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Traffic shift underway on State Route 99 near the stadiums

Less than three years ago, crews demolished the southern mile of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. When they did, they shifted traffic onto a new section of State Route 99 south of downtown Seattle.

Much of that new section of SR 99 is permanent, but the piece west of the stadiums is temporary. This curving stretch of road takes drivers around the SR 99 tunnel construction site and connects to the remaining section of the viaduct near South King Street. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s the key to keeping SR 99 open during the majority of tunnel construction. Also, because it’s a temporary roadway, it’s relatively easy to make reroutes as crews shift their focus to different areas of the construction site.

The current route of this temporary roadway has both directions of traffic running parallel to each other. But in June, Seattle Tunnel Partners, our design-build contractor for the tunnel project, will reroute southbound and northbound SR 99 (pdf 769 Kb) through the tunnel construction site. After the traffic shifts, which will be implemented during two directional weekend closures of SR 99 in June, the northbound and southbound lanes will split apart, leaving space in between for construction.

Crews will use that newly opened space to extend the construction of permanent lanes and ramps leading into and out of the SR 99 tunnel. You can’t tell from the surface, but as you can see in this photo, much of this lane and ramp construction is complete.

The new southbound route will open Monday, June 9, following a weekend closure of southbound SR 99. The new northbound route will open Monday, June 23, following a weekend closure of northbound SR 99. The views of construction may be distracting, so we have one simple request to help you and your fellow travelers make your way safely through the area: Keep your eyes on the road, please.