MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Mayor Durkan: Viaduct closure is ‘going to affect everybody’

Jan 10, 2019, 1:21 PM | Updated: 3:53 pm

Viaduct WSDOT...

(WSDOT)

(WSDOT)

As Seattle gears up for the permanent closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Mayor Jenny Durkan and the region’s transportation authorities had some final words for the city on the eve of what it’s calling the Seattle Squeeze.

RELATED: A Viadoom history lesson with Feliks Banel

“Make a plan — this is going to be a long-haul project,” Mayor Durkan said in a Thursday news conference. “It’s going to affect everybody driving into [the city], riding buses, however you get in and through the city of Seattle.”

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien echoed that sentiment in his own statement.

“Even if your commute or trips come nowhere near downtown Seattle, you’re going to be affected,” he said. “Everyone in the Puget Sound region needs to be thinking about what they do to make this better.”

To ensure that, the city is asking people to bike, walk, take public transit, and even try and alter work schedules.

RELATED: How employers are preparing for Viadoom

For the city’s part, arrivals of public employees will be staggered during this period to ease the flow of traffic in and out of Seattle during commutes.

Additionally, the mayor encouraged commuters to carpool as much as possible.

“Change the method on which you get to town. Please — unless you absolutely need to — don’t drive into Seattle by yourself,” said Mayor Durkan.

The closure of SR 99 while the highway is realigned into the new downtown tunnel will take approximately three weeks, and is the first in a long line of city improvement projects that will affect traffic in the region.

“Seattle is under construction,” said Durkan. “We, right now, are rebuilding our city.”

Also present at Thursday’s news conference was recently-appointed Seattle Department of Transportation Director, Sam Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has yet to start in the role in a full-time, official capacity, but he’s already dipped his toes in to the department in the approach to the viaduct closure.

“As I’ve sat with members of SDOT, we’ve already got staff in the department operations center working 24/7, ready for what’s starting tomorrow,” he said.

The three-week SR 99 shutdown and permanent closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct kicks off at 10 p.m., Friday.

Check out MyNorthwest’s hub for all things Viadoom

MyNorthwest News

Image: A Seattle Police Department vehicle...

Kate Stone

Police pursuit, parental rights initiatives go before Washington lawmakers

Police pursuits and parental rights in schools were in the spotlight in Olympia as lawmakers considered two citizen-led initiatives.

2 hours ago

Image:South Kitsap High School basketball Coach Anthony Lewis lies in a hospital after being shot r...

James Lynch

South Kitsap High basketball coach injured in random I-5 shooting

Anthony Lewis was driving on Interstate 5 in Pierce County Sunday when someone opened fire, injuring the high school basketball coach.

3 hours ago

Strippers...

Matt Markovich

‘Strippers Bill of Rights’ takes big step forward in state Legislature

The Washington state House advanced a so-called ‘Strippers Bill of Rights’ along a party-line vote 58-36, but not before making substantial changes to the original Senate version.

6 hours ago

Mike Johnson...

Associated Press

Congressional leaders reach deal to prevent a government shutdown; Ukraine aid stalls

Congressional leaders reached a tentative agreement Wednesday to prevent a government shutdown for now.

8 hours ago

Image: Bayside neighborhood resident Jane McClure addresses the Everett Historical Commission at th...

Feliks Banel

Will Everett mayor accept compromise to save Clark Park gazebo?

The Everett Historical Commission discussed the city’s request to tear down the Clark Park gazebo and offered a strategic compromise instead.

10 hours ago

FILE - A sign stands over a Wendy's restaurant . (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)...

Heather Bosch

Wendy’s ‘surge-pricing’ strategy scrubbed after viral backlash

Dynamic pricing would allow restaurants to quickly raise prices in reaction to rush hour or inclement weather.

12 hours ago

Mayor Durkan: Viaduct closure is ‘going to affect everybody’