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Monday, May 09, 2011
Travis Phelps, Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program, 206-462-0554 (cell)
KaDeena Yerkan, Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program, 206-805-2846, 206-795-1876 (cell)
Viaduct closed next weekend, May 13-16
Quick info link. See the latest construction photos.
SEATTLE – Commuters have just one week to get ready for long-term lane reductions on the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct corridor through Seattle’s SODO neighborhood – but drivers will have options for avoiding construction congestion thanks to a special collaboration with Metro Transit and the city of Seattle.
Starting at 5 a.m. Monday, May 16, SR 99 will be reduced to two lanes in each direction between the West Seattle Bridge and Seattle’s sports stadiums. SR 99 will remain a four-lane highway through SODO through 2013 and possibly longer, until the central waterfront portion of the viaduct is replaced. The lane reduction provides crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) with the necessary work space to safely and efficiently replace the southern mile of the seismically vulnerable viaduct and keep SR 99 open during construction.
“We know this is a big change,” said Ron Paananen, WSDOT’s Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program Administrator. “That’s why we teamed up with the city of Seattle and King County to make investments to keep people and goods moving during this long-term lane reduction.”
Drivers can help by taking advantage of new transit service and using alternatives to their normal commute.
“We’ve been planning for this change for years,” said Ron Posthuma, Assistant Director of King County Department of Transportation. “We proactively added new Metro Transit bus service in the affected areas to give people more choices to get to and from downtown instead of driving alone.”
WSDOT has funded additional bus service with 41 new bus trips on key routes connecting downtown Seattle to West Seattle, White Center and Burien. Overall, Metro has 11 viaduct bus routes serving those corridors with more than 500 daily trips in both directions.
In addition to buses, there also are Metro vanpools and King County Water Taxi service between Seacrest Dock in West Seattle and Pier 50 in downtown Seattle.
WSDOT also contributed $50 million to the city of Seattle’s South Spokane Street Viaduct Project so that an additional travel route is available to West Seattle drivers.
“The new Fourth Avenue S. off-ramp provides a great surface street alternative for drivers who want to get to downtown from the West Seattle Bridge,” said Bob Powers, Seattle Department of Transportation Deputy Director. “By planning ahead with WSDOT, we were able to prioritize this project and open this new route in time for this lane reduction.”
May 13-16 weekend closure
WSDOT will close SR 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and Battery Street Tunnel this weekend. During the closure, crews will set up the new lane configuration and test the new automated viaduct closure system.
- Friday, May 13, through Monday, May 16
- All lanes of SR 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and the Battery Street Tunnel will close at 11 p.m., Friday.
- In anticipation of the Sounders FC game and the Seattle Maritime Festival, northbound SR 99 will reopen between S. Royal Brougham Way and the Battery Street Tunnel at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 14.
- The remaining sections of SR 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and the Battery Street Tunnel will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, May 16.
Information to help drivers plan for the lane reduction and learn about commute alternatives is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR99/HolgateToKing/ConstructionTraffic.
Bus riders can contact Metro Transit at 206-553-3000 or online at www.kingcounty.gov/getyouthere.They should also sign up for Transit Alerts at www.kingcounty.gov/metro/signup.
For more information on the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement program, visit www.alaskanwayviaduct.org/.
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