Realign99: The three-week closure of SR 99
The longest major highway closure the Puget Sound Region has ever seen officially ended on Tuesday, Feb. 19 when the final ramp for the new SR 99 tunnel opened. Before the Tuesday morning commute, crews opened the northbound off-ramp to downtown Seattle and Alaskan Way.
Map of SR 99 closure through downtown Seattle
WSDOT closed SR 99 through downtown Seattle for three weeks to realign the highway into the tunnel. During this closure both the viaduct and the tunnel were closed. This disruption was unavoidable due to the large amount of work involved in realigning SR 99 with the new tunnel.
#REALIGN99 PLANNING TOOLS
We need everyone's help during the closure to avoid gridlock. Commuters and employers should think about how you can change commute patterns:
- Shift your travel time to avoid the busiest times on the roadway.
- Bike or walk to work or school.
- Start or join a carpool, vanpool or vanshare.
- Start a telecommute program for employees.
- Use transit, particularly light rail and King County Water Taxi.
- Stay off the road: work from home, postpone discretionary trips, take time off.
- Be prepared for your new route when the closure ends and the new tunnel opens.
- Watch this short video on how to stay in the know during the closure.
Ideas and resources:
- Ideas for changing your commute or travel habits.
- How WSDOT and partner agencies will help keep people moving during the closure.
- The closure in one overview handout.
- See how freight routes change during and after the closure. Learn more about freight operations in Seattle.
- How will the closure affect traffic? These graphs show travel times and traffic volumes on key routes during the SR 99 closure in 2016.
What: Approximately three-week-long closure of SR 99, from the Battery Street Tunnel to South Spokane Street.
When: Began 10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.
Why: To complete the highway and eight ramps connecting the new tunnel to SR 99 and local streets. This WSDOT blog post explains the work that has to happen to open the tunnel to drivers.
Ramps near stadiums close early and open late
The northbound SR 99 on-ramp at South Royal Brougham Way and the southbound SR 99 off-ramp at South Atlantic Street closed a week earlier, at 10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 4.
Closing these ramps allowed crews to get started on the large amount of work required at the tunnel’s south end near the stadiums. The new northbound off-ramp to downtown just south of the tunnel opened Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, approximately two weeks after the tunnel opened.
After the closure ends
When the closure ended, the tunnel opened and SR 99 drivers now have a direct route from the stadiums to the Space Needle. The viaduct and Battery Street Tunnel are both permanently closed as part of viaduct removal.
Labels for ramps show in maps above. SB = southbound; NB = northbound. View larger sequencing maps here.
|SR 99 ramps before and during highway closure (slides 1-3)|
|A||SB off-ramp to South Atlantic Street|
|B||NB on-ramp from South Royal Brougham Way|
|C||Columbia Street SB on-ramp|
|D||Seneca Street NB off-ramp|
|E||Western Avenue NB off-ramp|
|F||Elliott Avenue SB on-ramp|
|G||Western Avenue NB on-ramp (into Battery Street Tunnel)|
|H||Western Avenue SB off-ramp (from Battery Street Tunnel)|
|SR 99 ramps after tunnel opens (slides 4-5)|
|1||SB off-ramp to Stadiums, Interstates and Ferries (after leaving tunnel)|
|2||NB on-ramp from South Royal Brougham Way (into tunnel)|
|3||NB off-ramp to Alaskan Way S./Downtown (before tunnel)|
|4||SB on-ramp from South Dearborn Street|
|5||NB off-ramp to Mercer Street/I-5 (after leaving tunnel)|
|6||SB on-ramp from Sixth Avenue North (into tunnel)|
|7||SB off-ramp to Denny Way/Downtown (before tunnel)|
|8||NB on-ramp from Harrison Street|
We recognize that this closure brings significant disruption to local and regional traffic patterns. WSDOT and its partner agencies are implementing a variety of measures to keep people moving, and ask commuters and employers to plan ahead and adjust commute habits where possible.
Trip planning resources
|Adjust your travel times & know before you go|
|Transit and park & rides|
|Work from home|
|Rideshare: Carpool, vanpool and vanshare||
King County Metro Rideshare Programs
|Water taxi, ferries|