Spokane Street Viaduct: Closure tonight, & ‘when will ramp open?’

November 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm | In Spokane St. Viaduct project, West Seattle news | 16 Comments

Reminder, two more nights are scheduled for westbound closures of the Spokane Street Viaduct, as widening work continues – tonight and tomorrow night, 10 pm-5 am. That’s the section of the westbound West Seattle Bridge between I-5 and Highway 99, and the closure means the ramps from 5 and Beacon Hill will be closed, but you *will* be able to get to the bridge from 99.

Meantime, we are getting questions daily about the status of the new 1st Avenue South westbound on- and off-ramp. When the old westbound onramp closed 18 months ago, SDOT said the new one would take at least 16 months to build. We’ve been asking since last week about the newest estimate for when it will be done. No answer by late today, so we asked again, and were told, “The SDOT project staff members have been working with the contractor on a revised schedule” – which they say should be done by the end of next week.

16 Comments

  1. “Working on a revised schedule….” re. the 1st Ave. ramp opening is not a very encouraging or confidence-building statement.

    Perhaps WSB should start a pool to take bets on when the 1st Ave. ramp actually opens. The closest guess would take 35% of the pool and the rest could go to the food bank?

    Comment by rw — 5:44 pm November 10, 2011 #

  2. WSB:
    THANKS for updating the status of new 1st Avenue South westbound on- and off-ramps. I look forward to your ‘revised schedule update’ next week.

    Comment by Aman — 5:53 pm November 10, 2011 #

  3. In 8 months hopefully it will all be over, but why the first avenue on and off ramps weren’t the “critical path” for this project will always be a mystery to me.

    Comment by Robert — 6:16 pm November 10, 2011 #

  4. I’m going to guess mid-March.

    Comment by yig — 7:27 pm November 10, 2011 #

  5. My completely unqualified guess for finishing the 1st Ave on/off ramp is 6 months. Once it’s done, I will NEVER EVER take the lower bridge again. No more long waits at the train crossings, then to sit and wait again at the open bridge (this has happened many times). It will be a very happy day indeed when it opens again.

    Comment by Traci — 7:31 pm November 10, 2011 #

  6. My guess is the 1st Avenue ramp will open on Valentines Day and the Harbor Island off ramp will open on Memorial Day. The East Marginal Way fly-over will be open in all directions in mid-December.

    Comment by Admiral Janeway — 8:16 pm November 10, 2011 #

  7. Robert do you know the 1st ave ramps were not on the critical path? I agree they should have been on it to coincide with the closure of the night time eastbound lanes we have now.
    .

    Isn’t this the ramp that they misaligned? At any rate it certainly seems like they should have some idea of an opening date by now.

    Comment by dsa — 8:40 pm November 10, 2011 #

  8. The 1st Ave Ramps were delayed because Mike McGinn insisted that they include widening for bike lanes and bike cross overloops at each side of 1st Ave. He had also threatened to refuse to release any further funding needed to complete the paving of the new Spokane Viaduct roadway unless a trolley line study was conducted for a run from the Seattle City Light yard to Harbor Island. He dropped this requirement when he was promised that Sound Transit would pave the center of both sets of the Light Rail tracks from Beacon Hill to SODO for dual bike lanes. McGinn stated that he will need to work out if bikes or the trolleys will have right of way on these new lanes. He also stated that he would introduce a referendum to require that all cars be painted bright orange so that they would easily seen by bicyclists. He closed his statement with his campaign slogan ” Cars cause potholes, bikes don’t”

    Comment by Nadoka — 12:04 am November 11, 2011 #

  9. Yes, that’s the ramp that had the “misalignment” mishap:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2011/02/in-case-you-were-wondering-concrete-re-do-on-1st-avenue-ramp
    .
    However, as quoted in both our story and the Times’ – at the time – it was insisted that would not set back the schedule. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:38 am November 11, 2011 #

  10. There is more milking going on with this project than in the entirety of Washington dairies.

    I have been on many construction sites and never seen one so disorganized. I tried finding info on who the GC is on this project but found none (kind of interesting that none of their heavy equipment has the name on it.)

    Comment by Delridgian — 8:35 am November 11, 2011 #

  11. What are the chances that the re-do needs a re-do?

    Comment by old timer — 8:36 am November 11, 2011 #

  12. “The SDOT project staff members have been working with the contractor on a revised schedule” – which they say should be done by the end of next week. I read that to mean “Who knows”. Kind of like Metro slogan “We’ll Get You There” though they don’t say it will be as scheduled! Perhaps the City Councilor who resides in West Seattle could take some interest in this and light a fire under someone?

    Comment by KT — 9:05 am November 11, 2011 #

  13. When I pass this worksite in the morning, the contrast in workforce between the Spokane Viaduct project and the HWY 99 Vidaduct project is like night and day. I swear I only see a few people working the Spokane Viaduct each day – its like a ghost town whereas the HWY 99 bustles with workers/machinery. What the heck is going on??

    Comment by johnny Davies — 9:56 am November 11, 2011 #

  14. Its the difference between SDOT and WSDOT, johnny.

    Comment by Jeff — 3:17 pm November 11, 2011 #

  15. And I hear that tunnel they wanna build wont be done in 2016, but more like 2022. So… I guess I won’t be holding my breath for ANY improvements to our commute in/out of West Seattle anytime soon.
    .
    I too drive by the 1st Ave. ramp every morning. With the exception of seeing the same police officers directing traffic, and the (finally!) addition of a lane coming down off the WS Bridge onto 1st, I don’t see much else going on construction wise. Just a lot of shuffling and standing around. Very discouraging. Doesn’t the city have some recourse for fining the contractor for taking so long? Sheesh. What a waste.

    Comment by Jasperblu — 4:41 pm November 12, 2011 #

  16. The constuction company is PCL. I have a relative who worked for WSDOT and he doesn’t have font memories of working with SDOT on projects. He said the apparently delays probably have to do with how the contract was written. If it is written is not such a way to insure the contractor gets important things done first, they’ll do it in the most cost efficient way they can in order to make the most money off the project.

    Comment by Robert — 8:53 pm November 12, 2011 #

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