West Seattle traffic alert: More Spokane St. Viaduct (etc.) closures

That’s a recent view of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project work zone, with the new 1st Avenue South on/offramp on the right, courtesy of Gatewood pilot/photographer Long Bach Nguyen. Tonight, we have the latest SDOT update on closures planned as part of the project:

The westbound lanes of the Spokane Street Viaduct between I-5 and SR 99 will be closed three nights next week, Monday through Wednesday, April 2-4, from 10 p.m. each night until 5 a.m. the following morning. This will close direct access to West Seattle via the Spokane Street Viaduct from both northbound and southbound I-5. (Motorists traveling southbound on SR 99 will still be able to access the off-ramp to the West Seattle Bridge.)

Southbound traffic from I-5 wishing to travel to West Seattle should detour by exiting I-5 at S Forest Street, turning right (northbound) onto Sixth Avenue S, then turning left (westbound) at S Lander Street, turning left again (southbound) at First Avenue S, turning right (westbound) at S Hanford Street, turning left (southbound) onto East Marginal Way S, and finally turning right (westbound) onto the lower S Spokane Street roadway and across the swing bridge to West Seattle. Northbound traffic from I-5 wishing to travel to West Seattle should exit the freeway at Sixth Avenue S, and then follow the same detour route outlined above.

Other upcoming closures in the immediate vicinity include:

Monday, April 2

· The southbound lane on East Marginal Way at Duwamish Avenue S will be diverted from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. for paving. Expect some possible congestion, but all turning and through movements will be permitted. A flagger will be present to facilitate the movement of traffic.

Monday, April 2 – Thursday, April 5

· The eastbound on-ramp from Harbor Island to the Spokane Street Viaduct will be closed each night from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning. Traffic will be detoured via lower S/SW Spokane Street to the I-5 on-ramps.

Monday, April 2 – Friday, May 4

· There will be a 24/7 round-the-clock partial intersection closure at East Marginal Way S and S Spokane Street in order for concrete paving of the intersection. The northern half of the intersection will be closed the first two weeks, during which time the northbound traffic will be routed underneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Northbound traffic wishing to turn west at S Spokane Street will be U-turned further north in order to reach Harbor Island and/or West Seattle. (Eastbound lower S Spokane Street will remain open.) Southbound traffic will take a short detour to the west before returning to southbound East Marginal Way S.

The following two weeks northbound traffic will be restored through the intersection, although northbound to westbound turns will continue to be detoured as outlined in the paragraph above.

Find out more about the project, which is scheduled to be done this summer, and get on its mailing list for alerts, by going to seattle.gov/spokane.

20 Replies to "West Seattle traffic alert: More Spokane St. Viaduct (etc.) closures"

  • Michelle R-R March 29, 2012 (6:26 pm)

    I just read the directions to my kids out loud for a laugh! They said it was like tongue twister :)

  • carlton March 29, 2012 (6:34 pm)

    40 minutes on the bus from 3rd and virginia to the junction during peak time today…:(

  • Stacy March 29, 2012 (6:46 pm)

    sorry, but glad it’s not just ME!

  • Alki Area March 29, 2012 (6:56 pm)

    The 1st Ave ramp was always a major element of the West Seattle transit, it was the only way to avoid I-5 AND get over the railroad tracks and avoid the low bridge all at the same time. It’s nearly a year late and as far as I’ve heard, there is NO penalty what-so-ever to the contractor. That’s amazing. As long as the “final” entire project is eventually done by the official end date, it apparently doesn’t matter one bit about this 1st Ave ramp or any other component. That was HORRIBLE contract writing. This has been a MAJOR negative impact to transit into West Seattle, and it’s months and months and months late and the response is “eh, so what, it’ll get done eventually”. Wow.

  • derrick March 29, 2012 (7:45 pm)

    they should just tell people to detour over the 1st ave bridge, that would be way easier, especially in terms of giving directions to someone

  • elisabeth March 29, 2012 (7:46 pm)

    Kudos to Long Bach Nguyen for his eloquent photography! Can’t really see what’s going on when you’re on the road.

    I’ve been lost in Georgetown, lost in Beacon Hill, lost in South Park. In broad daylight.

  • bridge to somewhere March 29, 2012 (8:00 pm)

    In case anyone is curious and doesn’t want to dig through the SDOT website, we’ll eventually have three lanes on each side of the Spokane viaduct.

  • bridge to somewhere March 29, 2012 (8:04 pm)

    an image of the final product (late summer 2012):


  • Chris March 29, 2012 (9:56 pm)

    Does anyone know why the weave lane for the 1st ave exit eastbound was removed? It gets backed up and stops the entire lane of traffic now (at least this morning it did); what good does that do anybody? Am I missing something? They should have left it alone.

  • Get over yourself March 29, 2012 (10:00 pm)

    eh, so what, it’ll get done eventually….

  • Alex March 29, 2012 (10:36 pm)

    Is the completion date for this project known? I can’t make any sense of the website at all.

    • WSB March 29, 2012 (10:56 pm)

      Alex – we’ve been covering this one for a long time but if you don’t have time to wade through the archive (which is accessible by clicking Spokane St. Viaduct project under the headline, or find that link in the “categories” list in the bottom of the sidebar), short answer: This summer. The 1st Avenue ramp will open as an offramp before it opens as an onramp. A major step coming up is to route all traffic onto the newly built north half so that the old south half can be resurfaced. – TR

  • Rumbles March 30, 2012 (6:40 am)

    Can hardly wait until this thing is done!!

  • Cheryl March 30, 2012 (7:03 am)

    Can you say clusterf*ck? Oh and nightmare? Yeah. That’s what commuting in/out of West Seattle has been like for over a year. And while I know all this construction will *eventually* end (please G-d, let it end!), it sure doesn’t look like that’ll be any time soon. Grrrrrrr. Argggh.

  • Huindekmi March 30, 2012 (10:45 am)

    Don’t get too excited about that 3rd lane, Bridge To Somewhere. Only two go all the way through.

    Westbound, the third lane is an exit only lane to/from 1st Ave – meaning everyone will have to merge into the same lanes we have now.

    Eastbound, the third lane exists between the 1st ave exit and 4th ave exit – meaning all those trucks coming up from harbor island will still be merging into the same two lanes as before with the rest of traffic trying to get to I-5.

    In other words, this big project will effectively provide more room to merge and bigger shoulders for breakdowns, but won’t do that much to change the existing flow between West Seattle and I-5.

  • chris March 30, 2012 (10:48 am)

    This entire project is a two-monther in China, three tops.

  • denise March 30, 2012 (8:53 pm)

    Everything Cheryl said. SDOT, Thank you for taking away my family time.

  • fauntleroy fairy March 30, 2012 (11:13 pm)

    They are over due and over budget. If you think this is bad, just wait until they start digging the tunnel! We’ll be sitting in construction traffic for years and years and years and………..

  • Kara April 2, 2012 (7:34 pm)

    I would deal with worse because I love our hood that much.

  • Elizabeth Best April 5, 2012 (2:21 pm)

    We are saving so much money not being able to leave West Seattle to go shopping or dining in downtown Seattle. The state and city government have made it almost virtually impossible to get back to West Seattle, unless you wait in the I-5 line. It’s easier for us to drive to Bellevue to dine and shop, instead of fighting the lack of access into downtown Seattle and they have taken away all access from the downtown Seattle Streets onto the West Seattle Bridge. Getting to work, just think of all of the pollution now billowing out of cars as all of I-5, the West Seattle Bridge and 99 are virtual parking lots/congested most of the time-unless you get a lucky break. Pollution does not appear to be an issue for our state anymore. I am sure that Mom’s with kids can pack up their strollers and their kids to bike to places. I am sure that business people-sales people can ride a bus to their appointment up north or south. I am sure that public transit is just like Europe right now, so it’s great that car arterials are being depleted.
    A cyclist myself, know that riding in the snow, sleet and hail & massive gusts of wind, is a big accident waiting to happen. I would have to say that our city and state have created one big concrete disaster & ruined our once well accommodating transportation pathways, compared today in 2012. I am wondering how Ballard, Upper Queen Anne & Fremont restaurants will survive, once the tunnel is in place, so difficult to get around from outside the neighborhood. None of us in West Seattle want to fight the West Seattle Bridge, pay a tunnel fee toll, pay the babysitter, pay the high cost of gas, hunt for difficult parking…to go pay for a meal or shop outside our neighborhood. Maybe we will just stay home and shop online/just stay in West Seattle. Also, I forgot to mention my favorite gift given to us recently, more expensive parking fees and extended parking fees for when we want to dine and shop Seattle neighborhoods. I see West Seattle getting more restaurants & shopping just because we cannot get out of here or it cost more than it’s worth. West Seattle has almost become an island. The great news, the airport is 20 minutes away. The term “leakage” when discussing where we spend our discretionary income could equal West Seattle and a town not with a Seattle zip code.

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