Traffic: Expect delays in downtown Seattle this weekend as Highway 99 between Denny Way and South Spokane Street will close from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The closures allow crews to conduct a routine inspection of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and, on Sunday, a charity race. Weather: In the 40s today. Windy,…More
Topic: alaskan way viaduct
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Drivers traveling through downtown Seattle should expect delays this weekend, this time because of Highway 99 closures for construction and a charity race. Both directions of Highway 99 between Denny Way and South Spokane Street will close from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday so crews can inspect the Alaskan Way Viaduct, according to…More
State officials are trying to assuage public worry about the safety of the Alaskan Way Viaduct in the wake of reports that sections of the elevated highway are sagging slightly. The section around Yesler Way has settled up to four-tenths of an inch following work by Seattle Tunnel Partners, said Todd Trepanier, Highway 99 administrator for…More
[Updated 10 a.m. Thursday by Mike Lindblom] The Washington State Department of Transportation will open a new South Atlantic Street overpass Monday that will allow trucks to bypass busy railroad tracks so that freight can move faster. To complete the street connections, the off-ramp from southbound Highway 99 to Atlantic will be closed this weekend, from 4 a.m. Saturday,…More
The Highway 99 tunneling machine “Bertha” is on the move again, after a rest stop to undergo adjustments and receive a new set of cutting teeth. Dark, wet soil tumbled off the tall conveyor belt and plopped onto the deck of Terminal 46, to be trucked or barged away. The moving dirt was visible Thursday morning from…More
Crews reopened the Alaskan Way Viaduct on Saturday night after inspection work was complete. But all northbound viaduct traffic must exit at Western Avenue until 5 a.m. Monday. The viaduct was to be closed Saturday and Sunday for a semiannual inspection and maintenance. Work was completed ahead of schedule, and the viaduct will be open Sunday. A…More
While the hectic summer construction season has come and gone, road closures never cease. This time, the Alaskan Way Viaduct is undergoing its semiannual inspection and a few blocks away, Aurora Avenue North will close near Seattle Center, so workers can install a sewer line for the Mercer West project. All lanes of the Viaduct from South…More
From Transportation Reporter Mike Lindblom: “Bertha,” the mammoth Highway 99 tunnel drilling machine, arrived in Seattle on Tuesday from Japan. The ship may dock Wednesday at Terminal 46, where 41 pieces, weighing 6,700 tons, will be unloaded over two weeks. Container ships take priority, so the ship likely will move on and offshore. The green…More
Distance-based tolls, peak-only tolling, and a wide range of rates from 50 cents to $3 are now on the table, as the Highway 99 tunnel’s toll advisory committee looks at a broader spectrum of ideas for raising revenue.
At a Wednesday meeting, committee members seemed far from solving the fundamental problem, after 11 meetings in 16 months. Any toll high enough to reap $200 million for construction costs will cause drivers to opt for downtown streets, which are already near full. Models show there wouldn’t even be a boost in peak traffic on I-5 because the freeway is saturated.
Not only are tolls expected to finance $200 million of the $3.1 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement over 30 years – but over the years, state officials quietly assumed the tolls could cover operations, maintenance, insurance and long-term equipment replacement, comprising another $400 million. Toll-backed financing is much weaker than what pro-tunnel officials assured the public back in 2009, when lawmakers voted to build a tunnel.
The latest scenarios include two that raise money:
- Varying the rates based on whether drivers enter and exit via local streets, or continue on the highway toward Green Lake, Shoreline, West Seattle, or Burien. This would be done using electronic readers at the South Lake Union and Sodo interchanges. In late afternoon, a “short” rate might be $1.20, a “medium” rate $2.10, or a “long” rate of $3.
- A simpler, high-revenue matrix of $2.25 morning peak, $1.50 mid-day, and $2.75 afternoon peak.
And two that minimize diversion to downtown streets:
- A peak-only toll of $1.75, charged from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Cheap rates of 50 cent off-peak, of 75 cents peak, and free at night.
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…More