Worst place to be during viaduct closure? West Seattle


by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MegCoyleKING


Posted on September 20, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 20 at 7:02 PM

WEST SEATTLE -- West Seattle may be the worst place to be during next month's nine-day Alaskan Way Viaduct closure.

That's not to say it won't be felt elsewhere. But with SR 99 closed between October 21 and October 31, getting to and from West Seattle will soon get very tricky.

"Disaster. It's going to be a disaster," said West Seattleite Pam Greene. "I've been planning all my errands all my doctor appointments around that date. I don't want to be going over the West Seattle bridge during that time."

Getting between West Seattle and downtown is already a challenge, but this will be West Seattle's worst nightmare. During the closure drivers can expect everything to back up, especially the West Seattle Bridge.

So the best way to move forward, say transportation officials? Leave the car at home. Or, better yet, just stay home! 

"Anybody that could change modes in terms of how they travel, time of day, maybe they can take a day off," suggested Washington State Department of Transportation Viaduct Project Director Matt Preedy.

But that is not an option for Malinda Newstrom, an in-home massage therapist who commutes downtown daily.

"Yeah, don't make any money and then just have less money for taxes, ok!" she joked.

It means a future of longer lines for the water taxi and shorter tempers for those who have to drive.

"If we see areas that will have extreme congestion and high levels of frustration to go with that, we want to have some uniform police presence out there to help," assured Preedy.

WSDOT plans to publish a list of alternatives for West Seattle and the greater Puget Sound area by the end of the week.