Reminder: Overnight traffic alert for Spokane St. Viaduct project

December 14, 2011 at 11:15 pm | In Spokane St. Viaduct project, West Seattle traffic alerts | 9 Comments

11:15 PM: For late-night/early-morning drivers, a reminder that the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project is bringing more closures, starting with one that is happening right now: This is the first of nine consecutive nights in which the westbound SSV – that’s the section of the West Seattle Bridge between I-5 and Highway 99 – is scheduled to be closed. It’ll reopen by 5 am, SDOT promises. There are also some surface-street closures, tonight involving East Marginal Way – details here. Remember that the SSV closures mean you cannot get onto the West Seattle Bridge from I-5 or Beacon Hill.

7:42 AM NOTE: Last night’s closure is over but it happens again tonight (and nightly through next Thursday night, Dec. 22).

9 Comments

  1. What’s the deal with the much delayed new on ramp at 1st? This is months overdue! Does anyone know what has really happened, and when it will open? Thanks.

    Comment by BG — 6:55 am December 15, 2011 #

  2. I don’t quite understand what this project is for. Is it just the on/off ramp for 1st avenue? Calling it a “widening” project almost makes me think they are considering adding lanes for general use. It would be nice if there was another eastbound lane, so maybe the I5North traffic lining up would not choke the entire viaduct eastbound.

    Comment by Alex — 7:47 am December 15, 2011 #

  3. Alex: The width of the entire Spokane Street Viaduct is being doubled. If you drive the westbound side, you will see the new lanes to the north, where they have been built over the course of the past few years. http://seattle.gov/spokane is the site with beaucoup project info.
    .
    Our reports on this dating back to 2008 (reverse chronological order):
    http://westseattleblog.com/category/spokane-st-viaduct-project

    Comment by WSB — 7:59 am December 15, 2011 #

  4. BG: We reported that about a month ago:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2011/11/sdot-says-spokane-street-viaducts-new-1st-avenue-s-ramp-wont-be-fully-open-before-summer

    Comment by WSB — 8:00 am December 15, 2011 #

  5. Hmm, that’s too bad, it looks like none of this project makes any changes in the area right by the I5 onramps eastbound. In my opinion, the majority of the bridge’s traffic (both AM and PM) is caused by the backup getting on I5 north. That then impacts people going straight through eastbound, or those heading to I5 south, since so many people like to slow down to cut in line for the I5 north lane. This one phenomenon leads all lanes of the entire bridge to backup, regardless of whether you’re heading north or south.
    .
    I’d hoped this huge project would add lanes where it counts to fix this problem (so people heading southbound could at least go around the cluster of cars trying to cut each other to get on I5 north), but it looks like they are putting lanes in everywhere else EXCEPT there. :(
    .
    I guess it will be nice having wider lanes and better access to the lower roadway (easier to get home from Costco…), but those tiny steps aren’t even going to make a dent in the fundamental traffic issues on the bridge.

    Comment by Alex — 9:59 am December 15, 2011 #

  6. In fact, I think having more lanes for us to shuffle back and forth between in the area before the eastbound I-5 bottleneck might even make things worse. There’ll just be even more opportunity for people to try to squeeze past one another as half the cars sit in line waiting their turn, and the other half try deperately to get a few car lengths farther ahead by changing lanes repeatedly.
    .
    I think there should be a long cement barrier separating the queue for I-5 north from the rest of traffic. If that existed and nobody could cut the line, the same number of cars would get to I-5 north as before (no downside), and the other eastbound lane would flow freely all day long (huge upside).

    Comment by Alex — 10:07 am December 15, 2011 #

  7. Gotta say, it’s REALLY annoying to be detoured coming from Beacon Hill and not be able to use the WS bridge, while watching cars that came from north bound I-5 hop on with no problem. Who knows, maybe they just hadn’t gotten to closing that part yet at 10:30, but I didn’t see a work vehicle or actual worker anywhere. To top it off, there was a train…ugh ;( Yay for unexpected 15 hour shifts and figuring they weren’t going to close the bridge until midnight. Ok, I have vented…moving on ;)

    Comment by MB — 10:54 pm December 15, 2011 #

  8. We just came from North Seattle and I totally forgot about the closure till it was too late. Got off at 6th and went the wrong way all the way to the now-closed Airport Way bridge; turned around. Lost probably half an hour that way. That’s my vent :)

    Comment by WSB — 11:00 pm December 15, 2011 #

  9. @WSB…I feel your pain! That’s exactly what happened to me. Watching other cars still be allowed to take the bridge just added insult to injury ;) Argh. One of those moments where I could have just taken I-5 instead, but it was already too late. Won’t make that mistake again!!

    Comment by MB — 9:26 am December 16, 2011 #

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