Seattle Viaduct reopens to traffic early



SEATTLE (AP) — The Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle has reopened to traffic after demolition crews finished work ahead of schedule.

Washington Transportation Department spokesman Travis Phelps says all operational lanes opened around 12:45 p.m. Saturday. The original timetable had the highly used highway closed for nine days. The viaduct is one of three main north-south routes through the metro area and typically carries 110,000 vehicles a day.

The early opening should be good news for traffic for a University of Washington football game Saturday at Husky Stadium and a Seahawks game Sunday at CenturyLink Field, which is adjacent to the viaduct.

Officials say a new, slower 40 mph speed limit is in effect on much of the viaduct, and a construction speed limit of 25 mph is posted on a new curving bypass near the sports stadiums.

This week’s viaduct work is part of a $3.1 billion project to replace the aging elevated section of Highway 99 with a tunnel under downtown Seattle.