Traffic data on previous choke points during viaduct closure

by Joel Moreno | KOMO News

Traffic data on previous chokepoints during viaduct closure (PHOTO: KOMO News)

SEATTLE – With the closure of the Viaduct almost over us, the question is for so many how long it takes to get where they are going to return. Much depends on where people live, but there are surveys where the cooling points have appeared earlier.

INRIX, Kirkland-based traffic consulting firm, analyzed which commuters were when the viaduct closed for nine days in 2016.

A review of the data shows alternative routes in the heart of Seattle were overwhelmed. 1st Ave S and 4th Ave S between the stadiums and Spokane Street so travel times jump 29 percent. It can add 20 minutes to an hour long trip.

Commuters from the north also came to a crawl. Drives moved 44 percent slower on I-5 around the Ship Canal Bridge, and an hour on the road became an hour and 25 minutes.

"I think it's going to be tough when I'm in Seattle, but honestly I tend to spend most of the time on Eastside, so I'm driving 405," said Hank Burton, who commuted by car every business day.

However, I-405 was also severely affected. Between SR 167 and the I-90 floating bridge, travel times grew 18 percent and added 12 minutes to an hour's long drive.

Some of the worst jams were on average on I-5 south of the city where the travel time increased by 51 percent.

"Good luck to all the other drivers out there and be confident in this crazy weather," said Lina Olund, a uber driver.

For what INRIX found that still worked, the Aurora Bridge and Ballard Bridge were still running smoothly most of the time. West Maple Valley Highway and I-405 north of the SR 520 bridge also avoided most of the impact.

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