Rainy weather brings the worst traffic of Viadoom yet on Day 4

Jan 17, 2019, 5:42 AM | Updated: 6:45 pm

The first three days of Viadoom were relatively manageable, as commuters appear stepped up and changed their habits in a big way.

Check out MyNorthwest’s hub for all things Viadoom

All eyes were on Day 4, though, with rain in the forecast. Rain and wet roads did cause some slow downs Thursday morning. One inciden considerably snarled traffic — a semi-truck crash on southbound I-5 through Tacoma.


In the afternoon, things got even worse, for what KIRO Radio’s Tracy Taylor called “the worst I’ve seen all week for afternoon commutes.”

Travel times were in the red throughout the region, as slick roads and congested roads made for a tough evening drive virtually everywhere.

Below are updates from KIRO Radio’s Tracy Taylor and others.

6:33 p.m.

A metro bus and a pickup truck collided in Buren at the on-ramp to southbound 509 on S 128th.

King County Sheriff’s Office reports that several people were sent to the hospital with undetermined injuries.

6:30 p.m.

Stay safe out there, everyone — it looks like Day 4’s Viadoom traffic won’t be clearing up for awhile.

6:15 p.m.

5:45 p.m.

5:30 p.m.

5:15 p.m.

As it turns out, rainy weather is a virtual guarantee for traffic in Seattle.

“This is the worst I’ve seen all week for afternoon commutes,” says Tracy.

5:00 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

4:15 p.m.

3:45 p.m.

3:12 p.m.

Delays are already starting across the region. Here’s what it’s looking like right now:

3:00 p.m.

Below are updates from KIRO Radio’s Chris Sullivan and others.

9:55 a.m.

9:35 a.m.

9:25 a.m.

Southbound I-5 slows from Northgate into downtown Seattle.

It’s 32 minutes from Southcenter into Seattle.

The West Seattle Bridge is a crawl into downtown. Sullivan is noticing that a few drivers are using the bus-only lane over the bridge and then jumping back into traffic.

9:05 a.m.

There is some slowing on southbound I-5 through the Fife area following a crash on the freeway.

The northbound drive out of Federal Way is still smooth with drivers generally not slowing down until Boeing Field. Those last couple of miles into the city are tough, however, Sullivan warns. He recommends trying MLK Way.

The West Seattle Bridge is a crawl from Delridge Way into town.

8:50 a.m.

8:40 a.m.

8:30 a.m.

It’s about 42 minutes from Renton to Bellevue.

Sullivan reports that the northbound I-5 drive is a breeze through Federal Way until commuters hit Boeing Field. “Then it’s a crush,” he says. It’s 50 minutes from Federal Way to Seattle.

Southbound traffic is pretty smooth until Northgate in Seattle. It’s about a 43 minute drive from Everett to Seattle.

8:12 a.m.

8 a.m.

7:49 a.m.

Federal Way to Seattle is 55 minutes, with 42 of those minutes from Southcenter.

Surface Streets in SoDo and Georgetown have slowed down. Sullivan still recommends using MLK Way to work your way into downtown Seattle.

It’s about 55 minutes from Everett to Seattle or Bellevue.

Westbound lanes on both floating bridges across Lake Washington are slowing, but traffic is not too bad there.

7:29 a.m.

Drivers are rediscovering surface streets. Fourth Avenue near the Costco in SoDo has it the worst, mainly because of construction. First Avenue is slow up until the Spokane Street Viaduct, but flows relatively well beyond that.

7:24 a.m.

7:15 a.m.

It’s 40 minutes from the south end of Southcenter into downtown Seattle, with the heaviest traffic from Boeing Field north. This is the heaviest disruption caused by the closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The West Seattle Bridge is backed up to about Admiral Way. South Seattle streets through SoDo seem to be flowing relatively well.

From the north, it’s 55 minutes from Everett to Seattle or Bellevue.

Rain has been a factor over Thursday morning’s commute. Rain will return for the afternoon and evening commute. KIRO 7 Meteorologist Nick Allard warns that the evening commute will feature heavier rain and could cause some problems on the road.

7 a.m.

The drive out of West Seattle is backed up from the bridge to Delridge Way. It’s a solid line of cars.

The northbound drive into Seattle is about 40 minutes from Southcenter into downtown. The worst traffic starts around Boeing Access Road.

Sullivan points out one alternate route to this portion of the drive that is being missed — MLK Way. Despite a lot of traffic lights on that route, at times it’s not as bad as the freeway.

6:45 a.m.

The West Seattle Bridge is at a standstill in the eastbound lanes.

A lot of people are avoiding I-5 entirely by going to SR167 from Auburn north. That is causing drives out of that area to slow by 10 minutes or more.

6:34 a.m.

A quick update on the semi-truck crash from earlier. The incident initially occurred around 1:50 a.m. KIRO 7 reports that it happened in the same area that another semi-truck crashed and pushed a section of barrier into the northbound lanes.

Today’s incident was the result of the semi-truck losing control on the wet freeway.

6:26 a.m.

A lot of the people who avoided I-5 this morning because of the semi-truck crash went over to SR167, causing significant slowing out of Sumner. Renton to Bellevue is 35 minutes.

Viadoom traffic started at the same time as the past three days — right around 6:10 a.m. Federal Way to Seattle is 50 minutes, with the slowest traffic from Southcenter into downtown.

Everett to Seattle, and Everett to Bellevue, is 45 minutes.

The Lake Washington floating bridges are flowing as normal.

6:10 a.m.

The semi-crash scene in Tacoma has been cleared and traffic is once again moving. But Sullivan warns that it will take a while to further clear the 2.5 mile backup on the freeway.

Federal Way to Seattle is about 50 minutes, with 30 minutes of that trip from Southcenter.

The West Seattle Bridge is no longer a smooth ride.

“I tell ya, if you don’t get on the West Seattle Bridge before 6 a.m., you are going to deal with some slowing,” Sullivan said. “Like clockwork, we are starting to see some bumper-to-bumper traffic.”

6:05 a.m.

5:57 a.m.

5:47 a.m.

A lot of drivers are moving over to SR512 and SR167, causing the Valley freeway to be slammed, to get around a the scene of a semi-truck crash in Tacoma. It’s 45 minutes from Puyallup to Renton. Most of that slowing is getting into Auburn.

Federal Way roads are filling in — Federal Way to Seattle has grown to about 45 minutes.

Everett to Seattle and Bellevue is 40 minutes.

The West Seattle Bridge is still in good shape.

“If you want to get out of West Seattle and not have a big problem, you got to be on the West Seattle Bridge before 6 a.m.” Sullivan said. “That’s what we have seen the past few mornings.”

5:33 a.m.

Tacoma is in bad shape with both directions of I-5 closed at SR16 following a collision involving a semi-truck. The semi was headed northbound, but jumped the Jersey barrier, blocking southbound traffic.

The scene has been snarled for about three areas. Drivers are using the distributor lanes near the scene to get around it.

“Once you get through it though, Federal Way to Seattle is not bad at 35 minutes,” Sullivan said. “We are starting to see some slowing at the north end of I-5, near Albro, related to the viaduct closure. Which is a mirror copy of the last three mornings.”

Everett to Bellevue is 35 minutes. Renton to Bellevue is 20 minutes.

Elsewhere, SR167 out of the Sumner area is taking on drivers avoiding I-5.


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Rainy weather brings the worst traffic of Viadoom yet on Day 4