Extended lane closures on SR 99/Aurora Avenue North coming Jan. 18

Washington State Department of Transportation

Drivers and commuters should plan ahead for increased congestion during upcoming construction work that will reduce both directions of SR 99/Aurora Avenue North by one lane between the Aurora Bridge and just north of Mercer Street. Visit our latest web post for an animation showing lane closures. We also have a blog story that explains the purpose and timing of this work.

Closure details – SR 99 between the Aurora Bridge and just north of Mercer Street

  • Jan. 18 through mid-February
    • Median lanes close in both directions between the Aurora Bridge and just north of Mercer Street.
    • An additional lane will close at night and during several weekends including Jan. 23-24.
    • All traffic may use the southbound bus-only lane during the first phase of this work. Drivers should use caution since buses will travel – and stop – in the outside lane with other vehicle traffic.
  • Mid-February through early March
    • Median lanes reopen. Northbound lanes reopen.
    • The southbound right lane will be closed near Comstock Street.
    • An additional southbound lane may close at night.

The schedule for this work is approximate and may change. We will keep the public informed as work progresses.

Traveler tips

We anticipate additional backups on SR 99 for vehicles and buses, particularly during peak commute times. WSDOT is encouraging drivers and bus riders to:

Bus rider information

During the first four to five weeks of work, southbound buses will travel – and stop – in the outside lanes with other vehicle traffic. Trips may take longer than normal so transit riders should allow extra travel time and, if possible, avoid traveling during peak commute times. King County Metro will have additional buses on standby to help maintain transit schedules.

What’s happening?

Contractor crews building the northern approach to the new SR 99 tunnel will install the foundations for new overhead traffic signs. These signs require sturdy, concrete-encased pedestals along with communication lines, power lines and traffic sensors. Around-the-clock lane closures are necessary for crews to perform the work in a safe and efficient manner. Because of the small work area, some activities may take longer to complete and others can only be completed overnight when a second lane will be closed to provide a larger work zone.

WSDOT understands that these closures will be inconvenient for those who use SR 99 on a regular basis. As such, this work is being completed in winter when traffic volumes are typically lower and there are fewer special events.

Nighttime and weekend work

In an effort to balance the needs of drivers and residents, some work will occur during nighttime and weekend hours. An additional lane may close at night and during some weekend days, including Jan. 23-24. This will provide additional work space for contractor crews.