REMINDER: SR 99 will close this weekend for inspections and chocolate loving runners

information from WSDOT

Drivers traveling through downtown Seattle this weekend, Friday, Feb. 28, through Sunday, March 2, should expect delays. Long sections of State Route 99 will shut down with the inspection of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, road construction and thousands of chocolate-loving runners.

Washington State Department of Transportation bridge crews will close both directions of SR 99 between Denny Way and South Spokane Street during the day Saturday, March 1, and Sunday, March 2, to inspect the viaduct. This is the first of two regularly scheduled, semiannual inspections in 2014. WSDOT will release preliminary inspection results on as soon as they are available.

Additionally, from Friday night to Sunday morning, contractor crews working for WSDOT will close both directions of SR 99 from Valley Street to the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel to start building future connections to city streets at the north portal of the SR 99 tunnel.

Finally, on Sunday morning, the Hot Chocolate 15/5k race will extend the SR 99 closure north to the Woodland Park Zoo.

Closure details

· WSDOT bridge crews will close both directions of SR 99 between Denny Way and South Spokane Street from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for the semiannual inspection of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
· Crews will close both directions of SR 99 from Valley Street to the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel from 10 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Sunday. During the closure crews will shift SR 99 lanes to the east side of SR 99 just north of the Battery Street Tunnel. The lane shift extends the existing narrowing of SR 99 at Mercer Street one block south. It will create space for crews to start building new SR 99 on- and off-ramps at the north portal of the SR 99 tunnel.

· At 6 a.m. Sunday, the Hot Chocolate 15/5k race will extend the closure of both directions of SR 99/Aurora Avenue North to the Woodland Park Zoo at North 50th Street. Runners, walkers, race officials and volunteers will be off the road by 11 a.m. Sunday. The Hot Chocolate 15/5k will also close sections of Elliott and Western avenues as well as streets near the Seattle Center start and finish points. View a map of the race route.

WSDOT recommends leaving early, carpooling or taking transit, and avoiding or combining trips during this weekend’s closures. Drivers should also plan to use alternate routes through Seattle, including I-5, which will be free of construction closures this weekend. Drivers can check traffic conditions before they leave at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic. Up-to-the-minute traffic information is also available by calling 511, the voice-activated driver information line.

Looking ahead

On Monday morning, expect additional delays and backups on SR 99 and at the Denny Way on- and off-ramps as drivers get used to the extension of the lane reduction south of Mercer Street. The lane reduction will remain in place until the SR 99 tunnel opens.

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.