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Alaskan Way work begins ahead of Seattle tunnel opening

Crews began preparations to shift Seattle's Alaskan Way westward ahead of the SR 99 tunnel opening.

Crews started work last week to move Alaskan Way traffic westward from underneath Seattle’s Viaduct in preparation for the State Route 99 tunnel opening.

Contractors with Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. began wiring intersections for traffic signals, updating roadway and parking striping, and installing roadway signage, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.

Crews are currently working between Yesler Way and Union Street installing wooden traffic signal posts, trenching and adding underground conduits, and installing cables and traffic signals, according to WSDOT.

RELATED: Safety systems testing continues in SR 99 tunnel

Some waterfront parking spaces and intersections will close temporarily while crews work. However, there will still be public access to waterfront businesses, and the waterfront shuttle service will not be disrupted.

Alaskan Way traffic will move to the new lanes by early fall before a three-week Viaduct closure, which will precede the SR 99 tunnel opening. The Viaduct closure will allow crews to connect on- and off-ramps to the tunnel.

WSDOT plans to give a one-month notice before the three-week closure begins.

The switch will keep Alaskan Way open to traffic while the Viaduct is demolished in early 2019.

RELATED: SR 99 tunnel tolls could range from $1 to $2.25