• "Keep doing what you're doing" as second week of SR99 closure begins

    By: Graham Johnson

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - As the second work week of the State Route 99 closure begins, transportation officials are urging commuters to repeat what they did last week so people keep moving.

    "We have two weeks left, hang tough, keep doing what you're doing," said Heather Marx of the Seattle Department of Transportation.

    During the first week of the highway closure to realign the roadway from the Alaskan Way Viaduct to the tunnel replacing it, traffic peaked earlier and spread throughout the day.

    Overall, the Washington State Department of Transportation reported a decline in regional traffic volumes.

    Fewer people drove cars onto ferries to Seattle from Bremerton and Bainbridge Island, "a sign that folks are canceling their discretionary travel and only coming into the city when they absolutely need to," said David Sowers of WSDOT.

    The Seattle Department of Transportation reported more people commuting by bicycle, with an average of 3,500 cyclists crossing the Fremont Bridget on Monday through Wednesday last week, about 1,000 more than the same period in 2018, which included the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

    A doubling of service on the West Seattle route of the King County Water Taxi also led to more travel by water, with capacity for additional passengers.

    Marx said SDOT was making changes on the fly to help mobility, like adjusting signal timing and restricting more street parking.

    "Over the past week we have made hundreds of changes in real time to respond to the traffic situation on the street," Marx said.

    Highway 99 is expected to reopen with the new tunnel on Monday, Feb. 4, but the northbound off ramp to downtown will take about a week longer to complete.


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