Final Viadoom commute is almost upon us

Jan 31, 2019, 6:40 AM | Updated: 9:18 pm
A collision on northbound I-5 near Kent-Des Moines Road snarled northbound traffic Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. (WSDOT)

Viadoom is nearly over, and the region has largely been spared significant traffic snarls. But the Thursday morning commute around Seattle got off to a slow start after a collision on northbound I-5 caused massive backups.

Outside of Thursday’s slow start, the Viadoom commute — what some call the Seattle Squeeze — has gone quite well. Which has surprised many, including KIRO Radio Traffic Reporter Chris Sullivan.

“We’ve done OK,” Sullivan said. “The worst drive is the West Seattle Bridge and driving north on I-5 at Albro (Place) into downtown.”

“Our travel times have actually been better than when we had the Alaskan Way Viaduct and everyone was commuting in their normal way,” he said. “I’m still trying to figure out where those 90,000 cars went that usually use the viaduct.”

We also now know when the new SR 99 tunnel will officially be opening, with WSDOT sticking to its Monday, Feb. 4 date that it originally had targeted.

With just one day of Viadoom commutes left to go, the evening commute on Thursday ended up being just as uneventful as most.

Full updates from KIRO Radio Traffic Reporters Tracy Taylor and Chris Sullivan are below.

5:50 p.m.

5:25 p.m.

5:00 p.m.

4:25 p.m.

4:15 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

3:20 p.m.

Things aren’t looking great on surface streets in Seattle as traffic starts to fill in during the early evening commute.

3:00 p.m.

The afternoon commute starts with a closure of the 1000 to 1200 blocks of Industry Drive.

9:30 a.m.

Federal Way to Seattle is about 50 minutes. The heaviest slowing starts at Boeing Field.

“If you want to bail from I-5 at Boeing Access Road and use Airport Way, now would be a pretty good time,” Sullivan said. “It’s a little slow by Lucille, but it clears up the rest of the way into downtown.”

“The West Seattle Bridge is not loosening up,” he said. “We are solid from Delridge all the way to I-5.”

It’s 35 minutes from Everett to Seattle on southbound I-5, or to Bellevue via I-405.

9:15 a.m.

9 a.m.

8:30 a.m.

There is a collision on southbound I-5 near 45th Street in the University District is slowing up traffic as far as Northgate. Travel time overall from Everett to Seattle is still holding at 50 minutes.

The floating bridges over Lake Washington into Seattle are slowing down. It’s 25 minutes on I-90, and 15 minutes on SR 520 to drive from Bellevue to Seattle.

The West Seattle Bridge is backup up to 35th Avenue.

8:15 a.m.

8 a.m.

7:40 a.m.

It’s getting better, but it’s also still slow as traffic recovers from a crash on northbound I-5 at Kent -Des Moines Road. Beyond that, it’s a grind from the middle of Boeing Field into downtown Seattle.

Sullivan says ejecting from I-5 at Boeing Access Road and taking MLK into Seattle is a good option. Airport Way is congested. It’s an hour and five minutes from Federal Way to Seattle.

It is 30 minutes to travel westbound from Bellevue to Seattle over the I-90 floating bridge.

7:20 a.m.

Federal Way to Seattle is an hour and five minutes on I-5. Slowing into Seattle is considerable after Boeing Field.

It’s under 55 minutes to drive southbound I-5 from Everett to Seattle or Bellevue.

There is some slowing on I-90 into downtown Seattle, right after the floating bridge and the Mount Baker Tunnel feeding into I-5.

The West Seattle Bridge is a crawl, though Sullivan notices many drivers attempting to use the bus-only lane to sneak by traffic. Careful, though, he has also noticed a significant Seattle police presence on the bridge.

7 a.m.

“We are not enjoying a great drive at this point, though things have normalized a little bit,” Sullivan said. “We still have six miles of off and on slowing to deal with and it’s really tough out of the Federal Way area … because of this earlier crash. The travel time has improved. Federal Way to Seattle is back to under an hour.”

The drive from Everett to Bellevue is an hour, and Everett to Seattle is 45 minutes.

6:45 a.m.

“It’s all clear on northbound I-5 trying to getup past the Kent-Des Moines Road,” Sullivan said. “The crash that started all this nonsense is finally out of the way.”

“It is solid up from Fife up towards Highway 18, I see a big line at Highway 18,” he said. “I think a lot of people are bailing and using Highway 18 to Highway 167 interchange to avoid the crash on I-5 and to avoid the early commuters up near Boeing Field.”

The drive from Federal Way to Seattle is about an hour and 12 minutes — it’s 55 minutes from Southcenter into downtown.

The West Seattle Bridge is packed and slow heading east to I-5.

It’s 42 minutes from Everett to Seattle. But it’s 50 minutes to drive from Everett to Bellevue.

6:30 a.m.

“We are dealing with significant slowing going north on I-5,” Sullivan said. “It’s nearly an hour and a half from Federal Way to Seattle.”

There is a six mile backup on northbound I-5 after a collision near Kent-Des Moines Road, which is also close to SR 509 and SR 516. The HOV lane of the freeway is blocked.

6 a.m.

5:30 a.m.

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Final Viadoom commute is almost upon us