100,000 people expected to attend SR-99 tunnel opening events this weekend

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SEATTLE -- City transportation leaders expect roughly 100,000 people to participate in several events planned for the SR-99 tunnel opening this weekend (Feb. 2-3).

The events -- including a fun run, a bike ride and an art festival, among others -- celebrate the end of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which closed forever on Jan. 11, and the beginning of the SR-99 tunnel, a two-mile tunnel that runs under downtown Seattle.

When the four-lane tunnel opens, there will be no mid-tunnel entrances or exits. It will be free to travel in the beginning, but eventually there will be a toll. WSDOT has not given a date for when tolling will begin.

Some of the tunnel events this weekend are free, but you'll need to pre-register here. Others are sold out, and other activities charge a fee to participate.

Here's a breakdown of everything happening in, under and around downtown Seattle this weekend. See the map at the bottom of this page for information on where to access the various activities.

Saturday, Feb. 2

Tunnel to Viaduct 8K

  • Saturday's 8K fun run (register separately) starts at 7:30 a.m. at the North Hub on Sixth Avenue North between John and Mercer streets.

North Hub (No ticket required)

Photo of North Hub tunnel entrance courtesy WSDOT

Located on Sixth Avenue North between John and Mercer streets.

  • Open Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Access to Portal A: tunnel walk / turnaround option (free tickets)
  • STEM activities, including:
    • Excavation Station (learn about the tunnel boring machine)
    • Interactive Lego model
  • Life-size Bertha cutterhead mural
  • Food trucks
  • Access to Portal B: Battery Street Tunnel entrance to the community celebration on the viaduct (free tickets)

A look at the Battery Street tunnel, which will close at 10 p.m. Friday and provide access to SR-99 celebrations this weekend.  (Photo courtesy WSDOT)

Portal A (Tunnel ticket)

Located at the North Hub on Sixth Avenue North between Harrison and Mercer streets.

  • Opens at 12:30 p.m. (last ticketed time slot is 6 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. for viaduct/tunnel ticket)
  • 2-mile tunnel walk or turnaround option*

*Tunnel walk will exit at the South Hub, with the option to take a shuttle back to the North Hub. Turnaround option will exit back at the North Hub.

Portal B (Viaduct ticket)

Located at the North Hub at the Aurora Avenue North and Harrison Street intersection.

Portal C (Viaduct ticket)

Located at First Avenue and Seneca Street.

South Hub (No ticket required)

A look at the South Hub tunnel entrance (Photo courtesy WSDOT)

Located at Pyramid Brewery, with entrances on South Royal Brougham Way and South Atlantic streets.

  • Open Saturday, 11:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • STEM activities, including:
    • Geology layers exhibit
    • Earthquake safety technology
  • Enjoy music and food trucks
  • Shuttles to the North Hub (note: shuttles are one way only from south to north, there are no return shuttles from the North Hub to the South Hub)

Ribbon Cutting (No ticket required)

Stock photo courtesy WSDOT

Located at the south end of the tunnel, with access from South Royal Brougham Way.

  • Saturday, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Official ribbon cutting
  • Recognition of program partners and elected officials

Sunday, Feb. 3

  • Start of Sunday's tunnel bike ride: The 12.5-mile bike ride is sold out, with 12,000 people registered. It's slated to be the largest bike ride in Washington's history.

Map of Viaduct/SR-99 tunnel access points for activities the weekend of Feb. 2-3 (Map courtesy WSDOT)

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