William P. Stewart Memorial Highway
A map of the Seattle metropolitan area with SR 99 highlighted in red.
|Defined by RCW|
|Maintained by WSDOT|
|Length||49.13 mi  (79.07 km)|
|South end||I-5 in Fife|
SR 18 in
SR 509 in Federal Way
|North end||SR 518 in SeaTac|
|South end||SR 599 in Tukwila|
SR 509 in
SR 525 in Lynnwood
|North end||I-5 / SR 526 / SR 527 in Everett|
|Counties||Pierce, King, Snohomish|
State Route 99 (SR 99), also known as the Pacific Highway, is a state highway in the Seattle metropolitan area, part of the U.S. state of Washington. It runs 49 miles (79 km) from Fife in the south to Everett in the north, passing through the cities of Federal Way, SeaTac, Seattle, Shoreline, and Lynnwood. The highway is divided into two segments by a 2-mile (3.2 km) gap in the city of Tukwila, between the interchanges of SR 518 and SR 599. The route primarily follows arterial streets and has several freeway segments, including the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Downtown Seattle.
SR 99 follows a section of U.S. Route 99 (US 99), which originally crossed the state from south to north. US 99 was created in 1926 and replaced earlier local roads that date back to the 1890s and state roads designated as early as 1913. The highway was moved onto the Alaskan Way Viaduct in 1953, replacing a congested stretch through Downtown Seattle, and other sections were built to expressway standards in the 1950s.
US 99 was ultimately replaced by the Tacoma–Everett section of Interstate 5 (I-5), which opened in stages between 1965 and 1969. The route was de-certified in 1969 and SR 99 was created to keep segments of the highway under state control. It was officially named the William P. Stewart Memorial Highway in 2016, after a 15-year campaign to replace an earlier designation honoring Confederate president Jefferson Davis.
- 1 Route description
- 2 History
- 3 Public transit
- 4 Major intersections
- 5 References
- 6 External links
SR 99 follows a section of former U.S. Route 99 (US 99) within the Seattle metropolitan area, from Fife to southern Everett.  It is officially designated as the William P. Stewart Memorial Highway, but is commonly known as the Pacific Highway or by one of its local monikers.  The entire highway is listed as part of the National Highway System, a national network of roads identified as important to the national economy, defense, and mobility.   A section of the highway from Tukwila to Shoreline is also designated as a Highway of Statewide Significance by the state legislature.  The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) estimates that average traffic volumes on SR 99, measured in terms of average annual daily traffic for 2016, range from a minimum of 17,000 vehicles on Everett Mall Way to a maximum of 97,000 at the First Avenue South Bridge in Seattle. 
SR 99 begins in Fife as an extension of 54th Avenue East at a partial cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 5. Immediately north of the interchange, SR 99 turns east onto Pacific Highway and passes the Emerald Queen Casino, a gambling and hotel facility operated by the Puyallup Tribe, and a commercial district at the outskirts of Fife. The highway makes a gradual turn to the north, parallel to Interstate 5 and the West Fork of Hylebos Creek, and enters Milton. SR 99 travels north along a ridge and crosses into King County, turning northeast and entering the city of Federal Way in King County. The road cuts through a forested part of the Hylebos basin near West Hylebos Wetlands Park and reaches a commercial district surrounding Kitts Corner.  
At Kitts Corner, the highway intersects the western section of State Route 18, which continues east to an interchange with I-5 and onto a freeway traveling towards Auburn and Covington.  SR 99 continues due north through Federal Way's main commercial strip and passing Celebration Park, The Commons at Federal Way, and Steel Lake. The highway gains a set of high-occupancy vehicle lanes that are also open to right turns into parking lots and side streets. [ citation needed] From northern Federal Way to the Redondo area of Des Moines, SR 99 is concurrent with SR 509, which continues southwest to Dash Point State Park and northwest to downtown Des Moines, for four miles (6 km).  
The two highways pass Saltwater State Park and the former Midway landfill before splitting near Highline College at an intersection with Kent Des Moines Road ( SR 516). SR 99 then enters the city of SeaTac and continues north as International Boulevard, passing a federal detention center and light rail station on the southwest side of Angle Lake. The highway runs along the east side of Seattle–Tacoma International Airport and its expressway, serving the airport's terminals, parking garage, light rail station, and nearby hotels. SR 99 terminates at an interchange with State Route 518 in southern Tukwila, near the airport's consolidated rental car facility and the Tukwila light rail station.   A 2.4-mile (3.9 km) segment of International Boulevard forms the gap between the two segments of SR 99. 
SR 99 resumes at the north end of Tukwila International Boulevard and supersedes SR 599, a short freeway connecting to I-5, near the Duwamish River. The freeway travels northwest along the river's west bank through an industrial area that faces Boeing Field. It then enters the city of Seattle and intersects the Des Moines Memorial Drive in the South Park neighborhood before the freeway ends. At an interchange with SR 509, SR 99 turns north and travels across the Duwamish River on the First Avenue South Bridge, a pair of bascule bridges that form a continuation of the SR 509 freeway.  
At the north end of the bridge, SR 99 turns northwest onto East Marginal Way South and travels through Seattle's industrial neighborhood along the east bank of the Duwamish Waterway. The six-lane street turns north and passes a cement factory before transforming into a four-lane freeway at an interchange with the West Seattle Freeway on the east end of the West Seattle Bridge. SR 99 widens to six lanes, including a northbound bus lane, and passes through the SoDo neighborhood as the dividing line between the Port of Seattle's container ship terminals to the west and industrial businesses to the east beyond a rail terminal. The freeway passes the corporate headquarters of Starbucks and Coast Guard Station Seattle before turning northeast and reaching the future portal of the Alaskan Way Tunnel near CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field. SR 99 then ascends a set of temporary ramps to join the Alaskan Way Viaduct,  a double-decker freeway that runs along the city's waterfront.  
The Alaskan Way Viaduct continues northwest along the central waterfront, flanked to the west by the surface Alaskan Way. The viaduct has a single set of ramps to Downtown Seattle on Seneca and Columbia streets and passes the city's ferry terminal, Seattle Aquarium, and Pike Place Market. Near Victor Steinbrueck Park, SR 99 begins its descent from the viaduct and intersects Elliott and Western avenues before traveling into the Battery Street Tunnel, which runs northeasterly under Battery Street for 3,140 feet (960 m) through Belltown.  SR 99 emerges from the tunnel at Denny Way and travels north onto Aurora Avenue North through the South Lake Union neighborhood, located to the east of the Seattle Center and iconic Space Needle. Between crossings of Harrison and Mercer streets, the highway passes the north portal of the Alaskan Way Tunnel, which is planned to replace the viaduct and Battery Street Tunnel when it opens to traffic in February 2018.  Aurora Avenue continues north as a six-lane street with bus lanes and a median barrier that restricts access from side streets to right-in/right-out. The highway runs along the eastern slope of Queen Anne Hill, above the Westlake neighborhood along Lake Union, to the Lake Washington Ship Canal.  
Aurora Avenue then crosses the ship canal on the George Washington Memorial Bridge (commonly known as the Aurora Bridge), a steel cantilever arch bridge with a clearance of 167 feet (51 m).  The bridge has six lanes and no median barrier, which resumes after an interchange with Bridge Way on the north approach, which crosses over the Fremont Troll.  The highway continues north through part of Fremont and intersects North 46th Street before entering Woodland Park. SR 99 forms the boundary between Woodland Park to the east and the Woodland Park Zoo to the west and passes under a series of three pedestrian overpasses.  The highway turns northeast to follow the shore of Green Lake and passes through the residential districts of Phinney Ridge and Greenwood, where traffic signals replace the medians and right-in/right-out access. SR 99 passes west of the North Seattle College campus in Licton Springs and intersects Northgate Way, a major street that provides access to Northgate Mall. Aurora Avenue then bisects the Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park, the city's largest cemetery,  and passes between Haller Lake and Bitter Lake before reaching the northern city limit at North 145th Street ( SR 523).  
SR 99 enters Shoreline and passes through the city's main commercial district, running parallel to the Interurban Trail.  The stretch of Aurora Avenue through Shoreline has a landscaped median, plant buffers for sidewalks, several left-turn pockets, and an overpass for the Interurban Trail.  Near Shorewood High School and the Shoreline city hall, the highway is flanked to the east by the Interurban Trail and a park with a preserved section of the original North Trunk Road, which was paved in red bricks.  After passing Echo Lake and the Aurora Village shopping center, SR 99 reaches the boundary between King and Snohomish counties and a partial cloverleaf interchange with SR 104 and its spur route on the county line itself. 
After the interchange, the highway turns northeast and runs through a predominantly commercial area of Edmonds, passing east of the Swedish Medical Center's Edmonds campus and west of Hall Creek and the Interurban Trail. SR 99 continues northeast into Lynnwood and passes the Edmonds Community College campus before reaching the Crossroads commercial district at a junction with 196th Street Southwest ( SR 524).  The highway runs along the city's retail strip and through its international district (also described as a Koreatown),  which is surrounded by apartments and homes that are setback from SR 99. After leaving Lynnwood city limits and entering an unincorporated area south of Paine Field, SR 99 passes Lake Serene and intersects SR 525 at a partial cloverleaf interchange. 
The highway travels north into Everett on Evergreen Way and turns northeast onto Everett Mall Way in the Fairmont neighborhood. SR 99 then passes through several residential subdivisions and reaches the Everett Mall, where it turns north and terminates at the Broadway Interchange. The interchange includes connections to I-5, the Boeing Freeway ( SR 526), and SR 527. The road itself continues north towards Downtown Everett as Broadway. 
SR 99 was created from the remnants of U.S. Route 99 (US 99), a highway which spanned Western Washington from the Oregon border in Vancouver to the Canadian border at the Peace Arch in Blaine. US 99 itself was preceded by a century-old network of military roads, wagon roads, and auto trails that were built across the state in the 19th century and early 20th century until it was formally incorporated into the state highway system. 
In southern King County, modern-day SR 99 follows a section of the Fort Steilacoom– Fort Bellingham military road, constructed in the 1850s by the U.S. Army.  A section north of Seattle follows the R.F. Morrow wagon road, constructed in 1901 and later incorporated into the North Trunk Road.  The North Trunk Road was completed from Seattle to the area east of Edmonds in August 1912 and initially paved with bricks.  An interurban railway was also built along sections of the wagon road in 1906 and would serve Everett–Seattle traffic until 1939. 
The Pacific Highway, an inter-state coastal highway, was championed by good roads advocates in the early 1910s and added to the state highway system in 1913.   It originally followed the White River valley from Tacoma to Renton and the Bothell–Everett Highway along North Creek in Snohomish County.   The highway was designated as State Road 1 in 1923,  a number that it would retain after the creation of Primary State Highway 1 (PSH 1) in 1937.  The Pacific Highway was incorporated into the new national numbered highway system in 1926 as US 99, connecting the three West Coast states and running from the Mexican border to Canada.  The Bothell route was bypassed by a newer and straighter highway to the west that opened on October 9, 1927.  It was built by the state government in tandem with a set of new bridges connecting Everett to Marysville and cost $645,000 to construct and partially pave.  The White River route was bypassed in early 1928 by the 24-mile-long (39 km) Highline route, which traveled along the western plateau near Des Moines.  The new highway cost $3 million to construct and pave and reduced the distance to Tacoma by 9.3 miles (15.0 km).  
US 99 was originally routed north from Downtown Seattle on 4th Avenue, Westlake Avenue, 7th Avenue, and Dexter Avenue, crossing the Lake Washington Ship Canal on the Fremont Bridge before continuing onto Fremont Avenue.[ citation needed] A high-level crossing of the Ship Canal to replace the existing drawbridges was proposed in the 1920s as the "final link" in the Pacific Highway.   The 132-foot-high (40 m) bridge was funded by the state, county, and municipal governments and approved for construction in 1927.   Construction on the bridge began in 1929 and was completed on February 22, 1932, during a dedication ceremony that named it the George Washington Memorial Bridge.  The bridge was sited on Aurora Avenue, which was expanded into a limited-access expressway that extended south to Denny Way and north through Woodland Park to North 65th Street.   The expressway on the north side of the bridge was completed in May 1933 after a public debate over its routing through Woodland Park, which was opposed by The Seattle Times and conservationists.   The debate was settled after the passing of a city council ordinance in June 1930 and a ballot measure in November that approved the through-park route. 
Within Downtown Seattle, US 99 was routed along 4th Avenue, connecting to the north with the Aurora Avenue expressway via 7th Avenue and to the south with East Marginal Way near Boeing Field.   An alternate route was designated in the early 1950s along 1st Avenue, rejoining the highway in Georgetown.  Congestion and difficulty in directing freight trucks through downtown led to proposals for a bypass route for US 99 as early as 1928 along Railroad Avenue on the city's waterfront.  Railroad Avenue, later renamed Alaskan Way, was rebuilt in the 1930s as part of the federal government's improvements to the city seawall and became the primary bypass route for through traffic, experiencing major congestion as a result. 
Formal proposals to build "motor viaducts" bypassing the city along Alaskan Way were submitted by the city engineering department in 1937 and supported by automobile and traffic safety groups.   The bypass viaduct gained popularity following the end of World War II and engineering work was approved in 1947, with construction funds sourced from the city and the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944.  A double-deck elevated design was chosen to accommodate the six lanes that would displace railroads along the east side of Alaskan Way.   Construction on the Alaskan Way Viaduct began on February 6, 1950, and the first section between Railroad Way and Elliott Avenue opened to traffic on April 4, 1953.   It cost approximately $8 million to construct, using pile-driven columns and a pair of moving gantry cranes to lift sections of the roadway from street level.  
The Battery Street Tunnel, connecting the viaduct with the Aurora Avenue expressway, was opened to traffic on July 24, 1954, and cost $2.8 million to construct.  A 2.3 miles (3.7 km) extension of the viaduct, linking south to a surface freeway and US 99 at East Marginal Way, cost $7.6 million to construct and opened on September 3, 1959.  The southern extension eased congestion at the Railroad Way terminus and was used by a daily average of 25,000 vehicles within days of opening and 37,000 vehicles by the end of the year.   A series of ramps connecting the viaduct to the Spokane Street Viaduct were completed in January 1960,  followed by a downtown offramp to Seneca Street in November 1961 and onramp from Columbia Street in February 1966.   The state government had prepared to build a set of ramps from the viaduct to US 10 (later part of I-90) near Connecticut Street,  but plans for the freeway were delayed in the 1960s and eventually abandoned,   leaving the ramps unused.  
The viaduct was initially signed as part of U.S. Route 99 Alternate and US 99 Bypass[ citation needed] until 1959, when US 99 was formally switched to the viaduct after the completion of the southern extension.   4th Avenue was signed as a business route of US 99 and also carried a section of US 10 to its terminus at the north end of the Battery Street Tunnel.[ citation needed] The East Marginal Way route through the Boeing Field area was heavily congested due to traffic heading to Boeing facilities, leading to proposals in the 1950s to build a new expressway on the west side of the Duwamish River.  Construction of the two-lane West Marginal Way expressway began in November 1958 and was completed in July 1959, including grade-separated interchanges and bridges at South 118th Street, 14th Avenue South, and South Cloverdale Street.  The expressway split from US 99 at South 118th Street and connected to 1st Avenue at the south end of the viaduct using the First Avenue South Bridge, which opened in 1956 with the intent of becoming part of US 99.  In March 1959, the state government approved $3 million in funds for an expansion project that would widen the West Marginal Way expressway to four lanes.  The expansion was completed in 1968,   and was signed as US 99 Temporary[ citation needed] and later State Route 99T after the 1964 state highway renumbering. 
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The state legislature authorized planning of a tolled expressway from Tacoma to Everett in 1953, with the intent of building a grade-separated bypass of US 99.   The tollway plan was abandoned three years later in favor of Interstate Highway Program, which was authorized by the federal government and planned to construct a freeway system through the Seattle metropolitan area, including a route replacing US 99.  The route was designated as Interstate 5 in 1957 and planning for the Seattle Freeway began at the same time using federal funds.  
The first section of the Tacoma–Seattle–Everett freeway to be built was in southern Tacoma and was opened to traffic in October 1959. The Tacoma sections opened in October 1962 from the Puyallup River to the Kent–Des Moines Road in Midway,  and in October 1964 in downtown Tacoma.  Construction of the Seattle section began in 1958 with work on the Ship Canal Bridge, which was opened to traffic on December 18, 1962.  The northern approach to Downtown Seattle was opened the following August to coincide with the completion of the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge and SR 520.  A 20-mile (32 km) section of the freeway traveling from North Seattle to southern Snohomish County and Everett was opened to traffic on February 3, 1965.  The freeway connecting Midway to the south side of Downtown Seattle was opened on January 31, 1967, completing the final section of the urban freeway.  I-5 itself was completed two years later with the opening of a section near Marysville on May 14, 1969. 
The state government introduced a new highway numbering system in 1964 to align with the Interstates and prepare for the decommissioning of U.S. routes.  PSH 1 was replaced with US 99, which remained as a temporary designation on various freeway sections until I-5 was fully completed.   US 99 was decommissioned at a meeting of the American Association of State Highway Officials on June 24, 1969, shortly after the full completion of I-5 within Washington state.  While most US 99 signs were removed, an overhead sign in Downtown Seattle at the Columbia Street onramp to the Alaskan Way Viaduct still remains. 
During the 1970 codification of the new highway system, the state legislature created State Route 99 (SR 99) to delay transferring ownership and maintenance of the highway to local jurisdictions.   SR 99 was created from a section of US 99 running from Fife to the Broadway Interchange in Everett,  and was retained as a permanent addition to the state highway system in 1971.  A provision in the 1971 law allows for the abandonment of the Fife–Federal Way section of SR 99 after the completion of the SR 509 freeway extension.  Instead of continuing north into Everett on Evergreen Way, SR 99 was routed northeasterly on Everett Mall Way, a section of the Broadway Cut-off that opened in 1954.[ citation needed]
In 2004 the state legislature removed the SR 99 designation from the part of the route along Tukwila International Boulevard in Tukwila. 
The route is infamous for being lined with drug dealers, prostitutes, and strip clubs,  and the stretch of the route through south King County was where Gary Ridgway, aka the Green River Killer, picked up many of his victims.
In 1939, the Washington state legislature proposed naming the road "Jefferson Davis Highway", making it the final component of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway, which the United Daughters of the Confederacy intended to travel through the South and up the west coast to Canada, but it was never made official.   In 2002, the state's House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that would have removed Davis' name from the road. However, a committee of the state's Senate subsequently killed the proposal.  
SR 99 is a major regional public transit corridor and is served by several bus routes and a light rail line.  The highway features bus lanes and business access and transit lanes (BAT lanes) in several locations to speed up bus trips.[ citation needed]
Pierce Transit route 500 runs on the SR 99 and Pacific Highway corridor between Tacoma Dome Station and Federal Way Transit Center. Through Federal Way and SeaTac, the highway is served by the RapidRide A Line, which features stations with off-board fare payment. Link light rail trains on the Central Link run along elevated tracks above or near SR 99 from Angle Lake station to Tukwila International Boulevard station at the SR 518 interchange.  The Alaskan Way Viaduct carries several non-stop routes connecting Downtown Seattle to West Seattle (including the RapidRide C Line) and Burien. 
Aurora Avenue carries the RapidRide E Line, the most popular bus route in the King County Metro system,[ citation needed] which debuted in 2014.  The E Line terminates near the county line at the Aurora Village Transit Center, where Community Transit's route 101 and Swift Blue Line begins. Swift features off-board fare payment and longer spacing between stops, and runs from Shoreline to Everett Station via Evergreen Way.  The Everett Mall Way section of SR 99 is served by Everett Transit route 7, which connects the Everett Mall to Downtown Everett and Everett Station. 
On November 27, 1998, a gunman shot and killed bus driver Mark McLaughlin on Seattle's 359 bus route, which ran down Highway 99. Soon after the incident, the route was renamed from 359 to 358.  Route 358 was later replaced with the E Line.
|Pierce||Fife||0.00||0.00||I-5 – Seattle, Tacoma|
|Milton||1.62||2.61||Porter Way||Former SR 514|
|King||Federal Way||4.49||7.23||SR 18 east (South 348th Street) to I-5 – Auburn, North Bend|
|7.72||12.42||SR 509 south (South Dash Point Road) – Dash Point State Park||South end of SR 509 concurrency|
|Des Moines||11.84||19.05||SR 516 / SR 509 north to I-5 – Des Moines, Kent||North end of SR 509 concurrency|
|SeaTac||15.11||24.32||South 182nd Street – Sea–Tac Airport|
|16.78||27.00||SR 518 to I-5 / I-405 – Renton, Burien||Interchange|
|Gap in route, continues as Tukwila International Boulevard|
|Tukwila||16.79||27.02||SR 599 south to I-5||Continuation south|
|South 116th Street / Tukwila International Boulevard||Interchange; south end of freeway section|
|17.61||28.34||West Marginal Place South||Northbound exit and entrance|
|Seattle||18.63||29.98||Des Moines Memorial Drive / 14th Avenue South|
|19.22||30.93||South Cloverdale Street||Northbound entrance only|
|19.56||31.48||South Kenyon Street – South Park||Southbound exit and entrance|
|20.27||32.62||SR 509 south / West Marginal Way South – Burien||Interchange; north end of freeway section|
|First Avenue South Bridge|
|Seattle||20.60||33.15||To I-5 via Michigan Street|
|22.65||36.45||Spokane Street – West Seattle||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|South end of Alaskan Way Viaduct|
|22.74||36.60||West Seattle Bridge – Harbor Island||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|24.24||39.01||SR 519 south (South Atlantic Street) to I-90 / I-5||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Alaskan Way Tunnel north||Future south portal|
|25.03||40.28||Columbia Street||Southbound entrance only|
|25.04||40.30||Seneca Street||Northbound exit only|
Battery Street Tunnel|
North end of Alaskan Way Viaduct
|26.30||42.33||Denny Way – Downtown Seattle||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|26.47||42.60||Alaskan Way Tunnel south||Future north portal|
|George Washington Memorial Bridge|
|Seattle||28.57||45.98||North 38th Street||Interchange|
|29.21||47.01||North 46th Street||Interchange|
|30.04||48.34||North 63rd Street / Green Lake Way||Interchange|
|34.21||55.06||SR 523 east (North 145th Street) to I-5|
SR 104 Spur east to SR 104 east / I-5 – Mountlake Terrace, Lake Forest Park
|Snohomish||Edmonds||37.34||60.09||SR 104 to I-5 – Edmonds, Kingston Ferry, Mountlake Terrace, Lake Forest Park||Interchange|
|Lynnwood||40.58||65.31||SR 524 (196th Street Southwest)|
|||44.36||71.39||SR 525 to I-5 south / I-405 south / Alderwood Mall Parkway – Mukilteo, Whidbey Island Ferry||Interchange|
|I-5 – Seattle, Vancouver, BC|
|49.13||79.07||SR 526 west / SR 527 south / Broadway||Continues north as Broadway|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
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"47.17.160: State route No. 99".
Revised Code of Washington.
Washington State Legislature. 1970. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
revised 1971, 1979, 2004
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