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Seattle weekend traffic and transit: Early viaduct closures start now

What’s blocking up traffic and transit this weekend—and how to navigate around it

Another weekend, another whole list of things that could disrupt getting around. For example: We’re getting an early taste of the massive State Route 99 closure that starts January 11 with some preliminary (but permanent!) ramp closures.

We’ve combed through the alerts and advisories from both the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to deliver transit-friendly solutions for your weekend outings.

Some of this weekend’s advisories—and transit-oriented alternate routes to events—are listed below.

Road work and bus service changes

The biggest traffic headline this weekend: The first stages of the viaduct closure are starting, with the northbound South Royal Brougham Way onramp and the southbound offramp to South Atlantic Street closing permanently starting at 10 p.m. Friday so crews can start getting to work dismantling the viaduct.

Some other miscellaneous street closures:

  • Friday through Sunday, two southbound lanes will be closed on Second Avenue between Cherry and James for roadway restoration.
  • Fifth Avenue will be closed between Union and University for crane work from 3 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.
  • Two left lanes of I-5 South will be closed between Boeing Access Road and Interurban for guardrail repair.

As for transit: Winter ferry schedules start on Sunday, effective through March 30. There aren’t any major bus reroutes happening this weekend—but brace yourself for permanent reroutes starting January 11 after the viaduct closes.

Note: We put immediate and new closures in this section, but not every single planned street closure appears here. Explore all 99 active SDOT projects, many of which involve street and lane closures, here. Here are Sound Transit rider alerts; here are King County Metro rider alerts.

Weekend events: Seattle is sleepy

There aren’t really many city-breaking events happening this weekend—there’s certainly plenty to do, but there aren’t any Beyonce concerts or giant street fairs or anything.

Sports: Very few sports

The Seahawks wildcard game is in Texas, so no need to worry about that, at least. Sounders aren’t on until March.

One thing is happening: UW men’s basketball plays WSU at Alaska Airlines Arena at 7:30 p.m. That’s right by Husky Stadium; Link Light Rail goes right there, plus the 44, 45, and 73. (UW women’s basketball plays Oregon, but down in Eugene.)

Alaska Airlines Arena

3910 Montlake Blvd NE, Seattle, WA 98105