By this time Friday morning, as SDOT announced last week, the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct‘s new 1st Avenue South on-/offramp will be open. Since it is a two-way ramp, you’ll drive southbound to get onto it, rather than westbound. And that led commenter “TK” to ask:
What is the recommended route for westbound traffic coming from the Georgetown/4th Ave S (Costco)/Spokane St. area going back to West Seattle via the 1st Ave onramp?
Once Spokane St is reopened, how do we access the onramp? Turn north on 1st Ave & pull a U-turn? (will SDOT put up signs allowing this like some places in Bellevue?) Or continue on 4th north to the old potholed non-arterial Holgate just to get south again?
There doesn’t seem to be any reasonable solution that comes to mind, and there is a lot of traffic which will have to deal with this daily.
As promised in the comment exchange, we took the question to SDOT. Ahead, the answer from project spokesperson Paul Elliott:
For the motorist heading to West Seattle from Georgetown or Costco, the easiest routing would be to head north on Fourth, turn left onto Lander (which has the greatest capacity), and then left again onto southbound First and up onto the ramp. (Some motorists may wish to take the left turn at Horton, which is closer.)
The routing is a bit more problematic for motorists heading north on First, but who wish to turn around to access the on-ramp. U-turns are legal on First except at intersections where they are expressly prohibited. At S Horton all left turns – which includes U-turns – from both the ramp that touches down there, or from the adjacent northbound thru lanes of First, will be prohibited due to safety and traffic concerns. However, U-turns are currently permitted at S Hanford St, although heavy southbound traffic volumes (particularly during the afternoon peak) could make this a challenging maneuver. Naturally, SDOT will be monitoring the situation and assessing what options might exist.