BULLETIN: SDOT rep says new 4th Avenue offramp opens Monday

At the 34th District Democrats‘ meeting (The Hall at Fauntleroy): At the start of a transportation-issues discussion, with panelists including Councilmember Tom Rasmussen (who chairs the Transportation Committee), SDOT‘s Tracy Burrows just announced that the new 4th Avenue S. offramp from the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct (the ramp some have nicknamed “the Costco offramp”) will open MONDAY. (SDOT had told WSB earlier this week that an opening next week was possible – but this is the first official announcement of the date; this means that stretch of the SSV will return to 2 lanes.) More from this meeting later, in a separate story.

18 Replies to "BULLETIN: SDOT rep says new 4th Avenue offramp opens Monday"

  • Admiral Janeway August 11, 2010 (7:54 pm)

    Great news! Looking forward to having both lanes back in service after 4 weeks.

  • Ann August 11, 2010 (8:11 pm)

    Can’t wait to go to Costco!

  • Mack August 11, 2010 (8:30 pm)

    Will there be any signage work done at the exit?

    • WSB August 11, 2010 (9:06 pm)

      Mack – I caught up with SDOT’s Tracy B a few minutes ago after the meeting ended, to ask her your question; she says yes (and will look into specifics).

  • ad August 11, 2010 (8:39 pm)


  • dsa August 11, 2010 (9:13 pm)

    This is supposed to replace the Seneca St off ramp to downtown from the Alaskan Way viaduct.

    • WSB August 11, 2010 (9:21 pm)

      Not replace it, but take some of the pressure off the north/south 99, which as we all know will be detoured, reconstructed, maybe undergrounded, otherwise in flux for the better part of the next six years or so. The “south portal” area – everything between us and the potential-tunnel entrance – also includes ways to get into the south end of downtown before the exit-less (potential) tunnel begins …

  • dsa August 12, 2010 (12:34 am)

    WSB: What I read was that the fourth ave exit *is* the replacement for the Seneca off ramp because there will be *no* other exit to downtown. Getting it completed now will help with congestion during construction of the tunnel, yes tunnel. That is what is planned, programmed, and the beginning phases of it are actually being prepared on the ground now.

    • WSB August 12, 2010 (1:03 am)

      Don’t know where you read it, but I’ve been the only reporter at the South Portal meetings, and that’s where it’s been specifically addressed, time and time again, “how will West Seattleites get downtown?”. Yes, the 4th S ramp is meant to help mitigate the whole upcoming 99 changes, and to be one alternative for reaching downtown. It’s not a “replacement.” For one thing, if you are coming up on 4th Avenue, you are already east of 99, and you can just as easily carry on to I-5. For two, if you get on to 99, the exit is right before the tunnel. South end of downtown. Fast-forward to about 1:35:
      This is explained in text here:

  • Blander August 12, 2010 (12:37 am)

    Great, now if there were only a way for all of those WS-ites going to Costco to get back to WS.

  • Robert August 12, 2010 (6:37 am)

    Which Monday? :-)

  • Jeff August 12, 2010 (9:29 am)

    Yay!. I can stop getting up 15 minutes early.

  • blander August 12, 2010 (10:39 am)


    Thank you for attending the WSDOT meetings. I’d imagine that it does help WS to have a representative, if only to remind them that our “island” does exist.

    I have concerns about this entire project. It seems like the gains are minor given the size of the project. Also, the project utterly ignores anyone that commutes between WS and Sodo south of Spokane street (like me). WSDOT’s solution for my drive home is to head north on 1st Ave and make a u-turn back onto the new ramp. Also, that is the ONLY W bound ramp so many drivers will be taking crazy routs to get to it (WS residents coming back from Costco). I wish that some harder questions were asked during the planning phase of this project.

    • WSB August 12, 2010 (10:57 am)

      These meetings actually are of the Working Group, which are citizens, businesspeople, etc., from around the area (SODO and Pioneer Square and even Burien, in addition to WS/vicinity) – they’re the ones who are “reminding” that WS exists – Pete Spalding, Vlad Oustimovitch, and Jerome O. Cohen are the West Seattle reps, and they do bring up the tough questions. As a journalist, I’m just there to document what goes on, and ask followups when needed. Some of the early iterations were changed dramatically when they and other group members said “hey, that just doesn’t make sense.” We have a large background body of work under the “Alaskan Way Viaduct” category archive here (the archive list is at the bottom of the sidebar) but I’ll be the first to admit it’s tough to wade through and find the specific “OK, when this is all done, this is how my commute is going to work” graphic. …

  • New Guy August 12, 2010 (11:14 am)

    Blander…isn’t that what the low bridge is for? Also, it looks like there’s a flyover going up over the railroad tracks, so getting back to WS from the south will keep you out of that mess. There will be the possibility of the bridge opening, however.

  • wsgolfer August 12, 2010 (12:33 pm)

    WSB, just FYI, you can ‘deep link’ into youtube videos. Simply add #t=XXmYYs to the end of the URL.

    e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgtOTMJt-AI#t=01m33s

    • WSB August 12, 2010 (12:36 pm)

      Thanks, I know, I have that instruction bookmarked somewhere. Haven’t been able to memorize it yet and couldn’t find it :) Maybe I will stare at your comment and remember it now … TR

  • dsa August 12, 2010 (4:34 pm)

    I know there is more written about it, but this is ridiculous enough, from SDOT:

    “The new ramp provides eastbound travelers on the
    West Seattle Bridge with direct access to downtown
    Seattle via 4th Avenue South. “

Sorry, comment time is over.