One last ride: The Alaskan Way Viaduct closes permanently

One last ride: The Alaskan Way Viaduct closes permanently (PHOTO: KOMO News)

SEATTLE – With the long-anticipated closure off the viaduct approaching, WSDOT officials are asking drivers to get take any final rides along the iconic roadway well ahead of 10 o’clock.

“If you want to take a drive down memory lane, do it early this evening,” said David Sowers, WSDOT Deputy Program Administrator.

“Don’t wait until 10 o’clock. This closure is going to start at 10 o’clock and I need everybody off the highway,” said Sowers. “Washington State Patrol will be there to help make sure those folks to not linger and maintain a safe work environment for our crews.”

Crews will first close on-ramps to the viaduct, starting with the on-ramp at Columbia Street at 9:45 p.m.

“It’ll probably take me a little while to get used to it, but change is coming no matter what so there’s nothing I can do except have good memories,” said Leah Tanner, who came to Seattle to take pictures of the iconic highway.

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The on-ramp from the West Seattle Bridge at Spokane Street to SR 99 will close soon after at 10 p.m., along with the mainlines of SR 99 on the north-end by the Battery Street tunnel.

The viaduct will be closed for good. A 2-mile downtown tunnel will open in roughly three weeks.

Sowers said Friday they’re planning on opening the tunnel Feb. 4, but that could change should the weather interfere with construction.

Sowers told KOMO the tunnel will not open any sooner than Feb. 4.

WSDOT is hosting a 2-day event Feb. 2nd for attendants to say farewell to the viaduct and welcome the new tunnel.

Sowers said they already have more than 70,000 people signed up to attend the celebration.

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