Commuters and drivers should start planning now; use www.99closure.org
Starting Friday, April 29, the Washington State Department of Transportation will close the viaduct between South Spokane Street and the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel.
This closure is expected to start prior to the morning commute and last approximately two weeks as the SR 99 tunneling machine Bertha digs underneath the roadway near Yesler Way.
Local officials are making several temporary arrangements to keep people moving. For instance, traffic police will work several intersections, including in Belltown and South Lake Union.
In a departure from other shutdowns, drivers entering downtown from the north will be allowed through the Battery Street Tunnel southbound to take the little-used Western Avenue offramp. Nearby, the northbound onramp at Western Avenue will be open and without any risk from converging viaduct traffic.
On the other side of downtown, traffic will be detoured to Sodo surface streets.
Some transit buses that use the viaduct, including Route 120 serving Delridge Way and White Center and the RapidRide C line from the West Seattle Junction, will shift to Fourth Avenue South. Burien routes 121, 122 and 123 will move to other Sodo streets.
Near the West Seattle water-taxi dock, shuttles and 360 temporary park-and-ride spaces will be provided. Five trips will be added to the Vashon water-taxi schedule.
Ferry and bicycle access around the viaduct will remain open.
WSDOT, the Seattle Department of Transportation, King County, the Port of Seattle and other agencies around Puget Sound have joined forces to help drivers and commuters plan for the closure and change their normal routines. A website dedicated to the closure – www.99closure.org – lists resources and ideas on ways to adjust commutes and work schedules.
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