Advisories/Updates

  • May 6 #99closure update

    May 6 update | Posted at 11 a.m.

    Tunneling progress

    Seattle Tunnel Partners has installed 32 rings since mining resumed last week. Crews have excavated  214 feet of the approximately 385 feet of tunnel that must be completed before the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens to traffic.

    Visit our tracking page to see a map showing Bertha’s progress. We will provide another update this evening.

    Morning commute recap

    Highways: WSDOT saw mostly normal Friday morning commute times, with the continuing exception of SeaTac northbound to Seattle experiencing heavy congestion. Eastside commuters faced a 15-20 minute longer commute than a normal Friday, due to multiple closures both directions on I-405.

    Seattle surface streets: As we have seen in previous mornings, traffic heading into Seattle is heavy on First Avenue South, Fourth Avenue South and on the West Seattle Bridge. An injury collision on the West Seattle Bridge blocked eastbound lanes, creating heavy backups. SDOT contacted the U.S. Coast Guard to request that swing bridge openings be restricted until 9 a.m. to help with traffic.

    Changes and Improvements

    In response to feedback and traffic conditions, SDOT is removing the southbound left turn restriction at Aurora and Denny until 3 p.m. today. Traffic engineers will reevaluate at 3 p.m. whether to keep the restriction.

    SDOT has installed a portable bike corral at Seacrest Park in West Seattle to help with increased demand for bike parking.

    Weekend Events

    Several events happening in Seattle this weekend will affect traffic patterns. We encourage people to plan ahead. Visit our Maps and Resources page for trip-planning tools:

    • Saturday: Montlake Bridge will be closed (10 a,m. – 3 p.m.) for the opening day of boating season and the Windermere Cup
    • Saturday: Sounders game at 7 p.m.
    • Sunday: Color Run happening. Route snakes from Seattle Center down Fourth Avenue to Seneca Street
    • Sunday: Mother’s Day! If you are making downtown or Pioneer Square plans, take advantage of up to 4 hours of free parking at participating garages.

     


    May 6 update | Posted at 4 a.m.

    Tunneling progress

    Seattle Tunnel Partners has installed 31 rings since mining resumed last week. Crews have excavated 208 feet of the approximately 385 feet of tunnel that must be completed before the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens to traffic.

    Visit our tracking page to see a map showing Bertha’s progress. We will provide another update later this morning.

    Stay informed and know before you go

    We’re asking travelers to continue using alternate means to get to work. If you’re driving, check traffic conditions before you get on the road. Here's a few viaduct closure commuter tips:

    • Take the bus, train, or water taxi to work. Bus commuters should check to see the changes in place for routes that normally use the viaduct.
    • Commuters can ride free in a vanpool during the 99 closure that has an available seat under the Ticket to Ride program.
    • Bike to work.
    • Adjust your work hours or work from home.
    • Have a backup plan for picking up and dropping off children at daycare and after-school activities.
    • Know before you go – using WSDOT's travel tools or SDOT’s traveler information page.

     

    Visit our website often and follow @WSDOT_Traffic and @BerthaDigsSR99 as the #99 closure continues. We’ll be posting regular updates about traffic conditions and tunneling progress.

     

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  • May 5 #99closure update

    May 5 update | Posted at 8:00 p.m.

    Tunneling progress

    Seattle Tunnel Partners has installed 29 rings since mining resumed last week. Crews have excavated 195 feet of the approximately 385 feet of tunnel that must be completed before the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens to traffic. 

    Visit our tracking page to see a map showing Bertha’s progress. We will provide another update in the morning.

    Evening commute recap

    Highways: Although congestion started earlier than normal, travel times were at or just slightly above normal (by up to 15 minutes) for a Thursday afternoon. There were no significant blocking incidents. The one exception continues to be northbound I-5 from Seattle to Lynnwood, where traffic has been significantly lighter than normal since the viaduct closure began.

    Seattle surface streets: Protests at 5th Avenue and James Street and 7th Avenue and Stewart Street slowed the afternoon commute downtown, especially for transit trying to access the express lanes on-ramp at 5th Avenue and Cherry Street. With the exception of southbound congestion on 1st Avenue South and 15th Avenue West, traffic on most streets was just a little worse than normal.

    Mass Transit: Riders experienced delays on King County Metro bus routes affected by #99closure. Standby coaches ran primarily on the 5, 21, 120, 121, 123 and the C Line to help maintain schedules. The Water Taxi continues to see strong ridership to West Seattle; however, some capacity remained with no schedule delays.

    As a reminder, live traffic maps can help you make informed travel choices as you are about to hit the road. We appreciate commuters’ continued patience and support through this closure.

     

    May 5 update | Posted at 11 a.m.

    Tunneling progress

    Seattle Tunnel Partners has installed 27 rings since mining resumed last week. Crews have excavated 182 feet which is nearly halfway through the approximately 385 feet of tunnel that must be completed before the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens to traffic.   
     
    Visit our tracking page to see a map showing Bertha’s progress. We will provide another update this evening. 
     
    Morning commute recap
     
    Highways:  Thursday’s northbound commutes into Seattle and Bellevue started early and extended into the late morning hours. Commuters on the Eastside encountered additional congestion due to an emergency expansion joint repair on northbound Interstate 405. Even with repairs taking only 20 minutes, that back-up created a bumper to bumper jam on I-405. This is just a reminder that during the #99closure, all commuters need to expect the unexpected and plan for possible delays each day.
     
    Seattle surface streets: As we have seen in previous mornings, traffic heading into Seattle is heavy on First Avenue South, Fourth Avenue South and on the West Seattle Bridge. Trucks waiting to enter the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 46 extended south on East Marginal Way South, slowing drivers and buses. 
     
    WSDOT, SDOT and King County continue to work together to monitor traffic conditions and discuss any adjustments during conference calls held three times per day. We appreciate drivers’ patience during this closure and encourage everyone that can to explore alternate travel modes and avoid the peak commute hours.
     

     

    May 5 update | Posted at 4 a.m.

    Tunneling progress

    Seattle Tunnel Partners has installed 26 rings since mining resumed last week. Crews have excavated 175 feet of the approximately 385 feet of tunnel that must be completed before the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens to traffic.

    Visit our tracking page to see a map showing Bertha’s progress. We will provide another update this afternoon.

    Get ready for Thursday’s commute

    We're continuing to urge commuters who have made changes to keep using alternative means to get to work, and for those who have not made changes to consider doing so, as traffic remains challenging throughout the Puget Sound Region. Our resources page can help you plan your commute. 
     

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  • May 4 #99closure update

    May 4 update | Posted at 7:30 p.m.
     
    Tunneling progress
     
    Seattle Tunnel Partners has installed 25 rings since mining resumed last week. Crews have excavated 162.5 feet of the approximately 385 feet of tunnel that must be completed before the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens to traffic. 
     
    Visit our tracking page to see a map showing Bertha’s progress. We will provide another update in the morning.
     
    Evening commute recap
     
    Highways: Congestion on southbound I-5 into Seattle started early due to a collision that blocked the HOV lane near Union Street in downtown for about 15 minutes just after noon. Traffic on all other highways was fairly typical or just slightly slower than normal for a Wednesday afternoon. Northbound I-5 traveling out of Seattle was faster than normal.
     
    Seattle surface streets: First Avenue South and Fourth Avenue South were congested throughout the commute because of train blockages on Holgate and Lander earlier in the afternoon. All local streets leading to I-5 were heavier than normal, with the Olive/Howell corridor especially slow because of a high volume of vehicles exiting the parking garages.
     
    The U.S. Coast Guard has also asked mariners to limit drawbridge openings during the #99closure to help keep traffic in the city moving. Travelers can also help out by continuing to plan ahead, traveling early or late and by checking traffic conditions before hitting the road.
     
    Over the last two days, SDOT recorded over 5,000 cyclists per day across the Fremont Bridge and over 2,300 across the West Seattle Swing Bridge - a new record!
     
    Mass Transit: King County Metro routes affected by the closure were running delays of approximately 20 minutes. Standby coaches ran primarily on the 5, 21, 120 and the C line to maintain schedules. Water Taxi sailings to West Seattle still had capacity this evening with no delays.

     

    Update 5/4/16 11:10 a.m. - corrected number of rings and distance traveled

    May 4 update | Posted at 10:45 a.m.

    Tunneling progress

    Seattle Tunnel Partners has installed 22 rings since mining resumed last week. Crews have excavated 149 feet of the approximately 385 feet of tunnel that must be completed before the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens to traffic. This morning, crews have been busy doing maintenance on the machine, which is an important part of the tunneling operation.

    Visit our tracking page to see a map showing Bertha’s progress. We will provide another update this evening.

    Morning commute recap

    Highways:  Wednesday’s commute for northbound drivers started earlier than usual, similar to other mornings we’ve seen during the #99closure. Commutes on SR 167 and I-405 were heavy as well, about 10 minutes above average.

    Seattle surface streets: Heavy traffic heading eastbound on the West Seattle Bridge started a bit earlier than normal this morning. First Avenue South and Fourth Avenue South continue to see increased congestion. Continue to plan ahead, travel early or late and check traffic conditions before you hit the road.     

     

    Update 5/4/16 11:10 a.m. - corrected number of rings and distance traveled 

    May 4 update | Posted at 4 a.m.

    Tunneling progress

    Seattle Tunnel Partners has installed 22 tunnel rings since mining resumed last week. As of 4 a.m. on Wednesday, May 4, crews had excavated 149 of approximately 385 feet needed to reopen the viaduct. Visit our tracking page to see a map showing Bertha’s progress. Look for another progress update this afternoon. 

    Also, if you missed the drone video we posted yesterday, you can watch it here (links to YouTube).

    Know before you go
    As the Wednesday morning commute begins, we’re asking travelers to continue to plan ahead and adjust their commutes. Make sure you check travel times before you hit the road this morning. Several incidents yesterday illustrated that a single collision can quickly change the state of traffic. Thanks for your continued patience.

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Program Spotlight

  • Inside tunneling under the viaduct

    After nearly a week of tunneling under the Alaskan Way Viaduct, crews are steadily continuing Bertha’s underground drive towards downtown Seattle. This video gives you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how the new tunnel is being built, showcasing the complex operations involved in this project. Massive concrete ring segments are transported to Bertha’s segment erector where they are lifted into place, allowing the machine to push forward while the excavated soil is transported … more