Highway 99 closure will impact Bellevue travelers

Highway 99 closure will impact Bellevue travelers

When the state Department of Transportation closes Highway 99 in Seattle starting at 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, commuters and others in Bellevue will likely feel the effects as well. Based on previous closure experience, Eastsiders can expect slower trips on Interstate 90 and SR 520.

WSDOT will close Highway 99 through downtown Seattle for approximately three weeks while the Alaska Way Viaduct is replaced and the highway is realigned with a new tunnel. Approximately 90,000 vehicles a day use the route and the closure will significantly affect regional traffic patterns.

The last time Highway 99 was closed for several days in 2016, WSDOT notes, bus ridership increased and commute trips started earlier and lasted longer. Data shows travel time increases impacting Eastside commuters were most pronounced for the westbound, morning commutes on both I-90 and SR 520.

Everyone’s help will be needed during the closure to avoid gridlock, says WSDOT, which offers tips on how to change your commute pattern. They include:

  • Shift your travel time to avoid the busiest times;
  • Bike or walk to work or school;
  • Start or join a carpool, vanpool or vanshare;
  • Use transit; and
  • Stay off the road: work from home, postpone discretionary trips, take time off

More information, including a short video, trip planning tools and freight route changes is available on WSDOT’s Realign99 webpage.

Published on 01/07/2019
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