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The Seattle Squeeze: New Tools for Getting Around During the SR 99 Closure

Ten o’clock in the evening on Friday, January 11, 2019—mark it on your calendars! This is when WSDOT will permanently close the Alaskan Way Viaduct, closing SR 99 through downtown Seattle for approximately three weeks to realign SR 99 into the new tunnel. The on- and off-ramps near the stadium will close one week earlier (January 4) and we’ll see an additional week of ramp closures after the tunnel opens, making for six weeks of impacts on traffic in Seattle and across the region.

SR 99 and the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed from South Spokane Street to the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel.

What’s a traveler to do? Well, first—keep coming downtown! We’ve got lots of fun ways to eat, shop, play, and relax, and we encourage you to come see everything that downtown has to offer. Avoid driving alone and take advantage of one of the many new ways to travel downtown that are available to you:

  • Subscribe to alerts at www.seattle.gov/traffic. With the latest travel times, tips and suggestions for your commute, and traffic alerts, this personalized message is here to help you travel quickly and safely to your destination. We have alerts for many major neighborhood corridors in and out of the city, including Ballard, West Seattle, and Rainier Beach. Sign up for one near you today at www.seattletraffic.org/subscribe.
  • If you travel in or out of West Seattle, try the new Ride2 app from our friends at King County Map. Ride2 provides on-demand rides from your home to Metro buses at the Alaska Junction and the Water Taxi at Seacrest Park—just request your ride, tap your ORCA card, and relax. Download the Ride2 app on your smartphone today.
  • Our rideshare partners, including Lyft, Uber, and ReachNow, now offer $2.75 off your trip if you begin or end your trip at certain transit hubs, including Northgate, Husky Stadium, Columbia City, the SeaTac Airport Station, and more. Visit www.seattletraffic.org/RideshareToTransit to find out how to get a discount on your next ride.

Ride 2 is available to people who live or work in West Seattle. Enjoy on-demand rides to and from Metro buses at the Alaska Junction and the Water Taxi at Seacrest park.

Do you have a creative way to get around during the Seattle Squeeze? Let us know! E-mail 684-ROAD@seattle.gov to share your stories. We may feature them on www.seattle.gov/traffic.

Safe travels for all throughout the region!


Contributor Molly Wright is a public relations specialist at Seattle Department of Transportation. See her article, “A New Era of Tough Traffic,” in the December 2018 issue.

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