In case you missed the gridlock and frustration earlier this weekend: The eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct – that’s the official name for the West Seattle Bridge between 99 and I-5 – has another construction closure overnight, 12:01 am-5 am Monday. That’s a remnant of what was supposed to be a weekend-long closure that caused weekday-style gridlock for most of the day Saturday, until SDOT suddenly announced it was ending early after “completing required work early.” Though the closure had been mentioned in SDOT updates dating back more than two weeks (here’s the first one we published, on January 12th), they all included it in lists starting with much-less-impactful overnight closures; the biggest complaint Saturday was an offline situation: No signage on bridge approaches warning of the closure, neither electronic nor analog. In addition, as some pointed out, while the 1st Avenue South offramp was open, it was narrowed to one lane.
Along with a 97-comment discussion here on WSB, some concerned West Seattleites contacted SDOT directly. Among them was one who shared with us a response he received from the man who runs SDOT, director Peter Hahn:
I share the concerns you describe below. The SDOT people who have worked on the outreach plan for the projects(all) impacting W. Seattle will be meeting with me Monday and devising an improved responsive plan of coordination and outreach. We will share that with the community.
We also had e-mailed SDOT media contacts during the closure jam as well as West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the council’s Transportation Committee, who replied that the city “must do better.” Ironically, the Saturday backup coincided with a four-hour Open House at City Hall to which all Seattleites were invited to come meet city reps and get “information from city departments,” SDOT included.