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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Traffic Advisory: Alaskan Way Viaduct Warning Beacons Test

3/21/2008  10:30:00 AM

Alaskan Way Viaduct Warning Beacons Test

SEATTLE - The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will test its new Alaskan Way Viaduct Warning Beacon system this weekend. The evaluation will be conducted on March 22 and 23 from 6:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. The fourteen flashing beacon signs will be tested while the viaduct is closed for its semi-annual safety inspection by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Once the system is deemed fully functional, it will be utilized during planned or emergency viaduct closures to warn motorists so they can alter their trips and avoid delays.

During the testing, the signs will flash while SDOT confirms that the beacons are functioning properly. These signs are located on higher volume arterials in North Seattle and Interbay, along the Aurora Avenue/SR 99 corridor, in the Duwamish industrial area, in West Seattle and South Park. SDOT crews will be checking signs to ensure they turn on and off as directed by radio communications originating from south of downtown SDOT facilities.

The oversized black on yellow signs, stating “Alaskan Way Viaduct Closed When Flashing” operate independently of electric lines or phone lines and are controlled via radio and powered by solar technology. The signs are directional so that, depending upon the situation, SDOT can control viaduct approaches for either northbound or southbound traffic or both directions.

The Seattle Department of Transportation builds, maintains and operates Seattle's $8 billion transportation infrastructure. To further Mayor Nickels’ goal to get Seattle moving, the department manages short- and long-term investments in streets, bridges, pavement and trees, that better connect the city with the region.

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Seattle Department of Transportation

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