Officials say fewer cars than forecast using Seattle tunnel

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington highway officials say the Seattle tunnel is carrying 5,300 cars during peak traffic hours, fewer than had been forecast.

Television station KING reports the Washington State Department of Transportation released the figures Friday and the traffic is about 24% less than originally forecast.

However, it’s about as many cars as the Alaskan Way Viaduct carried in 2015 during peak travel times.

Viaduct replacement program spokeswoman Laura Newborn says the department believes drivers are experimenting with the new system as the number of trips is increasing with time.

The department in October estimated the tunnel would carry 7,000 cars between 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.

Department officials forecast there would initially be a traffic surge and then a drop during peak hours after tolling begins in late summer.