The SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct is Closing. How will it change your bus ride to work?

Dec. 31, 2018 Moving to Seattle


Be prepared for the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure and changes! 

The SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct will officially close on January 11th, 2019 at 10 p.m for at least three weeks. Over 30,000 commuters who use the bus, including many of our clients and employees, will be affected. We have compiled the essential info you will need to know to make sure you beat the Seattle Squeeze.

Plan Ahead

To avoid any commuting headaches with the Viaduct closure make sure you allow enough time for your commute. Peak travel times will be 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Unfortunately, delays will be almost guaranteed with bus route changes, more commuters, and more traffic. If possible adjust your travel schedule to avoid peak times.

Before the Viaduct closes speak to your boss about changing your schedule to match better travel times, or telecommuting as an option. If that is not possible then you will want to use the OneBusAway app that will allow you to receive real time updates on bus arrival times and delays.

What routes will be affected?

Listed below are the twelve bus routes that will be impacted by the SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. You can see more in depth information and maps provided by King county here.

Bus Routes affected by Viaduct closure:
21x, 37, 55, 56, 57, 113, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125, and the C Line

During the three week viaduct closure the bus routes that travel on the viaduct will run on a temporary path through SODO and Fourth Avenue South. When the new SR 99 tunnel opens the buses will move to a new permanent route on First Avenue South.

What is being done to help with travel times? 

There is a limit to how much King County can do to help combat the traffic and travel times. There are different approaches and changes for the various Seattle neighborhoods. For many bus commuters in West Seattle the changes could double their travel time. To help combat this King County Metro will be adding 20 buses at a time on standby and will be dispatched as needed.

For North End and South End Commuters 

Commuters accessing downtown at the north end of SR 99, between John and Denny Streets in downtown Seattle should use this pathways map to navigate changes in bus service routes. Commuters who will be coming from the south end of SR 99 should use this pathways map to see the interim and permanent changes to routes. 

To help ensure an easier commute, King County strongly encourages commuters to have a backup plan with multiple routes, bus lines, or using the Sounder train or Link light rail. We hope these tips and tricks will help you get through the SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. Stay tuned for our next piece on the best practices for telecommuting. Safe travels Seattle!