Seattle Traffic - Rush Hour on the Alaskan Way Viaduct © flickr, Tony Webster

What road changes you need to know during the Viaduct Shutdown

For the next three weeks, SR 99, I-5, surrounding roads and highways will be congested more than ‘normal’. During this time, Seattle Dept. of Transportation (SDOT), Seattle Police Dept. (SPD), Seattle firefighters, and construction workers will be hard at work getting the new SR 99 tunnel prepped for thousands of daily commuters to travel on it.

It’s important to note that while many of us work in Seattle, Bellevue, Fremont and the surrounding Greater Seattle areas, it’s going to be busier and more frustrating to drive through. For the next five years, commuters will experience growing pains driving through the city.

During the shutdown, surrounding streets will be manned with 24/7 road management enforcement. SDOT states during the shutdown, parking and bus lanes will be greatly enforced. They want to remind commuters that 3rd Avenue is restricted to buses only, and fines will be enforced for those that use bus lanes.

Remember, do not to “block the box” driving through Seattle. As mentioned before, SDOT and the SPD will be on high-alert for those stuck in pedestrian crosswalks. This can put pressure on fellow commuters and public transportation.

Public transportation is highly encouraged for commuters. Orca cards are great to use, expediting travel times on and off buses, and alleviates the need to carry cash for ride fees.

KEY ROAD CHANGES IN DOWNTOWN

  • On Jan. 9, Roy St. between SR 99 and Dexter Ave. will be closed due to construction work between 9 a.m and 3 p.m.
  • On Jan. 12. starting 7 a.m. Seneca St. from 1st to 3rd Street will change to a one way street heading westbound. This is meant to accommodate those on the Alaskan Way Viaduct Seneca St. off-ramp.
  • On Jan. 14, parking restrictions on streets will be enforced until the opening of the tunnel in February. See signs posted along the streets or the SDOT blog for specific restrictions.
  • Construction on the Alaskan Way and tolling on the SR 99 tunnel will start Summer 2019.

To stay informed on Seattle weather and traffic alerts, see Seattle’s DOT Twitter. For the full coverage of the Viaduct shutdown and road changes, visit the SDOT blog for helpful tips on navigating around roads and closures.

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About Mandi Ringgenberg

Mandi is the digital content coordinator and has worked at WARM for cumulative over three years, previously in promotions. She loves radio, TV and film and of course, writing. She has worked in college radio as a disc jockey and created award-winning podcasts. Mandi is originally from Alaska, but claims Seattle her home. Connect with her on Instagram @mandiringg!