driveways will be maintained.

    Travel impacts

    • Sunday, June 2 – South Royal Brougham Way between First Avenue South and East Frontage Road will be local access only. The right westbound lane on South Royal Brougham Way and the northbound SR 99 on-ramp will be closed 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

     

    This closure will allow crews to locate and identify underground utilities as part of the SR 99 Tunnel Project.  

    Drivers can find a current list of downtown Seattle construction closures at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Northwest/King/Seattle.html.

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  • Milepost 31 Speaker Series – Operating the SR 99 tunneling machine

    Bertha, the world’s largest tunneling machine, is currently being assembled  in the SR 99 tunnel launch pit near Seattle’s stadiums. Join WSDOT for this month’s speaker series to find out next steps as crews test the machine and prepare to begin tunneling. You’ll also learn about some of the technological advances on the SR 99 tunneling machine, including how a 300-foot-long machine steers underground and what happens when the massive steel cutters on the front of the machine need to be changed.

    Event Details:

    Thursday, June 6

    6 to 7 p.m.

    Milepost 31

    211 First Ave. S., Seattle

    Admission is free.

    After the talk, be sure to leave enough time to explore the rest of the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square. Milepost 31 is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and stays open until 8 p.m. on First Thursdays.  Free parking is available for First Thursday art walk patrons in Pioneer Square. Please visit www.FirstThursdaySeattle.com for more information about participating garages.

    And don’t forget you can track Bertha’s journey on Twitter by following @BerthaDigsSR99.

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  • New Traffic Configuration of SR 99 and Mercer Street Now in Effect

    SR 99 and Mercer street are open again after a weekend closure to complete work as part of the West Phase of the Mercer Corridor project. The closure was in preparation for demolishing the east half of the SR 99 bridge over Mercer Street and widening Mercer Street between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter Avenue North.

    A new configuration of SR 99 and Mercer Street is now in effect and travelers can expect the following changes to the corridor:

    • Mercer Street reduced to two eastbound lanes between Fourth Avenue North and Ninth Avenue North.
    • Local access maintained at Taylor Avenue North.
    • The sidewalk on the north side of Mercer Street is closed between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter Avenue North. The sidewalk on the south side of Mercer Street will remain open.
    • Broad Street open to two-way traffic.
    • SR 99 traffic shifted to the west side of the roadway between Valley and Harrison streets. Two lanes of SR 99 in each direction will remain open.
    • The northbound SR 99 off-ramp to Mercer Street is permanently closed. A new signalized intersection at Republican Street and Dexter Avenue North is available for northbound SR 99 traffic to reach South Lake Union. 

     

    Lane reductions on Mercer Street will continue throughout the West Phase of the Mercer Corridor Project, which is anticipated to be completed in mid-2015. Construction of this $95 million project will take approximately 2.5 years.

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  • Major Construction on Mercer West to Begin: Weekend closure of SR 99 and Mercer Street

    The weekend of May 17-20, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will begin major construction on Mercer West by preparing to demolish the eastern half of the SR 99 bridge over Mercer Street and widen Mercer Street between Fifth Avenue N and Dexter Avenue N.

    When completed, the West Phase of the Mercer Corridor Project will provide a direct connection from I-5 and the new SR 99 Tunnel to Uptown, the Seattle Center, and neighborhoods to the west. In addition to widening Mercer Street for two-way traffic, the project includes improved pedestrian connections, a bike path between Dexter and Fifth avenues North, replacement of the SR 99 bridge over Mercer Street, and signal and channelization modifications to make Mercer and Roy streets two-way through the Uptown area.

    In preparation for construction, SR 99 will be fully closed to traffic the weekend of May 17-20 to allow crews to complete traffic shifts on SR 99 and Mercer Street.

    Weekend work on SR 99 and Mercer Street: Friday, May 17, through Monday, May 20

    SR 99 will be fully closed to traffic beginning Friday, May 17 at 11 p.m. through Monday, May 20 at 5 a.m. During the closure:

    • SR 99 will be fully closed between Valley Street and the southern end of the Battery Street Tunnel. Traffic traveling through Seattle via SR 99 will be directed to I-5 north of Seattle at 85th Street or south of Seattle at E Marginal Way.
    •  
    • Mercer Street will be fully closed to traffic between Fifth Avenue N and Dexter Avenue N. Traffic heading east towards I-5 will be detoured to Denny Way at Fifth Avenue N and will reconnect to Mercer Street at Dexter Avenue N to continue east.
    •  
    • Sidewalks on both sides of SR 99 between Thomas and Valley streets and on the south side of Mercer Street between Fifth Avenue N and Dexter Avenue N will be closed.

     

    Early warning signs will be available in advance of the SR 99 lane restrictions. Travelers can expect heavy traffic and significant delays, and should plan ahead and use alternate routes.

    Major Mercer and SR 99 impacts begin Monday, May 20

    Following the full weekend closure of SR 99, lane restrictions on Mercer Street will remain in place between Fourth Avenue N and Ninth Avenue N as crews begin construction on the new SR 99 overpass and widening Mercer Street to the south. Roadway impacts will include:

    • Mercer Street will be reduced to two eastbound lanes between Fourth Avenue N and Ninth Avenue N.
    •  
    • SR 99 traffic will be shifted to the west side of the roadway between Valley and Harrison streets. Two lanes will remain open in each direction.
    •  
    • The northbound SR 99 off-ramp to Mercer Street will be permanently closed. A new signalized intersection at Republican Street and Dexter Avenue N will be available for northbound SR 99 traffic to reach South Lake Union.
    •  
    • Local access to Taylor Avenue N via Mercer Street will be maintained.
    •  
    • Sidewalks on Mercer Street will be impacted during this work. The sidewalk on the north side of Mercer Street will be closed between Fifth Avenue N and Dexter Avenue N. The sidewalk on the south side will remain open to pedestrian traffic.

     

    To help alleviate traffic congestion during Mercer Street lane restrictions, Broad Street will be re-opened to eastbound traffic on Monday, May 20, as an alternate route to reach I-5.

    Additionally, signal modifications will be made at the intersections of Fifth Avenue N and Harrison Street, and Harrison Street and Broad Street to allow for southbound Fifth Avenue N traffic to turn left onto Harrison Street and connect to eastbound Broad Street.

    Lane reductions on Mercer Street will continue throughout the West Phase of the Mercer Corridor Project, which is anticipated to be completed in mid-2015. Construction of this $95 million project will take approximately 2.5 years.

    Alternative route information available for Mercer Street lane restrictions

    A map illustrating Mercer Street lane restrictions and alternative routes beginning May 20 is available online at: www.seattle.gov/transportation/mercercorridor.htm

    If you have questions regarding this work, please contact the Mercer Corridor Project hotline 206-419-5818 or email the project at mercerinfo@seattle.gov.

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  • Seattle Mother’s Day: Score FREE Parking at Waterfront Garages

    Whether taking mom to the Great Wheel or a great brunch, the Seattle Aquarium or on an Argosy cruise, patrons visiting the Waterfront can take advantage of FREE parking this Mother’s Day in Seattle. Helping to make the trip an easy one despite nearby construction, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and City of Seattle have teamed with several Waterfront businesses to offer up to four hours of free parking from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 12.

    Taking advantage of the deal is simple:

    • First, park at one of the six participating parking facilities on the Waterfront. 
    • Then, request a parking voucher from participating businesses at the time of your transaction.
    • When you’re done dining or visiting an attraction, present your voucher and parking ticket to the lot attendant to receive up to four hours of free parking.
    •  

    The Downtown Seattle Association’s website has information about how to enjoy Mother’s Day on the Waterfront. In addition to a map showing the locations of all participating parking facilities, it has links to participating businesses and attractions, which includes: Argosy Cruises; the Seattle Aquarium; the Seattle Great Wheel; Ivar’s Acres of Clams; Elliott’s Oyster House & Cafe; Red Robin; The Crab Pot; Fisherman’s Seafood Restaurant; The Salmon Cooker and Alaskan Sourdough Bakery.

    The Mother’s Day promotion is part of a broader strategy to maximize parking near construction on the Waterfront and in Pioneer Square. Since August 2011, WSDOT and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) have been working to identify and implement strategies to mitigate on-street parking losses due to SR 99 tunnel construction. The agencies launched www.DowntownSeattleParking.com, an interactive, mobile-friendly website that features hours, rates and directions for nearby parking facilities in these neighborhoods. The site helps drivers locate convenient parking that matches on-street, metered parking rates. 

    For more information on the Mother’s Day parking promotion, visit www.DowntownSeattle.com/MothersDayParking.

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  • Milepost 31 Speaker Series on Thursday: Preparing for Bertha's Launch

    After a 5,000-mile journey from Japan and 10 days of unloading, Bertha, the world’s largest tunneling machine, is officially on Seattle soil. Join us at this month’s Milepost 31 speaker series for a project update, including a behind-the-scenes look at the machine's arrival. We’ll also talk about what’s next for Bertha as crews assemble her 41 pieces in the launch pit and prepare for the start of tunneling this summer.

    Thursday, May 2
    6 to 6:30 p.m.
    Milepost 31, 211 First Avenue S.

    View flier (pdf 287 kb)

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  • Elliott Bay Seawall Project: Alaskan Way to be closed this weekend between Virginia to Pike streets

    In continued support of early work on the Elliott Bay Seawall Project, the Seattle Department of Transportation reminds travelers that all lanes of Alaskan Way will be closed between Virginia and Pike streets from 7 p.m. this Friday, April 26 through 5 a.m. Monday, April 29.

    This closure will help the project safely and efficiently complete early road construction work, and relocate critical utilities in preparation for Seawall construction beginning in fall 2013. The most disruptive early work will be completed before Memorial Day weekend.

    Detours around the project area will be posted and will utilize First and Second avenues through downtown.  View flyer (pdf 347 kb) for detailed information and detour routes. 

    During the closure, local access to residences, businesses and parking areas will be maintained, as will pedestrian access on the sidewalk adjacent to work zones.

    The Elliott Bay Seawall Project will replace the existing seawall with a structure that meets current safety and design standards. It will be the foundation of the current and future waterfront supporting and protecting major utilities, including power, regional telecommunications, gas, sewer and water; SR 99; the BNSF railway; as well as the future features of the Waterfront Seattle Program.

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  • Overnight lane closures scheduled for SR 99 Battery Street Tunnel week of April 22

    Night owls, if your plans take you to or through downtown Seattle late in the evening the week of April 22, be sure to plan around State Route 99 Battery Street Tunnel closures.

    Crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close the northbound lanes Monday night, the southbound lanes on Thursday night and all lanes Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Closures begin at 10 p.m. with lanes reopening by 5 a.m. the following day. 

    Open lanes northbound on Thursday night favor fans heading out after the Mariners game that evening.

     

    Travel impacts

    Monday, April 22:

    • The northbound lanes of SR 99 between the Western Avenue on-ramp and Denny Way will be closed from 10 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday.

     

    Tuesday April 23 and Wednesday, April 24:

    • All lanes of SR 99 between Denny Way and Elliott Avenue, including the Western Avenue on-ramp will be closed from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday and from 10 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday.

     

    Thursday, April 25:

    • The southbound lanes of SR 99 between Denny Way and the Elliott Avenue on-ramp will be closed from 10 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday.

     

    Alternate routes

    Drivers can use alternative routes to reach SR 99 on either side of the closures. Options include the northbound SR 99 Denny Way on-ramp and the southbound SR 99 Elliott Avenue on-ramp. 

    These closures allow crews to install ground movement monitors along the SR 99 tunnel route and perform sewer survey work. The monitor and sewer survey projects were coordinated to occur during a single closure to minimize travel impacts.

    Ground movement monitors are part of a comprehensive program to help protect structures during tunneling, which is scheduled to begin this summer.

    Drivers can also find a current list of downtown Seattle construction closures at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Northwest/King/Seattle.html.

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  • SR 99 lane restrictions to begin Monday, April 22 as part of Mercer Corridor Project

    The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) advises travelers of SR 99 lane restrictions beginning Monday, April 22, associated with the West Phase of the Mercer Corridor Project. These lane reductions are one of the first steps in beginning Mercer West construction and will allow crews to complete early preparatory work associated with rebuilding the SR 99 Aurora overpass over Mercer Street.

     

    SR 99 Lane restrictions

    On Monday, April 22, following the morning commute, crews will begin reducing SR 99 to two lanes in each direction between Aloha and Harrison streets:

    The curb lane on southbound SR 99 will be restricted between Aloha and Harrison streets.

    The curb lane on northbound SR 99 will be restricted between the Mercer Street exit and Roy Street.

    These curb lane restrictions accommodate early construction work associated with Mercer West and rebuilding the SR 99 Aurora overpass over Mercer Street.

    Sidewalks on SR 99 will also be impacted during this work. The sidewalk on the west side of SR 99 will be closed between Thomas Street and Roy Street and the sidewalk on the east side of SR 99 will be closed between Republican Street and Roy Street.

     

    Lane reductions on SR 99 will continue throughout the West Phase of the Mercer Corridor Project anticipated to be complete in mid-2015. 

    Additionally, the Broad Street off-ramp from southbound SR 99 will be closed at the same time and will remain closed through the duration of Mercer West construction.

    Early warning signs will be available in advance of the SR 99 lane restrictions. Travelers can expect significant traffic and delays and should plan ahead and use alternate routes when possible.

     

    Detour information available for SR 99 lane restrictions

    A detour map illustrating SR 99 lane restrictions is available online for vehicles at: www.seattle.gov/transportation/mercercorridor.htm.

    If you have questions regarding this work, please contact the Mercer Corridor Project hotline 206-419-5818 or email the project at mercerinfo@seattle.gov.

     

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  • April 4 Walking Tour: View of the SR 99 Tunnel Launch Pit

    Join us for a tour to see SR 99 tunnel crews preparing for the arrival of Bertha, the world’s largest tunneling machine. In addition to learning about WSDOT’s efforts to replace the viaduct, visitors will be treated to views of this massive project from the lower level of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Space is limited. Additional tours will be available throughout the spring.

    Reservations are required. Please view the walking tour event handout (pdf 340 kb) for registration and other important information.

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  • SR 99 off-ramp in SODO closed Easter weekend

    The southbound State Route 99 off-ramp near Seattle’s stadiums will make a weekend move (pdf 348 kb) as contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation continue construction on the new South Atlantic Street overpass

    Currently, the ramp connects to East Frontage Road on the west side of SR 99, but starting Monday morning, April 1, the ramp will drop drivers off at a new intersection at South Atlantic Street and Colorado Avenue South. From the intersection, drivers will be required to turn left onto South Atlantic Street to head east toward First Avenue South, the stadiums, and the on-ramps to Interstate 5 and I-90. Crews will close the ramp this weekend to complete the new connection to South Atlantic Street.

    Closure details

    • Crews will close the southbound SR 99 off-ramp at 5 a.m. Saturday, March 30.
    • The ramp will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, April 1, in its new configuration.
    • View handout with closure details (pdf 348 kb).

     

    Drivers should expect some extra congestion and delays as they adjust to the ramp’s new configuration. When the ramp reopens we’ll keep an eye on how traffic flows and will fine-tune signals to keep traffic moving on the ramp and on South Atlantic Street. 

    The South Atlantic Street overpass construction started last summer and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. The overpass will improve mobility by allowing freight haulers, daily commuters, pedestrians and bicyclists to bypass the surface rail crossing in front of the entrance to the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 46.

     

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  • SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct open, Aurora Avenue North to close Sunday morning March 3

    Crews have reopened the viaduct between Denny Way and South Spokane Street after an inspection closure. However, a northbound section of the viaduct between the Western Avenue off-ramp and North Allen Place will be closed Sunday morning for the Hot Chocolate 15/5k run.

    The viaduct reopened at 4:45 p.m. Saturday following a semiannual inspection. During the closure, WSDOT and City of Seattle crews also performed routine maintenance and preservation work. WSDOT will release preliminary inspection results on March 19.

    Crews completed inspections and maintenance work ahead of schedule, so the viaduct will not close 6 a.m. to noon Sunday as planned.  

    Hot Chocolate 15/5k closures

    • Northbound SR 99 /Alaskan Way Viaduct between the Western Avenue off ramp and North Allen Place will be closed 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday.
    • SR 99 /Aurora Avenue North between Bell Street and North 46th Street will be closed from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday.
    •  

    This closure includes the Western Avenue off ramp and the Battery Street Tunnel. The Hot Chocolate 15/5k run will also close sections of Elliott and Western avenues as well as streets near the Seattle Center start and finish points. 

    Drivers should expect increased congestion in and near downtown Seattle during these closures and plan accordingly. WSDOT recommends leaving early, carpooling or taking transit. Drivers can check traffic conditions before they leave at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic. Up-to-the-minute traffic information is also available via 5-1-1, the voice-activated driver information line.

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  • Lane reductions on SR 99 near the West Seattle Bridge for Spokane Street Overcrossing Project

    Contractor crews for the Washington State Department of Transportation recently began work to bring down and replace an elevated section of State Route 99 just south of the West Seattle Bridge. The bridge was built as a temporary structure back in 1959 and needs to be replaced. When they finish, they’ll leave Seattle’s SODO neighborhood with a stronger concrete bridge better equipped to withstand the test of time.

    In late February, crews shifted traffic to the west side of the overpass and began work to demolish and rebuild the east side. Crews will demolish and rebuild one side of the bridge at a time to keep traffic moving at reduced speed in both directions until the work is complete. Traffic will get through the work zone, which spans SR 99 between South Nevada Street and an area just south of the West Seattle Bridge, in one southbound lane and two northbound lanes. Occasional weekend closures of all lanes will be necessary. The $9.2 million construction project is scheduled to be complete in June 2014.

    Construction progress tools, including traffic and detour maps, and project contact information are available on the SR 99 Spokane Street Overcrossing webpage, or go to www.wsdot.wa.gov and search “SR 99 timber bridge”.

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  • Viaduct to close this weekend for semiannual inspection

    Crews will close the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct this weekend for its semiannual inspection.

    Saturday, March 2

    • - Both directions of SR 99 between Denny Way and South Spokane Street will be closed 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
    • - This section of SR 99 will reopen two hours before the start of Saturday’s Seattle Sounders match to give fans plenty of time to reach the stadium; however, drivers should expect increased congestion in and near downtown Seattle during these closures and plan accordingly.

     

    Sunday, March 3

    • - In addition to the viaduct inspection closure, SR 99/Aurora Avenue North will be closed 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday between Bell Street and North 46th Street for the Hot Chocolate 15/5k run.
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  • Impacts to SR 99 the weekend of Feb. 23

    As part of the Spokane Street Overcrossing Project (also known as the SR 99 timber bridge), crews will close sections of SR 99 this weekend, Feb. 23 through Feb 25.  Starting at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 southbound SR 99 will be closed between the Battery Street Tunnel/Denny Way and South Nevada Street. Northbound SR 99 will be closed between South Nevada Street and South Spokane Street/West Seattle Bridge. When the road reopens at 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 25 the overpass will have one lane southbound and two lanes northbound. To learn more about the South Spokane Street Overcrossing Project and to view closure details visit the project website or go to www.wsdot.wa.gov and search for SR 99 timber bridge.

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  • Three blocks of lane reductions on First Avenue in downtown Seattle week of Feb. 25

    Drivers should anticipate around-the-clock lane reductions on sections of First Avenue the week of Feb. 25. Crews installing underground monitors along the State Route 99 tunnel route will close some travel lanes and parking along the avenue between Pine and University streets.

    Signs will direct drivers around the closures. The work will not affect access to parking lots, buildings or driveways. One southbound and two northbound travel lanes of First Avenue will be open at all times.

    Travel impacts

    Monday, Feb. 25 – Friday, Mar. 1:

    • The right lane of southbound First Avenue between Pine and Pike streets will be closed around the clock from 7 a.m. Monday to 10 p.m. Friday.

     

    Tuesday, Feb. 26 – Wednesday, Feb. 27:

    • The left lanes of northbound and southbound First Avenue between Union and University streets will be closed around the clock from 7 a.m. Tuesday to 10 p.m. Wednesday.

     

    Parking impacts

    Tuesday, Feb. 26 – Wednesday, Feb. 27:

    • Parking will be closed on the east side of First Avenue between Union and University around the clock from 7 a.m. Tuesday to 10 p.m. Wednesday.

     

    The underground monitors are part of a comprehensive program to help mitigate ground movement and protect structures during tunneling, which is scheduled to begin this summer.

    Drivers should expect temporary lane closures on First Avenue and on Pike Street near Pike Place through March 5.

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  • Lane reductions, parking closures on First Avenue in downtown Seattle week of Feb. 18

    Your GPS won’t show you, but crews installing underground monitors along the State Route 99 tunnel route the week of Feb. 18 will require lane reductions and parking closures along sections of First Avenue between Seneca and Pine streets.

    Signs will direct drivers around the closures. The work will not affect access to parking lots, buildings or driveways. One southbound and northbound travel lane of First Avenue will be open at all times.

    Travel impacts

    Friday, Feb. 15 – Thursday, Feb. 21:

    • The left lanes of northbound and southbound First Avenue between Union and Pike streets will be closed around the clock from 7 a.m. Friday to 10 p.m. Thursday.

     

    Tuesday, Feb. 19:

    • The left lanes of northbound and southbound First Avenue between Seneca and University streets will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

     

    Friday, Feb. 22 – Sunday Feb. 24:

    • Northbound First Avenue between Pike and Pine streets will be reduced to one lane around the clock from 7 a.m. Friday to 10 p.m. Sunday.

     

    Parking impacts

    Friday, Feb. 15 – Thursday, Feb. 21:

    • Parking on both sides of First Avenue between Union and Pike streets will be closed around the clock from 7 a.m. Friday to 10 p.m. Thursday.

     

    Friday, Feb. 22 – Sunday Feb. 24:

    • Parking on the east side of First Avenue between Pike and Pine streets will be closed around the clock from 7 a.m. Friday to 10 p.m. Sunday.

     

    These closures allow crews installing underground monitors along the SR 99 tunnel route to continue progressing north on First Avenue. 

    The underground monitors are part of a comprehensive program to help mitigate ground movement and protect structures during tunneling, which is scheduled to begin this summer.

    Drivers should expect similar lane closures on First Avenue between University and Virginia streets through February.

    Drivers can also find a current list of downtown Seattle construction closures at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Northwest/King/Seattle.html.

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  • Lane reductions, parking and sidewalk closures on First Avenue in downtown Seattle week of Feb. 11

    Crews installing underground monitors along the State Route 99 tunnel route during the week of Feb. 11 will require lane reductions and parking and sidewalk closures along sections of First Avenue between Pine and Virginia streets.

    Signs will direct drivers and pedestrians around the closures. The work will not affect access to parking lots, buildings or driveways. Two northbound travel lanes of First Avenue will be open at all times.

    Travel impacts

    Saturday, Feb. 9 – Wednesday, Feb. 13:

    • The northbound curb lane and sidewalk of First Avenue between Stewart and Virginia Street will be closed around the clock from 7 a.m. Saturday to 10 p.m. Wednesday.

     

    Tuesday, Feb. 12 – Thursday, Feb. 14:

    • The left lanes of northbound and southbound First Avenue between Pine and Stewart streets will be closed around the clock from 7 a.m. Tuesday to 10 p.m. Thursday.

     

    Friday, Feb. 15 – Thursday, Feb. 21:

    • The left lanes of northbound and southbound First Avenue between Union and Pike streets will be closed around the clock from 7 a.m. Friday to 10 p.m. Thursday.

     

    Parking impacts

    Saturday, Feb. 9 – Wednesday, Feb. 13:

    • The northbound curb (parking) lane of First Avenue between Stewart and Virginia Street will be closed around the clock from 7 a.m. Saturday to 10 p.m. Wednesday.

     

    Tuesday, Feb. 12 – Thursday, Feb. 14:

    • Parking on both sides of First Avenue between Pine and Stewart streets will be closed around the clock from 7 a.m. Tuesday to 10 p.m. Thursday.

     

    Friday, Feb. 15 – Thursday, Feb. 21:

    • Parking on both sides of First Avenue between Union and Pike streets will be closed around the clock from 7 a.m. Friday to 10 p.m. Thursday.

     

    These closures allow crews installing underground monitors along the SR 99 tunnel route to continue progressing north on First Avenue. 

    The underground monitors are part of a comprehensive program to help mitigate ground movement and protect structures during tunneling, which is scheduled to begin this summer.

    Drivers should expect similar lane closures on First Avenue between University and Virginia streets through February.

    Drivers can also find a current list of downtown Seattle construction closures at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Northwest/King/Seattle.html.

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  • Lane reductions on one block of First Avenue in downtown Seattle week of Feb. 4

    Crews installing underground monitors along the State Route 99 tunnel route next week will reduce southbound First Avenue to one lane between Pine and Pike streets.

    Crews will also close street parking on both sides of First Avenue. Signs will direct drivers around the closures. The work will not affect access to parking lots, buildings or driveways.

    Travel impacts

    • Monday, Feb. 4 – Friday, Feb. 8: Southbound First Avenue between Pine and Pike streets will be reduced to one lane from 7 a.m. Monday to 10 p.m. Friday. Two northbound First Avenue travel lanes will be open at all times.

     

    Parking impacts

    • Monday, Feb. 4 – Friday, Feb. 8:  Street parking on the both sides of First Avenue between Pine and Pike will be closed from 7 a.m. Monday to 10 p.m. Friday.

     

    These closures allow crews installing underground monitors along the SR 99 tunnel route to continue progressing north on First Avenue. 

    The underground monitors are part of a comprehensive program to help mitigate ground movement and protect structures during tunneling, which is scheduled to begin this summer.

    Drivers should expect similar lane closures on First Avenue between University and Virginia streets through February.

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  • Lane reductions on one block of First Avenue in downtown Seattle next week

    Crews installing underground monitors along the State Route 99 tunnel route next week will reduce southbound First Avenue to one lane between Union and University streets.

    Parking will be closed on the west side of First Avenue Monday and Tuesday and on the east side of the street Wednesday through Saturday. Signs will direct drivers around the closures. The work will not affect access to parking lots, buildings and driveways.

    Travel impacts

    • Monday, Jan. 28 – Saturday, Feb. 2 – Southbound First Avenue between Union and University streets reduced to one lane 7 a.m. Monday to 10 p.m. Saturday. Two northbound First Avenue travel lanes will be open at all times.

     

    Parking impacts

    • Monday, Jan. 28 – Tuesday, Jan. 29 – Parking on the west side of the street will be closed from 7 a.m. Monday to 10 p.m. Tuesday.

     

    • Tuesday, Jan. 29 – Saturday, Feb. 2 – Parking on the east side of the street will be closed from 7 a.m. Tuesday to 10 p.m. Saturday.

     

    The underground monitors are part of a comprehensive program to help mitigate ground movement and protect structures during tunneling, which is scheduled to begin in the summer. Drivers should expect similar lane closures on First Avenue between University and Virginia streets through February.

    Drivers can monitor traffic conditions in downtown Seattle by checking the Seattle traffic map at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle.

    Drivers can also find a current list of downtown Seattle construction closures at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Northwest/King/Seattle.html.

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  • SODO overpass work will close State Route 99 on weeknights for next three weeks

    Construction on a new overpass near Seattle’s stadiums will require some State Route 99 drivers to change their overnight travel plans. 

    Crews will close southbound State Route 99 through downtown Seattle and the left lane of northbound SR 99 through SODO, Monday through Thursday nights, for the next three weeks.

    During the closures crews will continue building a temporary structure to support construction of the South Atlantic Street overpass.  

    Three weeks of SR 99 closures: Jan. 14-17, Jan. 21-24 and Jan. 28-31

    • Crews will close all lanes of southbound SR 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and Spokane Street Bridge, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday through Thursday nights.

     

    • Crews will close the left lane of northbound SR 99 from South Holgate Street to South Royal Brougham Way from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday through Thursday nights.

     

    Drivers making southbound trips on closure nights should map out alternate routes and plan for delays and congestion in and near downtown Seattle. Drivers can check traffic conditions before they leave at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic. Up-to-the-minute traffic information is also available via the voice-activated, 511 driver information line.
     

    The South Atlantic Street overpass is part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. It will help move freight and daily commuters faster by eliminating long waits for trains at the rail crossing in front of the Port of Seattle terminal on South Atlantic Street.  Construction on the overpass started last summer and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.

     

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