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June 14, 2012 at 11:01 AM

This weekend: Highway 99 closes, Wallingford Greenway opens

The Alaskan Way Viaduct will close again this weekend, to strengthen the 1953-vintage structure before a giant tunnel-boring machine shakes the ground underneath in 2013.

The shutdown, from the Battery Street Tunnel to the West Seattle Bridge, begins at 11 p.m. Friday, and lanes reopen at 5 a.m. Monday.

Workers will be reinforcing columns just south of the ferry terminal, where the tunnel will cross beneath the old highway before burrowing under downtown to South Lake Union.  Some overhead girders will be wrapped in carbon fiber to reduce risks of flaking or cracking when the drill passes below. The four-lane, $2.1 billion tolled tunnel — the biggest piece of the $3.2 billion viaduct replacement — is scheduled to open at the end of 2015.  Also this weekend, a large sign-support structure will be set up over the highway in Sodo.

While the viaduct is shut down, the Seattle Department of Transportation will close two lanes of southbound Aurora Avenue North from north Queen Anne Hill to Harrison Street, for spot pavement repairs, on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. A week later,  the same stretch of Aurora will be restriped on Sunday, June 24, closing the curb lane.

The city and King County Metro Transit are converting that lane to a business access and transit or “BAT” lane, for buses and right-turns only, to help Metro’s 2013 upgrade of Route 358 to the RapidRide E line. In actuality, drivers pretty much use that curb lane like a BAT lane already, without special striping. SDOT warns there will be an eight to ten-week closure of the curb lane near Mercer Street starting June 25, for utility relocations, to prepare for future work at the Highway 99 tunnel’s north portal.

Meanwhile, Saturday is the grand opening for the Wallingford Greenway, the first of several efforts by neighborhoods and the city to encourage bicycling and walking by calming traffic, on side streets.

Seattle DOT performed a minimal amount of construction, by installing median curbs at Stone Way North, greenway signs on North 43rd and 44th Streets, and “sharrow” bicycle icons on the pavement. The party, to include a kids parade, ice cream, and crafts, is 4  to 7 p.m. Saturday. More information here.

 

 

Comments | Topics: alaskan way viaduct, Battery Street Tunnel, highway 99

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