You can breathe a sign of relief and perhaps the extra-heavy Mercer traffic will ease a bit. The Viaduct will be opening early after being closed for Bertha tunneling. Drivers can expect the Viaduct to be open starting tomorrow morning, Monday, May 9th.
Here’s the scoop from WSDOT:
Alaskan Way Viaduct to reopen for Monday morning commute
Washington DOT Posted on May 8 2016 2:07 PM
After 10 days of around-the-clock tunneling, Bertha’s biggest hurdle is now behind her. That hurdle – the Alaskan Way Viaduct she was built to replace – will reopen for the Monday morning commute, bringing an early end to the much-anticipated closure.
Structural engineers with the Washington State Department of Transportation completed a thorough inspection of the viaduct on Sunday. Their inspection confirmed what a team of engineers observed throughout the past 10 days of tunneling: continued stability of the ground and the viaduct.
By Friday, the machine had successfully tunneled through complex soils only 15 feet below the viaduct’s foundation – the closest the machine will come to any structure at any point in its drive beneath Seattle. On Sunday, STP completed installation of the rings beneath this critical location, clearing the way for the final inspection and the early opening of the highway. WSDOT’s 24-hour command center will remain open until the machine has successfully tunneled 385 feet, the distance at which it will be completely clear of the viaduct.
Seattle Tunnel Partners has installed 47 rings and excavated 312 feet of the approximately 385 feet of tunnel to be completed beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Crews continue to work around the clock to tunnel, build rings and perform ongoing machine maintenance.
WSDOT worked closely with Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Police Department, King County Metro, King County Water Taxi, Sound Transit, Community Transit and the Port of Seattle to keep traffic moving and provide travel options during the closure.
We are extremely grateful to those commuters that shifted their travel routes and timing during the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. Every person that chose alternate transportation helped to reduce traffic regionally. Thank you for all your efforts.