April 29 #99closure update 2

Posted on Apr 29 2016 9:08 PM
Tunneling progress
 
As of 6 p.m. Friday, Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, had dug 6.5 feet of the approximately 385 feet of tunnel that must be completed before the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens to traffic. This pace is what we expected. The machine will proceed slowly and deliberately throughout the first few days. Visit our tracking page to see a map showing Bertha’s progress.
 
Bertha must dig through a few more feet of concrete to exit the maintenance stop before she starts to dig through the soil near the intersection of Yesler and Alaskan Way. Look for another progress update Saturday afternoon. 
 
Afternoon commute overview
 
The afternoon commute started earlier, was heavier and is on track to end later than a normal Friday. The longest viaduct-related backup we saw was nine miles on southbound I-5 from Shoreline to downtown Seattle. At peak congestion around 4 p.m., it took about 70 minutes to get from Lynnwood to Seattle. Congestion on alternate routes however, including 15th Avenue Northwest, SR 99 and Lake City Way have remained fairly light throughout the commute. Northbound I-5 was clear throughout the commute into downtown Seattle and unusually light from Seattle to Lynnwood for Friday. 
 
West Seattle and Seattle surface streets
 
Congestion on alternate routes, however, including 15th Avenue Northwest, SR 99 and Lake City Way remained fairly light throughout the commute. Traffic was extremely congested in SODO because of the Mariners game and due to a malfunctioning railroad arm on South Lander Street.
 
Plan ahead for a busy Saturday at Seattle’s stadiums
 
A Sounders match at 1 p.m. and a Mariners game at 7:10 p.m. may test fans heading to the stadiums in SODO. Fans should allow extra time for their trips and consider carpooling, transit, biking and walking to avoid the congestion 
 
Stay connected
 
We encourage you to visit our website often and follow @WSDOT_Traffic and @BerthaDigsSR99 as the closure continues. We’ll be posting regular updates about traffic conditions and tunneling progress. Thanks again for your patience as STP works to complete this important phase of the tunnel project.

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