SEATTLE - Another major traffic project begins Monday as WSDOT crews repave 7.5 miles of State Route 99 between Roy Street and North 145th Street in Seattle. In addition, dozens of pedestrian ramps will be rebuilt or added to provide better sidewalk connections for people of all abilities.
Businesses along SR-99 and drivers who use the road daily worry that another construction project will impact their bottom line and the daily drive.
“Our signature omelet is a 12-egg omelet,” said Chris Dalton, owner of Beth’s Café located on SR 99 in Seattle.
The café has been serving breakfast 24 hours a day for 64 years.
“It’s just delicious food,” said Sean Carney who was grabbing a smaller version, the six-egg omelet at the café on Sunday.
Carney says he takes 99 on weekdays, especially after work to get to Home Depot on Aurora.
“I’m a carpenter. I usually go to Home Depot up there after work, usually four times a week if not more. So that’ll be different. I may have to go down to the southern Home Depot on 4th avenue south,” said Carney.
It’s those after work hours that’ll be impacted with WSDOT’s repaving of SR-99.
The paving project begins Monday, July 9 at 7p.m. with lane closures through 5 a.m. The paving is expected to run until at least the fall of 2019.
While most of the work can be completed through nighttime lane and cross street closures, some daytime lane closures are needed for pedestrian ramp work.
You can check the full list of lane closure times here.
The pavement on this stretch of SR 99 is showing its age with ruts and cracks, which can lead to potholes. Asphalt is generally only intended to last 15 years. This area was last paved in 1999. Sections of asphalt have been repaired, but the surface continues to deteriorate. Up to 40,000 vehicles use this major route through north Seattle daily.
“Personally I don’t like driving on 99, it’s unpredictable and slow,” said Dalton. He owns Beth’s Café, the bar next door and another sandwich shop further up on Aurora Ave North. Ask Dalton about construction on 99 and he reflects back to a few years ago when SR-99 got a facelift in Shoreline that made for tough business operations during that construction.
“It was really hard to do business out there. Day to day you’re not even sure how your customers were going to get into your parking lot.”
So, there is a bit of worry with this go-around too. “Hopefully it doesn’t make it so that we need to not have as many people working here. If we lose businesses, at some point we’ll have to figure out how to compensate for that,” said Dalton.
About a dozen bus pads and improving 50 crossing areas will also be part of this project.