Spokane Viaduct update: First “lower roadway” closures imminent


Thanks to everyone who has forwarded us an e-mail that is circulating today, and/or has asked about some new signage that has gone up, regarding the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project and work in that area beneath/alongside the east end of the West Seattle Bridge. We wrote an extensive in-depth preview about it and published it here in May, with graphics, detour information, and more. You can see that story here. We also have just checked with the city regarding what’s about to happen in the area – which is actually utility work, not the widening project itself, which starts in fall, but the utility work WILL trigger the first closure to dramatically affect West Seattleites heading for destinations such as Costco. We will add the details on the utility work here shortly, but since that e-mail is apparently going around fast, wanted to start by posting the link to our original preview. More shortly. ADDED 1:45 PM: Here’s the information on what’s about to happen in that area:

We checked back with SDOT communications boss Rick Sheridan, who forwarded us the latest update from Seattle Public Utilities regarding the water-main work they have to do before SDOT’s project kicks in – that’s why the road closure will be starting soon on eastbound Spokane Street, just past 1st. The city says the exact date is not set yet because there are a few procedural loose ends still to tie up – the SDOT’s SSV project manager Stuart Goldsmith tells us it COULD BE AS SOON AS “within a week to 10 days” – when it does start (and we have been promised we’ll get word the SECOND it’s set), here’s the detour that will be in place, after the eastbound offramp puts you onto 1st Avenue South:


The utility work is expected to continue into fall, and then the construction work will begin. Here’s the full details from the latest SPU bulletin – note that “total closure” means “24/7”:

What can I expect during construction?
Construction work will occur Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Some 4th Ave S work will occur on evenings and weekends.

Construction impacts:
Street closures during construction hours
On eastbound S Spokane St (the lower roadway, not the upper Spokane Viaduct) the
following closures will take place:
1st Ave S to 2nd Ave S: Local access only.
2nd Ave S to 4th Ave S: Total closure (except some City Light access)
4th Ave S: Lane closures during sewer work and watermain crossing. Most of this work
will be limited to evenings and weekends to allow for smooth north-south traffic flow on
4th Ave S.
4th to 5th: Total closure during construction.
The closures of eastbound S Spokane St between 1st and 4th will continue with
construction of the SDOT 4th Avenue Off-Ramp project following completion of the
watermain work, and the closure will likely last into 2010.

Traffic Detours (See map for details).
Eastbound S Spokane St traffic may be detoured at E Marginal Way S
– northbound to S Hanford St, thence
– eastbound to 1st Ave S, thence
– northbound to S Lander St, thence
– eastbound to 6th Ave S, thence

That’s from an SPU flyer that you can view in its entirety here.

12 Replies to "Spokane Viaduct update: First "lower roadway" closures imminent"

  • dq July 29, 2008 (1:34 pm)

    too bad the water taxi isn’t running year round this year because it could really be a mess when they start this…

  • wsblover July 29, 2008 (1:52 pm)

    I remember your original story, seems like most people didn’t seemed concerned about the traffic impact, except too many rats and I can’t blame him or her.

  • WSB July 29, 2008 (2:26 pm)

    As with most things, everything seems abstract until suddenly it’s staring you in the face. I didn’t realize two months had gone by since we went downtown to interview SDOT folks for that preview, until the inbox forced me to revisit it – where has the time gone? The one thing to keep in mind is that this is starting now so that the widening will be done before the biggest Alaskan Way Viaduct work begins, in hopes that will enable more people to avoid the AWV altogether.

  • Nicole July 29, 2008 (2:27 pm)

    Many folks who carpool from W. Sea (like me) park beneath the Spokane Viaduct between 1st & 6th. Does anyone know if the parking underneath the viaduct will be closed too? If not, it looks as if it could still be accessed via the detour and then westbound on Spokane. (????)

  • WSB July 29, 2008 (2:31 pm)

    We’ll see if we can get an answer to that question from one of the several people we’ve spoken to in the past hour. Any other questions – post ’em here and we’ll look for answers.

  • I think.... July 29, 2008 (2:49 pm)

    ….the parking (most of it) will disappear.

  • JH July 29, 2008 (8:45 pm)

    It’s going to be a long road to Costco…

  • WSB July 29, 2008 (8:48 pm)

    If you live in the southern side of West Seattle, of course, you can go the back way through South Park … for now. We’ll make a map for that route sometime in the next few days.

  • fiz July 29, 2008 (9:41 pm)

    Southcenter Costco suddenly is looking closer.

  • Brian July 30, 2008 (10:25 pm)

    I also park under the viaduct to catch the bus to Tacoma. According to the SDOT site:

    “…most parking under the viaduct between East Marginal Way and 6th Avenue South will be eliminated during construction.”

    There don’t appear to be any efforts to make other accommodations for those of us who use this area as an unofficial park-and-ride. If anyone has suggestions on other free parking near Bus Way, I’d really rather not have to go back to driving to work every day.

  • Ken July 31, 2008 (9:02 am)

    Am also interested in parking options as there are a group of us that park under the Spokane St. Viaduct between 1st and 2nd Ave S. where we catch a vanpool to Everett.

  • QA Resident August 5, 2008 (10:04 am)

    I also park under the Viaduct by the Bus Way to catch the Tacoma Bus. I’ve decided to take the bus all the way from my QA home since it works out to only adding about 25 minutes to my commute. Save a little gas, give up a little time and maybe my car will have a few less ding dents.

    Sucks though. That parking area is very nice to have right there.

    There is an official park and ride that is off of Airport Way at Spokane Street. All paved but a little on the creepy side. For you West Seattle people you may want to check that out now, and see if it work for you.

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