The Alaskan Way Viaduct isn't coming down yet, but get ready to find out what it's like to get around Seattle while it's out of commission.
WSDOT announced Monday that Seattle Tunnel Partners has completed the work needed to replace cutting tools on Bertha's face and she's almost ready to dig underneath the viaduct. They don't know the specific start date for the dig but they will "provide the public with advance notice of the closure." The start is dependent on when the remaining maintenance is done.
What this means is that whatever you think you know about commuting near downtown Seattle, you need to unlearn it ASAP. An average of 60,000 drivers and 30,000 transit users use the viaduct daily and all of them will now be using surface streets to get around.
King County Metro will be re-routing buses that use the viaduct to move from downtown to South Seattle.
SDOT will be making signal-timing changes, assigning police officers to direct traffic and adding more West Seattle water-taxi service from West Seattle. They'll also be working with companies like Uber and Lyft to alert commuters to alternatives.
WSDOT knows what's coming and they've created a hub to help you pre-plan as the easiest way to avoid traffic headaches is to change your daily routine to account for the changes.
· Viaduct closure coming once Bertha’s ready to dig [ST]
· April 11 project update: Tool replacement complete [WSDOT]