SEATTLE – Only a handful of days of demolition are left on the southern mile of the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct before the road reopens, and traffic continues to be heavy for morning and afternoon commuters as they seek alternate routes around the closure.
“We understand drivers can only make adjustments for so long before going back to their normal routines,” said Matt Preedy, WSDOT Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement program deputy administrator. “If this trend continues during the next couple days, we could see regionwide gridlock on the highways and local city streets. Every driver can make a difference by shifting when and where they travel.”
Tuesday afternoon recap and Wednesday look ahead
Tuesday’s evening was heavily congested and drivers faced long delays on Interstate 5 in and out of Seattle. Southbound I-5 traffic was heavily congested from 3 to 7 p.m. with some trips taking up to 25 minutes longer than usual. On southbound I-405 in Bellevue, traffic was heavily congested from 3:30 to 7 p.m. with some trips taking 20 minutes longer than usual.
Drivers on Seattle city streets such as First and Fourth avenues south saw their commute time increase by up to five minutes between Edgar Martinez Drive South and Boeing Field. Drivers headed north on Elliott Avenue West toward Interbay saw their commute increase by up to 10 minutes. Airport Way South and East Marginal Way South remained good alternates, giving drivers a quicker commute by a few minutes. Evening commuters can expect much of the same congestion across the Puget Sound region and are encouraged to consider alternate routes and to spread out where and when they travel. Traffic on surface streets in the SODO area often came to a standstill while waiting for trains, and drivers and bus riders should continue to expect to encounter occasional delays.