To get ready for the connection to the new tunnel, the Highway 99 bridge over the now closed Broad Street needs to come out and get filled in with old concrete and dirt.
This existing bridge over old Broad Street is in the wrong place, said Matt Preedy, WSDOT Deputy Program Admin
That means starting from 10PM on Friday August 22, Highway 99 will be shut down Saturday and Sunday from Spokane street south of downtown to Valley St. in the South Lake union neighborhood.
The following Monday and Tuesday, the viaduct will be re-opened as far north as Western Avenue, but 99 remains closed through the Battery Street tunnel to Valley street, until 5am on Wednesday morning.
King 5's Traffic Reporter Tracy Taylor was along for the tour. If there s a bad accident on I-5? Brace yourself.
If you can't use north or southbound 99, you're going to see surface street gridlock, said Taylor. People are going to exit off of I-5 and they're going to try and find their way around. We're going to see absolute gridlock downtown if we're not prepared for that.
But while Bertha the drilling machine sits at the south end of the project about to undergo repairs, a lot is happening at the north end.
The north portal where the tunnel ends is well underway, and you can begin to get a sense for how traffic will go in and out of the tunnel and connect up to State Route 99.
Inside that portal where exposed up above, you can actually see the decks going in that will become the north and southbound lanes.
The very lowest part is utilities. On top of that is the Northbound deck. Above that will be the southbound deck, said Preedy.
So why is the closure so big just over the Broad street bridge? Well, the first part is bigger than that. A bunch of cracked road panels in the area of South Spokane StreeT will also be replace along with some expansion joints.
So you may want to make that a long weekend, work from home or leave for work early.
That Friday night, part of the northbound lanes will be left open for a few more outs to help people leave the Seahawks game