WSDOT warns commuters that demolition will begin on the south end of the Alaskan Way Viaduct starting at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, October 21. The closure will last for nine days, which is the longest closure ever for a Seattle-area highway.
According to WSDOT, nearly 110,000 drivers use State Route 99 daily. That’s how many drivers will now be funneled onto downtown Seattle roads.
Two side-by-side bridges will replace the southernmost mile of the viaduct. The bridges are nearly complete. The work that starts Friday will demolish part of that mile of the viaduct, finish construction of a four-lane bypass to connect the new 99 bridge to the waterfront section, and create a new southbound off-ramp to South Atlantic Street.
Northbound 99 between the South Royal Brougham Way on-ramp and the Battery Street Tunnel will be open Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will also be open for special events at CenturyLink Field.
Southbound 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge will be closed around-the-clock from 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 21, to 5 a.m. Monday, October 31.
Speeds on the viaduct are being to reduced to 40 mph in most sections.
Upon the scheduled reopening at 5 a.m. on October 31, drivers will move through the SODO area in both directions on the completed new bridge. That’s when the rest of the viaduct’s southern end will be demolished and construction will continue on a second new bridge. Ultimately—scheduled for 2013—one of the new bridges will handle southbound traffic and one will handle northbound traffic.
For more information, visit the WSDOT site: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR99/HolgateToKing/ViaductNineDayClosure.htm#ChangeIsComing.
Map courtesy of WSDOT. Photo by Mahalie Stackpole.