A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Rolling slowdowns on Alaskan Way Viaduct on Wednesday for commercial filming

July 11th, 2017 by Doree

Seattle Police officers will perform intermittent rolling slowdowns on both directions of the Alaskan Way Viaduct from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday so that a commercial can be filmed.

Washington Department of Transportation says drivers should expect up to 30-minute delays.

Northbound SR 99 traffic will gradually slow to 10 mph starting near South Royal Brougham Way. Southbound SR 99 traffic will slow down near Western Avenue. Pilot cars will lead the slowed traffic across the viaduct until the roadway is clear, then allow traffic to accelerate back to highway speeds.

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Alaskan Way Viaduct and SR 520 closed this weekend

October 3rd, 2016 by Doree

Washington State Department of Transportation is warning drivers that both the Alaskan Way Viaduct and State Route 520 will be closed this weekend. The Viaduct will have its semi-annual inspection and SR 520 will get some new paving, restriping, tolling equipment and routine maintenance.

The Viaduct will be closed in both directions from South Spokane Street to the north end of the Battery Street Tunnel from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Also on Saturday, between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., State Route 99 will be closed in both directions from the tunnel to Valley Street. Northbound drivers can access State Route 99/Aurora Avenue at Valley Street.

State Route 520 will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday.

SR 520 Closure details:

  • 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday: Eastbound SR 520 between I-5 and 92nd Avenue Northeast and all associated on- and off-ramps will close.
  • 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday: Westbound SR 520 between 92nd Avenue Northeast and Montlake Boulevard, and all associated on and off-ramps will close. The on-ramp from Montlake Boulevard to westbound SR 520 will remain open.
  • 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday: Single lanes of Montlake Boulevard, just south of SR 520, will close intermittently. Montlake Boulevard will be open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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Mark your calendars: Alaskan Way Viaduct closes for approximately two weeks starting April 29

April 15th, 2016 by Robin Donovan

Drivers and transit users, pay heed: there are 14 days to get ready for a closure of the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct through downtown Seattle.  Starting Friday, April 29, the Washington State Department of Transportation will close the viaduct between South Spokane Street and the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel.

This closure is expected to start prior to the morning commute and last approximately two weeks as the SR 99 tunneling machine Bertha digs underneath the roadway near Yesler Way.

Roughly 90,000 vehicles use the viaduct each day. Because the structure is one of three major north/south highways in the greater Seattle area, WSDOT expects this closure to have a significant effect on the region’s commute.



Some options for commuters to consider:

  • Alternatives to driving: Take the bus with King County Metro. Share a ride in a carpool, vanpool or van share. Explore other transit options using the Puget Sound Trip Planner. Remember that while taking transit is a great alternative to driving, buses are expected to be crowded during the closure.
  • Take the water taxi: King County Water Taxi is adding extra trips to and from Vashon Island to Colman Dock. There will be additional parking in West Seattle for the water taxi’s new, larger-capacity boat.
  • Work from home: Many employers offer options to work from home. Even teleworking one day a week will help ease congestion.
  • Adjust the work schedule: If possible, adjusting a work schedule can help avoid the longer commutes. Rush hours will start earlier and end later than normal. Use WSDOT’s travel tools or SDOT’s traveler information page to plan your trips.
  • Consider biking or walking for the last part of a trip into downtown to avoid the heaviest congestion.


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WSDOT finishes State Route 99/Aurora Avenue lane closures one week early

March 1st, 2016 by Doree

Washington State Department of Transportation has finished its work on concrete foundations for overhead traffic signs on State Route 99/Aurora Avenue more than a week ahead of schedule. That means the around-the-clock lane closures at Comstock Street near the north end of the Battery Street Tunnel have ended.

Lane closures will happen again sometime this spring when crews erect the 24-foot-tall, 7,000-pound metal sign structures.

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First phase of Aurora Avenue road work ends more than a week early, median lanes to reopen today

February 5th, 2016 by Doree

Washington State Department of Transportation crews finished the first phase of signage work more than a week early and will reopen the median lanes in both directions by early afternoon today. The southbound bus-only lane will also reopen, except at Comstock Street.

Phase two of the work to build foundations for the signs that will direct drivers to the future SR 99 tunnel will start at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8. This second phase will require a one-block closure of the southbound right lane near Comstock Street while crews construct the final sign foundation near Comstock Street. Buses will merge into the general purpose lane at this location. This should last two to three weeks.

Since buses will merge into the general-purpose lanes for one block during the next phase of work, there may be some backups.

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Viaduct open house draws 100+

February 24th, 2009 by Dale

More than 100 people attended an open house at Adams Elementary Monday evening to learn more about plans to replace the Viaduct with a deep bored tunnel. The open house was organized by representatives from WSDOT, the City of Seattle and King County, who answered plenty of questions.

Phinney Ridge resident Robert Douglas wanted to know how he’d be affected. “I use the viaduct all the time,” he tells us, “So I was kind of curious to see how it was going to impact me, obviously, and my traveling back and forth from here to Sea-Tac, to West Seattle, to other destinations I go to.” WSDOT provided this map explaining how Ballard and other North Seattle commuters will access the tunnel (see larger map in .pdf format).

More details on our sister site, MyBallard.

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