Feb. 1 #Realign99 update: Getting ready to Step Forward
Posted on Feb 1 2019 12:54 PM
The big weekend is almost here! Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, approximately 100,000 people will make their way to Step Forward grand opening events in the SR 99 tunnel and on the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
Because of the large crowds, we’re asking attendees to arrive within 15 minutes of their ticketed time. Big crowds usually mean lines, congestion and limited parking – let’s all remember to be patient and considerate of others as we all enjoy this historic event.
People attending on Saturday can take advantage of the West Seattle Water Taxi running on a special event schedule, and shuttles to and from the Pier 2 parking lot. Once downtown, attendees can take the waterfront shuttle and regular bus service to Seattle Center. Attendees from other parts of the region planning their trips to the events should view Metro’s Service Advisories page to see what routes will be affected.
Following the weekend fun will be the traffic event everyone’s been waiting for: In the early hours of Monday, Feb. 4, crews will begin opening the new tunnel, a process that will occur ramp by ramp over the course of several hours. The tunnel will be fully open by the time you hit the road for your morning commute.
If you haven’t yet taken the time to familiarize yourself with the new two-mile-long tunnel, we encourage you to do so now. These videos show you how to get around after the tunnel opens. In addition to providing a direct route from the stadiums to the Space Needle, the tunnel portals have new entrances and exits that will take some getting used to. We’re asking everyone to be safe and stay alert to their surroundings as travelers adjust to new travel patterns.
An important reminder: Though the tunnel will open to drivers on Monday, the new northbound off-ramp to Alaskan Way at the south portal won’t open for one to two weeks after the tunnel. That’s especially important for travelers approaching downtown from the south. Until that ramp opens, travelers on northbound SR 99 north of Spokane Street won’t have the option to exit before the tunnel. That means the next available exit is at the north portal, near the Space Needle. Also note that buses that used to travel on the viaduct will continue their reroute until this ramp opens. Visit King County Metro for additional information about transit service.
Real-time traffic links:
Transit service links: