Welcome to day one of the #99closure. Seattle Tunnel Partners began tunneling around 9 a.m. Bertha must first dig through approximately 10 feet of concrete to exit the maintenance stop before she starts to dig through the soil near the intersection of Yesler and Alaskan Way.
Crews are working around the clock to tunnel, build rings and perform ongoing machine maintenance. The machine will proceed at a slow and deliberate pace throughout the first few days. This evening, our tracking page will have an update showing Bertha’s progress.
Morning commute overview
The morning I-5 commute heading into Seattle was heavier than normal for a Friday – it looked more like a Monday morning commute. The northbound I-5 drive into Seattle peaked with a 6-mile backup between 7 a.m. – 10 a.m.
West Seattle and Seattle surface streets
First Avenue South and Fourth Avenue South experienced heavier than normal traffic. Drivers and bus riders on Fourth Avenue South between South Spokane and South Washington streets also experienced delays. The West Seattle Water Taxi reported substantially higher ridership than a typical Friday morning.
Plan ahead for evening commute
Friday afternoon traffic is normally heavy and with the #99closure, you should expect an even longer drive home. Drivers will see extra traffic on I-5, I-405 and local city streets.
Mariners fans: The Mariners play the Royals tonight at 7:10. Allow extra time to get there. Carpooling, transit, biking, and walking are all ways to avoid the expected congestion.
We encourageyou to visit our website often and follow @WSDOT_Traffic and @BerthaDigsSR99 as the closure continues. We’ll be posting frequent updates about traffic conditions and tunneling progress. Thanks again for your patience as STP works to complete this important phase of the tunnel project.
Last updated: 12:27 p.m.