Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program News – August 2014


Bertha update – Construction of the access pit’s underground walls will continue through August

Earlier this week, Seattle Tunnel Partners notified us that building the underground walls of the circular pit (pdf 2.5 Mb) crews will use to access and repair the SR 99 tunneling machine will continue through August. While this date is later than anticipated, STP reports that tunneling is still expected to resume as scheduled in March 2015.

Building a self-supporting, concrete ring that is 120 feet deep and 80 feet wide is no easy task, especially given the difficult ground conditions near South Jackson Street. STP crews have completed more than half of the underground piles and are working around-the-clock, seven days a week to complete the approximately 31 remaining piles.

There are several reasons the work is taking longer than anticipated. One factor is the addition of 11 piles to the pit’s design, bringing the total number of piles to approximately 84. Crews are also working with exceptionally large interlocking piles, which are necessary to make the pit self-supporting without tiebacks or other reinforcements. A self-supporting pit is what will allow the tunneling machine to mine through its walls, but the large piles take longer to install than standard piles.

While pile work continues, crews are making progress on other areas of the repair plan on schedule, including:

  • Shipping repair pieces: The new main bearing has arrived in Seattle and will be assembled closer to the time it’s needed, likely this fall.
  • Manufacturing repair pieces: Other repair pieces, such as the new outer seal ring, the thrust seal ring and bearing block are nearing completion. After these pieces are fabricated and inspected, Hitachi Zosen will ship them to Seattle.
  • Assembling a 300-ton crawler crane: This crane will be used to help assemble the 600-ton crawler crane. Pieces of that crane will arrive in September and assembly will begin shortly thereafter.
  • Assembling a 600-ton crawler crane: This crane will be used to assemble the modular lift tower (massive red crane) that will lift the largest pieces of the machine from the access pit. Parts of that crane will also arrive in September and assembly will begin in late September.
  • Assembling the 2,000-ton modular lift tower: Starting in late July and continuing through fall, crews will begin to stage the modular lift tower. Parts of the modular lift tower will arrive over the next several months beginning in late July.

We will continue to update you on STP’s efforts to resume tunneling by March 2015. You can watch the access pit take shape on our time-lapse camera, and view photos of recent construction on Flickr.

Early warning – Four-day closure of SR 99 coming in late August

In late August, crews building the future north portal of the SR 99 tunnel will close SR 99/Aurora Avenue North near South Lake Union for four days. During this closure, crews will demolish and replace the section of SR 99 that crosses above Broad Street.

To minimize the need for additional closures, separate crews will complete the following work elsewhere along the SR 99 corridor during this time:

  • Utility work at Harrison Street.
  • Concrete panel replacement in SODO.
  • Expansion joint repairs on the Alaskan Way Viaduct near the Seneca Street off-ramp.
  • Ivy removal from the viaduct.

Closure information

Drivers should plan ahead for SR 99 closures from Friday night, Aug. 22 to Wednesday morning, Aug. 27. View a map of the closure.

  • From 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22 to 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25, SR 99 will be closed in both directions from the West Seattle Bridge to Valley Street.
    • Northbound SR 99 will be open from South Royal Brougham Way until midnight on Friday, Aug. 22 for exiting Seahawks traffic.
  • From 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25 to 5 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, SR 99 will be closed in both directions from the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel to Valley Street.

Driver tips

Travelers who use SR 99 should consider the following:

  • Allow plenty of extra time and expect additional congestion on alternate routes including I-5 and surface streets.
  • Leave early or delay your trip to avoid traveling during peak commute periods in the morning and afternoon.
  • Delay or reschedule discretionary trips.
  • Consider telecommuting.
  • Choose an alternative travel mode such as King County Metro, share a ride in a car or vanpool, or walk or ride a bicycle. 

Know before you go and have a backup plan

Those who must drive are encouraged to stay engaged and check traffic conditions frequently via WSDOT’s web, mobile and phone-based traveler information systems.

  • The Seattle traffic page contains updated road information including links to traffic cameras.
  • The travel alerts website provides real-time information about blocking incidents.
  • WSDOT’s mobile app offers information for travelers on the go.
  • @wsdot_traffic provides Twitter updates about travel issues.
  • 5-1-1 offers traffic updates.
  • The What’s Happening Now page chronicles closures and issues affecting travelers.
  • Learn more about your commute and travel choices.


Milepost 31 Speakers Series – Bertha and progress on the SR 99 Tunnel Project

Seattle Tunnel Partners, the contractor hired by WSDOT to design and build the SR 99 tunnel, is working to repair the SR 99 tunneling machine. Join us to learn more about STP’s plan to resume tunneling by the end of March 2015, and learn about the other work happening to replace the viaduct.

  • 6 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 7
  • Milepost 31, 211 First Ave. S., Seattle
  • Admission is free


Seahawks Super Bowl Victory Parade – Wednesday February 5th

Parade route for the Seahawks Welcome Home celebration, February 5thCongratulations to SUPER BOWL XLVIII CHAMPION SEATTLE SEAHAWKS!

A Welcome Home Victory Celebration Parade is scheduled for 11:00am – 1:30pm Wednesday, February 5th, which is anticipated to have significant impact on traffic throughout the Seattle downtown area. Please be prepared for longer-than-average commute times and increased traffic and inform all downtown businesses with employees and guests who are at or coming downtown on Wednesday.

The parade starts on 4th Ave south of Denny Way and ends at Century Link Field.  Route map is attached.

How this will affect downtown residents, businesses, employees, guests, and visitors:

  • Estimated drive time could double, so plan ahead.
  • I-5 and SR-99 will be open all day.
  • Access points coming to and from the downtown core will be impacted during the parade.  Mercer St and Edgar Martinez Dr are suggested to be the best routes for I-5 waterfront access.
  • Expect bus delays and re-routes during the parade.  See Metro’s website for more information.

Support and messaging:

City and regional safety and security agencies are prepared for and will be supporting the parade and celebration.  The 12th Man is the best fan in the country and cares about the great Northwest.  The City of Seattle and the Seattle Seahawks encourage every fan to act responsibly before, during, and after the game.  The country’s eyes are upon us, let’s honor our team and take care to not do anything that would detract from their outstanding achievement.


Karl Stickel

Office of Economic Development

City of Seattle

Tell Legislators to Preserve Bus Service to Downtown

Via Downtown Seattle Association Public Policy Advocacy

[message type=”warning”]

Action Requested:

Contact King County legislators using the link below, and urge them to develop a solution for funding King County Metro and pass a comprehensive state transportation package:

Move King County Now contact link


King County Metro transit service is at risk. The special session in Olympia has provided another chance to secure a funding package that will preserve transit service, but that window will soon close. We’ve reached a critical period in which we need to impress upon lawmakers how important Metro service is to the Downtown, and regional, economy and the ability for tens of thousands of commuters to get between work and home each day.

Commuters and employers alike stand to be severely impacted if the state legislature does not adopt a transportation package. Faced with a budget shortfall, Metro cuts will amount to a loss of 17 percent of service, affecting eight out of every 10 riders, with more than 70 routes eliminated completely – click on the map to get a visual depiction of the massive scale of the route reduction:


74 routes to be eliminated

Reductions in bus service will place an estimated additional 30,000 vehicles on our roadways each day and make getting around King County more difficult, whether you’re in a car, bus or truck.

What’s at Risk Without a Funding Solution:

  • 74 routes eliminated across the county (35% of Metro system)
  • 107 routes will have services reduced or revised (50% of system)
  • Only 33 routes unchanged but would likely become more crowded (15% of system)
  • 600,000 service hours to be reduced
  • 17% cuts to transit will affect 8 out of every 10 transit riders and make it harder to get to work
  • All areas of the county will be impacted (
  • Cuts would mean a loss of 14 million rides annually
  • Of the impacted routes, 43% are peak, 56% are all day and 1% are “night owl” routes
  • Metro’s level of service will be the same as in 1997, despite adding 360,000 more King County residents
  • An estimated 30,000 additional vehicles will be put back on the road due to transit service reductions
  • This is not just a King County problem; failure to pass a funding package will put our state at a competitive disadvantage


DSA Public Policy Advocacy Since DSA was founded in 1958, we have been a leader in the revitalization and development of Downtown into a thriving, world-class destination, business center and collection of neighborhoods. Successful leadership and partnerships have earned DSA its reputation as an expert on issues facing Downtown. The strength of our advocacy program is driven by the work and support of distinguished volunteers who lend their expertise to the achievement of our mission to champion a healthy, vibrant urban core. Read our strategic plan.

Construction and Traffic Update – Friday March 15, 2013

SR 99 tunnel boring machine launch pit constructionFourth Ave S down to one lane on Saturday

Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will restrict southbound traffic on 4th Ave S to one lane just south of S Spokane St on Saturday, March 16, from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. During this time the crews will install curb ramps on the northwest corner of the intersection.


More Highlights

  •  March 15 – 18: SR-520 bridge closed 11PM Friday to 5AM Monday.
  •  March 15 – 18: Closures on Yesler Wy. between Broadway and 12th Ave. Friday through Monday.
  •  March 15 – 17: James St. closed east and west of Broadway 7PM Friday to 7PM Sunday.
  •  March 15 &16: Lane closures on southbound I-5 between NE Ravenna Blvd. and Lakeview Blvd. E. 10PM to 10AM each night.
  •  March 15 & 16: NE 45th St. on-ramp to southbound I-5 closed 10PM to 10AM each night.
  •  March 18: Delridge Wy. SW paving project moves to Phase II (SW Thistle St. to SW Trenton St.).
  •  Various road closures for Special Events, including St. Patrick’ Day Parade, St. Pat’s Dash, the International Day Against Police Brutality March, and Seattle Sounders.

List (including start/end times) of up-coming road closures/restrictions and events: Construction Look Ahead for March 14, 2013


Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement construction closures

Visit WSDOT’s website for a complete list of closures. Closure information changes frequently, so remember to check for updates throughout the week.

Highlights for Friday, March 15 – Friday, March 22

Regional closures

Friday, March 15 – Monday, March 18

  • Crews will close both directions of the SR 520 floating bridge and highway and all ramps between Montlake Boulevard and I-405 from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

Friday, March 15 to the morning of Sunday, March 17

  • Crews will close up to three lanes of southbound I-5 from Northeast Ravenna Boulevard to the Ship Canal Bridge from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m. nightly for pavement repair. This work is weather dependent. Express lanes switch to southbound at 9:45 p.m.

SR 99 Corridor


Monday, March 25 – Tuesday, March 26

  • Crews will reduce southbound SR 99 to one lane between Republican and Harrison streets from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day.

Wednesday, March 27

  • Crews will reduce southbound SR 99 to one lane between Republican and Broad streets from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday


Monday, March 18 – Friday, March 22

  • Crews will close the left lane and north sidewalk of Pike Street between First and Second avenues from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.

Monday, March 18 – Friday, March 22

  • Crews will close the left lane and north sidewalk of Virginia Street between First and Second avenues from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Friday, March 22

  • Crews will close the right curb lane and sidewalk on Second Avenue between Virginia and Lenora streets from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Friday, March 22 – Monday, March 25

  • Crews will close the right lane and right parking lane of Union Street between Second and First avenues from 7 a.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

Monday, March 18 – Friday, March 22

  • Crews will reduce South Jackson Street to one lane in each direction between Second Avenue South and Fifth Avenue South from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.


Sunday, March 17

  • Crews will close South Massachusetts Streets between Occidental Avenue South and First Avenue South from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local access will be maintained.

Friday, March 22 – the morning of Monday, March 25

  • Crews will close the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct ramp to northbound I-5 and Columbian Way from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

Quick links:

Website links

Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program