Two updates this afternoon related to the city’s almost-complete Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project:
WESTBOUND SURFACE SPOKANE STREET PARTLY OPEN: SDOT says that for the first time in three years, westbound S. Spokane St., under the widened SSV, is now open between 4th and 6th Avenues. Project spokesperson Paul Elliott says in an update e-mail, “It is hoped that the remainder of westbound surface S Spokane, the segment from 4th Avenue S to East Marginal Way S, will be reopened to motorists before the end of October.”
SPEED-LIMIT UPDATE: We also have an update from Elliott about the city’s timetable for revisiting the speed limit on the SSV itself, now that work on the bridge deck is done. It came up in the WSB Forums this week; we had checked with SDOT a month ago, at which time Elliott told us the city Traffic Engineer would be taking a look “after giving motorists some time to adjust to the new configuration.” Checking back this week to find out about that timetable, we got this reply:
As to … when the City Traffic Engineer will be evaluating the speed limit on the structure, he expects this to happen in the spring. We need normalized operating speeds along with some collision data (of which we currently have little). The spring timeframe will give us about six months of baseline collision data, with which to better assess the safety impacts of any change in the speed limit.
The project itself has now been under way for about four years (here’s one of our earliest stories, from spring 2008).