If you traveled southbound on 99 this morning into downtown, you probably noticed the lane closure near Roy street, reducing Aurora down to two lanes. Viaduct construction and traffic has returned, and this lane closure will continue until mid April, likely to clog traffic during morning and afternoon rush-hour in several places. Plan for backups starting in the battery street tunnel on the way to the Sodo district, and near the First Ave South bridge. The Denny Way exit will also likely become congested, as only the center lane will carry traffic into downtown, instead of the two right hand lanes.
Driver’s entering downtown on Aurora Avenue North can likely expect up to 6 weeks of extra congestion beginning today, as construction workers move underground utilities for the new 99 tunnel. King County Metro transit has re-routed 385 buses per day to avoid extensive backups, and people commuting to South Lake Union will need to plan to get off at fifth Avenue, and walk the extra two to three blocks.