Crews begin filling Seattle's Battery Street tunnel

Now that the SR-99 tunnel under downtown Seattle is open to drivers, the Battery Street tunnel is not only defunct - it's what WSDOT calls "seismically deficient."  As the Alaskan Way Viaduct is demolished, crews are carting the rubble few blocks across Seattle and using it to fill in the decommissioned tunnel.

Viaduct demolition brings out curiosity, emotions

SEATTLE -- We're wrapping up the first week week of demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.The tear down has become a spectator sport, bringing out all sorts of emotions and anticipation.Woody Macleod and his wife Candy of North Bend wanted to see it for themselves.

Belltown businesses see little impact after viaduct closure

SEATTLE -- Some restaurants hoped that the increased commute times between the closure of the Alaska Way Viaduct and the opening of the SR 99 tunnel would mean more business.Edgar Carbajal, General Manager of Wasabi, says that wasn't the case for his Belltown restaurant.For the last three weeks he has watched as hundreds of cars crawled past his business, and he was ready for them.

'I get goosebumps' -- The SR 99 tunnel, a project a decade in the making, opens Monday

SEATTLE -  It's been a very, very long time coming.“I get goosebumps right now talking about it,” David Sowers of WSDOT said.About a decade has passed since WSDOT penned the contract for the double decker underground tunnel.How can we forget Bertha the tunnel boring machine and all the issues leading to delays and cost overruns?“Labor pains, we’ve seen all the gore,” Sowers said.The labor pains forgotten at least for this moment as the state gets ready to give birth to the tunnel.“It's a very exciting moment for us because we get to share it with the public,” Sowers said.WSDOT released new video on Thursday giving us a peek at what it will be like to drive through the tunnel.The two mile stretch may feel a little claustrophobic at first with only two openings; one by the Seattle Center, the other by the stadiums.“When you get into the meat of the tunnel, it's 11 foot lanes, there is an 8 foot shoulder that's on the West side of the corridor,” Sowers said.Also there are 16 sets of emergency doors and  water pipes throughout in case of a fire.Unlike I-90, the tunnel is equipped with miles of water pipes instead of foam to fight fires.WSDOT also has 300 cameras installed inside the tunnel.Flammable content will never be allowed, and for a little while, Metro buses will not use it.“We wanted to hold back," Terry White of KC Metro said.White says they are still evaluating the timing of traffic.Over the weekend WSDOT will still be working to tie up loose ends to open early Monday.

The Alaskan Way Viaduct is closed, but when does the new SR 99 tunnel open?

SEATTLE -- The Alaskan Way Viadcut, a major thoroughfare for commuters along downtown Seattle's waterfront, closed last Friday forcing nearly 100,000 commuters a day to find alternate routes.Despite a relatively uneventful Monday morning commute, officials still say this could be one of the most painful traffic periods in Western Washington history.

Earlier start makes normal West Seattle commute a snooze

SEATTLE – The commute into downtown from West Seattle started about an hour-and-a-half earlier than normal, but by the time seven o’clock rolled around, most drivers called it a Sunday morning stroll.“I've not really experienced that much of a difference than a weekend drive,” said West Seattle resident David Griffiths.But we were expecting carmaggedon.“I think we were all expecting it to be carnage this morning,” said Griffiths.Either way, David Griffiths no longer makes his 45-minute commute from West Seattle to Shoreline.“My commute is a short stroll down the stairs holding a cup of coffee,” said Griffiths.While David now works from home, Jen Lennon stayed home to sleep in.“I figured it would be pretty horrible, so I took today off,” said Lennon.Her husband hit the road at 5 a.m. to make it to a downtown Seattle meeting by 8 a.m., just in case.“He just figured it would be really terrible.

End of an era: Alaskan Way Viaduct closes to make way for new SR 99 tunnel

SEATTLE -- It was 10-years ago this spring that then Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire signed legislation that put into motion the new tunnel underneath downtown Seattle.The Alaskan Way Viaduct is scheduled to close forever.Once closed, the Washington State Department of Transportation says it will take about 3 weeks to get the highway aligned with the new tunnel.Crews have much work remaining including tearing down some temporary walls and pouring new concrete.

Picture perfect last day of service for the Viaduct

SEATTLE -- It’s like Mother Nature knows the curtain is about to close on the Alaskan Way Viaduct.“It's very rare that it's sunny this time of year,” Troy Yamamoto said.It made the viaduct's last hours in service that much more picture perfect.“I just hopped on the bus for a quick hour away from home to get the last shot,” Kitty McCauley said.McCauley has decades of memories driving across the double decker highway along Seattle’s waterfront.“You can see the ferries and mountains it’s stunning,” McCauley said.And McCauley is right, no matter how many times you see the view while driving on the viaduct, it never gets old.“I am sorry to see the view go as you're driving along,” Rainee Colacurcio said.“We actually came down to take one last drive through, I am going to miss the viaduct honestly,” Yamamoto said.And he isn’t alone.