Viaduct for Dummies: Another SR99 slowdown coming; 520 taking shape

520 bridge girder

There's a lot of discussion today about the fate of tolling on the soon-to-exist SR 99 tunnel, on the heels of yesterday's "tunnel tolling committee" meeting. Seems something interesting is happening around here since the 520 tolls went into effect: People are surprisingly willing to sit in terrible traffic to avoid paying tolls. Tell me about it. Traffic just hasn't been the same on my beloved I90.

There will come a day, however, during our lifetimes, when that sparkly new 520 bridge is finished and paid for, and we can once again fly for free. Work continues in that direction; here's photo of one of the giant steel girders that were installed over 84th Ave. NE in Bellevue during last weekend's shutdown. Meanwhile, over in Aberdeen, crews are building a massive mold to create the concrete pontoons which will be floated over to build the new bridge. Check out this cool live WSDOT camera shot of the site.

If you use SR 99 Southbound regularly, you'll want to know about this: That road will narrow to two lanes just north of the Battery Street Tunnel for about six weeks, beginning March 6, so that crews can work on the north entrance of the tunnel.

Pretty much everyone who lives in the Seattle area has a construction slowdown somewhere in their flight path; if you're not talking about transportation woes, you're probably the proud owner of an Orca card (and even then). We've spent a lot of time thinking about our transpo-woes and future; our March cover feature, "Conquering Your Commute," takes an in-depth look at how we got here, where we're going, and how to survive in the meantime. Your comments are welcome.