SEATTLE - The Alaskan Way Viaduct -- the most debated stretch of road in Seattle's history, which opened to great fanfare on April 4, 1953 -- officially closed at 10 p.m. Friday in preparation for it's demolition later this year.
However, it took much longer to get traffic off the roadway. Hundreds of cars tried to be the last to go northbound and southbound, and people got out of parked cars to photograph the final moments.The final car was moved off the northbound lanes at 11:38 p.m.
The stretch of State Route 99 is expected to be closed until early February, impacting some 900,000 drivers commuting in and out of Seattle daily.
The viaduct is being replaced by the new SR 99 Tunnel. To learn about the history of how we got here, follow this link to see a report from KIRO 7 reporter Graham Johnson.
The three-week closure is needed in order for WSDOT crews to re-align SR 99 into the new tunnel.
The closure, which runs from Spokane Street to the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel, is expected to have a ripple effect across the region, as drivers who usually use the route will spill onto surface streets and highways.
KIRO 7 RealTime Traffic Reporter Tracy Taylor has broken down the best alternate routes to get in and out of Seattle. Watch her video below. Tracy will also be live with updates every 10 minutes each morning next week on KIRO 7 Morning News.
To see our special section dedicated to answering your questions about the closure and SR 99 Tunnel follow this link: https://www.kiro7.com/tunnel.
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