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December 2, 2013 at 6:38 AM
The Associated Press
High winds and falling trees forced the closure overnight of Interstate 90 in both directions across Snoqualmie Pass, but the pass was reopened about 6:30 a.m.
The Transportation Department closed the highway just before midnight Sunday for the 72 miles between North Bend and Ellensburg.
There were no restrictions on the highway, but the roadway has snow and slush.
During the I-90 closure, traffic was diverted to Highway 2 over Stevens Pass where chains are required. The North Cascades Highway is closed by snow slides.
The I-90 closure was prompted by a semi-truck hitting a tree Sunday night 5 miles west of Easton. The Washington State Patrol says the injured driver was taken to a hospital in Ellensburg.
Troopers said there were four collisions on the east side of the pass.
May 29, 2013 at 5:37 AM
UPDATE: 1:20 p.m. | All lanes of southbound Interstate 5 are open. The last lane through the crash scene reopened about 12:15 p.m., WSDOT spokesman Mike Allende said.
UPDATE 11 A.M. | Just a single lane of southbound Interstate 5 remains closed through the crash scene; WSDOT said the backup approaching the area is down to a mile. It’s hoped the final lane will be reopened about 2 p.m. WSDOT spokesman Mike Allende said the overall length of the closure has been due to several factors, including:
- The State Patrol investigation of the crash itself.
- The need to deal with both a fire and fuel spill at the scene.
- The need to examine damaged highway barriers.
- Getting heavy-duty tow equipment to the scene to remove the badly damaged truck cab and the two trailers.
UPDATE 10:45 a.m.| If you have packages in the FedEx pipeline, you needn’t worry about them being damaged in this morning’s wreck. WSP Trooper Julie Judson said both FedEx trailers were empty. Judson said early indications are that the rig jackknifed when the driver hit his brakes when getting back on wet pavement after coming out from underneath the Convention Center.
UPDATE 10:15 a.m.| WSDOT reports a new accident on the Interstate 5 express lanes near Mercer has closed three southbound lanes for a brief time, backing up traffic for three miles, but all lanes were reopened by 10:15 a.m.
UPDATE 9 A.M.| Two southbound lanes have been reopened through the Interstate 5 crash scene in downtown Seattle. One HOV lane and one regular lane are now open.
UPDATE 8 a.m. | All regular southbound lanes of Interstate 5 in downtown Seattle were closed this morning – and it may be 11 a.m. or later before all lanes reopen — after a tractor trailer jackknifed and burned south of the Convention Center.
At 8:30 a.m. Transportation Department officials said they hoped to reopen one lane of the four lanes through the crash scene soon. But it would take several more hours before all southbound lanes reopen, said WSDOT spokesman Mike Allende.
The accident, in which no one was seriously hurt, occurred about 4:40 a.m. and by 7 a.m., southbound traffic was backed up as far as Lake City Way, with the backup growing rapidly during the morning commute.
The closure was caused when a double-trailer FedEx truck jackknifed on wet pavement, hit an abutment and caught fire with one section tipping partway over, the Washington State Patrol reported. Heavy tow trucks were being brought in to move it.
The driver was shaken but not seriously hurt, according to the Associated Press.
Southbound traffic was being rerouted off the freeway at James Street, and reconnecting to the freeway on collector-distributor lanes south of the crash scene.
Allende said even after the truck is removed, full traffic through the area won’t resume right away because several sections of barrier have been damaged and fuel spilled onto the highway has to be cleaned up.
The I-5 express lanes were taking much of the spillover from the main freeway, but two accidents on the express lanes near downtown before 7 a.m. also slowed traffic there, starting in the University District.
Southbound Highway 99 was also rapidly becoming congested. And other surface streets were crowded as motorists sought a way around the backup. Even on southbound bus routes that don’t take the freeway, the time of the morning commute doubled for some riders.
“Basically, all of the alternate routes are jammed at this point,” Allende said. “We’re telling people to delay your trip if possible.”
The I-5 southbound lanes through downtown Seattle normally carry about 110,000 vehicles a day — 7,000 of that during the morning commute, Allende said.
The section of the highway where the accident occurred has been called by some the state’s worst bottleneck.
March 15, 2013 at 8:14 AM
The Highway 520 floating bridge will remain open this weekend. It was scheduled to be closed for construction work, but that closure was postponed because of rainy weather, the state Department of Transportation said.
November 13, 2012 at 8:27 AM
The Associated Press
MOUNT RAINIER — The Washington Transportation Department has closed two passes on the east side of Mount Rainier for the winter.
The department says Chinook Pass on Highway 410 and nearby Cayuse Pass on Highway 123 have been closed by recent snow and avalanche danger.
October 18, 2012 at 1:39 PM
The Bellevue Transit Center has reopened, after authorities cordoned off the area to check out a suspicious package left on a bus.
The one-hour closure happened just after 1 p.m., forcing detours for as many as 10 routes, including RapidRide B to Overlake and Redmond, as well as Sound Transit routes 550 to Seattle and 560 to SeaTac.
Bellevue Police sent an officer in protective gear to examine the package. It turned out to be a black-colored box, the size of a shoebox, that contained shredded court documents and other papers, said police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate. A transit driver said the box was left by a passenger who set it on the floor and kicked it about during the ride, Iafrate said.
September 21, 2012 at 4:44 PM
Investigators with the King County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI reached a dead end when trying to trace the IP address of a person who posted an online threat that closed Skyline High School in Sammamish on Thursday.
The school was closed after someone posted a threat about bringing a gun to school, firing it and then committing suicide. The threat circulated on social-media sites on Wednesday.
The school district issued a statement Wednesday night saying it was closing the school Thursday out of an abundance of caution for the safety of students and staff.
A spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office said on Friday that detectives have followed every tip and lead, conducted interviews and traced the IP address. They reached a dead end, said Sgt. Jessica Sullivan, when the IP address was traced to a proxy server in Sweden.
Proxy servers are commonly used to disguise true IP addresses, she said.
Sullivan said detectives were not able to verify that the threat came from a student or anyone in the area. She said there have been no additional threats to Skyline or any other local school.
She also recommended a video on a social-media site in which a Skyline student urges his fellow schoolmates to handle the situation by “being nice” to others.
Anyone with information about the threat is urged to call the King County Sheriff’s Office call center at 206-296-3311.
September 20, 2012 at 3:05 PM
UPDATE 2:49 P.M.:King County Sheriff Steve Strachan said that the FBI is assisting deputies in searching for the person who issued an online threat to open fire at Skyline High School in Sammamish.
The school was closed today while deputies investigated the threat posted last night on 4chan, an online bulletin board. Officials at 4chan told investigators that the threat traced back to a server in Sweden, Strachan said.
“Apparently that can be a proxy server used to cover up or keep someone from revealing their idenity,” Strachan said.
Investigators are looking into a similar threat issued against Meadowdale High School, in Lynnwood, in April. Meadowdale was closed on April 13 after the Edmonds School District received information about an online threat.
“This is not a teenage prank. This is an extremely serious crime. After Columbine something like this is something we take extremely seriously,” Strachan said.
Skyline High School will reopen tomorrow.
ORIGINAL POST: Authorities continue to search this morning for the person who posted an online threat to open fire at Skyline High School in Sammamish.
The school is shut down after police and school officials learned of the threat yesterday.
The threat said, “I am going to open fire on the people in the commons in the morning until I am either taken down by our school’s police officer, or until I run out of mags.” A picture of the gun, which the writer described as his father’s Erma sub-machine gun, was posted next to the threat.
The threat, which was posted by an anonymous person on the web bulletin board, 4chan, said the primary shooting targets would be “jocks” and people who “use their wealth and social status to act superior to others.” The writer expected to die while carrying out the shooting.
Someone reposted the threat on Facebook and word spread fast, authorities said. The person who issued the threat has not been identified, said King County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jessica Sullivan. The threat has since been removed from the site.
Around 9 p.m. last night, 911 dispatchers received several calls locally, as well as from all over the country and Canada, about the threat, Sullivan said.
Sara Niegowski, spokeswoman for the Issaquah School District, said that school officials were contacted by Sammamish police, a contract police department run by the sheriff’s office, around 10 p.m. last night.
Niegowski said that with Skyline being a school of 2,000 students, 120 teachers and 100 staff news about the threat “spread fast.”
“Of course we started checking it out. We worked with the police to find out if they could verify the credibility of the threat,” Niegowski said.
After a long night and no confirmation one way or another about the safety of students, school officials decided to shut down the campus today as a precautionary measure.
May 7, 2012 at 11:45 AM
If you’re driving the 520 floating bridge today, the state Transportation Department says to allow yourself extra time to cross Lake Washington because a planned opening of the bridge’s drawspan starts at noon today.
Traffic could be delayed up to 30 minutes while the drawspan is open to allow a 48-foot sailboat to pass through, according to the state.
The electronic message signs leading to the bridge will tell you of the drawspan opening. Drivers can choose other routes across or around the lake, including the I-90 floating bridge or the highways above and below, State Route 522 and I-405 respectively.
April 25, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Highway 520 Bridge will be closed between Seattle and Bellevue this weekend as construction to widen the highway and add lidded overpasses on the Eastside continues. The bridge will close at 11 p.m. on Friday, April 27, and reopen on Monday morning at 5 a.m.
All lanes will be closed between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and Interstate 405 in Bellevue, as construction workers install 42 concrete girders and 1,000 feet of drainage pipes beneath the highway.
Commuters should expect delays on Interstate 90, I-405 and I-5 during heavier travel times midday Saturday and Sunday, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Express lanes on Interstate 90 will open westbound from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and eastbound after 3 p.m. both days this weekend. The highway between I-5 and Montlake and east of Bellevue will remain open.
The closure and construction is part of the Washington State Department of Transportation’s SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project to expand the highway to six lanes, rebuild interchanges and add highway lids and bus stops in the center of the highway. After this weekend, more than 100 girders will have been installed at four overpasses that are part of the improvement project.
Construction on the Medina-Bellevue corridor is expected to be complete by December 2013.
For more information on Seattle area traffic, visit http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/seattle/default.aspx.
April 4, 2012 at 12:40 PM
The need to reinforce a two-block section of the Alaskan Way Viaduct above the path of the upcoming tunnel means the viaduct will be closed from late Friday until early Monday morning, according to the state Department of Transportation.
It will be closed in both directions between the Battery Street Tunnel and the West Seattle Bridge from 11 p.m. Friday, April 6, to 5 a.m. Monday, April 9.
That could mean more than usual congestion in and near downtown Seattle during the closure.
“The weather is improving and shops and restaurants will be open for the holiday weekend,” Matt Preedy, WSDOT Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program deputy administrator said in a news release. “Remember to plan ahead and allow a little extra time to get to your destination.”
The state has provided a map showing routes to the city’s waterfront, Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square.
From the WSDOT prepared statement:
Crews building the SR 99 tunnel will spend the weekend reinforcing both decks of a two-block section of the viaduct between South Washington and Columbia streets in Pioneer Square. There will be one additional weekend closure of the viaduct in mid-May to complete the scheduled work, which includes filling cracks and wrapping previously damaged sections of the structure in protective reinforcing fiber. Protecting this section of the viaduct is important because crews will drive the tunnel boring machine beneath it in late 2013.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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