May 3 #99closure update
May 3 evening update | Posted at 8 p.m.
Evening commute recap
Highways: Traffic on most highways were fairly typical or just slightly slower than normal for a Tuesday afternoon. Like Friday and Monday, northbound I-5 heading out of Seattle was actually faster than normal until a rollover crash around 5:15 p.m. that blocked three left lanes near Lake City Way. This is a good reminder that a single collision can quickly change the state of traffic – make sure you check travel times before you leave and explore commute alternatives (PDF) as the week progresses.
Seattle surface streets: Seattle surface streets were a little slower than normal for a Tuesday afternoon. Traffic was especially slow on 4th Avenue in downtown, causing transit-related delays. The northbound I-5 rollover crash near Lake City Way had a minimal effect on surface streets as city and state DOTs diverted most traffic on to the express lanes.
Observationally, bike counts were heavy on the Spokane Swing Bridge and Fremont Bridge. No final numbers yet, but we’re expecting record-breaking ridership– keep up the good work!
Denny Way - WSDOT and SDOT have been working closely on a number of strategies to help keep traffic moving during the #99closure. Left turns from southbound Aurora Avenue North to Denny Way have been restricted on weekdays as part of this plan. This restriction allows additional signal time for northbound traffic entering SR 99 in this area. Southbound drivers wanting to head eastbound on Denny Way can turn right at John Street and then turn left from Sixth Avenue North to Denny Way at the signal.
SDOT has also adjusted the traffic control on southbound Aurora in order to allow vehicles entering the Battery Street Tunnel to bypass vehicles waiting to exit at Denny Way. They continue to monitor this intersection.
Mass Transit: King County Metro routes affected by the closure were running delays of approximately 20 minutes. Standby coaches ran primarily on the 120 and the C line to maintain schedules. Water Taxi sailings to West Seattle were at or near capacity this afternoon.
May 3 afternoon update | Posted at 11 a.m.
Seattle Tunnel Partners has installed 17 rings since mining resumed last week. Crews have now excavated 117 feet of the approximately 385 feet of tunnel that must be completed before the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens to traffic.
Visit our tracking page to see a map showing Bertha’s progress. We will provide another update this evening.
Morning commute recap
Highways: WSDOT’s Incident Response Team quickly pushed an early morning rollover crash at Boeing Field to the side of northbound I-5 but even this brief closure had a ripple effect throughout the region with northbound commuters. WSDOT saw extended congestion on northbound I-5 as well as heavier than normal volumes and congestion on northbound SR 167 and northbound I-405 in the Renton area.
Seattle surface streets:
Seattle streets this morning continued to show increased congestion, as expected. Northbound traffic on Fourth Avenue South heading into downtown was heavy, similar to last Friday morning’s commute. We encourage drivers to continue to plan ahead and leave early or late to avoid traveling during the busiest peak commute hours.
Transit: The King County Water Taxi continues to serve large numbers of riders with two West Seattle sailings at capacity Monday evening. Additional improvements for pedestrian queuing on both the Seattle and West Seattle docks are in the works for laer today. We appreciate everyone’s patience and commend riders for choosing an alternate mode of transportation to get to downtown Seattle.
May 3 morning update | Posted at 4 a.m.
As of 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, May 3, Seattle Tunnel Partners had installed 16 tunnel rings since mining resumed last week. Crews have now excavated 106 feet of the approximately 385 feet of tunnel that must be completed before the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens to traffic.
Visit our tracking page to see a map showing Bertha’s progress. Look for another update this afternoon.
Get a head start on the morning commute
As we begin the morning commute, we’re reminding travelers to plan ahead and give themselves extra time to reach their destination. Go to our maps and resources page or see our travel alternatives handout to explore options other than driving. Thanks for your continued patience as we work to complete this important phase of the tunnel project.