We didn’t want to bury this new information by adding it to our previous story about the city setting May 17 as the date for the permanent closure of the 1st Avenue South onramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge – so here’s a breakout. We spoke with King County DOT‘s Linda Thielke a little while ago, and she said Metro does have the BUS detour worked out for the year and a half that there will be no way to get on the westbound West Seattle Bridge between I-5 and The Viaduct. First, the routes that will be affected:
Second, the detour route (we tried to make a custom Google Map but the line-drawing function is just not behaving for us, so that’s just going to have to wait): 1st Avenue South to Hanford (map), west on Hanford to East Marginal Way (map), south on East Marginal to Spokane (map), then across the lower bridge. Only one current stop, in the 1st/Spokane vicinity, will be missed, and this will only affect the “back to West Seattle from downtown” runs, since the 1st Avenue South offramp on the eastbound side will not be affected (also, the new 4th Avenue ramp on that side will open later this year). The one key piece of the puzzle that Metro is still working on: Travel times/scheduling, so they can create something resembling a predictable schedule for this detour. They’re talking with the city re: signal timing, for example. And Thielke pointed out one other thing: Metro also is trying to keep this all in the “big picture” – they can address what needs to happen because of this May closure, for example, but with all the other work scheduled in the area, they are trying to make sure things don’t have to change every time “another domino” falls. This domino – the 1st Ave. So. ramp closure – is part of the city’s Spokane Street Viaduct project; the official online info starts here.
West Seattle, Washington