Another West Seattle Bridge traffic alert: New Harbor Island ramp opens tomorrow

March 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm | In Spokane St. Viaduct project, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 7 Comments

(The westernmost aqua spur is the new Harbor Island ramp – click for larger image)
An alert for westbound drivers on the West Seattle Bridge – Another component of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project is ready to open. SDOT has just announced that the new Harbor Island offramp from the westbound bridge will open tomorrow. Here’s what’s on the project website:

… on Saturday morning, March 17, the old westbound exit to Harbor Island will be closed and the new off-ramp will open. Signage will direct motorists wishing to take this exit, but it should be noted that the new off-ramp begins east of SR 99, whereas the old-ramp began west of SR 99.

Meantime, the 1st Avenue offramp on the eastbound SSV is still months away. We’ll be adding more project updates from the first meeting of a new informal task force that SDOT promised to form after the communications crisis that complicated a daylong bridge closure in January. SDOT reps at the meeting say the new Harbor Island offramp will open early in the morning – no hard-and-fast time, but as soon as crews are ready, 6 am or so.

ADDED 6:10 PM: SDOT has sent a news release with not only the ramp opening we mentioned, but also a reminder about tonight’s bridge closure and other changes ahead – read on:

The westbound lanes of the Spokane Street Viaduct between I-5 and SR 99 will be closed again tonight (March 16) from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Saturday morning. This will close direct access to West Seattle via the Spokane Street Viaduct from both northbound and southbound I-5. (Motorists traveling southbound on SR 99 will still be able to access the off-ramp to the West Seattle Bridge.)

Southbound traffic from I-5 wishing to travel to West Seattle should detour by exiting I-5 at S Forest Street, and then follow the detoured sign route of heading west on S Forest, right on Sixth Avenue S, left onto S Lander St, left again onto First Avenue S, right at S Hanford Street, left at East Marginal Way S, and then right at S Spokane Street onto the lower Spokane Swing Bridge and into West Seattle. Northbound traffic from I-5 wishing to travel to West Seattle should exit the freeway at Sixth Avenue S, and then from Sixth Avenue S follow the detour outlined above.

On Saturday morning, the old westbound exit to Harbor Island will be closed and the new off-ramp will open. Signage will direct motorists wishing to take this exit, but it should be noted that the new off-ramp begins east of SR 99, whereas the old-ramp began west of SR 99.

Other closures for the coming week are listed below:

Monday, March 19 – Wednesday, March 21

· Westbound access to the Lower Spokane Swing Bridge will be closed overnight, due to a closure of westbound lower S Spokane Street at E Marginal Way S, from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning. Traffic to West Seattle will be detoured via the First Avenue S Bridge. (This closure is necessary for the demolition of the old westbound Harbor Island off-ramp, which has been replaced.)

· First Avenue S at the intersection with S Spokane Street will be closed overnight, from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning. Northbound traffic will be detoured east on lower (surface) S Spokane Street to Fourth Avenue S, at which point motorists can turn to head north. Southbound traffic will be detoured west at S Hanford Street.

Monday, March 19 – Thursday, March 22

· A single lane of southbound Fourth Avenue S will be closed at S Spokane Street during the day, from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Wednesday, March 21

· The eastbound First Avenue S off-ramp from the West Seattle Bridge will be closed overnight, from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Thursday morning. The Fourth Avenue S off-ramp will remain open, providing access to motorists wishing to exit into SODO and/or downtown.

Friday, March 23

· Westbound access to the Lower Spokane Swing Bridge will be closed overnight, due to a closure of westbound lower S Spokane Street at E Marginal Way S, from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning. Traffic to West Seattle will be detoured via the First Avenue S Bridge. (This closure is necessary for the demolition of the old westbound Harbor Island off-ramp, which has been replaced.)

· First Avenue S at the intersection with S Spokane Street will be closed overnight, from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning. Northbound traffic will be detoured east on lower (surface) S Spokane Street to Fourth Avenue S, at which point motorists can turn to head north. Southbound traffic will be detoured west at S Hanford Street.

· The eastbound First Avenue S off-ramp from the West Seattle Bridge will be closed overnight, from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Thursday morning. The Fourth Avenue S off-ramp will remain open, providing access to motorists wishing to exit into SODO and/or downtown.

7 Comments

  1. I’m sure they have it all figured out, but it looks like cars merging from the new 1st avenue on-ramp are going to have to move left pretty quickly to avoid the exit only to Harbor Island. Meanwhile, trucks will be trying to merge to the right at the same time. Probably missing something.

    Comment by Smitty — 1:33 pm March 16, 2012 #

  2. I’ll take any sign of progress as hope of completion to come…

    Comment by Robert2715 — 1:52 pm March 16, 2012 #

  3. @Smitty – That’s not new. Prior to the closing of the onramp from 1st Ave South that incoming-vehicles-merging-left-colliding-with-exiting vehicles-merging-right issue already existed. I don’t know how much farther east the new exit will be, but it looks like the new 1st Ave South onramp will also be farther east than the old one.

    Comment by WSPW — 2:24 pm March 16, 2012 #

  4. holy crap, they are closer to having that 1st ave westbound on / off ramp done. it’s been years and I’m jinxed to always have a train show up when I try to cross from 1st to Alaska Way and take the lower bridge. Most of the time I resort to heading south and driving back north to take the lower bridge, unless the port is backed up which then I head wayyyy south, hop on 99 South, exit then north to West Marginal. SDOT has it all figured out, except for when trains are changing tracks or the Port is backed up…

    Comment by Mike — 2:25 pm March 16, 2012 #

  5. It’s pretty much the same merge as we had pre-construction.

    Comment by sw — 2:48 pm March 16, 2012 #

  6. Since moving here, the 1st ave on ramp has been closed, so I do not know any different.
    I guess its a good thing for getting back to West Seattle from downtown, or does it just create another choke point?

    Comment by Bill at Duwamish Head — 5:22 pm March 16, 2012 #

  7. Bill. no it did not create a choke point. Makes one not heistate about going to games or doing other things in SODO. A real POS the way its run now. Hate it Hate it!!

    Comment by CrazyLady666 — 5:31 pm March 16, 2012 #

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