West Seattle traffic alerts 1774 results

BRIDGE CLOSURES: First one for Fauntleroy Expressway project now set for Monday night

(UPDATED THURSDAY MORNING with some clarification on the lane closures under the bridge, in case you wondered too)

(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli, from 2012 cushion-replacing work that’s about to be redone)

4:02 PM: Quick update on the upcoming Fauntleroy Expressway earthquake-safety cushion re-replacement project: While SDOT’s most-recent announcement said the first overnight closure of the west end of the bridge would be this Sunday night, we noticed a signboard that said Monday night (May 16th), so we checked with project spokesperson Paul Elliott. He tells WSB that indeed, next Monday night will be the first closure. Meantime, he says they are still awaiting detailed information on the lane-closure plans for surface Spokane Street under the bridge.

6:08 PM: A full announcement is now out:

The first overnight closure of the Fauntleroy Expressway will occur this coming Monday, May 16, at 9 p.m., a delay of one day from the previously announced schedule.

The Monday night bridge closure will be the first of an expected 40-50 weeknight closures necessary to complete the Fauntleroy Expressway Bearing Pad Replacement Project. On these nights, the Expressway will be closed from just west of the Delridge Way SW on/off ramp westward to where the road turns south (where the road is no longer a bridge).

Once the weeknight closures begin, they will regularly run from Sunday evenings until Friday morning. Each night the bridge will close at 9 p.m. and will reopen the following morning at 5 a.m. The bridge will NOT be closed on Friday or Saturday evenings, and the closure start time will be delayed until 11 p.m. on those nights when the Mariners or Sounders are playing and expecting attendance of 20,000 or more.

During the closure, westbound motorists will be detoured off the Expressway at the Delridge Way SW exit, and directed to proceed westbound on surface Spokane St to SW Avalon Way. At that point, motorists can turn north or south, depending on their ultimate destination. Eastbound motorists will be detoured from the Expressway at 35th Ave SW, where they will be directed eastbound onto SW Avalon Way. That street quickly turns to head north. At Spokane St, motorists will be directed eastbound on surface Spokane St below the bridge, and will use the Delridge Way on-ramp to access the high level bridge and the Expressway headed east.

Construction crews will be replacing the 674 bearing pads on the Fauntleroy Expressway, a complicated job requiring the bridge to be jacked from underneath to access and replace the bearing pads. Construction crews will set the jacks from underneath the bridge during the day, with the actual jacking and bearing pad replacement occurring at night when the bridge is closed.

The daytime work will require periodic closures of one of the surface lanes of Spokane St below the bridge. To minimize the impact to rush hour traffic, two lanes of eastbound traffic will remain open until 9 a.m. each day, while two westbound lanes will remain open after 3:30 p.m. each day.

ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: We asked SDOT for some clarification on the lane closures, and just received the replies. First – will the lanes be closed in their entirety beneath that section of the bridge? Reply: “No. They will only be closing a lane adjacent to their work. So we don’t expect the lane closure to be more than a block or two in length.” And: “There are no plans to close more than one lane in either direction on Spokane Street.”

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(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:25 AM: Good morning and welcome to Wednesday. Notes for today include:

-Day game for the first-place Mariners (12:40 pm, vs. Tampa), so expect more SODO traffic than usual in late morning/early afternoon – including school buses bringing thousands of kids for a special event explained here by SDOT.

And looking ahead:

-First Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement-project bridge closure is expected this Sunday night.

7:51 AM: Still quiet, at least in our area.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates; 35th/Barton crash

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:32 AM: Good morning! Second day post-Viaduct reopening, and no incidents so far.

7:06 AM: Second low-bridge closure (to surface traffic) of the morning.

7:26 AM: Open again. We’ve added the link to the “bridge open or closed?” Twitter feed (@sdotbridges) above our highlighted cameras, as we’d done during the Viaduct closure, for a permanent quick morning-commute reference.

8:25 AM: Crash at 35th/Barton. Engine 37 on scene:


It’s mid-intersection so avoid the area for a while.

8:40 AM: We went by the crash scene a second time, headed back to HQ after checking on an unrelated report, and a motorcycle officer was headed that way. As noted also by Sunuva in comments, it didn’t appear anyone had major injuries, and no medic unit’s been called, though Engine 37 is still on the scene. The larger vehicle’s airbag had deployed and a firefighter was looking in when we went by.

9:07 AM: Haven’t gone back to check, but SFD has closed out of the call. Meantime, there’s some sort of a weird spill on the northbound 1st Avenue South Bridge, in the center lane.

5:08 PM: Thanks for the text, which we turned into this tweet:

VIADUCT OPEN AGAIN: Monday traffic/transit watch

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6 AM: Good morning! The Alaskan Way Viaduct is open again as of last night. As of this morning, Metro is back on its pre-closure routes.

And – our back-to-normal watch starts with a stalled vehicle in the right lane of the eastbound West Seattle Bridge at the crest, per SDOT.

6:35 AM: Cleared.

8:46 AM: Incident-free since then, and light, as commenters point out. If you use the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth state-ferry run, here’s an advisory about vessel downsizing starting in a few hours:

Customers are advised to plan for reduced capacity due to a vessel downsizing on the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route. Beginning with the Vashon 12:25 pm departure, the 87-car Tillikum will temporarily replace the 124-car Issaquah while the Issaquah undergoes required maintenance. The Issaquah galley will close at 7:30 am and the Tillikum galley will open Tuesday at 5:00 am. We apologize for the inconvenience. Vending machines are available on board the vessel and inside the terminals.

Preparations also are expected to start today for the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion re-replacement project, with overnight closures of the west end of the bridge starting next Sunday night.

And at the site of the 30th/Yancy/Avalon safety project, the crosswalk striping is now expected to happen as soon as tomorrow, postponed from last week.

BRIDGE CLOSURES: New start date for Fauntleroy Expressway quake-safety-cushion re-replacement project

(WSB photo of original Fauntleroy Expressway cushion replacement work, by Christopher Boffoli)

In case you missed our mention of this during today’s afternoon/evening commute coverage: SDOT has announced the new schedule for the re-replacement of earthquake-safety cushions under the west end of the West Seattle Bridge, the section officially known as the Fauntleroy Expressway.

You might recall the original schedule, first reported here hours before the Viaduct closure schedule was announced, would have overlapped both projects, with the Fauntleroy Expressway work set to start two days before the Viaduct closure. It wasn’t just the overnight bridge closures that led to concerns and questions, but also the plans for lane closures day and night on surface Spokane Street under the bridge, and SDOT finally agreed to push the work back to mid-May.

Now, they’ve announced the start date – and note some specific plans if the Viaduct closure goes longer than expected:

The previously delayed start of the Fauntleroy Expressway (West Seattle Freeway) Bearing Pad Replacement Project has been rescheduled, with the first overnight closure of the structure now slated for Sunday, May 15. This will be the first of an expected 40-50 weeknight closures of the structure, with closures each week beginning on Sunday evening and finishing on Friday morning. The bridge will be closed from 9 p.m. each night until 5 a.m. the following morning. The Expressway will NOT be closed on Friday or Saturday nights. SDOT appreciates the public’s patience while this work is being done.

On those weeknights with Mariners or Sounders games with attendance of 20,000 or more, the Expressway closures will not begin until 11 p.m.

Daytime preparatory work underneath the bridge will begin next Monday, May 9. This will include pressure washing the underside of the structure, which will require closure of the parking underneath the structure. (Once the overnight closures begin, the parking restrictions below the bridge will be limited to the work zone under active construction.)

The contractor may reduce traffic on surface Spokane Street below the bridge to a single lane in either direction. However, until the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens, the two eastbound surface lanes of Spokane Street will remain open each morning until traffic dissipates, which may be as late as 10 a.m. In the afternoon, the contractor will maintain two westbound lanes no later than 3:30 p.m.

Construction crews will be replacing the 674 bearing pads on the Fauntleroy Expressway from just west of the Delridge Way on/off ramp westward to where the road turns south (where the road is no longer a bridge.) Bearing pads provide a cushion between the bridge girders and the horizontal support for the girders, and are important to preserving and protecting the long term integrity of the bridge.

The work is complex, requiring each bridge segment to be jacked up in order to remove the old bearing pads and install the new ones. Crews will set up the jacks on the underside of the bridge during the day, with the actual jacking and bearing pad replacement work done at night while the bridge is closed (impacting the fewest number of motorists). The work will move from east to west, one horizontal support at a time.

The Fauntleroy Expressway was built in 1963, spans 2,527 feet and carries more than 60,000 vehicles per day. An initial seismic retrofit of the structure was completed in 1994, when column jackets were erected around select columns, and post tensioning was added to the supports. Longitudinal restrainers were also included to interconnect the roadway over each support.

A second phase of seismic retrofit began in 2011, when SDOT updated the structure by strengthening 33 columns with steel jackets, strengthening pile caps, and adding longitudinal restrainers. At the time, it was decided to take advantage of the seismic work by also replacing the original bearing pads which were reaching the end of their service life.

SDOT engineers discovered a problem after the bearing pad replacement had been completed. The outside design consultant had order the wrong pad. Instead of replacing the existing pads with rigid ones, they mistakenly ordered less rigid pads. The design consultant has acknowledged their error, and will be paying the $1.9 million cost of replacing the pads.

New standards for bearing pads have since been established, so the bearing pads being installed now will have steel shims embedded within them, which is expected to give them a longer service life than the originals.

This information will also be posted to the project website.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 8: Friday PM traffic, transit, tunneling

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4:18 PM: A bit late to the party, sorry.

4:25 PM: Take a look at the camera – the eastbound bridge looks as bad as the morning commute. Westbound, not so bad so far.

4:40 PM-5:05 PM: The “low bridge” has just reopened after a 25-minute closure.

5:11 PM: And SDOT has tweeted that the “low bridge” is closing to surface traffic again right now, for a maritime-traffic opening, just a few minutes after the previous one.

5:16 PM: Speaking of SDOT, looks like they’re optimistic the Viaduct closure will end after about two weeks, as expected. They’ve announced the new date for the start of the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement closures: May 15th. If you recall our original reports earlier this year, this project will involve dozens of overnight closures of the west end of the bridge. It originally was set to start April 27th, as announced hours before the state set April 29th for the start of the Viaduct closure; questions about the potential misery index caused by that confluence led SDOT to push it back to mid-May, and now we have a date.

5:24 PM: SDOT just tweeted that the low bridge is back open to non-maritime traffic.

5:32 PM: Just heard a mutual-aid call for SFD’s Highland Park-based Engine 11 to head to 8th SW and SW 100th in Greenbridge (White Center), just a few blocks south of the city limits. Don’t know what the incident is but we’ll head over for a look. 8th is an arterial in the area so this serves as a potential traffic alert.

5:50 PM: Our crew arriving there says it was a crash, not affecting traffic and a tow truck has already arrived, but deputies say paramedics were needed and not available from North Highline FD so they called for SFD.


Meantime, back on this side of the city/county line, we have multiple reports that surface traffic, especially downtown, is bollixed.

6:21 PM: We’ll continue tracking bridge closures until about 7 pm – South Park Bridge just went up for a maritime opening. And remember that the Water Taxi runs into the evening since it’s Friday. Paul Nicholson sent this photo of the 4:15 pm line:


Find the schedule and other info here.

6:27 PM: The South Park Bridge is back open to surface traffic again.

6:36 PM: And now the low bridge (Spokane Street Swing Bridge) has closed to surface traffic for the third time this pm commute.

6:50 PM: The low bridge has reopened to surface traffic.

7:04 PM … and it’s closed again.

7:12 PM: Open again. We’re moving on now – if there are any major incidents for the rest of the night, and over the weekend, we’ll report them individually.

8:52 PM: One more update – 234 of the 385 under-the-Viaduct feet now for the tunneling machine, as of the final progress report of the night:

See the full update (including a stern warning!) here.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 8: Friday morning traffic/transit updates

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:10 AM: Good morning – we’re starting the second week of the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s closure. The early-morning progress report for under-Viaduct tunneling: 208 of 385 feet.

5:29 AM: Bridges and streets on the outbound routes are looking OK – no early incidents. The truck backup from yesterday should not be replicated today – the Port told us Terminal 46’s operator would be opening at 3 am, something it did not do yesterday.

5:47 AM: We’re about to head to the Water Taxi dock to check in on today’s runs – looks like a great day to sail. A commenter asked about the shuttles from Pier 2 – which hasn’t maxed out its parking spots yet – and whether their “continuous” operation had changed. No, said the WT’s Greg Lerner, but: “The one thing we’ve learned is that the shuttle needs to leave from Pier 2 about 11 minutes before departure to ensure riders have the time when they get to Seacrest Park to buy tickets (if needed) and walk down to the boat. Knowing this, we will not send a shuttle prior to this time (between sailings) if we don’t feel it can make it back to depart again by 11 minutes before the next sailing. We’re hoping riders are attentive to our closure brochures that suggest riders arrive at Pier 2 about 20 minutes prior to their departure.”

6:07 AM: Beautiful sunrise. Meantime, the high bridge, is of course, starting to get busy. We’re approaching Seacrest – still lots of street parking on Harbor.

6:21 AM: Check out that view of the eastbound bridge – filling up. Meantime at Seacrest, just for posterity’s sake, we recorded the boarding for the first run of the day:

That’s county Marine Division director Paul Brodeur checking in with the crew toward the start. The count: 78.

6:37 AM: While the high bridge is busy, it’s not yet backed up to the 35th/Fauntleroy entrance, so that’s a good sign. Since it’s Friday, we should look ahead to weekend events likely to affect getting around:

*Sounders FC play San Jose at CenturyLink Field, 7 pm Saturday
*Opening Day of boating season on Saturday – if you’re U-District-bound, note that Montlake Bridge will be open for marine traffic much of the day
*Lung Force Walk on Saturday and The Color Run on Sunday, both downtown

SDOT’s roundup has details on those and more.

6:54 AM: 110 for the second Water Taxi run of the day, down from 137 yesterday. The dock has a soundtrack all its own … sea lions barking from the barge buoys, Canada geese honking as they fly by, jets overhead (saw a KAL 747 earlier this hour), and of course the maritime traffic – Doc Maynard’s Vashon counterpart Sally Fox was visible in the semi-distance earlier as it headed toward downtown.

7:19 AM: Crash reported on the eastbound bridge near the 1st Avenue exit.

7:23 AM: Thanks to the texter who tells us, from a bus, what’s happening at the crash scene: “2-car collision, east end of WS Bridge, where the lanes coming up from the low bridge merge. Fire truck blocking bus lane and part of the right all-vehicle lane… Drivers still in their cars talking with police [when texter’s bus passed], didn’t *appear* to be serious injury.” Meantime, 7:15 am Water Taxi tally was 198. (Added: Our video from that boarding:)

We’re leaving the dock now, headed to see what the Avalon/Manning situation by Luna Park is looking like after yesterday’s troubles.

7:34 AM: That helicopter over the bridge is TV checking out traffic because of the crash.


Meantime, another bus passenger sent a photo (added above) saying it looks like the crash is clearing. (Added) And seconds after we typed that, SDOT verified via Twitter that ****the crash has cleared.****

7:41 AM: Checking out Avalon at Harbor/bridge onramp/Manning/etc. intersection, all is well – 21X and 116 just went by on the way to the bridge.

8:03 AM: Spent a few minutes observing at Avalon/Manning.

No left turning, no backups. (Did everybody divert today, or lots of people with three-day weekends, maybe?) Next, we’re heading to check out the bicycle commute under the bridge.

8:38 AM: From our stop on the path/trail by West Marginal Place:

Steady stream of riders going by. Low bridge has not opened for maritime traffic so far this morning, by the way.

9:02 AM: Just dispatched, Seattle Fire crash response to 9th/Barton.

9:25 AM: Haven’t heard any further details on that – the SFD response has closed, so here’s hoping that’s a good sign. By all accounts, today’s morning commute hasn’t been too bad. If you have any new questions about traffic or tunneling, please comment (or e-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com) since as usual we will be on the media conference call, happening around 11:30 am. And we’ll have afternoon/evening coverage again, starting around 4 pm. (Inbetween, if there are any significant incidents affecting major corridors such as one of the bridges, we would publish a standalone report, as always.)

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 7: Afternoon & evening traffic, transit, tunneling updates

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4:09 PM: Our afternoon/evening commute watch is under way. First – if you haven’t seen it yet, we followed up on this morning’s big issues during today’s media conference call. We’ve also just updated the resulting story with new information from the Port.

30th/Avalon/Yancy project update – we just went by and while the flashing-beacon signs are in, the crosswalk was chalked, not striped. So we’re checking with SDOT on that.

We also just talked by phone with a local resident who asked us to share a plea for people cutting through residential side streets to get around clogged arterials: PLEASE, PLEASE DRIVE SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY. She’s in Highland Park but the plea could be from anywhere. The frustrated drivers using cut-throughs have almost hit at least two people on her street. Let’s at least get through all this without sending people (or pets) to the hospital … or the grave.

4:48 PM: Police are diverting from their previously planned traffic-management posts downtown to an unannounced protest march southbound on 5th, approaching Cherry at last report. SDOT is updating on Twitter.

5:12 PM: The downtown protest – which is about the shooting death of Che Taylor and other deaths – has closed Cherry east of 4th, according to SDOT (that’s between City Hall and SPD HQ).

5:23 PM: Just got word from KCDOT’s Jeff Switzer – who also sent the photo – that the need for more bike parking for Water Taxi users led SDOT to install a temp corral at Seacrest:


5:56 PM: “It’s gridlock right now downtown,” and not just because of the aforementioned protest, we just heard SPD say via scanner.

6:31 PM: Buses are still running late – someone just texted us a screenshot of a list of how far behind many are. Also, see comments. (And thank you yet again for the commute reports.)

8:21 PM: It’s official – the tunneling machine is now more than halfway along its path of digging beneath the Viaduct – 195 of the 385 feet, as of less than an hour ago.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 7: Thursday morning traffic & transit updates

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:04 AM: Good morning! Welcome to the last day of the first week of the Viaduct closure. Since last Friday, the tunneling machine has dug 175 feet of the 385-foot distance it needs to go to be clear of the Viaduct’s underside – that’s the total as of about an hour ago.

5:19 AM: We’ve looked all around and so far this morning, no crashes or incidents. The big theme at yesterday’s briefing with city, county, and state traffic/transit reps was “don’t go back to your old ways” (as well as, thanks for what you’ve been doing to ease things so far).

5:40 AM: Still wide open out there. We’ll have someone out at Seacrest again this morning to see how the Water Taxi runs are going – usage has remained well above previous levels but with room for more. Here’s the schedule.

6:01 AM: The high bridge is starting to look busy. (Added) So does KING 5’s helicopter view of I-5 NB, just north of the West Seattle Bridge.

6:12 AM: Reminder if you didn’t catch our update last night – sometime today, between peak periods, SDOT will stripe the new crosswalk at Avalon/Yancy.

6:22 AM: Sunshine at the Water Taxi dock (and tomorrow’s forecast is even sunnier):


Our photo shows part of the line for the first sailing of the day, which we’re told had 100 on board, up from 95 yesterday. Meantime, scanner mentions some backup at Spokane/East Marginal Way (checking on whether that’s truck traffic for the port terminals). And thanks to Paul for today’s first commute report.

6:33 AM: The bridge backup is really kicking in.

6:56 AM: The 6:45 West Seattle Water Taxi run is down from the past few days, 137 passengers, just about half the capacity. On the bridge, it’s busy but not backed up to the Fauntleroy end yet.

7:02 AM: Heard a little more (via scanner) about Spokane/Marginal – it’s trucks backed up waiting to get into Terminal 46. Here’s the live camera view; here’s a screengrab from a moment ago:

Police are on scene making sure the intersection’s not blocked and monitoring for safety issues (busy bicycle route, among other things).

7:13 AM: Remember our discussion here the other day about cars cutting under the bridge and turning left onto Avalon just before the bridge ramp? Just heard a dispatch for SPD to check it out.

7:24 AM: 198 on the 7:15 am Water Taxi run, down about ten percent from yesterday. If you are heading out on land – the bridge is now in full backup mode.

7:30 AM: Via Twitter, Jeff reports, “Admiral backup back to Monday-Tuesday level. To the Stevens staircase.” Meantime, the low bridge is looking pretty busy – haven’t had a maritime opening since 5 am, but likely some high-bridge diversion. (The “live” view is atop this story.)

7:44 AM: Michael tweets, “Lower Spokane is the worst it has been during the closure.”

7:53 AM: 160 on the Water Taxi a few minutes ago, up one passenger from yesterday. Our crew at the dock says there are reports of shuttles getting caught in traffic (more than usual) so dropoff, bike, driving (free parking at Pier 2) might be better ways to go if you’re headed to Seacrest before the last morning-rush run at 9:15. Also, we’re continuing to get texts from people saying the truck backup on East Marginal is still affecting other surface vehicle traffic.

8 AM: Another Twitter report on the surface trip – from @aussieshed, “From south Delridge Way SW to east side of lower Spokane Bridge – 45 minutes…so far.”

8:35 AM: Like the traffic, the commute reports in comments pick up as the morning goes on, and Avalon is getting panned today. Our crew headed back from the Water Taxi dock about 15 minutes ago experienced it too. We’ll be on today’s conference call with WSDOT and SDOT to talk about tunneling and traffic, and will be asking about Avalon enforcement as well as about the truck backup on East Marginal.

8:42 AM: South Park Bridge has closed to surface traffic/opened for maritime traffic. Live camera’s here; screengrab for posterity’s sake:

8:50 AM: South Park Bridge is open to surface traffic again.

9:04 AM: Here’s the ongoing truck situation – live pic of E. Marginal/Hanford:

9:28 AM: Paul sent this photo of the bicycles on the 8:15 am Water Taxi:


And **now** it looks like the East Marginal truck backup is finally easing … at least a bit.

ROAD WORK: 30th/Avalon/Yancy crosswalk installation Thursday

Heads up for tomorrow: The last major component of the 30th/Yancy/Avalon/Andover safety project is scheduled for tomorrow, NOT Friday as previously reported: SDOT says the crosswalk striping across Avalon will happen on Thursday, outside peak hours, the contractor promised the city. Pushbuttons for the flashing crossing beacons on both sides of Avalon are scheduled for installation tomorrow, too. The work at this multi-point intersection has been under way for more than a month.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 6: Afternoon/evening commute coverage for Wednesday

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4:05 PM: No incidents so far but we’re committed to having traffic/transit watch atop the page during peak commute times as the Viaduct closure continues, so here we go for Wednesday afternoon.

5:08 PM: Crash on the 1st Avenue South Bridge – Seattle Fire and Washington State Patrol are on the way. Don’t know which side yet. (Update – here’s the camera view.)

5:24 PM: If you haven’t seen it yet, we did cover today’s multi-department media briefing on how traffic’s going. (Have finally added the video, too.) Bottom line, they’re still urging you to continue whatever changes you’ve made, because they’re helping. And if you take the Water Taxi – consider shifting earlier or later so passenger loads are more spread out. Speaking of which, thanks to Ashley for this photo of the line for the 5:15 from downtown:


5:52 PM: Just in from Jeff Switzer at KCDOT, Water Taxi numbers:

199 riders at 4:45 pm, 221 riders at 5:15 pm

5:58 PM: The “low bridge” has just closed to surface traffic.

6:11 PM: And the bridge has reopened.

7:50 PM: Another tunneling update tonight from WSDOT – 162.5 feet along the under-Viaduct way, getting closer to the halfway mark. Here’s the full evening update, including an overview of pm traffic and transit.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 6: Wednesday morning traffic/transit coverage

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:05 AM: Good morning! It’s the sixth day of the two-weeks-or-so Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. The state is now posting early-morning tunneling updates as well as late-morning and mid-evening, and as of this morning, the tunneling machine has gone 148 feet of the 380-foot stretch that will get it clear of the Viaduct’s underside.

If you are using the Water Taxi this morning, and driving to Seacrest, you have a new reason to try the Pier 2 parking, which still hasn’t been even half-utilized – there’s an added no-parking zone in the area, on the inland side of the street across from Don Armeni, ~20 or so spaces off-limits 8 am-5 pm for the next three weekdays for utility-related work on the project that’ll be at the ex-Alki Tavern site. There’s also a morning event in the area – the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s annual awards breakfast bringing ~200 to Salty’s (WSB sponsor).

5:32 AM: So far this morning, no incidents, and the bridges/roads are still relatively quiet. Transportation authorities are hoping you’re not going back to your regular departure time – stretching the commute across a wider timespan is key to getting through the closure period.

6:07 AM: Trouble on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry run – from WSF, “The 5:45 am sailing from Vashon (was) cancelled due to a shortage of Coast Guard documented crew. Replacements have been dispatched. The Issaquah will resume service with a late 6:10 am sailing from Fauntleroy.”

6:15 AM: The high bridge is all brake lights, as the camera view above shows.

6:20 AM: We’re checking in on the Water Taxi again this morning – here’s the first run leaving Seacrest:


95 passengers on this run (the 6:15 to downtown).

6:31 AM: If you’re using surface streets to head to the north side of downtown or beyond, be forewarned there’s a big fire response on 1st Avenue in Belltown (at Lenora) right now. (update) The call has been updated to Western/Lenora, where Western is closed off right now for the SFD response.

6:51 AM: 156 on the second Water Taxi run, up from 144 yesterday, but still leaving with 100+ empty seats. The bridge remains jammed. See the comments for some early bus reports. And if you have a question about how things are going traffic/transit-wise – please comment, or e-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com – we’re going to this morning’s 11 am briefing downtown with reps from all the key departments and we’ll do our best to get an answer.

7:11 AM: Update on the Harbor Avenue parking situation mentioned earlier – Just heard from West Seattle architect Tim Rhodes, our contact on the project in the 1300 block Harbor, with whom we spoke yesterday after local resident Carolyn pointed out the new no-parking signs. He says, “Our project has agreed with SDOT to hold on the required utility investigation work on the west side of Harbor Avenue and do the work on weekends for the time being to lessen any impacts to the the street parking. We know that this will help the neighborhood with parking during this difficult viaduct closure.”

7:16 AM: Weather update – a little bit of drizzle.

7:38 AM: Admiral Way update from Jeff via Twitter:

Water Taxi update – 218 passengers on the 7:15 run.

7:48 AM: 159 on the 7:45 West Seattle-to-downtown Water Taxi run, substantially down from yesterday. Sorry we missed the alert on the low-bridge closure – according to @SDOTBridges (which remains linked atop this story so you can check it directly), it was closed to surface traffic 7:31-7:45 am.

8:16 AM: Washington State Ferries warns that Issaquah, on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run, is still half an hour behind. You can check on it via Vessel Watch. Meantime, as you can see in the cameras we feature above (refresh the page any time for the newest image), 1st and 4th are about as busy as the bridge. If you can go to work much earlier than usual, you’re probably in the best position to beat the jams until the Viaduct closure is over.

9:26 AM: The low bridge has closed to surface traffic.

9:39 AM: And now it’s open (to surface traffic) again.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 5: Afternoon/evening commute updates for Tuesday

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4 PM: The return trip is already under way – this update came in via Twitter a few minutes ago:

Other notes as we start the pm-commute coverage:

Tunnel contractor tells media on conference call that the under-Viaduct tunneling is “going very well” (our story includes drone video inside tunnel and machine)

-All sides of 30th/Yancy/Avalon intersection are open; SDOT says crews will be back Friday to stripe the new crosswalk, likely midday & short-term

-Added no-parking zone on Harbor, inland side of street, mostly across from Don Armeni, next three days 8 am-5 pm, attributed to construction company (working to find out more – thanks to Carolyn for the tip – UPDATE: Project rep says it’s “utility investigation” work that has to be done before they can finally get a demolition permit for the ex-Alki Tavern-and-vicinity site)

5:02 PM: Crash at 37th/Andover is blocking Andover both ways, per scanner. Also, there’s a fire alarm – but no fire visible, per arriving SFD crews – at 3250 Avalon Way.

6:35 PM: Commenters are still reporting delays with the southbound bus reroutes on Lander. We’ll be asking about that at tomorrow’s megabriefing downtown with reps from the county, state, and city, regarding how traffic/transit is going. Meantime, some numbers from this afternoon’s Water Taxi runs from downtown to West Seattle, via the KCDOT – a capacity run at 5:15 again:

Preliminary ridership for peak commute Tuesday evening, leaving Pier 50:

4:45 pm: 191 riders (last Tuesday was 51)

5:15 pm: 278 riders (1 did not board) (Last Tuesday was 101)

5:45 pm: 186 riders (last Tuesday was 60)

8:32 PM: Latest progress report on tunneling – 131 of the 380 feet it’ll take to get to the point where they’ll reopen the Viaduct. Here are the details as well as traffic recaps from the afternoon/evening.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 5: Tuesday morning commute coverage

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:04 AM: Good morning! Welcome to Day 5 of the two-weeks-or-so closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct while the Highway 99 tunnel machine goes beneath it. Our expanded morning-commute coverage starts with some numbers:

106 feet: How far the tunneling machine has gone as of about an hour ago, since its restart last Friday
2,047 bicycle trips: New record for the counter on the low bridge, set yesterday as of 5:45 pm, 200 more than the old record on 5/14/15 per Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections
1,189 West Seattle Water Taxi riders: Morning commute total Monday, more than triple the previous Monday’s ridership. (Still lots of room at the Pier 2 park-and-ride lot, so try it if you need parking! – info here.)

5:21 AM: If you have been using I-5 northbound *south* of the West Seattle Bridge, this is NOT the time to do it – big emergency response at Albro for a rollover crash [traffic cam here] blocking the two center lanes.

6 AM: That crash has now cleared to the shoulder, but – again, this is SOUTH of the West Seattle Bridge, so it won’t affect you if you’re going to NB I-5 *from* the bridge – miles of backup will take a while to clear. No other incidents in this area so far in the early going.

6:22 AM: As we’ve seen the past two weekday mornings, the (high) bridge is getting busier earlier. General advice from commenters’ commute stories has been to time-shift. Meantime, we just heard from co-publisher Patrick Sand at Seacrest – no number yet for the 6:15 am West Seattle Water Taxi run due to some communication problems but they’ve put out cones to improve the line organization:


6:29 AM: 125 for the first Water Taxi run, up from 87 yesterday.

6:53 AM: The high bridge is in full-usage mode. The Water Taxi’s 6:45 run had 144 people, only two more than yesterday. Also just in, a new final count for Monday bicycle trips across the low bridge – 2,525. (Check our daily calendar preview around 9:30 am for your next chance to get training, if you’re thinking about trying bike commuting soon.)

7:03 AM: Scanner reports “3- or 4-vehicle collision at 3261 Avalon Way,” police and medics en route. That’s just east of 35th. If you’re on a bus or otherwise in passenger mode and go by, please let us know what you see.

7:09 AM: Jennifer reports “nothing there,” which explains why the SFD callout has already closed.

7:24 AM: 208 riders for the 7:15 am Water Taxi run, down a bit from yesterday’s 221. They’re working to speed things up in a variety of ways – not just line organization as mentioned earlier but also sending staffer with ORCA Card reader down the line while people wait:


Thanks to the texter who sent us an informal count from on board in case we didn’t get an official one!

7:40 AM: 1st Avenue South is “congested” per scanner – we’re listening to SPD discussions of logistics to try to address traffic trouble spots while the Viaduct closure continues. They’re describing 4th Avenue NB as looking “real good,” meantime.

7:54 AM: 192 on the Water Taxi run at 7:45, down twenty from yesterday.

8:03 AM: Avalon trouble reports: For one, @allonsy says there’s a “broken-down C Line at 35th and Avalon.” A little further north/east, we’ve had reports of cars in the bus-only lane. And Chris sent this photo from the Luna Park area:


Chris explained, “In the picture you can see people making illegal left turns by Luna Park Café. This is a problem for people who have been waiting in traffic legally. While waiting in the queue I saw at least 20 cars cut in front.” Via Twitter, the SDOT Traffic Ops Center says they’ll make sure SPD knows Avalon might be in need of enforcement.

8:22 AM: 177 for the 8:15 Water Taxi run, only two-thirds of what it was yesterday.

8:48 AM: 4th Avenue has slowed down considerably, according to reports we’re hearing. So if you’re leaving late and headed that way, allow extra time.

8:50 AM: 134 on the Water Taxi run that’s under way now, up from 120 yesterday. We’re leaving the dock but our commute watch continues.

9:07 AM: From the scanner – stalled vehicle on the eastbound bridge before the 4th Avenue exit. A tow truck is en route.

9:14 AM: The “low bridge” (Spokane St. Swing Bridge) has just closed to surface traffic so vessel traffic can get through, first closure this morning.

9:42 AM: The bridge closure is over.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 4: Afternoon/ evening commute coverage for Monday

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4 PM: We’re launching afternoon/evening commute coverage, headed for West Seattle and vicinity, since it’s only the second weekday of the tunneling-related precautionary closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and patterns are far from settled. We’re watching and listening for incidents and anything else of note. Special request: If you’re taking the Water Taxi home, let us know how things are looking, as we aren’t able to get to the downtown dock today – editor@westseattleblog.com, text or voice 206-293-6302, or Twitter @westseattleblog – thanks!

4:27 PM: First report from the Water Taxi dock downtown – big line – “get there early,” advises the texter. Photo (thanks!):


Also, KCDOT is making new A-boards to help point people to the added parking areas on the West Seattle waterfront in the morning (see our pictorial how-to if you’re confused or haven’t done it before). And we have an update from WSDOT – they’ll be adding another daily progress report: “We will update the Bertha tracker around 4:00 a.m. (this is newly added), 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.”

Incident: Crash at 4th and Royal Brougham (stadium zone).

4:45 PM: SFD has closed out of that incident. Now there’s an SFD response on 1st at Walker (added, “light smoke from a transformer”). Note that we have 1st/4th cameras up at the top.

5:12 PM: Scanner: “4th Avenue SB is now clear.”

5:30 PM: Two updates – multiple reports that 5:15 pm Water Taxi from downtown was a full house, some have to wait for next run. But meantime, if you’re thinking of Water Taxi’ing tomorrow, the Pier 2 parking lot is still underutilized – 32 vehicles today, room for 200. Across from 7-11. Look for new signage.


Second update – crash at 1st/Columbia in the heart of downtown, blocking southbound. So if you’re coming from there or north of there, find an alternate route until you’re further south.

5:40 PM: Not on the 911 log, so apparently no injuries, but SDOT’s Traffic Ops Center reports a crash at 4th/Lucile in SODO.

5:52 PM: Comments and tweets suggest a challenging bus commute again this afternoon. (Added) Also via Twitter – capacity sailing for 5:45 pm Water Taxi.

6:14 PM: If you’re headed south on 99 before the closure zone – warning, there’s a “car fire” call described as Aurora to Denny, sounds like a bus.

8:48 PM: Commute reports are continuing in comments. Meantime, WSDOT’s evening progress report is up – 91 feet so far for the tunneling machine. We have updated the report originally published here around noon.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 4: Monday morning traffic/transit watch

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:03 AM: Good morning! We’re back on early traffic/transit watch for the second weekday of the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. That includes the Water Taxi (which has its first run from Seacrest at 6:15 am) and low-bridge closures, if any (Friday morning’s commute had just one). No incidents so far. If you missed the weekend progress reports, after the expected slow start, the tunneling machine had gone a tenth of the under-Viaduct distance as of Sunday afternoon.

5:40 AM: The bridge is getting busier, as you can see in the camera views above. Still no problems. Forecast high today is 20+ degrees above normal – going into the 80s.

6 AM: SDOT notes that NB I-5 through downtown is getting busy. E-mail from Kristina reminds us of an update on some West Seattle road work – SW Yancy has reopened at Avalon as of Friday, but 30th SW was still closed on the south/east side of the intersection. We’re checking with SDOT today on how much longer work is expected to last.

6:15 AM: High-bridge backed up already, as John points out:

Taking the bus? Despite the Friday afternoon delays on Lander, Metro is not making changes so far. Today we will also again have an afternoon/evening traffic/transit watch with updates on how it goes. No sports in SODO tonight, though – the Mariners are on the road @ Oakland.

(Sunrise over early Water Taxi arrivals – photo by J. Leddy – thank you!)

6:28 AM: Our crew at Seacrest reports the Water Taxi’s first run was a little busier than last Friday – 87 passengers this morning, compared to 78. But there’s still room for MANY more (capacity 270+). We meantime asked what happens if the free shuttle runs late. During peak commute periods, WT reps tell us, the boat does not wait for the shuttle, though during off-peak periods it can wait a few minutes if it gets word of a delay.

6:51 AM: Bridge is backed up all the way to the 35th/Fauntleroy entrance, so allow tons of time if you have to use it any time soon. Meantime, 6:45 am Water Taxi passenger count was 142, up from Friday’s run at 124, but still lots of room, and remember the extra parking at Pier 2 (across from the 7/11) if you’re driving.

7:03 AM: Just getting going? Summary so far: No incidents. People leaving early – bridge already jammed. Water Taxi usage up a bit but lots of room remains, and it’s a beautiful day for a boat ride (see our crew’s 6:45 am photo here). Atop this report, we’ve added 1st Ave. S. and 4th Ave. S. cameras by request since those streets are carrying so much more traffic during the Viaduct closure.

7:31 AM: Definitely a busier commute than Friday, as many expected it would be. Water Taxi update from co-publisher Patrick Sand monitoring the situation at Seacrest – 221 for the 7:15 run, up from 180 on that run Friday. (Added: Carolyn Newman‘s overview photo of those who lined up for it:)


And we have an update on the shuttle problems that some riders have reported. The county acknowledges “driver error” which included a “missed stop.”

7:45 AM: Texter reminds us that the 15th/Holden light for the Delridge-Highland Park Greenway is now activated, just a bit east of signalized 16th/Holden, and says backups have resulted.

8:02 AM: Thanks to everyone who’s reporting how their commute went. At the Water Taxi dock, we’ve learned that the 7:45 run had 212 passengers (was 180 on Friday). Via Twitter, we got a question about whether they’re maxing out on bicycles yet. No, the WT reps tell us, but if they did hit the full 26-bike capacity of the rack, they can still fit another half-dozen or so here or there around the boat. On the roads – still sloooooooooooow going.

8:20 AM: Try the bus! Josh tweeted this:

8:25 AM: First crash reported this morning in this general area – 1st Ave. S. and East Marginal Way. Haven’t heard yet on injuries or traffic effects.

8:33 AM: Almost capacity for 8:15 am Water Taxi sailing – 255 passengers. Spirit of Kingston (the old WT) has just come over for an unannounced extra run.


Meantime, if you’re at the dock and noticed the SFD emergency response going by – automatic fire alarm at Salty’s (WSB sponsor) nearby, BUT the arriving crews found NO problem so they’re being dismissed.

8:50 AM: More commute reports in the comments, and on Twitter, suggesting that the later going today was much faster than Friday.

This is a lot like what happened during 2011’s “Viadoom” – the real trick here in the days ahead will be, don’t go back to your old ways – keep up with the alternatives/changes, so everything gets spread around.

8:55 AM: 120 on that run with the Spirit of Kingston, which basically became the 8:45 Water Taxi, our crew says, since the near-capacity crowd on the 8:15 run pushed its departure back. (Added: KCDOT clarified in e-mail: “The Doc Maynard had 255 riders on the 815am sailing, which left late at 828am. To help serve customers, we did this: Our Spirit of Kingston boat was done with the extra 99Closure trips to Vashon, so it was brought over to make sure the scheduled 845am departure from West Seattle left on time, and left carrying 131 riders (capacity is 147). It operated kind of like a standby bus does for Metro, maintaining the published schedule. It was not providing an added trip, just a reliable one. It is a back-up plan we can use when we need to help service stay on schedule, but only works when the boat is available. It had the capacity for the riders who needed it.”)

9:17 AM: Earlier, we mentioned the 30th/Yancy/Avalon project, and that we were checking its status with SDOT. The reply:

SW Yancy St is now permanently open. The crews will return to stripe the crosswalk across SW Avalon Way, which will require very short-term lane closures. We will send out an email update to our listserv later today with these details, once the schedule is confirmed.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 1: Friday afternoon/evening traffic/transit updates

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL INFOSITE for #99Closure; BRIDGE CLOSURES; morning coverage HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4:05 PM: Good afternoon – we’ll be covering traffic/transit this pm in our usual morning style, since it’s the first inbound commute of the two-weeks-or-so Viaduct closure.

Updates first: WSDOT confirms that the tunneling machine did start its beneath-the-Viaduct journey around 9 am. The first progress report is expected in a few hours … @voght tweeted that the 30th/Yancy/Avalon intersection, scene of safety-project work the past few hours, is now fully open again.

4:17 PM: Car vs. pedestrian crash reported at 1st/Horton. … Moments later, also via scanner, police report they and SFD responders aren’t finding either car OR pedestrian.

4:52 PM: Multiple commenters report the Lander bus reroute headed this way is delay-plagued because of trains.

5:08 PM: Remember the stadium zone is extra-busy because the Mariners are home tonight, hosting Kansas City. We’re headed outbound to see what the inbound routes look like outside of webcam range.

5:21 PM: Crash under the bridge, near 26th/Spokane, with injuries. We’re heading that way. (added) Per the photo Josh tweeted, passing on a bus, it’s along the trail on the westbound side of Spokane. Per scanner, victim is a pedestrian hit by a vehicle; injuries include a broken leg.

5:39 PM: Right lane of westbound Spokane is blocked, right by the 26th SW sign (and a “stop for pedestrians” sign).


Left lane is getting by. Bike/pedestrian trail is open. The victim, a 57-year-old woman, will be taken to the hospital by medic unit. The driver is still at the scene, talking with officers. Transit note: Standing-room-only 21 just went by.

5:47 PM: After leaving that scene, we’re continuing eastbound to see how some of the inbound routes look. Low bridge is wide open. We’re on surface East Marginal north of Spokane now, passing the cargo terminals; little traffic also flowing well both ways – more southbound bicycles than any other vehicles.

5:58 PM: Heading back into West Seattle. The crash scene mentioned above on westbound lower Spokane is now completely clear.

6:24 PM: For the first time in more than 12 hours, and only the second time today, the “low bridge” is closing to land-based traffic so it can open for vessel traffic, per @SDOTbridges (which we are linking to the top of each commute report during the Viaduct closure).

6:34 PM: Big current problem – apparently a train-crossing gate on Lander is stuck in the down position and buses using that as the reroute are backed up in a big way.

6:38 PM: The “low bridge” has reopened to land-based traffic.

7:01 PM: Scanner – the train gates should be “functioning” again. Meantime, the Water Taxi’s about to shift into its hourly mode for the rest of the evening. We stopped by Seacrest briefly about an hour ago.


As a sizable group (we’re hoping to get the pm numbers later) disembarked, a downtown-bound line awaited. In comments, Elton says about 100 people were in line downtown a short time ago, awaiting the current run back this way. Michelle shared this look at what the downtown queue for the 5:15 trip to WS:


That photo was courtesy of her sweetie, who was first in line.

8:30 PM: We’ve learned from King County DOT that the run all those people were waiting for had a ridership of 236 – not far from capacity, and more than four times the passengers on the same run last week.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 1: Friday morning traffic/transit watch

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5 AM: Good morning! We’re on traffic/transit watch early for Day 1 of the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure, and will be updating what’s happening in/from West Seattle, including the Water Taxi dock at Seacrest. No incidents so far.

5:30 AM: Still quiet. We have a crew headed to the Water Taxi dock now; remember, extra parking, bigger shuttles (here’s the special info brochure). First run to downtown is at 6:15; here’s the schedule.

5:57 AM: The West Seattle “low bridge” is closing to surface traffic for the first time this morning. We’ll update when it reopens. We also have a direct link to the @SDOTbridges Twitter account (which tweets other bridge openings around the city) atop this story.

6:10 AM: “Low bridge” closure over, available to land-based users again. Meantime, we’ve just heard from our crew at the Water Taxi dock, as the first run from West Seattle gets ready to go. There’s a line but not the 270+-passenger capacity, so if you’re WT-bound, there should be room. Meantime, a commenter says early-morning towing shows the city is serious about those overnight parking restrictions on Harbor to save space for WT parking.

6:25 AM: As you can see in the “live” camera views above (refresh the page for newest images), the high bridge is busier than usual for this time of day. Meantime, the official passenger count for the 1st Water Taxi run out, 78 – we’re told that’s more than triple the usual ridership for the 6:15 run.

6:48 AM: Todd Orwig reports that the high bridge is definitely “slower than usual.” The cameras are showing that too. We’ve added the I-5/Spokane webcam above, because WSDOT has it pointed west toward the bridge, so you can see the volume headed for 5. … Water Taxi update – 124 for the 6:45 am run. Just under half full. (Here’s our Instagram video of the line.) Street parking near Seacrest looks maxed; we’re checking on the temp lot across from the 7-11 at Florida. (Update: LOTS of room in that lot. Single-digit usage so far; has 200 spaces.)

7:02 AM: High bridge is wall-to-wall. No incidents in the corridor or on the peninsula, so this is 100 percent just people trying to get where they need to go.

7:19 AM: Low bridge is looking busy too (remember, we have a view of that above, too). And keep in mind some alternatives are new since the infamous 2011 “Viadoom” closure. For example, the South Park Bridge – see the live eastbound view here.

7:26 AM: 180 passengers on the 7:15 Water Taxi run – still room for almost 100 more. Both the high and low bridges are very busy – remember that the high bridge is two lanes outbound since the 99-bound lane is coned off (see the top-right camera). Only incident in the area is a truck stall on *southbound* 1st at Atlantic near the stadiums; police are working to get the truck off 1st and onto Atlantic. Also a note – we are tweeting some photos and observations in addition to this narrative – even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can see our tweets here (also on the right sidebar of WSB in desktop/laptop/tablet-landscape views).

7:42 AM: Scanner has word of a crash at Delridge and Dakota – no other details. Meantime, though there’s no traffic cam showing the Admiral approach to the bridge, the southbound hill is gridlock, WSB’s Christopher Boffoli tells us.

7:52 AM: Deb reports in comments that 4th Avenue S. is backed up bigtime (she’s on the 37 outbound from WS). Meantime, the 7:45 am Water Taxi had 180 passengers – which, again, means there’s room for almost 100 more.

8:01 AM: Via Twitter, @voght reports the Delridge/Dakota crash is on the southbound side, and traffic is getting by both ways, on the shoulder on the southbound side. Weather report from co-publisher Patrick Sand at Seacrest – “It’s starting to rain.” And from Mike Jensen via Twitter (@mjtwit): “Took 40 minutes from West Seattle to I-90 via First Avenue.”


8:23 AM: Looks like the Water Taxi peaked last hour – 135, half capacity, on the 8:15 run from Seacrest to downtown (added: photo of line @ pier). The temp lot at Pier 2 also has lots of room for more usage – we asked and as of 8 am, it had only about 20 vehicles, one-tenth capacity. Meantime, the roads and bridges are still status-quo, now rain-enhanced. (Monday is supposed to be sunny and warm.) See comments as well as Twitter for bus riders’ firsthand reports – some rave reviews for the temp stop at 4th/Lander if you want to connect to light rail. Update from Christopher, who as mentioned above was outbound from Admiral – the low bridge was moving fairly well, if you’re looking for an alternative. (We’ve only had one bridge opening for vessel traffic this morning, the one way back at 6 am, mentioned above. Don’t know if that’s because of the tides or the city’s request for voluntary “compliance” in rush hours, as reported yesterday.)

8:38 AM: Another Delridge crash, per scanner – actually two at Delridge/Thistle. First was reported to not be affecting traffic, not sure about the second, so avoid if you can.

8:50 AM: 119 passengers for the Water Taxi run that just left. Among them, Junction-residing City Councilmember Lorena González [tweeted photo here]. Also, WT riders were given a survey to fill out – Kathleen tweeted a photo. Rain’s intensifying. Also, we have a suggestion from local community advocate and transit user Amanda Kay Helmick via Twitter: Try the Route 113 bus from 20th/Roxbury or Olsen/Myers park-and-rides.

9:02 AM: We’ve left the Water Taxi dock but are continuing to watch the commute. We’ll also have an afternoon narrative going later today, something that, unlike morning traffic coverage, we DON’T usually do, but this calls for it. And of course we’ll cover major incidents between am and pm commutes. Once we start adding more news for the day, this will still be linked from the ticker atop our site, and from our “spotlight” boxes atop the home page. Meantime, another WS crash – 48th/Spokane.

9:32 AM: Bridge is still busy but for example, no longer backed up all the way to 35th/Fauntleroy, on that end. So if you’re leaving later than usual, things are getting better. However, when you’re looking for where to exit – “4th Avenue is the real problem now,” we are hearing via the scanner. “Very problematic at this time.”

9:45 AM: Crash on the northbound 1st Avenue S. Bridge – see an image in SDOT’s tweet.

10:26 AM: First bridge crash today – eastbound West Seattle (high) Bridge at Delridge. Medic unit being called, per scanner, for person who thinks they might be having a heart attack, post-crash.

10:35 AM: The 35th/Fauntleroy entrance to the eastbound bridge is being temporarily closed because of the crash.

11:15 AM: Traffic is now getting by in one lane at the crash scene. We believe that means the onramp is open again but are going over to check in person to be sure.

11:27 AM: Before we could get there, SDOT tweeted that the crash scene is clear, so everything’s open again.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch; Viaduct closure starts TONIGHT

April 28, 2016 6:56 am
|    Comments Off on TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch; Viaduct closure starts TONIGHT
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:56 AM: Good morning and welcome to the last pre-Viaduct-closure morning commute. As we noted again last night, WSDOT says onramps will be closed starting at 10 pm tonight (which is when Metro reroutes take effect), and the full closure will be in effect by midnight. One more media megabriefing/Q&A opportunity is coming up later this morning so if you have any unanswered questions, let us know so we can seek answers.

As for this morning’s commute – no incidents in/from West Seattle so far.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday updates; 2 days until Viaduct closure

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:34 AM: Good morning! Two days until the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure – which the city’s electronic signage warns will start at 11:59 pm Thursday. As for this morning, no incidents in/from West Seattle and vicinity so far.

8:14 AM: Still quiet this morning, and the impending Viaduct closure remains the big topic. WSDOT has just sent a media alert clarifying the start time – the alert says 12:01 am Friday BUT “onramps will start closing at 10 pm Thursday.”

9:52 AM: More times from WSDOT – the promised online updates about tunneling progress during the closure are now expected to be around 11 am/8 pm weekdays, 2:30 pm weekends.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday watch; 3 days until Viaduct closure

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:59 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far. Two reminders: Day 2 of the southbound 26th SW repairs between Barton and Roxbury; three days until the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s two-weeks-or-so closure.

TONIGHT: One month after Sound Transit announced its draft plan for a ballot measure this fall laying out its 25-year vision, including light rail to West Seattle in 2033, it’s the official West Seattle meeting for info and feedback, 5:30-7 pm at West Seattle HS (3000 California SW), with Metro’s Long-Range Plan also on the agenda. (Presentations at 6 pm.)

7:21 AM: Big response for a crash at West Marginal Way South and South Holden, which is the vicinity of the freeway entrance between West Seattle and South Park that gets you to the northbound 1st Avenue S. Bridge.

7:27 AM: The response has just been scaled back. We’re en route to check on if and how it’s affecting traffic in the area.

8 AM: It’s blocking a northbound turn lane to South Park from W. Marginal, but traffic’s getting around in all directions with SPD help:


SFD is leaving. We’re told at the scene that no one needed to be taken to the hospital.

8:18 AM: Two issues right now: A crash on the northbound 1st Avenue South Bridge, and a medic response on NB I-5 in the Convention Center vicinity.

8:30 AM: 509 seems to be the trouble magnet right now. Police are checking out a reported vehicle crash or stall at Olson/1st (the hill to/from 509).

9:16 AM: The I-5 backup is reported to be 7 miles. A texter says the EB West Seattle Bridge is backed up to 35th. The incidents on 99/509 further south are reported to have cleared.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Driver hits pole in The Junction, City Light repairs under way


5:09 PM: Thanks to Kyle for the tipCity Light is currently repairing a utility pole on 45th at Oregon in The Junction. We went over to find out more; police tell us a driver had brake trouble and hit the pole, knocking it sideways. With SPD directing traffic, vehicles are getting through the area, but we’d advise avoiding it for a while.

6:25 PM: Just went back to check; scene’s clear now.

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