As we’ve done with previous projects, we took a drive on the newly opened lanes of the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct, particularly for those who commute home via I-5 or Beacon Hill to the West Seattle Bridge and might be interested in a preview. As SDOT warned, the lanes are narrower, and they’ve reduced the speed limit. From their announcement, here’s what’s next:
Following this initial traffic shift, the contractor will connect the old and new structures, construct a new center median between the old and new structures, and install new lighting in the median. Over the next few months, eastbound traffic will be shifted from the south side to the north side of the old structure so that the contractor can begin demolition of the existing south barrier. This spring, eastbound traffic will be temporarily moved over to the new viaduct so that the old bridge deck can be repaired and repaved.
If you’ve missed previous mentions – the 1st Avenue South on/offramp on the westbound side won’t be “fully open” till the project is done next summer, according to what SDOT told us recently. Meantime, there are no current changes to the eastbound direction – except that the new temporary configuration means a lot more distance between westbound and eastbound traffic (which you may recall used to have no separation at all!).