‘I get goosebumps’ — The SR 99 tunnel, a project a decade in the making, opens Monday

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SEATTLE -  It's been a very, very long time coming.

“I get goosebumps right now talking about it,” David Sowers of WSDOT said.

About a decade has passed since WSDOT penned the contract for the double decker underground tunnel.

How can we forget Bertha the tunnel boring machine and all the issues leading to delays and cost overruns?

“Labor pains, we’ve seen all the gore,” Sowers said.

The labor pains forgotten at least for this moment as the state gets ready to give birth to the tunnel.

“It's a very exciting moment for us because we get to share it with the public,” Sowers said.

WSDOT released new video on Thursday giving us a peek at what it will be like to drive through the tunnel.

The two mile stretch may feel a little claustrophobic at first with only two openings; one by the Seattle Center, the other by the stadiums.

“When you get into the meat of the tunnel, it's 11 foot lanes, there is an 8 foot shoulder that's on the West side of the corridor,” Sowers said.

Also there are 16 sets of emergency doors and  water pipes throughout in case of a fire.

Unlike I-90, the tunnel is equipped with miles of water pipes instead of foam to fight fires.

WSDOT also has 300 cameras installed inside the tunnel.

Flammable content will never be allowed, and for a little while, Metro buses will not use it.

“We wanted to hold back," Terry White of KC Metro said.

White says they are still evaluating the timing of traffic.

Over the weekend WSDOT will still be working to tie up loose ends to open early Monday. On Friday they didn’t have an exact time but say the tunnel will open sometime before 5 a.m.

When the viaduct closed there were some people trying to be the last ones to drive off the viaduct. WSDOT says they anticipate some may try to be the first to drive through the tunnel.

“People could be waiting around for a long time trying to be the first in the tunnel,” Sowers said.

The state says they have a plan in place in case there is a dangerous rush to be the first.

“SPD and Washington State Patrol will be helping us,” Sowers said.

SDOT also says they have trucks on standby in case it snows on Monday.

“We have 30 trucks ready to go to keep things plowed and treated,” Heather Marx of SDOT said.

Snow or no snow, city and state workers are determined to check off a project a decade in the making.

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