West Seattle traffic alerts 1744 results

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday watch; bridge closures continue; Memorial Day notes

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:33 AM: Good morning! Two reminders for your Wednesday:

FILMING ON THE VIADUCT: Two more days – today and tomorrow – of scheduled filming resulting in “rolling slowdowns” on the Alaskan Way Viaduct between 9 am and 3 pm.

BRIDGE CLOSURE TONIGHT: The second week of the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement work continues, with the west end of the bridge scheduled for closure 9 pm-5 am again tonight.

8:10 AM: Yes, we’ve been watching and listening; things are still quiet! Reminder that if you see something potentially of note for your fellow commuters – tips are appreciated – IF you are a passenger; otherwise, once you get to your destination. Text or call us 24/7 at 206-293-6302.

1:57 PM: Two Memorial Day notes have come in since the morning commute:

-NO bridge closures Sunday or Monday nights because of the holiday.

-The West Seattle Water Taxi will run on a Sunday schedule on Memorial Day (Monday).

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TRAFFIC ALERT: More ‘rolling slowdowns’ for Viaduct filming next two days

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(WSB photo from last week, by Christopher Boffoli)

Reminder if you’ll be heading eastbound/northbound in the late morning/early afternoon on either or both of the next two days – more “rolling slowdowns” are ahead on the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct, as the movie crew (widely identified as from the “Fifty Shades” sequel) returns. That’s according to this SDOT alert featuring traffic-affecting events scheduled in the city for the next several days.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates; bridge closures continue

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:34 AM: Good morning! No incidents so far in West Seattle or on the outbound routes from here. Reminders:

BRIDGE CLOSURES CONTINUE: 9 pm-5 am again tonight, the west end of the West Seattle Bridge will be closed as the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion project continues.

ANOTHER OVERNIGHT CLOSURE TONIGHT: If you expect to be headed this way from the Eastside, be aware that the westbound I-90 ramp to southbound I-5 will be closed tonight, 9 pm-5 am.

FAUNTLEROY FERRY DOCK CHANGES CONTINUE: The new procedures meant to speed up loading led to some delays on Monday.

7:30 AM: Still quiet – around most of the metro area, too – aside from the usual bridge/99 slowness as we get to the heart of the commute.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday watch; overnight bridge closures continue

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:58 AM: No incidents so far this morning in/from West Seattle. We’re reminding you that week 2 of overnight partial bridge closures for the Fauntleroy Expressway earthquake-safety-cushion re-replacement project is under way; as our report mentioned last night, the detours include an additional ramp closure at least through tonight.

IN THE STADIUM ZONE TONIGHT: Mariners are back home, hosting Oakland at 7 pm.

7:50 AM: Some northbound I-5 slowing reported because of a broken-down vehicle in the right lane just north of the bridge.

1:11 PM: Update – we originally suggested the baseball game would mean a later closure of the west end of the bridge for the Fauntleroy Expressway work, but SDOT tells us the attendance is expected to be below the 20,000 threshold for that, so tonight’s closure starts at the usual time, 9 pm.

1:44 PM: Something to be aware of for tomorrow night, if you’ll be heading back this way from the Eastside. The announcement is from WSDOT:

Drivers heading across Lake Washington on westbound Interstate 90 to southbound I-5 should be plan ahead for a slightly longer trip Tuesday night, May 24.

From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation and Sound Transit will close the ramp from westbound I-90 to southbound I-5. Drivers should follow the signed detour via northbound I-5 and James Street.

During the ramp closure crews will conduct work to preserve and strengthen existing concrete panels on both directions of I-90 between I-5 and Lake Washington. The work is part of the Washington State Department of Transportation and Sound Transit’s I-90 Two-Way Transit and HOV Operations project which preserves the three general purpose lanes while adding all-day carpool lanes to I-90 and direct access ramps for transit, carpools, and vanpools. In mid-2017, Sound Transit contractors will begin work on the I-90 express lanes to operate exclusively for light rail as part of the East Link light rail project. The 14-mile East Link project, set to open in 2023, includes 10 new stations connecting Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue and Overlake.

TRAFFIC ALERT: Bridge closures, week 2; different detour

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(Photo from last week, by Laura James)

The second week of overnight West Seattle Bridge closures is under way for the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-safety-cushion re-replacement project, and if you’ll be heading eastbound before 5 am, you should be aware of a change in the detour plan, in case you missed our reminder this morning. The best way to get to the bridge tonight, and likely Monday night too, is via Delridge, because the onramp from Avalon is closed, with traffic being detoured to the next onramp, by Fire Station 36. That’s made for slow going on eastbound Spokane under the bridge again tonight, and some backup on bridge-bound Avalon. We asked SDOT’s Paul Elliott at week’s end about the change, since previously, only the 35th/Fauntleroy onramp was announced for closure, and he explained that the contractor decided to accelerate work to re-replace the earthquake-safety cushions under the ramp as well as the main section of the bridge. So tonight and tomorrow overnight:

-35th/Fauntleroy, Avalon-to-Spokane ramps closed – Delridge is best bet to get on EB bridge
-If headed westbound, you’ll have to exit at Delridge

Closures will continue TFN Sunday through Thursday nights, 9 pm-5 am unless there’s a major stadium event, in which case (as happened last Wednesday when Beyoncé was at CenturyLink Field) the closure won’t start until after 11 pm.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates and previews; more Viaduct filming; ‘Bike Everywhere’

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6 AM: Good morning! We start with alerts and reminders:

‘BIKE EVERYWHERE DAY’: From now until 9 am, what used to be “Bike to Work Day” will be celebrated on the bike trail beneath the bridge with a special station presented by West Seattle Bike Connections and Alki Bike and Board– snacks, simple repairs, more.

Speaking of the bridge:

NEXT FAUNTLEROY EXPRESSWAY CLOSURE ON SUNDAY NIGHT: The first week of overnight closures of the west end of the bridge is over. Last night, we caught this photo of the work in progress around 11:30 pm.

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We and some readers noted over the course of the past few nights that there’ve been some changes from what SDOT announced – closures of the Avalon ramp to the eastbound bridge, for example. So we’re checking with SDOT today to see if more specific advance advisories might be available. Next closure, Sunday night.

Between now and then:

MORE FILMING ON THE VIADUCT: Another round of filming on the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct is expected between 9 am and 3 pm today. As noted in our Thursday traffic watch, the “rolling slowdowns” definitely resulted in backups, so check camera #4 above before you head out during those hours.

SAFECO CONCERT TONIGHT: Billy Joel plays Safeco Field tonight.

WEST SEATTLE 5K SUNDAY: 8 am-11 am, Alki Avenue SW will be closed to Anchor/Luna Park for the annual West Seattle 5K. Also heed the “no parking” signs for race day! Transit reroutes, too.

ADDED 9 AM: We stopped by the “Bike Everywhere” station about an hour ago; by then, WSBC said, about 400 riders had already stopped.

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bikedaystu

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday watch; Viaduct filming; fourth night of bridge closures

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:30 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from West Seattle so far. What you need to know:

VIADUCT FILMING: Today is scheduled to be the first day of potential “rolling slowdowns” during filming of a movie on The Viaduct, as announced last week. The city wouldn’t ID the movie but commenters believe it’s a “Fifty Shades of Grey” sequel, otherwise being shot in Vancouver, B.C.

OVERNIGHT BRIDGE CLOSURE #4: 9 pm-5 am tonight, the west end of the West Seattle Bridge is scheduled to close again for the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement project. No EB bridge access from 35th/Fauntleroy; WB, you have to exit by Delridge.

“BIKE EVERYWHERE DAY” TOMORROW: Instead of “Bike to Work Day,” Friday is now Bike Everywhere Day (presented by Cascade Bicycle Club), with riders in this area invited to stop at a “celebration station” along the path to the low bridge.

WEST SEATTLE 5K SUNDAY: From approximately 8 am to 11 am on Sunday, the West Seattle 5K (with co-sponsors including WSB) run/walk will close Alki SW. Today’s your last chance to sign up online.

10:08 AM:< Thanks for the Highway 99 traffic photo:

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The sender captioned it “50 Shades of Traffic.”

11:46 AM: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli (who was the first to point out that intel suggested this involves the “50 Shades” sequel[s]) sends photos:

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TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday alerts; third night of bridge closures

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:21 AM: Good morning! More sunshine, and so far, no incidents in/from West Seattle.

OVERNIGHT BRIDGE CLOSURE #3: Tonight is scheduled to be the third night that the west end of the West Seattle Bridge will close, 9 pm-5 am, for the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement project. You might notice the closure – requiring, among other things, bridge exiting at or before Delridge – if you’re returning from …

STADIUM CONCERT: Stadium-zone traffic alert – superstar Beyoncé performs at CenturyLink Field tonight (7:30 pm).

LOOKING AHEAD – “BIKE EVERYWHERE DAY” FRIDAY: Friday is Bike Everywhere Day (Cascade Bicycle Club‘s new name for what used to be “Bike to Work Day”), and riders will find a “celebration station” in the usual spot on the path west of the low bridge.

LOOKING AHEAD – WEST SEATTLE 5K SUNDAY: Sunday, Alki Avenue will be closed until late morning for the West Seattle 5K (with co-sponsors including WSB) run/walk. Tomorrow’s your last chance to sign up online, or do it at West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW; WSB sponsor) noon-6 pm Saturday or at the start line 8 am Sunday.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates; overnight bridge closures continue

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

7:30 AM: Good morning. The sunshine’s back; it’s been a morning free of major incidents in/from West Seattle.

BRIDGE CLOSURE TONIGHT: The second overnight closure of the west end of the high bridge is scheduled for tonight, 9 pm-5 am, as part of the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement project; the 35th/Fauntleroy entrance to the eastbound bridge will be off-limits, so you’ll have to get on at Harbor/Avalon or Delridge; if you’re headed westbound, you’ll have to exit by Delridge.

NOTES FOR FERRY USERS: First, if you board via Fauntleroy, be aware of this change starting next Monday. Second, if you’re out there today, watch for whales – check this tweet:


We also had a tip about whales yesterday, though not quite so early.

9:05 AM: Crash on the eastbound bridge at the 99 exit. “Gridlocked,” reports Randall.

9:15 AM: SDOT says the crash is cleared. But as the advisory goes, “residual backup” might take a while to do the same.

UPDATE: First night of bridge closures for Fauntleroy Expressway

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10:52 PM: The barrels and barricades blocking the 35th/Fauntleroy entrance to the eastbound West Seattle Bridge are just one sign that the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement project is finally under way. This is the first of dozens of expected overnight closures of the west end of the bridge so that crews can jack it up a bit from surface Spokane Street so more than 500 cushions can be re-replaced, four years after their original replacement, which turned out to have a design flaw. In addition to the eastbound ramp closure, if you are heading westbound on the bridge, you’ll have to exit at Delridge – Mike reports that the going is a bit slow because of that, and while under the bridge checking on the work, we noticed the heavier volume of vehicles coming off the ramp. The crews were staging in the center area when we went by.

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The closure is scheduled to continue until 5 am, and to be repeated tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, 9 pm-5 am. No closures are scheduled Friday and Saturday nights, and SDOT says the closures will be delayed until 11 pm on nights with Mariners or Sounders games where crowds of 20,000+ are expected. We’ll have reminders in our weekday morning traffic coverage as well as, for the Sunday closures, in our morning “what’s happening today/tonight” lists.

5 AM: This “live” camera verifies that the first night’s closure is over and the bridge has reopened.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates; nighttime bridge closures set to start

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:21 AM: Good morning! It’s a somewhat-soggy Monday so far. No incidents in/from West Seattle. But we’re reminding you again that the city says the Fauntleroy Expressway quake-safety-cushion-re-replacement work starts tonight, which means the west end of the bridge is scheduled to close starting at 9 pm, as explained here.

8:50 AM: First notable incident of the morning, and an alert for surface traffic – Mickey reports via Twitter, “An accident involving a train and semi at Spokane and Alaskan Way – no apparent injuries. @SeattlePD on scene.”

ROAD WORK REMINDER: Overnight partial bridge closures start Monday night

One more reminder that tomorrow night – 9 pm Monday to 5 am Tuesday – brings the first closure of the west end of the West Seattle Bridge for the re-do of a project from 4 years ago: Earthquake-safety cushioning for the section officially known as the Fauntleroy Expressway. To replace the cushions, the bridge deck has to be jacked up from beneath, and so westbound traffic will have to get off at the Delridge exit (if not sooner). Eastbound traffic won’t be able to get on from 35th/Fauntleroy, but will have access from the Avalon/Harbor ramp. There’ll also be some lane closures under the bridge, daytime as well as nighttime, but no more than one lane closed in each direction, SDOT says. We’ll have daily reminders in our weekday morning traffic watch; this week the closures are scheduled to run Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, and subsequently Sunday nights through Thursday nights. Also, SDOT notes, “There will be NO bridge closures on Friday or Saturday nights. On evenings of Mariners or Sounders games with attendance of 20,000 or more, weeknight closures won’t begin until 11 pm.” (The project backstory is here.)

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Friday updates, and reminders

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:33 AM: Good morning. We have emergency responses right now at 28th/Roxbury and in the 8100 block of Delridge. No details nor info on whether they’re affecting traffic, but just so you know.

Weekend traffic notes:

*Tomorrow is the 12th annual West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, 9 am-3 pm. The 320+ registered sales – mapped here – are all over the peninsula, so there’s no particular traffic chokepoint, but just be aware our community will have more visitors in many neighborhoods.

*Mariners are home vs. the Angels 7:10 tonight, 6:10 Saturday night, 1:10 Sunday.

And looking ahead to Monday, the Fauntleroy Expressway work begins on and under the west end of the bridge.

7:09 AM: Both of the incidents mentioned above have “closed” on the SFD log. No current incidents here or on the outbound routes.

8:57 AM: A quiet commute is wrapping up. One more weekend note, this time a Saturday morning reminder from WSDOT: Heading into downtown Seattle via SR 99 Aurora Bridge tomorrow? 2 right lanes closed 5 am-noon for maintenance work.”

10:07 AM: Crash on the SFD log at California/Mills in south Morgan Junction.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday updates

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:28 AM: Good morning! No incidents in the area so far.

TUNNELING PROGRESS: With the reopening of the Viaduct on Sunday night, WSDOT ended its multiple daily updates on the tunneling machine, but did have a progress report late Wednesday: The machine has passed the 385-foot mark since the start of the under-the-Viaduct dig, and contractors Seattle Tunnel Partners decided to keep going a while rather than stop the machine right at that point.

8:05 AM: SFD is responding to a crash reported at Sylvan Way and Holly, which is just west of Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor).

8:38 AM: Haven’t heard anything about traffic effects of that crash, but the SFD call there is closed.

9 AM: Remember the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement work closures – west end of the bridge, and some lane closures under the bridge – start NEXT MONDAY. Newest information is here, including our followup questions, answered by SDOT.

BRIDGE CLOSURES: First one for Fauntleroy Expressway project now set for Monday night

(UPDATED THURSDAY MORNING with some clarification on the lane closures under the bridge, in case you wondered too)

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(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli, from 2012 cushion-replacing work that’s about to be redone)

4:02 PM: Quick update on the upcoming Fauntleroy Expressway earthquake-safety cushion re-replacement project: While SDOT’s most-recent announcement said the first overnight closure of the west end of the bridge would be this Sunday night, we noticed a signboard that said Monday night (May 16th), so we checked with project spokesperson Paul Elliott. He tells WSB that indeed, next Monday night will be the first closure. Meantime, he says they are still awaiting detailed information on the lane-closure plans for surface Spokane Street under the bridge.

6:08 PM: A full announcement is now out:

The first overnight closure of the Fauntleroy Expressway will occur this coming Monday, May 16, at 9 p.m., a delay of one day from the previously announced schedule.

The Monday night bridge closure will be the first of an expected 40-50 weeknight closures necessary to complete the Fauntleroy Expressway Bearing Pad Replacement Project. On these nights, the Expressway will be closed from just west of the Delridge Way SW on/off ramp westward to where the road turns south (where the road is no longer a bridge).

Once the weeknight closures begin, they will regularly run from Sunday evenings until Friday morning. Each night the bridge will close at 9 p.m. and will reopen the following morning at 5 a.m. The bridge will NOT be closed on Friday or Saturday evenings, and the closure start time will be delayed until 11 p.m. on those nights when the Mariners or Sounders are playing and expecting attendance of 20,000 or more.

During the closure, westbound motorists will be detoured off the Expressway at the Delridge Way SW exit, and directed to proceed westbound on surface Spokane St to SW Avalon Way. At that point, motorists can turn north or south, depending on their ultimate destination. Eastbound motorists will be detoured from the Expressway at 35th Ave SW, where they will be directed eastbound onto SW Avalon Way. That street quickly turns to head north. At Spokane St, motorists will be directed eastbound on surface Spokane St below the bridge, and will use the Delridge Way on-ramp to access the high level bridge and the Expressway headed east.

Construction crews will be replacing the 674 bearing pads on the Fauntleroy Expressway, a complicated job requiring the bridge to be jacked from underneath to access and replace the bearing pads. Construction crews will set the jacks from underneath the bridge during the day, with the actual jacking and bearing pad replacement occurring at night when the bridge is closed.

The daytime work will require periodic closures of one of the surface lanes of Spokane St below the bridge. To minimize the impact to rush hour traffic, two lanes of eastbound traffic will remain open until 9 a.m. each day, while two westbound lanes will remain open after 3:30 p.m. each day.

ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: We asked SDOT for some clarification on the lane closures, and just received the replies. First – will the lanes be closed in their entirety beneath that section of the bridge? Reply: “No. They will only be closing a lane adjacent to their work. So we don’t expect the lane closure to be more than a block or two in length.” And: “There are no plans to close more than one lane in either direction on Spokane Street.”

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Wednesday watch

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:25 AM: Good morning and welcome to Wednesday. Notes for today include:

-Day game for the first-place Mariners (12:40 pm, vs. Tampa), so expect more SODO traffic than usual in late morning/early afternoon – including school buses bringing thousands of kids for a special event explained here by SDOT.

And looking ahead:

-First Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement-project bridge closure is expected this Sunday night.

7:51 AM: Still quiet, at least in our area.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates; 35th/Barton crash

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6:32 AM: Good morning! Second day post-Viaduct reopening, and no incidents so far.

7:06 AM: Second low-bridge closure (to surface traffic) of the morning.

7:26 AM: Open again. We’ve added the link to the “bridge open or closed?” Twitter feed (@sdotbridges) above our highlighted cameras, as we’d done during the Viaduct closure, for a permanent quick morning-commute reference.

8:25 AM: Crash at 35th/Barton. Engine 37 on scene:

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It’s mid-intersection so avoid the area for a while.

8:40 AM: We went by the crash scene a second time, headed back to HQ after checking on an unrelated report, and a motorcycle officer was headed that way. As noted also by Sunuva in comments, it didn’t appear anyone had major injuries, and no medic unit’s been called, though Engine 37 is still on the scene. The larger vehicle’s airbag had deployed and a firefighter was looking in when we went by.

9:07 AM: Haven’t gone back to check, but SFD has closed out of the call. Meantime, there’s some sort of a weird spill on the northbound 1st Avenue South Bridge, in the center lane.

5:08 PM: Thanks for the text, which we turned into this tweet:


VIADUCT OPEN AGAIN: Monday traffic/transit watch

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

6 AM: Good morning! The Alaskan Way Viaduct is open again as of last night. As of this morning, Metro is back on its pre-closure routes.

And – our back-to-normal watch starts with a stalled vehicle in the right lane of the eastbound West Seattle Bridge at the crest, per SDOT.

6:35 AM: Cleared.

8:46 AM: Incident-free since then, and light, as commenters point out. If you use the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth state-ferry run, here’s an advisory about vessel downsizing starting in a few hours:

Customers are advised to plan for reduced capacity due to a vessel downsizing on the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route. Beginning with the Vashon 12:25 pm departure, the 87-car Tillikum will temporarily replace the 124-car Issaquah while the Issaquah undergoes required maintenance. The Issaquah galley will close at 7:30 am and the Tillikum galley will open Tuesday at 5:00 am. We apologize for the inconvenience. Vending machines are available on board the vessel and inside the terminals.

Preparations also are expected to start today for the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion re-replacement project, with overnight closures of the west end of the bridge starting next Sunday night.

And at the site of the 30th/Yancy/Avalon safety project, the crosswalk striping is now expected to happen as soon as tomorrow, postponed from last week.

BRIDGE CLOSURES: New start date for Fauntleroy Expressway quake-safety-cushion re-replacement project

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(WSB photo of original Fauntleroy Expressway cushion replacement work, by Christopher Boffoli)

In case you missed our mention of this during today’s afternoon/evening commute coverage: SDOT has announced the new schedule for the re-replacement of earthquake-safety cushions under the west end of the West Seattle Bridge, the section officially known as the Fauntleroy Expressway.

You might recall the original schedule, first reported here hours before the Viaduct closure schedule was announced, would have overlapped both projects, with the Fauntleroy Expressway work set to start two days before the Viaduct closure. It wasn’t just the overnight bridge closures that led to concerns and questions, but also the plans for lane closures day and night on surface Spokane Street under the bridge, and SDOT finally agreed to push the work back to mid-May.

Now, they’ve announced the start date – and note some specific plans if the Viaduct closure goes longer than expected:

The previously delayed start of the Fauntleroy Expressway (West Seattle Freeway) Bearing Pad Replacement Project has been rescheduled, with the first overnight closure of the structure now slated for Sunday, May 15. This will be the first of an expected 40-50 weeknight closures of the structure, with closures each week beginning on Sunday evening and finishing on Friday morning. The bridge will be closed from 9 p.m. each night until 5 a.m. the following morning. The Expressway will NOT be closed on Friday or Saturday nights. SDOT appreciates the public’s patience while this work is being done.

On those weeknights with Mariners or Sounders games with attendance of 20,000 or more, the Expressway closures will not begin until 11 p.m.

Daytime preparatory work underneath the bridge will begin next Monday, May 9. This will include pressure washing the underside of the structure, which will require closure of the parking underneath the structure. (Once the overnight closures begin, the parking restrictions below the bridge will be limited to the work zone under active construction.)

The contractor may reduce traffic on surface Spokane Street below the bridge to a single lane in either direction. However, until the Alaskan Way Viaduct reopens, the two eastbound surface lanes of Spokane Street will remain open each morning until traffic dissipates, which may be as late as 10 a.m. In the afternoon, the contractor will maintain two westbound lanes no later than 3:30 p.m.

Construction crews will be replacing the 674 bearing pads on the Fauntleroy Expressway from just west of the Delridge Way on/off ramp westward to where the road turns south (where the road is no longer a bridge.) Bearing pads provide a cushion between the bridge girders and the horizontal support for the girders, and are important to preserving and protecting the long term integrity of the bridge.

The work is complex, requiring each bridge segment to be jacked up in order to remove the old bearing pads and install the new ones. Crews will set up the jacks on the underside of the bridge during the day, with the actual jacking and bearing pad replacement work done at night while the bridge is closed (impacting the fewest number of motorists). The work will move from east to west, one horizontal support at a time.

The Fauntleroy Expressway was built in 1963, spans 2,527 feet and carries more than 60,000 vehicles per day. An initial seismic retrofit of the structure was completed in 1994, when column jackets were erected around select columns, and post tensioning was added to the supports. Longitudinal restrainers were also included to interconnect the roadway over each support.

A second phase of seismic retrofit began in 2011, when SDOT updated the structure by strengthening 33 columns with steel jackets, strengthening pile caps, and adding longitudinal restrainers. At the time, it was decided to take advantage of the seismic work by also replacing the original bearing pads which were reaching the end of their service life.

SDOT engineers discovered a problem after the bearing pad replacement had been completed. The outside design consultant had order the wrong pad. Instead of replacing the existing pads with rigid ones, they mistakenly ordered less rigid pads. The design consultant has acknowledged their error, and will be paying the $1.9 million cost of replacing the pads.

New standards for bearing pads have since been established, so the bearing pads being installed now will have steel shims embedded within them, which is expected to give them a longer service life than the originals.

This information will also be posted to the project website.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 8: Friday PM traffic, transit, tunneling

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4:18 PM: A bit late to the party, sorry.

4:25 PM: Take a look at the camera – the eastbound bridge looks as bad as the morning commute. Westbound, not so bad so far.

4:40 PM-5:05 PM: The “low bridge” has just reopened after a 25-minute closure.

5:11 PM: And SDOT has tweeted that the “low bridge” is closing to surface traffic again right now, for a maritime-traffic opening, just a few minutes after the previous one.

5:16 PM: Speaking of SDOT, looks like they’re optimistic the Viaduct closure will end after about two weeks, as expected. They’ve announced the new date for the start of the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion-re-replacement closures: May 15th. If you recall our original reports earlier this year, this project will involve dozens of overnight closures of the west end of the bridge. It originally was set to start April 27th, as announced hours before the state set April 29th for the start of the Viaduct closure; questions about the potential misery index caused by that confluence led SDOT to push it back to mid-May, and now we have a date.

5:24 PM: SDOT just tweeted that the low bridge is back open to non-maritime traffic.

5:32 PM: Just heard a mutual-aid call for SFD’s Highland Park-based Engine 11 to head to 8th SW and SW 100th in Greenbridge (White Center), just a few blocks south of the city limits. Don’t know what the incident is but we’ll head over for a look. 8th is an arterial in the area so this serves as a potential traffic alert.

5:50 PM: Our crew arriving there says it was a crash, not affecting traffic and a tow truck has already arrived, but deputies say paramedics were needed and not available from North Highline FD so they called for SFD.

wc100th

Meantime, back on this side of the city/county line, we have multiple reports that surface traffic, especially downtown, is bollixed.

6:21 PM: We’ll continue tracking bridge closures until about 7 pm – South Park Bridge just went up for a maritime opening. And remember that the Water Taxi runs into the evening since it’s Friday. Paul Nicholson sent this photo of the 4:15 pm line:

watertaxi415paul

Find the schedule and other info here.

6:27 PM: The South Park Bridge is back open to surface traffic again.

6:36 PM: And now the low bridge (Spokane Street Swing Bridge) has closed to surface traffic for the third time this pm commute.

6:50 PM: The low bridge has reopened to surface traffic.

7:04 PM … and it’s closed again.

7:12 PM: Open again. We’re moving on now – if there are any major incidents for the rest of the night, and over the weekend, we’ll report them individually.

8:52 PM: One more update – 234 of the 385 under-the-Viaduct feet now for the tunneling machine, as of the final progress report of the night:

Bertha_progress_ring35
See the full update (including a stern warning!) here.

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 8: Friday morning traffic/transit updates

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

5:10 AM: Good morning – we’re starting the second week of the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s closure. The early-morning progress report for under-Viaduct tunneling: 208 of 385 feet.

5:29 AM: Bridges and streets on the outbound routes are looking OK – no early incidents. The truck backup from yesterday should not be replicated today – the Port told us Terminal 46’s operator would be opening at 3 am, something it did not do yesterday.

5:47 AM: We’re about to head to the Water Taxi dock to check in on today’s runs – looks like a great day to sail. A commenter asked about the shuttles from Pier 2 – which hasn’t maxed out its parking spots yet – and whether their “continuous” operation had changed. No, said the WT’s Greg Lerner, but: “The one thing we’ve learned is that the shuttle needs to leave from Pier 2 about 11 minutes before departure to ensure riders have the time when they get to Seacrest Park to buy tickets (if needed) and walk down to the boat. Knowing this, we will not send a shuttle prior to this time (between sailings) if we don’t feel it can make it back to depart again by 11 minutes before the next sailing. We’re hoping riders are attentive to our closure brochures that suggest riders arrive at Pier 2 about 20 minutes prior to their departure.”

6:07 AM: Beautiful sunrise. Meantime, the high bridge, is of course, starting to get busy. We’re approaching Seacrest – still lots of street parking on Harbor.

6:21 AM: Check out that view of the eastbound bridge – filling up. Meantime at Seacrest, just for posterity’s sake, we recorded the boarding for the first run of the day:

That’s county Marine Division director Paul Brodeur checking in with the crew toward the start. The count: 78.

6:37 AM: While the high bridge is busy, it’s not yet backed up to the 35th/Fauntleroy entrance, so that’s a good sign. Since it’s Friday, we should look ahead to weekend events likely to affect getting around:

*Sounders FC play San Jose at CenturyLink Field, 7 pm Saturday
*Opening Day of boating season on Saturday – if you’re U-District-bound, note that Montlake Bridge will be open for marine traffic much of the day
*Lung Force Walk on Saturday and The Color Run on Sunday, both downtown

SDOT’s roundup has details on those and more.

6:54 AM: 110 for the second Water Taxi run of the day, down from 137 yesterday. The dock has a soundtrack all its own … sea lions barking from the barge buoys, Canada geese honking as they fly by, jets overhead (saw a KAL 747 earlier this hour), and of course the maritime traffic – Doc Maynard’s Vashon counterpart Sally Fox was visible in the semi-distance earlier as it headed toward downtown.

7:19 AM: Crash reported on the eastbound bridge near the 1st Avenue exit.

7:23 AM: Thanks to the texter who tells us, from a bus, what’s happening at the crash scene: “2-car collision, east end of WS Bridge, where the lanes coming up from the low bridge merge. Fire truck blocking bus lane and part of the right all-vehicle lane… Drivers still in their cars talking with police [when texter’s bus passed], didn’t *appear* to be serious injury.” Meantime, 7:15 am Water Taxi tally was 198. (Added: Our video from that boarding:)

We’re leaving the dock now, headed to see what the Avalon/Manning situation by Luna Park is looking like after yesterday’s troubles.

7:34 AM: That helicopter over the bridge is TV checking out traffic because of the crash.

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Meantime, another bus passenger sent a photo (added above) saying it looks like the crash is clearing. (Added) And seconds after we typed that, SDOT verified via Twitter that ****the crash has cleared.****

7:41 AM: Checking out Avalon at Harbor/bridge onramp/Manning/etc. intersection, all is well – 21X and 116 just went by on the way to the bridge.

8:03 AM: Spent a few minutes observing at Avalon/Manning.

No left turning, no backups. (Did everybody divert today, or lots of people with three-day weekends, maybe?) Next, we’re heading to check out the bicycle commute under the bridge.

8:38 AM: From our stop on the path/trail by West Marginal Place:


Steady stream of riders going by. Low bridge has not opened for maritime traffic so far this morning, by the way.

9:02 AM: Just dispatched, Seattle Fire crash response to 9th/Barton.

9:25 AM: Haven’t heard any further details on that – the SFD response has closed, so here’s hoping that’s a good sign. By all accounts, today’s morning commute hasn’t been too bad. If you have any new questions about traffic or tunneling, please comment (or e-mail us at editor@westseattleblog.com) since as usual we will be on the media conference call, happening around 11:30 am. And we’ll have afternoon/evening coverage again, starting around 4 pm. (Inbetween, if there are any significant incidents affecting major corridors such as one of the bridges, we would publish a standalone report, as always.)

VIADUCT CLOSURE, DAY 7: Afternoon & evening traffic, transit, tunneling updates

(SDOT MAP with camera/incident links; OFFICIAL #99CLOSURE INFOSITE; ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)

4:09 PM: Our afternoon/evening commute watch is under way. First – if you haven’t seen it yet, we followed up on this morning’s big issues during today’s media conference call. We’ve also just updated the resulting story with new information from the Port.

30th/Avalon/Yancy project update – we just went by and while the flashing-beacon signs are in, the crosswalk was chalked, not striped. So we’re checking with SDOT on that.

We also just talked by phone with a local resident who asked us to share a plea for people cutting through residential side streets to get around clogged arterials: PLEASE, PLEASE DRIVE SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY. She’s in Highland Park but the plea could be from anywhere. The frustrated drivers using cut-throughs have almost hit at least two people on her street. Let’s at least get through all this without sending people (or pets) to the hospital … or the grave.

4:48 PM: Police are diverting from their previously planned traffic-management posts downtown to an unannounced protest march southbound on 5th, approaching Cherry at last report. SDOT is updating on Twitter.

5:12 PM: The downtown protest – which is about the shooting death of Che Taylor and other deaths – has closed Cherry east of 4th, according to SDOT (that’s between City Hall and SPD HQ).

5:23 PM: Just got word from KCDOT’s Jeff Switzer – who also sent the photo – that the need for more bike parking for Water Taxi users led SDOT to install a temp corral at Seacrest:

20160505_101957

5:56 PM: “It’s gridlock right now downtown,” and not just because of the aforementioned protest, we just heard SPD say via scanner.

6:31 PM: Buses are still running late – someone just texted us a screenshot of a list of how far behind many are. Also, see comments. (And thank you yet again for the commute reports.)

8:21 PM: It’s official – the tunneling machine is now more than halfway along its path of digging beneath the Viaduct – 195 of the 385 feet, as of less than an hour ago.

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