Getting around after Seattle tunnel opens: Driving southbound on SR 99
If you're driving southbound on SR 99, here's where you will exit if you don't want to take the tunnel and where you will end up on the tunnel's south end.
Video: WSDOT
Author: KING Staff
Published: 12:45 PM PDT August 22, 2018
Updated: 7:23 PM PST February 1, 2019
GETTING-AROUND 5 Articles

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After the SR 99 tunnel opens through downtown Seattle, road configurations will change significantly. Here's a guide for southbound drivers to navigate surface streets in South Lake Union and SODO after the tunnel opens.

If you're a northbound driver, click here for those details.

RELATED: Seattle tunnel to open to traffic Monday

EXPLORE

Getting around after Seattle tunnel opens: Driving southbound on SR 99

GETTING-AROUND
Chapter 1

Entering the tunnel

The north portal of the tunnel will be on SR 99 between Mercer and Harrison Streets.

If you are already on SR 99 and you want to get off before the tunnel, you can take the left-side exit to Harrison Street towards downtown Seattle. Aurora Avenue North will be raised over the Battery Street Tunnel and extended three blocks to connect to Denny Way.

Harrison Street will be connected across Aurora at the time of the tunnel opening, and drivers can turn right or left on Harrison after exiting. Thomas and John Streets will also eventually be reconnected across Aurora, but that will not be completed at the time of the tunnel opening.

The last SR 99 exit to Queen Anne before the tunnel is Roy Street.

RELATED: SR 99 tunnel toll rates will range from $1 to $2.25 in Seattle

If you aren’t already on SR 99 and want to enter the tunnel, the southbound on-ramp is on Sixth Avenue North between Mercer and Harrison Streets.

seattle tunnel north portal map
The road configuration at the north portal of the new Seattle tunnel.
WSDOT
Chapter 2

Exiting tunnel

The south end portal of the tunnel is on SR 99 at South Royal Brougham Way, just west of CenturyLink Field.

If you want to get off SR 99, there is a left-side off-ramp to South Royal Brougham Way and Frontage Road.

To get to I-5 or I-90, take the SR 99 exit to South Royal Brougham Way. You can take Frontage Road or South Royal Brougham Way to get to the entrance off Edgar Martinez Drive. You can no longer exit onto Atlantic Street to get to the interstates.

sr 99 tunnel South portal - 16x9_1534967415113.jpg.jpg
Road configuration of the SR 99 tunnel's south portal.
WSDOT
Chapter 3

Coming from Ballard, Queen Anne, and Magnolia

If you’re coming from the west side of the city, you won’t be able to get on SR 99 at Elliott Avenue, like you may have done with the Viaduct. Instead, Elliott will connect to Alaskan Way, and there’s an on-ramp to SR 99 south at Alaskan Way and South Dearborn Street after the tunnel. Alaskan Way also offers connections to downtown.

RELATED: What will Seattle traffic look like without the viaduct?

You can also get on southbound SR 99 from Lower Queen Anne at Sixth Avenue North and Harrison Street.

ballard to sr 99_1534968640361.png.jpg
Elliott will connect to Alaskan Way, and there's an on-ramp to SR 99 south at Alaskan Way and South Dearborn Street after the tunnel. You can also get on SR 99 before the tunnel in Queen Anne at Sixth Avenue North and Harrison Street.
WSDOT
ballard to downtown_1534968639893.png.jpg
Elliott Avenue connects to Alaskan Way, which offers connections to downtown.
WSDOT
Chapter 4

Getting on southbound SR 99 after the tunnel

Take the on-ramp to southbound SR 99 at South Dearborn Street and Alaskan Way. You can also take First Avenue South from downtown to reach the on-ramp.

dearborn street rendering
Drivers can exit northbound SR 99 onto the newly constructed South Dearborn Street to First Avenue South or onto Alaskan Way South.
WSDOT

WATCH: How to get to southbound SR 99 from downtown (via WSDOT)

Chapter 5

No Columbia Street entrance or Battery Street exit

There will not be an entrance to SR 99 on Columbia Street anymore. Your best option is to get on southbound SR 99 after the tunnel at Alaskan Way and South Dearborn Street, which is accessible off First Avenue.

RELATED: Seattle tunnel delays: Why the project is 3 years late

The exit after the Battery Street Tunnel to Western Avenue is also going away. Instead, you can exit SR 99 before the tunnel at Aurora Avenue North and Harrison Street.

downtown without columbia_1534969360706.png.jpg
There will not be an entrance to SR 99 on Columbia Street anymore, and the exit after the Battery Street Tunnel to Western Avenue is also going away.
WSDOT

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