The next time it shuts down will be permanent — on Jan. 11 when contractors block the entrances and connect surface ramps into the new Highway 99 tunnel under downtown Seattle.

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The doomed Alaskan Way Viaduct will close this weekend for its 33rd and last-ever safety inspection, which have been conducted since its columns were damaged by an earthquake in 2001.

The next time it shuts down will be permanent — on Jan. 11 when contractors block the entrances and connect surface ramps into the new Highway 99 tunnel under downtown Seattle.

The conversion will block traffic entirely for three weeks. Northbound drivers from West Seattle and Burien will have a wait another two weeks until they can use the new Sodo interchange.

Afterward, contractors will demolish the 65-year-old viaduct.

This weekend’s closure is scheduled from 9 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday southbound — but northbound will be closed only on Saturday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Viaduct inspections are often finished in a day, but this weekend’s southbound work includes concrete interchange paving in Sodo, where crews need more time to pour the aggregate and let it dry.

Drivers can still enter the Battery Street Tunnel but must exit or enter at Western Avenue.

Past inspections discovered six inches of foundation sinking near Yesler Way, which led the Washington State Department of Transportation to add steel bracing and carbon-fiber wraps.

In related news, the Washington State Transportation Commission, as expected, voted final approval Tuesday to toll rates that range from $1 to $2.25 — which is less than the standard $2.75 fare to ride a public bus. The rate is lower than the market will bear, but state leaders are striving to prevent diversion by motorists into Seattle’s gridlocked downtown roads.

Toll collection won’t begin until mid-2019. The first increase is scheduled for 2022; increases are expected to be 3 percent every three years.

This past weekend, WSDOT opened a four-lane asphalt corridor on surface Alaskan Way, to serve traffic through viaduct demolition, waterfront parks construction  and more roadwork until a permanent surface boulevard, ranging from four to nine lanes, is completed in 2021.