The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will open a new overpass to the west of Seattle’s stadiums on Monday, Jan. 27, eliminating a bottleneck that has long frustrated drivers near the port of Seattle’s busiest freight terminal. The overpass allows traffic to bypass a busy railroad track that crosses South Atlantic Street and will help freight and drivers move faster and more reliably through the area. Train activity often blocks traffic for extended periods, which not only slows truckers traveling to and from the port of Seattle, but also creates backups that stretch onto Seattle streets and I-90.
“If freight can’t move, nobody moves,” said Matt Preedy, deputy administrator of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program. “This overpass can save truckers as much as 20 minutes of travel time between the port and I-5 or I-90. Improving freight mobility will benefit everyone.”
The overpass is part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, which includes a 2-mile-long tunnel beneath downtown Seattle, a mile-long stretch of new highway to connect the south entrance of the tunnel near Seattle’s stadiums and a new Alaskan Way surface street along the waterfront to connect S.R. 99 to downtown.
To complete the connections between the overpass and nearby streets, crews must close South Atlantic Street and the S.R. 99 off-ramp to Atlantic this weekend.
The section of Atlantic beneath S.R. 99 will remain closed to through traffic until the S.R. 99 tunnel opens to traffic. Drivers will instead use the new overpass to travel in both directions between Atlantic and Alaskan Way South.
Later this winter, crews will complete improvements to the bicycle and pedestrian path on the west side of S.R. 99 between Atlantic and South King streets.
The north leg of the overpass will open to the public after the tunnel opens and will eventually link traffic to a newly rebuilt Alaskan Way and Seattle waterfront.