(Scroll down for ongoing updates during the morning commute)
(No cameras in the construction zone, so here’s the SDOT webcam view looking toward it)
5 AM: If you use the Spokane Street Viaduct – the West Seattle Bridge between I-5 and Highway 99 – this is the morning a big, though temporary, change is supposed to kick in, as of right about now: All four lanes of traffic will be using the newly built north side of the elevated structure, which means …
*Narrower lanes (10 feet)
*25 mph speed limit
*No eastbound access to the 4th Avenue S. offramp for at least the first six weeks
This is all for the biggest part of the final phase of the three-plus-year Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project – rehabbing the original elevated structure, to the south of the newly built one. When it’s all done, the new north side will carry the westbound lanes and the original south side will carry the eastbound lanes. Meantime, the tighter-squeeze temporary configuration will likely mean slower going, so we’ll watch this morning’s commute closely, for starters. And (once your commute is over) let us know how it goes for you.
(Photo shared by Ben)
7:46 AM NOTE: Commenters are talking about one other change mentioned in the city reminder from yesterday afternoon:
In addition, access to the eastbound Spokane Viaduct from the eastbound Harbor Island on-ramp will be restricted – the ramp will only provide access to northbound SR99—until the eastbound traffic is moved back onto the refurbished structure in the late summer.
8:17 AM UPDATE: Text (206-293-6302 any time) and Twitter tips say there’s a multi-car “fender bender” in the right eastbound lane of the Spokane Street Viaduct, with “huge backups” ensuing.
8:47 AM UPDATE: Police are handling the crash – units were going from West Seattle, but were called off when closer units said they would handle – but we haven’t heard whether it’s been cleared yet. Multiple reports say the bridge trouble has backed up approaches including Delridge and 35th.
9:18 AM UPDATE: The bridge crash has JUST been cleared – it was announced on the scanner, “All lanes of the eastbound West Seattle Bridge are now open.”
(Screengrab of lower-bridge opening, 9:11 am)
However, the low bridge has been out of commission for a while, as a barge goes through…