It's finally here - the Alaskan Way Viaduct will close on Friday, January 11th at 10 PM for approximately three weeks from South Spokane Street up to the Battery Street Tunnel.
The upcoming closure will likely test everyone’s tolerance as they commute for the next three weeks. The Highway 99 Tunnel that will replace the viaduct is slated to open in early February. Until then, WSDOT is encouraging commuters to reduce their trips in the car. If you can’t drive less, here is a survival guide we put together to endure the “Viadoom.”
There will be no official detour routes, and most people heading North or South will resort to taking I-5 (which is already packed)! If you want to try streets to get through the city, remember that 3rd Avenue is only for Transit Vehicles and that 4th and 6th Avenues are decent options.
Peak rush hour times are 6-10 AM and 3-7PM, which may extend as traffic is impacted by the Viaduct closure. Before you leave, you can check travel times online or on the WSDOT app.
However, if you don’t have to drive – DON’T! North Enders can take the Sounder commuter train from Everett, making stops (Mukilteo and Everett) before getting to Seattle. You can also take the Link Light Rail from University of Washington. South Enders can take the Link Light Rail from Angle Lake in SeaTac all the way into the city and up to UW. The Sounder commuter train also has a route starting in Lakewood, and making 7 various South Sound stops to get to Seattle.
West Seattleites can take the Water Taxi, a short ride with trips from West Seattle leaving roughly every 20 minutes. There are also a ton of park and ride lots, about 130 of them. These lots are expected to fill up quickly but provide a carpool alternative when commuting. Buses are also an alternative but they are expected to be crowded and will likely be stuck in traffic.
Watch this video from WSDOT and download their app for up to date information: