Seattle highway closure spooks city's commuters

By GENE JOHNSON | October 23, 2011 | 5:40 PM EDT

Morning traffic headed out of West Seattle to the Alaskan Way Viaduct (right lanes) and to I-5 (left lanes), grew worse recently when the viaduct was reduced from three lanes to two on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011. Starting Friday evening, Oct. 21, the viaduct will close to most traffic until 5 a.m. Oct. 31. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Mike Siegel) OUTS: SEATTLE OUT, USA TODAY OUT, MAGAZINES OUT, TELEVISION OUT, SALES OUT. MANDATORY CREDIT TO: MIKE SIEGEL/THE SEATTLE TIMES.

SEATTLE (AP) — The so-called "Carmageddon" in Los Angeles this summer was a bust — but its Seattle-based sequel "Viadoom" is being billed as the real deal.

Beginning Friday night, one of Seattle's two north-south highways will close for nine days through downtown so crews can demolish the southern end of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, an aging elevated highway.

Transit officials have mailed people free bus tickets and added ferry trips across Elliott Bay to West Seattle. Nevertheless, there's no shortage of fretting about where the 110,000 vehicles that take the viaduct on a typical weekday will go.

Officials say there could be traffic jams across the region if driving habits aren't altered.

Interstate 405 in Los Angeles was closed for a weekend in July. Drivers largely avoided the road. Traffic was fine.