Jan. 25 #Realign99 update: Week two ends with a traffic headache

Posted on Jan 25 2019 11:53 AM
Updated 7:25 p.m. 
 

Friday afternoon's commute was a reminder that one incident can have huge ripple effects when SR 99 is closed. Just after 2 p.m. Friday, a charter bus caught fire on northbound I-5 at Spokane Street, blocking all northbound lanes for almost an hour. It was nearly 6 p.m. before the last lane reopened. The result was heavy traffic on all freeways south of the incident and on major city streets in the vicinity of I-5. Commuters faced a three-mile backup on northbound I-5 and a seven-mile backup on the I-405/SR 518 corridor from SR 900 in Renton to SeaTac Airport. Transit was hit just as hard. Metro reported system-wide delays associated with the incident.

With just one more week ahead in the #Realign99 closure, Metro is thanking customers for patience and encouraging people to stick with travel changes until SR 99 reopens. West Seattle Water Taxi will be offering special service on Feb. 2 to connect participants to the SR 99 Step Forward event, and will operate shuttles and the Pier 2 parking lot that day, details to be publicized soon.

 
Construction update
Crews working for contractor Scarsella Brothers Inc. completed a big concrete pour for the roadway at the south end of the northbound SR 99 off-ramp to South Dearborn Street. After the new concrete cures, crews will begin barrier work on that section of the ramp. Further north on the new ramp, crews are preparing for upcoming barrier pours and doing electrical work for the ramp's lighting system. Electrical work continues up on the SR 99 on- and off-ramps at the north tunnel portal. Additionally, Scarsella continues to stripe lanes and ramps at both portals. 
 
cranes SR 99 tunnel construction
Crews use both directions of SR 99 to remove the paving machine that completed the pour on the south end northbound off-ramp.
 
Posted 11:53 a.m. 
Week two of the #Realign99 closure is coming to a close. Other than a few early traffic incidents, there isn’t much to report about Friday morning’s commute. Travel times on most corridors were typical for a Friday. 
 
Metro continues to deploy standby buses on key routes to keep people moving. Standby buses have carried an estimated 33,572 riders on 970 trips over the past two weeks. There is still capacity on the West Seattle Water Taxi (which carried 1,948 customers Jan. 24, a 183 percent increase over 2018) and at its free parking facility on Harbor Avenue. 
 
The dry weather is good news for crews building the final connections into the tunnel. They’re continuing to mark lanes at the north and south portals, perform electrical work and prepare for several more concrete pours. You can track construction progress on our time-lapse cameras
 
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