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Aurora Bridge lane shift Seattle
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‘Very confusing’ lane changes slow commute on Seattle’s Aurora Bridge

Drivers were confused on Friday's morning commute on the Aurora Bridge. (WSDOT)

Emergency repairs on Seattle’s Aurora Bridge kicked off at 9 p.m. Thursday, and lane changes on southbound SR 99 are already causing confusion for commuters.

Crews start emergency work on Seattle’s Aurora Bridge

As crews work to repair deteriorated steel underneath the bridge, the Washington State Department of Transportation has it reduced to two lanes in each direction. What drivers on Friday morning’s commute didn’t realize early on, though, was that one of the northbound lanes has been temporarily converted to a southbound lane to relieve traffic.

“The way the Department of Transportation has set this up, driver’s don’t know what to do,” said KIRO Radio traffic reporter Chris Sullivan. “It’s not the best design in terms of a construction closure.”

Yellow traffic cones and a double yellow center line have drivers hesitant to cross and move over to the open middle lane, causing early-morning backups on the Aurora Bridge.

“The two lanes are open, but it is very confusing,” said Sullivan.

Advanced deterioration under Aurora Bridge to slow Seattle commute

Sully’s advice is two-fold: Either merge over the double yellow line, or avoid the confusion entirely until the situation is resolved.

“I would stay the heck away from this right now until the DOT figures out what they’re trying to do,” he cautioned.

Repair work will continue for the next 10 days, so be sure to plan your upcoming trips accordingly.

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