Admiral Neighborhood Association pushing for fewer Fauntleroy Expressway project closures

Josh Stepherson was the busiest man in West Seattle on Tuesday night. He is a consultant for the city, getting information out about the upcoming Fauntleroy Expressway Seismic Retrofit Project. We reported on his Southwest District Council briefing last week; this week, he had three community councils to visit in one night – Junction Neighborhood Organization, Admiral Neighborhood Association, and Fauntleroy Community Association.

Because of the detours that will be involved during certain phases of the work, Admiral is arguably affected the most – and along with receiving new information, they also had some requests – read on:

First, a quick recap, if you’ve missed previous reports. Fauntleroy Expressway is the name for the last, westernmost half-mile of the elevated West Seattle Bridge, as it goes over SW Spokane Street before curving left toward Fauntleroy Way. The city needs to strengthen it to withstand a so-called 500-year earthquake.

Work is already under way around columns under the bridge; the big disruptions will come when sections of the bridge deck have to be lifted/jacked up to replace weight-bearing pads. Stepherson presented new information about that part of the project; he says the contractor now knows they will have to do that lifting/jacking up about 25 times, the high end of the estimate he had previously. This will be done between November and June. The plan should be “nailed down by the end of this month,” Stepherson assured the Admiral group.

The bridge deck will require closing certain access points to the high bridge – particularly if two sections have to be raised simultaneously. Stepherson reiterated what he had told SWDC last week, that the Delridge onramp will be open at all times, and many will have to detour that way, heading down Genesee from Avalon Way, to get to Delridge. The Delridge ramp would be open for the duration – no closures. Whatever closures do happen, would be at off-peak times.

The Admiral detour would be potentially the most complicated – sending drivers south toward The Junction to get to the bridge. That left ANA leaders with a couple of impassioned requests: Don’t start overnight closures before 8 pm. And don’t do weekend closures at all. “It’s just a mess” when there are closures/detours on weekends, ANA president Katy Walum warned.

Stepherson promised to forward their concerns. He also acknowledged that Metro has not let figured out its routing during closures.

ANA past president Mark Wainwright saw a silver lining: Maybe, he suggested, this will show the city just how impossible the east-west connections are, between, for example, Delridge and The Junction. Maybe this will bring forth some opportunities for improvement, such as a light at Genesee/Avalon.

Whatever it turns out to be, it’s not expected to be done before June.

3 Replies to "Admiral Neighborhood Association pushing for fewer Fauntleroy Expressway project closures"

  • BigGulps, Eh? September 15, 2011 (8:08 am)

    Can travel to and from West Seattle actually get any worst? When is it considered functionally broken? Does anyone honestly think SDOT will use this as a teachable moment?

  • Jane Walton September 15, 2011 (11:18 am)

    The worst traffic is weekday mornings between 7 AM – 9AM, complicated by the construction on 99 North and the Spokane Viaduct.

  • KatherineL September 15, 2011 (1:47 pm)

    Wouldn’t fewer closures mean longer closures? Is that an improvement?

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