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Belltown, get ready for an extended carmageddon. Starting tonight, the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Highway 99 will be closed for the next two weeks or more, resulting in certain traffic mayhem. The closure, which commenced early Friday morning (at midnight), is between the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel and South Spokane Street.

This is part of WSDOT’s Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, which requires the time for the tunneling machine, Bertha, to dig safely underneath the structure. Close to 100,000 cars use the Viaduct every day, and the closure will certainly put traffic pressure on other routes throughout the city, such as Alaskan Way, the surface street underneath the Viaduct, which is expected to remain open during the next two weeks.

The extreme traffic congestion resulting from this closure is precedented by an infamous accident from last year in March, when a fish truck overturned on 99. The highway was shut down for more than nine hours and affected traffic throughout the city in a bad way. New traffic response plans were initiated, but won’t notably alleviate the effect of a planned shutdown of the Viaduct for Bertha’s tunnelling efforts.

WSDOT recommends that commuters who normally use the route plan ahead for extended congestion, take alternate routes, travel at non-peak times, and stay informed on the progress of the closure to respond accordingly. “WSDOT is coordinating with partner agencies to keep people moving during the closure, which is a necessary part of a vital transportation safety project that will transform the SR 99 corridor.”

In response to the closure, several Downtown businesses are attempting to make the workday more flexible, by running building HVAC two hours longer. Other companies are doing what they can to relieve the traffic as much as possible.

Featured photo source: WSDOT

Belltown’s forecast is cloudy with a chance of beer showers. Cloudburst Brewing’s taproom is now open to visitors at 2116 Western Ave.

Former brewer at Elysian Fields Steve Luke is the mastermind behind Cloudburst Brewing, which uses a 12 barrel system to create 11 beers on tap, some of which can be found in bars around Seattle. The taproom is open Wednesday through Saturday from 2-10pm and Sunday 12- 8pm. Cloudburst doesn’t serve food, is dog friendly, and 21+.

Beer lovers have been busy enjoying this new Belltown brewery in its opening weeks—check out photos and comments below. Cheers to Cloudburst!

 

Featured photo via Cloudburst Brewery Facebook

‘Tis the season to shop ‘til you drop. Gathering gifts for everyone on your list can be hard work, but it should also be fun along the way!

Belltown’s adorable boutique, the Moorea Seal Store (2523 3rd Ave), is taking the edge off your last minute holiday shopping. Each week from now until New Years, the store is hosting Happy Hour Fridays from 5-7pm. Come inside away from the cold weather with free champagne while you shop inside the cozy space. Customers can browse the store with their bubbles, check out new arrivals that haven’t been posted online yet, and hang out with fellow shoppers. During Friday happy hours guests will receive a free gift with every purchase!

Check out Moorea Seal’s Gift Shop to get great ideas for everyone on your list—her, him, the besties, home, mom, dad, the girl who has everything, and more.

 

Featured photo via Moorea Seal Store

The end is near for more iconic Seattle spots in exchange for, you guessed it, new apartments.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that the buildings at 2214, 2216 and 2224 2nd Avenue will be demolished for a 124-unit residential complex with underground parking and street-level retail. These sites include popular Belltown bars/restaurants Tula’s Restaurant and Jazz Club, Shorty’s, and Rocco’s. This project will be implemented by Atlanta real estate development company Wood Partners, which has a Seattle office.

From the Puget Sound Business Journal article: “The site is 19,400 square feet and includes the Wayne Apartments building at 2224 Second Ave. That building will be considered for landmark status at a Seattle Landmarks Preservation meeting Wednesday. Rain City Properties currently owns the building.

Seattle-based Zacri Inc. owns the two other parcels, and is currently negotiating a deal to sell them to Wood Partners, according to the DJC. That deal has not yet closed.”

This new development will neighbor the future mixed-use apartment complex slated to bump out Mama’s Mexican Kitchen.

Featured photo via tripadvisor.com

Let your inner hippie shine. In honor of Seattle Hempfest this weekend, Belltown studio Sassafras (2307 First Ave) is having a hair wrap party and hemp-inspired goods from Friday to Sunday. Sassafras is partnering with Bellingham line Texture Clothing for a pop-up shop throughout the weekend, featuring great deals on their latest organic fabric clothing, accessories, and HEMP fabrics.

Patrons can add some color to their locks with fun, hand-spun hair wraps. You can choose up to three colors that will be woven around at least five inches of hair, with the option of adding individually priced beads. The wrap can last for months, and even up to a year, but also be easily removed by cutting the thread. Hemp is $3 per inch and cotton is $2 per inch. Check out the Facebook event here.

In addition to the hair wraps and pop-up, Sassafras is hosting an Artist Opening Reception on Friday, August 14th from 6-9 pm. This opening night will celebrate illustrations by New York artist Shamika Rivera on display through September 9th at the boutique.

Stop by Sassafras this weekend for these fun events and to check out the locally made Northwest fashions that are always in-store! 

Featured photo via sassafras-seattle.com