We’re counting down this week to the closure next Monday of the 1st Avenue South onramp to the westbound (high) West Seattle Bridge, which will route WS-bound traffic to the “low bridge” unless you get on from 99, I-5 or Beacon Hill, while a new ramp’s being built as part of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. We’ve reported Metro’s reroute plans before, but they’re out again today with a few routes added to the latest official “buses may be delayed” warning – so we’re publishing that in its entirety – read on:
Buses heading to West Seattle, White Center & Vashon Island may be delayed by big construction project starting May 17
Work on Spokane Street Viaduct expected to last more than a year
Bus riders heading to West Seattle, White Center, Harbor Island and Vashon Island, should be aware that transit service will be disrupted for up to a year by the city of Seattle’s project to widen the Spokane Street Viaduct between Interstate 5 and the West Seattle Bridge.
For King County Metro Transit customers, the key part of the project is the closure of the on-ramp from First Avenue South to the West Seattle Bridge via the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct. Because a new ramp won’t open until the fall of 2011, several bus routes will be detoured over the low-level drawbridge across the Duwamish Waterway.
This routing is expected to add several minutes to the travel times of buses heading south and westbound, when traffic levels are light or normal. Buses could be slowed even more by trains crossing Hanford Street or openings of the low bridge for marine traffic.
Buses being rerouted are:
21 Local – Arbor Heights
22 – Alaska Junction, White Center
35 – Harbor Island
56 Local – Admiral District, Alki
57 – Genesee Hill, Alaska Junction
85 Night Owl – Admiral District, White Center
116 – Fauntleroy (new bus schedule times starting Monday, May 17)
118 – Vashon Island (new bus schedule times starting Monday, May 17)
119 – Vashon Island (new bus schedule times starting Monday, May 17)
This will primarily affect bus travel to West Seattle, but related congestion could affect traffic and transit in downtown Seattle, Pioneer Square, SODO, and even connecting bus routes to Ballard and North Beach.
Here’s some tips from Metro:
* If you are a bus rider, sign up for Metro alerts;
* Consider commuting on the West Seattle Water Taxi;
* Have a plan for traveling through the construction area, and have a back-up plan for those days when traffic is really congested.