1. Seattle viaduct closes tonight at 10 p.m.
The Alaskan Way Viaduct closes for good Jan. 11 at 10 p.m. State Route 99 will be shut down from the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel to Spokane Street. On the north end of the closure, drivers can enter and exit SR 99 at Western Avenue. On the south end, drivers can exit at Spokane Street.
2. New tunnel won’t open for at least 3 weeks
SR 99 will be closed approximately three weeks before the new tunnel under downtown Seattle opens. The closure is that long, because crews need to unearth on- and off-ramps to the tunnel, build barrier walls, pave, and stripe.
3. Guide to mass transit in Seattle
To ease gridlock, commuters are encouraged to work from home, work flexible hours, try public transit like the bus, light rail, or water taxi, or join a carpool or vanpool.
4. Emergency response times may increase
Regardless of whether you’re driving or taking bus, travel times are expected to rise during the closure. Transportation officials recommend leaving an extra 30-60 minutes to get to your destination.
5. Commute times increased during last viaduct closure
Seattle won’t be the only city feeling the impact of the viaduct closure. Highways in the greater Puget Sound area, such as I-5, I-405, and SR 520, could see more congestion as drivers try alternate routes.