Preparing for the #99closure

Posted on Apr 26 2016 4:57 PM
Seattle-area roadways will be a major challenge starting this Friday, April 29, when the Alaskan Way Viaduct closes for approximately two weeks. The closure will give our contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, the time they needs to tunnel beneath the viaduct. It will give drivers a reminder of what its like to live without one of three major north-south highways through Seattle. 
We put together a series of short videos to help you get ready for the closure. The videos cover a variety of topics ranging from alternative commute methods to tools that will help you stay informed. Theres no easy solution for getting around during the closure, but planning ahead is your best bet for avoiding the worst congestion. 
We hope the videos will help jumpstart your planning. We also encourage you to share tips and tricks with fellow commuters. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #99closure on social media. 

Know before you go
This is your "survival guide" for getting around during the #99closure. Learn about the tools that are available at our closure page. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and consider downloading the WSDOT and SDOT apps. 

Learning from the 2011 closure
Does the #99closure feel like Déjà vu? If so, it may be because we closed the viaduct in 2011 for one week as crews tore down the southern mile of the structure. You might also remember the heavy congestion that occurred while the viaduct was closed. Expect more of the same this time around. Why? Since 2011, weve seen tremendous population growth in the area. That means more cars on the road.

The good news is that transportation infrastructure has improved some since then. The City of Seattle opened a new streetcar line, WSDOT opened the South Atlantic Street Overpass by the stadiums and Sound Transit last month opened University Link. 


Adjusting your commute
Its not too late to adjust the way you commute. Vanpools, biking, taking a ferry and riding the bus are just a handful of options available for those able to do so. Weve teamed up with our partner agencies to help move people during the #99closure:
City Streets
  • Seattle Police Department will direct traffic at key intersections.
  • Temporary parking restrictions along key routes will facilitate transit and general purpose travel.
  • SDOT is expediting planned intersection markings along East Marginal Way South to assist bicycle and pedestrian routes.
  • Traffic flow and temporary parking changes will help get vehicles on and off Aurora at Denny Way, Wall Street and Battery Street.
  • SDOT is restricting lane closure requests by third parties on city streets.
  • I-5 express lanes will remain open in the northbound direction overnight.
  • Southbound I-5 HOV lane between Mercer Street and Corson Avenue will be "open to all" during the closure.


Stay plugged in
Cant avoid driving during the #99closure? Make sure to plan ahead before hitting the streets. Here are some tools you can use to make your commute as painless as possible.
Avoiding traffic
Peak commute times will likely be longer than usual during the #99closure. We expect congestion to start earlier and end later in the day. For those who can, nows a great time to consider working from home, taking a vacation or changing your work hours. Many employers allow it, and the earlier you ask the better. Itll save you time, plus fewer cars on the road is better for everyone. 
We understand the major inconveniences caused by closing a portion of SR 99. Like you, we're looking forward to completing this part of the project so the viaduct can reopen and the tunnel team can continue on its way beneath downtown. Until then, thanks for your patience and assistance in helping your fellow travelers through the closure.


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