CHOKEPOINTS

Workers race against the clock to finish new SR 99 tunnel

Jan 29, 2019, 3:30 PM | Updated: 4:06 pm
Viadoom, Chris Sullivan at the SR 99 tunnel entrance, before Realign99 begins, closures...
Seattle's SR 99 tunnel. (Chris Sullivan, KIRO Radio)
(Chris Sullivan, KIRO Radio)

On Jan. 12, Viadoom officially began, and with it, work to realign SR 99 to connect to the recently-constructed tunnel under downtown Seattle.

RELATED: What to expect for the final week of Viadoom

KIRO Radio Traffic Reporter Chris Sullivan says that most of the paving work will likely be finished by the end of Tuesday. That said, there’s still plenty left to do before the end of the week.

“That leaves, striping, signal work, barriers, and other odds and ends before the tunnel can open to traffic,” said Sully.

Even with all that work, though, WSDOT remains optimistic about the possibility of the tunnel opening as scheduled on Monday, Feb. 4.

“That’s our goal — there’s still a lot of work to do. I think we’re going to be able to be a little more confident in the 4th in a day or two,” said WSDOT’s Dave Sowers in a Tuesday press briefing on the tunnel.

On Google Maps, you can actually see the full route of the tunnel now as it runs through downtown.

While WSDOT continues to target next Monday for the opening of the tunnel, the northbound off-ramp to Dearborn won’t open for about another week.

“There’s still work to build that ramp. We’ve messaged that for a fair amount of time now. Folks coming from West Seattle, continue using 1st and 4th Avenue getting into the city” said Sowers.

So far, dry weather and efficient crews have kept the project on schedule, marred by just a few days of rain that did little to slow things down during the realignment.

RELATED: A full timeline of the SR 99 tunnel work since Viadoom began

Construction since Jan. 12 has seen crews demolish a small portion of the now-closed Alaskan Way Viaduct near the stadiums, take down viaduct on-ramps, install barriers, pour concrete, and more.

Additional reporting from MyNorthwest Staff

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Workers race against the clock to finish new SR 99 tunnel