SEATTLE – As time ticked down, most aspects of the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure went as planned. One issue was the pedestrians who crowded onto the elevated decks for one final goodbye, which delayed the last-second drivers making their way across the traverse.
Officials with the state Department of Transportation called it a solid start in a lengthy process.
“Got two sets of crews tackling each end of the corridor and hopefully by later tonight it will all be closed,” said David Sowers, the deputy program administrator with WSDOT.
As for those drivers and pedestrians who jockeyed to be the last to leave the double-decked structure, WSDOT said they were addressing the fight over bragging rights.
“Washington State Patrol is here. They are going to flush out all the looky-loos through after 10 o'clock when we can get that main line closed,” Sowers said.
With the viaduct gone, the detours available could see a crush of traffic in the coming weeks. First and Fourth Avenues might be an option for people living in West Seattle, though I-5 is likely to get the lion's share of diverted traffic.
People coming from the south might opt to go around the city on I-405, though it could see back-ups as well.
“I'm sure it's going to be hardship but traffic in Seattle is hardship any way you cut it,” said Lisa Colton, who wanted to make sure to squeeze in her last trip across the span before the closure took effect.