Another new project: Ramp closure dates set for ‘Spokane Street Interchange Vicinity Special Bridge Repair’ project

November 27, 2012 at 9:33 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

(WSDOT image showing underside of deteriorating expansion joint – explained here)
Monday, we reported on the Spokane St. Overcrossing/Timber Bridge project ahead for Highway 99 south of the West Seattle Bridge (here’s the story). Today, we have new information on another new WSDOT project that will affect local drivers starting early next year – currently known as “Spokane Street Interchange Vicinity – Special Bridge Repair.” This one involves replacing more than two dozen deteriorating half-century-old expansion joints on and around the West Seattle Bridge/I-5/Columbian Way interchange (here’s an aerial view of the segments), and it will require a series of weekend closures involving various ramps.

We’ve been watching this one for a while and just got word from WSDOT that the closure schedules are now online. See them here, along with detour maps. The closures are currently scheduled to start with the weekend of January 4-7, late Friday night through early Monday morning, when WSDOT will close the I-5 northbound, I-5 southbound, and Columbian Way ramps to West Seattle Bridge. Subsequent weekends will NOT be the same pattern – every weekend closure has a slightly different configuration. As you’ll see on the closure-schedule page, this is expected to continue into next spring; it’s a $4.5 million project, to be led by Eastside-headquartered Mowat Construction.

6 Comments

  1. Wow. I’m no engineer, but this all seems wildly inefficient considering they just got Hwy 99 and the West Seattle Bridge reopened and back to “normal” again.

    Comment by Kim — 9:44 am November 27, 2012 #

  2. There is a point on one of the pages noting that it was coordinated with other projects so that there’s not an overwhelming amount of work happening at any one time. Also if anyone wonders, this is NOT the same area that had expansion-joint work five years ago (with advance warnings on the scale of last year’s “Viadoom,” and everyone adjusted their commuting schedules then too and it turned out OK)… TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:52 am November 27, 2012 #

  3. What *would* we do without WSB! Thanks TR.

    Comment by Lola P — 11:17 am November 27, 2012 #

  4. I really appreciate the excellent work and the updates on roads and traffic on WSB.

    Comment by strike em out kinney — 11:24 am November 27, 2012 #

  5. It will be an inconvenience but I think I saw early finish bonus. And Mowat Construction has been a very capable contractor in the past.

    Comment by dsa — 12:22 pm November 27, 2012 #

  6. I am not an engineer and do not know the solution, but man oh man do I wish there were a better way to route traffic from eastbound WSB to NB I-5. That is a cluster worse than almost any other in our quadrant of Seattle. Suicide lanes, merging traffic from both sides, one teeny onramp to 5… Ugh.

    My mom drove me home from a family event one day this week in the early afternoon. She’s been planning on moving here to be closer to her kids and grandkid(s) when she retires in a couple of years. She saw that backup and asked if she should rethink her plans, as it seemed horrible to get “off the island.” I reassured her that its not usually more than a 5 minute slowdown at off peak hours, but it is the safety more so than the time. It’s a terribly designed combination of roads.

    So, with that long lead in, who is an engineer around here? Got any bright ideas? Any idea how to request that it be pushed up the project list? We have this lovely new wide road and it still funnels down to one suicide lane.

    Comment by Ag — 8:37 pm November 28, 2012 #

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