Four-day closure of SR 99 in Seattle begins

SEATTLE -- Another major highway closure through Seattle has shutdown parts of Highway 99 for four days.

DOT crews closed both directions of the highway between S. Spokane Street and Valley Street near South Lake Union at 10 p.m. Friday night.

Crews kept the S. Royal Brougham Way and Columbia Street on-ramps to SR-99 open until midnight to allow Seahawks game traffic to exit the stadium area. They beat the Chicago Bears in the final home preseason game 34-6.

At 5 a.m. Monday, crews will reopen both directions of SR-99 south of the Battery Street Tunnel, but both directions of SR-99 will stay closed between the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street.

The closure is so crews can demolish and replace the section of SR-99 over Broad Street, which will eventually become part of the permanent connection between the new waterfront tunnel and Aurora Ave. N.

So how do you get around the extended four-mile closure?

One option is to take I-5, but keep in mind thousands of extra cars will increase traffic and congestion through the weekend and early next week.

To bypass I-5, you can detour through the city by taking surface streets, or hop on First Avenue to get Downtown if you're coming from the south end.

If coming from the north, use Highway 99 and exit before or at Valley Street, head south to 5th Avenue, go west on Broad, and head south on First Street.

Allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Traffic light signals near the closure zone have been adjusted, and crews will be on standby if further changes are needed to ease the flow.

Bus riders should also be advised, as 17 Metro bus routes will be affected through next week.

"There are routes that travel directly on SR 99, and that will be re-routed and delayed by increased traffic," Matt Hansen with King County Metro says.

Officials say they're confident they can complete the various projects on SR 99 on time

For maps of the closures and more information, check the WSDOT web site.