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Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

May 16, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Viaduct lane closure could cause southbound havoc Saturday

The state Department of Transportation plans to close the right lane of the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct, as well as the South Atlantic Street offramp, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

A similar but unannounced closure last Saturday caused early-afternoon traffic backups all the way to the Battery Street Tunnel, wasting about 20 minutes for any drivers stuck in the slowdown. The 5 p.m. reopening will provide two hours of normal flow before the 7 p.m. Sounders FC match against San Jose.

Construction crews are preparing for a lane shift later this year. The temporary Highway 99 curves next to CenturyLink Field will be moved to make room for construction of the permanent Highway 99 tunnel-approach lanes, shown in green below.

In addition, the intersection of Fifth Avenue North and Mercer Street will completely close for paving and excavation from 11:30 p.m. tonight until 5 a.m. Monday.  The Seattle Department of Transportation is building a two-way Mercer underpass beneath Highway 99.

Later this year, the southbound lanes will be shifted west, into position "A" so the permanent lanes (in green) are built, as shown in this WSDOT image.

Later this year, the two southbound detour lanes will be shifted west into position “A,” so that permanent lanes (in green) can be built, as shown in this WSDOT image of the Highway 99 tunnel’s south entrance.

Comments | Topics: alaskan way viaduct, Mercer Street

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