West Seattle traffic alert: Partial bridge closure tonight

January 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm | In Spokane St. Viaduct project, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 9 Comments

If you are driving out of West Seattle late tonight or early tomorrow, note that the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct section of the bridge will be closed again, 9 pm-5 am. SDOT says the closure will start east of the 1st Avenue South offramp, so you will be able to use that exit or 99, but not 4th, Columbian Way, or I-5. The same closure is planned tomorrow night and for the entire weekend ahead, from Friday night 9 pm through Monday morning 5 am – and every weeknight for two weeks after that. SDOT has details here.

9 Comments

  1. This pertains more to the Spokane street work than the bridge closure, but I was wondering if Spokane street going westbound from I-5 to the bridge is still two narrow lanes, or if it is now one wide lane?

    It had marked lanes (2) before the snow, and now the markings are gone or faded, so people seem to be going back and forth between driving side-by -side in two lanes, and straddling the middle like one big lane. Any official word?

    Comment by Elizabeth — 10:03 pm January 25, 2012 #

  2. Supposed to be 2 lanes. You’re the second person to mention this; I haven’t been on that stretch in a week or two but will ask SDOT tomorrow – winter storms in past years, with salt and sand and ice and snow, have definitely caused trouble with lane markings.

    Comment by WSB — 10:24 pm January 25, 2012 #

  3. I drove it last night, and people were treating it as one lane. Given the narrowness of the two lanes, and the associated nervousness of drivers in them, I wonder if one wide line would make it smoother?

    Comment by Brian M. — 7:48 am January 26, 2012 #

  4. The new westbound lanes on the Spokane Street Viaduct will be re-striped to two travel lanes this Friday night. This section of roadway is in fact two lanes.

    Comment by SDOT_Construction_Coordinator — 9:42 am January 26, 2012 #

  5. Thanks – saved me a phone call/e-mail :) – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:51 am January 26, 2012 #

  6. Brian M. raises an interesting question, especially considering the city’s viewpoint on other streets (West Nickerson) that a “road diet” to one lane is effective.

    Comment by Mike Lindblom — 10:04 am January 26, 2012 #

  7. It is an interesting idea – 1 lane at 35 mph or 2 lanes at 25 mph.

    Comment by RobertSeattle — 10:36 am January 26, 2012 #

  8. @Mike, Thanks for making me aware of the term “road diet”. There is quite a bit of interesting research on the subject, including your own article about West Nickerson. During the interim construction period on the Spokane Street viaduct, I believe a reduction to one lane will solve multiple problems:

    1) The narrowness of the lanes, and their close proximity to the median/edge, cause drivers to driver closer to the middle. They often inadvertently partially cross the striped line. To prevent issues, vehicles are NOT driving side-by-side (for the most part). This staggered approach is no more effective than a single-lane.

    2) A single lane could better accommodate the regular 35-mph speed limit for this stretch of road.

    3) The lack of shoulder space causes any vehicle disablement to block a travel lane. With one lane, the disabled vehicle could pull to one side, and other drivers can go around them.

    4) The transition from the two-lane viaduct to the West Seattle Bridge is, awkward, at best. A single lane would make this transition a bit easier.

    The only downside that I can think of is the merging of I-5 N and S traffic to a single lane.

    I wonder what others think on the subject?

    Comment by Brian M. — 5:36 pm January 26, 2012 #

  9. Whichever, needs to be clearer to the drivers.
    .
    The 25 mph limit signs aren’t as apparent as before, either.
    .
    On another note, am I the only one who finds it ifunny that the closure sign says it will be closed until 5 PM ?

    Comment by LE — 7:10 pm January 26, 2012 #

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