If you’re trying to be one of the last drivers on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, you may want to reconsider.
“If you want to take one more drive down memory lane, do it early this evening,” said David Sowers, deputy program administrator for the viaduct replacement program. “Don’t wait until 10 o’clock.”
The Seattle viaduct officially closes for good Friday at 10 p.m., and it will be another three weeks until the new tunnel under downtown opens.
The Washington State Department of Transportation will close the on-ramps first, beginning with the southbound ramp from Columbia Street, which will close at 9:45 p.m.
After the Columbia Street ramp closure, crews will close the southbound on-ramp from Elliott Avenue, which could happen as early as 9:55 p.m, according to Sowers.
The northbound ramp from the West Seattle Bridge will shut at 10 p.m.
After all the ramps are closed, two traffic crews – one working from the north end and one from the south end – will close down the mainline. That will happen shortly after 10 p.m., according to Sowers.
Part of the southbound mainline closure includes reducing SR 99 to one lane from Comstock Street to the Denny Way and Western Avenue off-ramps. The Battery Street Tunnel will remain just one-lane throughout the three-week closure.
The Battery Street Tunnel will also be completely closed from 12-1 a.m. Saturday so crews can move a barrier at the north portal.
If you dawdle during your last hurrah on the viaduct, be warned. WSDOT has also enlisted additional help from Washington State Patrol during the closure.
“They’re going to be out there to help push people along, flush the drivers through so we don’t have a bunch of looky-loos hanging around,” Sowers said.
Join KING 5's Seattle Tunnel Traffic Facebook group to stay up-to-date on the latest Seattle tunnel and viaduct news and get tips to battle traffic during the three-week viaduct closure in January.