So it’s started — two weeks of pandemonium on the streets and freeways of the Puget Sound area, because the Alaskan Way Viaduct and a stretch of Highway 99 are closed while Bertha attempts to tunnel under the aging foundation of the Viaduct. From what I can tell so far, it hasn’t been quite as bad as the TV news outlets have predicted, mostly because it’s Friday and a lot of people probably just blew off work today. I’m filling in for AJ this afternoon, so we’ll see how bad the Friday commute home turns out to be. Of course, Laurie Hardie will be here to talk you through it all afternoon long.
According to the Seattle Times:
. . . about 90,000 drivers and 30,000 transit riders must make other plans, and congestion is expected to spread for a dozen miles. The morning rush might start at 4:30 a.m., and afternoon peaks could stretch from 2 to 8 p.m., based on a similar 2011 closure known as Viadoom, when the south end of the Alaskan Way Viaduct was demolished.
They’re rerouting buses, adding water taxis to the schedule, offering free rides if you join a van pool, and encouraging you to ride a bike or, better yet, stay home. (Gee, do you have a job that’ll let you telecommute for two weeks? I don’t!)
If the whole thing freaks you out, here’s a great guide, from the Seattle Times, on how to cope with this disruption to your routine. Be kind to your fellow commuters, take your time, keep it on Warm 106.9, and don’t forget to breathe!