How you get around Seattle is changing. #GetReady #Realign99 #SeattleSqueeze

An aerial view of the Alaskan Way Viaduct along with the waterfront, two ferries, Coleman Dock, and Downtown Seattle
Alaskan Way Viaduct + Waterfront + Ferries + Coleman Dock + Elliot Bay + Downtown Seattle

Starting January 11, 2019, the Puget Sound region will experience the longest closure of a major highway it has ever experienced.

Soon, Seattle will bid a final farewell to the seismically vulnerable SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct  (the elevated portion of the highway next to the waterfront).

An aerial shot of the Alaskan Way Viaduct from 1972
Alaskan Way Viaduct through downtown Seattle. Circa 1972. Item 169335, Forward Thrust Photographs (Record Series 5804-04), Seattle Municipal Archives.

It’s time to #GetReady.

Traffic will get worse before it gets better. Region-wide traffic disruptions will be unavoidable. We’re working closely with local and regional transit partners, like King County Metro, Sound Transit, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) on ways to help you get around downtown as safely and efficiently as possible during this transition. The City has prioritized five downtown mobility strategies to help:

  • Transportation system monitoring and managing real-time traffic operations.
  • Reducing drive-alone trips downtown.
  • Investing in transit to meet demand and expand access.
  • Managing construction projects in the public right-of-way.
  • Coordinating regional communications.

The City of Seattle cannot make mobility changes alone and are commissioning the traveling public to help reduce daily downtown Seattle trips by 1,200 in 2018 and 3,000 in 2019. There is no better time than now to #GetReady.

Stay informed. Follow the SDOT’s and WSDOT’s Twitter channels, blogs, and available online tools.

Plan your trip. We’re providing real-time construction and traffic information with popular navigation technologies: Google Maps, Waze, and TomTom. But try transit, ride a bike, form a carpool, or walk.

Figure out a flexible work plan. Help employees plan for a flexible work plan. Contact Commute Seattle who is offering free consultation for businesses. Commute Seattle fosters mobility partnerships and services. Through education, advocacy, training, and consulting, Commute Seattle is helping create a transit-supportive business culture to ensure that commuters enjoy commuter benefits and amenities.

Spread the word. Share this information with your customers, delivery and service providers, and neighbors.

Adjusting to a major route change

Map of Route 99 today and in the future
Image courtesy of WSDOT.

The viaduct had downtown ramps. The tunnel’s entrances and exits are further north-near Seattle Center, and further south – near the stadiums. –When the new tunnel opens, driving around Seattle will be different

WSDOT put together videos to help drivers understand getting around Seattle changes for anyone using SR 99 . (link to videos)

When the new tunnel opens, it will be toll free. Tolling will not start until  summer 2019 at the earliest. When tolling begins, it will cost between $1 to $2.25, depending on time-of-day and with a Good to Go! pass.


Take a drive through the Battery Street Tunnel with us. After the January 11, 2019 closure, only one lane will be open in each direction, and drivers will have to enter and exit at Western Ave.

Video: In the Battery Street Tunnel