SR 99 Tolling

SR 99 Tunnel Project

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SR 99 Tunnel - Effect on Seattle Traffic

This page talks about how traffic will change after the SR 99 tunnel opens.

Why will Seattle traffic patterns change?

Replacing the viaduct will change how people get around Seattle for many reasons besides tolls:

  • Unlike the current viaduct, the tunnel will not have entrances or exits downtown or in Belltown. Because of this, many drivers who currenly use the viaduct to get into downtown may switch to other routes when the tunnel opens. 
  • A new Alaskan Way surface street will be built in the footprint of the viaduct, with improved connections to downtown Seattle. This road will not have tolls and will be a more direct way to get to many parts of downtown than the tunnel.
  • Downtown traffic patterns will shift as the result of changing transit routes and other construction projects.

What do we know about how toll rates will affect traffic?

Seattle traffic patterns will change at different points in time. There will be a big adjustment when the tunnel first opens and another shift when tolling beings, which could be as soon as summer 2019. Traffic patterns will finally settle when the new Alaskan Way surface street opens. Learn more about our predictions.

Picture shows map of the existing Alaskan Way Viaduct and the new SR 99 Tunnel. The photo shows the differences in access points in the new tunnel when compared to the viaduct.