The Skinny on the Seattle Squeeze

The Alaskan Way Viaduct is coming down soon, and everyone’s talking about how the transit situation in Seattle is about to get hairy. We’re keeping an eye on things, including partnering with the City to help with travel options. We’ve put together some helpful Survival Tips to help you prepare for the worst.

What’s Going On?

Beginning in early January, parts of Aurora Avenue/State Road 99 will begin closing through Seattle. By mid-January, the entire road will be closed as workers align the tunnel with existing roads. The new tunnel is scheduled to open in the beginning of February. Once it’s opened, workers will begin demolishing the existing viaduct and converting Alaskan Way into an expanded north-south option.

What Will This Mean For Traffic?

Nobody knows exactly, but travel everywhere throughout the City will definitely be impacted, especially in January and February. During the weeks when SR 99 is closed entirely, you can expect other roads to feel increased traffic burden. Once the tunnel opens, things should begin to loosen up, but these sorts of adjustments always take a little time. People who live in or commute to/from West Seattle and southern areas of the City will be impacted significantly.

What Can You Do?

There are all sorts of ways you can proactively adapt to these transit changes. The simple rule is—anytime you can lessen the number of single-occupancy vehicles on the road, the better it will be for everyone:

  • Plan ahead and expect commute times to take longer;
  • If you have a flexible schedule, adjust your travels to avoid peak travel periods (typically 6-10AM and 3-7PM);
  • If your boss will let you, work from home whenever possible;
  • Take public transit whenever possible (bus, train, or water taxi/ferry)
  • Ride your bike or walk;
  • Carpool with friends or co-workers.

How Is ReachNow Helping?

We’ve partnered with SDOT, Sound Transit and King County Metro to help make commutes easier everywhere in town. Beginning January 7, 2019, every time you take a ReachNow to or from any of the transit centers below, we’ll automatically apply a $3 credit to your account. That $3 is our way of covering your public transit costs and hopefully saving you some hassle.

We’re going to be keeping a close eye on these and other transit developments in the coming weeks and months. We’ll do our best to keep you informed as to how you might be impacted, and we’re working around the clock to make your travels as easy as possible.




Anna Anderson