Traffic Lab reporters Mike Lindblom and Michelle Baruchman answer your questions about the old viaduct and new tunnel in a Facebook Live Q&A.

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Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct will close permanently the night of Jan. 11, and a new, four-lane Highway 99 tunnel between Sodo and South Lake Union will open in its place a few weeks later.

The elevated highway has moved people through downtown — providing a picturesque waterfront view along the way — since 1953. But age and earthquakes have weakened the structure enough that the state deemed it unsafe to keep using.

Crews need three weeks between the viaduct’s closure and the tunnel opening to connect existing roads to the new underground highway.

Traffic Lab is a Seattle Times project that digs into the region’s thorny transportation issues, spotlights promising approaches to easing gridlock, and helps readers find the best ways to get around. It is funded with the help of community sponsors Alaska Airlines, CenturyLink, Kemper Development Co., NHL Seattle, PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company and Seattle Children’s hospital. Seattle Times editors and reporters operate independently of our funders and maintain editorial control over Traffic Lab content.

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Traffic during that time is expected to be dismal. And once open, the tunnel will change the way many people have moved through downtown for the past several decades.

Traffic Lab reporters Mike Lindblom and Michelle Baruchman answered your questions about the old viaduct and new tunnel in a Facebook Live Q&A. Lindblom has covered the viaduct replacement project since its inception following the 2001 Nisqually earthquake.

Follow The Seattle Times on Facebook for more coverage on the upcoming Alaskan Way Viaduct closure and the opening of the Highway 99 tunnel.

If you’d like to ask more questions, you can do so by using this form here.


Q&A | When does the viaduct close? How much is the tunnel toll?

Q&A | Are pedestrian and bike paths going to stay open? How will I get around?

Q&A | What does the tunnel opening mean for bus routes, detours and tsunamis?

Q&AWill we get “one last drive” on the viaduct? Will there be Wi-Fi inside the tunnel? 

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