SEATTLE - Get ready for some big traffic tie-ups as crews prepare for the opening of the new State Route 99 tunnel next year.
This weekend, Alaskan Way from south of King Street to Pier 62 just north of the Aquarium will be shut down to traffic from 8 p.m. Saturday until 10 a.m. Sunday.
That's when all traffic will be shifted to Old Alaskan Way west of the Viaduct.
Once that work is complete, crews will begin striping around 250 temporary parking spots that will be open until the viaduct comes down.
“That again relieves loss of parking on waterfront and increase amount of parking for biz and merchants,” said David Sowers, with Washington State Department of Transportation Viaduct Replacement Project.
SR 99 closure
The WSDOT also said it will close southbound State Route 99 between the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel to South Spokane Street starting at 9 p.m.
Road crews will pour concrete near the South Atlantic Street-off ramp, which will become the merge area of southbound SR 99 and the new southbound on-ramp. WSDOT said crews are taking advantage of the good weather that is expected.
The work is part of the SR 99 Connections Project to complete eight ramps connecting SR 99 and the new tunnel to local streets.
The road is scheduled to open back up at 5 a.m. Monday.
Revive I-5 lane reductions
Interstate 5 will also be reduced to two lanes between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Olive Way as crews continue efforts in Revive I-5.
Lane reductions will begin at 8 p.m. Friday and end at 5 a.m. Monday.
Here are ramp closures included in lane reductions:
- West Seattle Bridge/Spokane Street/Columbian Way off-ramp
- Columbian Way on-ramp
- Michigan Street on- and off-ramps
- Cherry Street on-ramp
- Olive Way off-ramp
- Seneca Street off-ramp
- University Street on-ramp
Drivers we talked to say they didn't know these projects were happening and will add to the traffic mess they already see in this area.
“It’s going to be ugly, trust me. It’s going to be worst than ever,” said Sam Ali, who parks his cab underneath the viaduct.
Seattle resident Kyle Winslow said he’s afraid to see how the commute will be once the tunnel opens by February of next year.
“I think it’s going to be chaos,” said Winslow. “Changing your commute on a daily basis is what it’s turning into.”
For additional information about the closures and lane reductions click on this link.
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