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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Open house June 13 for next stage of Aurora Bridge painting project

June 6th, 2017 by Doree

Washington State Department of Transportation will have an open house on June 13 to provide residents and nearby business owners and employees with information on what to expect next spring during the second phase of the Aurora Bridge painting project.

Stage 1 was completed last year.

The open house will be from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13, at Seattle Pacific University, Upper Gwinn Commons, 3310 6th Ave. W. (parking access off West Dravus Street, ADA parking and entrance off 6th Avenue West). No formal presentation will take place; people are encouraged to drop in anytime to ask questions.

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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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Aurora Avenue Bridge sidewalk closures switching sides this week

September 28th, 2016 by Doree

The long-term sidewalk closure on the Aurora Avenue Bridge/State Route 99 is switching sides this week.

The sidewalk next to the northbound lanes will reopen by 11 a.m. this Thursday, after nine months of repair and painting. The sidewalk on the southbound lanes side will then close through the end of October.

To facilitate the switch, on Thursday the right northbound lane will be closed from 8 -11 a.m., then the right southbound lane will be closed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A contact number and emergency phone for a vehicle pickup is posted at either end of the bridge to assist users who are unable to use the pedestrian/cyclist detour.

With the exception of the handrail, most of the work to clean, repair and paint the Aurora Avenue Bridge’s stringers and floor beams is complete. Crews are now dismantling the work scaffolding and containment system that was installed under the bridge for the painting.

The project is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year. A second project to clean, repair and repaint the remaining portions of the bridge could begin in late 2017.

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Viaduct reopens several days early

May 9th, 2016 by Doree

The Alaskan Way Viaduct has reopened several days early after Washington State Department of Transportation determined the ground remains stable while Bertha tunneled below the surface.

The closure began late on April 28 and was expected to take about two weeks. WSDOT reopened the Viaduct Sunday night.

By Friday, the machine had successfully tunneled through complex soils only 15 feet below the viaduct’s foundation – the closest the machine will come to any structure at any point in its drive beneath Seattle. On Sunday, STP completed installation of the rings beneath this critical location, clearing the way for the final inspection and the early opening of the highway. WSDOT’s 24-hour command center will remain open until the machine has successfully tunneled 385 feet, the distance at which it will be completely clear of the viaduct.

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Southbound Aurora Avenue closed from bridge to Thomas Street every night through Thursday, and again next week

April 19th, 2016 by Doree

Washington State Department of Transportation is closing all lanes of southbound Aurora Avenue North/State Route 99 from just south of the Aurora Bridge to Thomas Street from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night through Thursday, and again next week from Monday, April 25, through Thursday, April 28.

Traffic will be detoured to exit onto Dexter Avenue North, just past the south end of the Aurora Bridge. Local access will be maintained.

Crews also will close the left lane of northbound State Route 99 between Valley and Raye streets from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

During the closures, crews working for Atkinson Construction will install supports for the overhead signs that will direct traffic to the future SR 99 tunnel. The closures are part of a WSDOT project to build roadway and ramp connections between Aurora Avenue North and the north portal of the tunnel.

These closure details could change, so check WSDOT’s construction page for updates.

Because of the southbound closures, Metro Routes 5, 26 Express, 28 Express, 82 Night Owl for the 4:20 a.m. trip, and the RapidRide E Line will be rerouted onto Dexter Way North, Dexter Avenue North, 7th Avenue, Bell Street, 6th Avenue and Wall Street, then on to their regular routes. (Northbound routes will not be affected.)

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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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Northbound lane closures on Aurora Avenue Bridge through April

March 29th, 2016 by Doree

Washington State Department of Transportation crews are closing at least one right northbound lane of the Aurora Avenue Bridge through April so they can install a work platform and containment system to paint the bridge.

  • One northbound right lane will close from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays
  • One northbound right lane will close from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays
  • Two northbound right lanes will close from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily

The northbound sidewalk over the bridge is closed to pedestrians around the clock until September.

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Northbound Aurora Avenue Bridge lane closures overnight tonight and Tuesday

March 7th, 2016 by Doree

Washington State Department of Transportation crews will close two northbound lanes of Aurora Avenue North/State Route 99 to install a temporary work platform below the bridge deck as part of the Aurora Avenue Bridge preservation project.

The two right northbound lanes will close at 9 p.m. tonight (Monday) and reopen at 5 a.m. Tuesday, and close again at 9 p.m. Tuesday and reopen at 5 a.m. Wednesday. One northbound lane will remain open.

The contractor is repainting steel pieces on the 85-year-old bridge to preserve its integrity and keep it in good working order. The existing paint is flaking away and exposing the steel to the elements which has resulted in rust and corrosion. The repainting is tentatively scheduled to be complete by fall 2016.

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