West Seattle traffic alerts: Bridge & 99 closures after this weekend

In addition to this weekend’s Alaskan Way Viaduct/Highway 99 closure – planned for 11 pm tonight till 5 am Monday, between the Battery Street Tunnel and West Seattle Bridge – more closures have been announced for next week, on 99 *and* the Spokane Street Viaduct:

*Next Monday night (April 9-10): Eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct closed 10 pm-5 am. (That’s the WS Bridge between 99 and I-5.) Some surface changes too – explained here.

*Next Tuesday AND Wednesday nights: Eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct closed 10 pm-5 am, ALSO southbound SR 99 between the Battery St. Tunnel and the West Seattle Bridge will close the same hours.

*The big move of ALL Spokane Street Viaduct traffic onto the new (north side) structure might happen as soon as next Thursday. All four lanes of traffic – two each way – will be on what will eventually be the westbound-only side, while the old structure on the south side gets fixed up for the final rejoining when everything’s done “in late summer” (new estimate).

During this time, the 1st Avenue South eastbound offramp will remain open, but the 4th Avenue South offramp will be closed. Details here, including some added changes on the surface streets.

25 Replies to "West Seattle traffic alerts: Bridge & 99 closures after this weekend"

  • mightymo April 6, 2012 (1:57 pm)

    I know it’s a product of a vaguely written press release, but how long will the 4th Ave. S offramp be closed? From April 9 until “late summer”? That’s a long time for a handy exit to access Georgetown, SoDo, etc. without going on the 1st. Ave. S exit.

  • chas redmond April 6, 2012 (2:11 pm)

    From the official release:

    The contractor working for the Seattle Department of Transportation on the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project continues to move towards project completion, now anticipated for late summer.

    Almost an entire year late. SDOT, your friendly local source of complete frustration and aggravation.

  • RobertSeattle April 6, 2012 (2:16 pm)

    Not exactly clear when the 4th Avenue offramp is going to re-open.

    • WSB April 6, 2012 (2:28 pm)

      I believe when the entire project is done. I am asking for clarification on the “late summer” mention.

    • WSB April 6, 2012 (2:40 pm)

      From Marybeth Turner at SDOT, when I asked for clarification “what does ‘late summer’ mean?”: “Given that it is now early April, this is as specific as we can be at this time. We don’t know what conditions we will find when we start resurfacing the old viaduct deck so predicting an exact date of completion is challenging.”

  • Colleen April 6, 2012 (3:08 pm)

    Oh 4th ave exit how I will miss you. Trying not to get too down on this plan, as its better than the SDOT’s “one lane out of WS” plan.

  • squareeyes April 6, 2012 (3:11 pm)

    Oh rats, I didn’t even catch that. The 4th Ave offramp has been my alternate route since the Alaskan Way viaduct was modified and doubled my commute time. I just can’t win.

    • WSB April 6, 2012 (3:39 pm)

      Me too, squareeyes. They had said all along they would keep the 1st OR 4th ramp open throughout this phase … and now we have the verdict. Last summer, speaking of verdicts, I used it every day for a month while covering a trial; luckily none of those looming right now … TR

  • bripls April 6, 2012 (3:57 pm)

    Raaaaaaaaaah!!!! Does anyone else in West Seattle feel this way? Can we organize a strike or something to communicate our frustration over being completely marginalized by the entire city planning crew for close to a decade? Do strikes even work any more? I feel so helpless.

  • K2 April 6, 2012 (5:34 pm)

    Me too, Bripls!! It’s so very exasperating! I just keep scratching my head wondering how a contractor can be so far behind. In a typical construction situation (not gov’t related), the contractor would be heavily fined for such delays. Is that the case here and, if so, is it being used to mitigate costs, etc?

  • Snow Wimp April 6, 2012 (5:45 pm)

    I thought West Seattleites were whining crybabies when I moved here in 1990. From Kirkland, of all places. You think snow removal is bad here, drive to the eastside of the lake, next snowstorm. Now I know West Seattleites are crybaby, Gerber poster children. Cry me a river with your tears, West Seattleites. My freeway ain’t ready yet. Wahhhhh.

  • Robert April 6, 2012 (6:24 pm)

    WSB – Be sure to verify the YEAR of “Late summer”


  • Tod Rodman April 6, 2012 (6:43 pm)

    The whole viaduct should be renamed the McGinn Viaduct when it is finished. ? What does the man do in his spare time: practice counting potholes from his bike and then forgetting West Seattle exists after a few drinks with an out of town ‘hedge fund guru’?

  • Tod Rodman April 6, 2012 (7:48 pm)

    WSB – McGinn is now mayor – this project is his responsibility now and he should be taking an active role in communicating status and showing us his efforts in getting out in in front of controlling SDOT and its sub contractors, etc. I know the Spokane Viaduct project has been ongoing for quite a while, but McGinn needs to show he is working on everything for Seattle in an in-depth mode – this is complex city: McGinn needs to show he understands this and is working to address and understand this complexity. Maybe he is up to the job, but so far there’s not much that shows he is.
    As for naming the viaduct tunnel after McGinn… I appreciate irony as much as the next person,

  • Scott April 6, 2012 (8:51 pm)

    And what of the new 1st ave on/off ramp bridge? That has been languishing with almost no progress for months! How long does it take to build a bridge? I hope this contractor is being charged for delays.

  • Megan April 6, 2012 (9:20 pm)

    woahhhh. So everyone will be driving on the north structure until LATE SUMMER?!?!?! I am sorry this is going to make my hideous commute even worse. :( I thought in some previous versions they indicated that it might take up to 6 weeks, but now its 4 months?

    Call me ignorant, but how long can it possibly take to pave a road?

    and i am off my soapbox.

  • Mike April 6, 2012 (10:01 pm)

    Oh crap. That 4th Ave exit has been a lifesaver. Is anyone doing any planning that takes West Seattlites into account?

  • ILoveWestSeattle April 7, 2012 (10:10 am)

    Excellent question(s) as to whether the contractor is being fined or penalized in any way for being “off” by an entire year with their date-of-completion. (WSB? Anyone?)
    If no penalties are looming, what motivation do they have to be efficient and quicken their slug-like pace?
    The entire Empire State Building, a much more complex and detailed structure, was completed in little over ONE YEAR…so sad that this current state of affairs is typical and seemingly the best we can do/hope for.

  • JayDee April 7, 2012 (11:04 am)

    Couldn’t SDOT work out how to resurface the portion of the viaduct near the 4th Ave off ramp *First* to allow for exiting cars? Don’t get me started about the 1st Ave ramp…”well the steel we need was special…” so instead of ordering it knowing it had a lead time they screwed up the concrete, redid the concrete, and then ordered the girders…

  • Harry Reems April 7, 2012 (5:15 pm)

    And when the project is finished (months behind schedule) there still will only be a single lane exit each for I-5 northbound and southbound lanes. The bottle will be made wider but the neck will still be there.

    Seattle traffic planners are woefully shortsighted…..

  • joan bateman April 8, 2012 (1:07 am)

    I would ask them for their “target” dates for start and stop of an event. That way they aren’t committed; just working towards a completion date. Maybe ask them for a copy of their project management schedule. Certainly that has to be on the wall in a City Mgrs office, and updated weekly.

    If you have seen the street work on California Avenue, planning is not the only thing suffering from lack of excellence. We now have streets off of California Avenue where the Express Bus Stops are going in that drop 6 inches due to road work. Won’t be long before the city starts incurring law suits because of the status of the repair work. Guess who will pay for that??

    Maybe we could start a ‘Lack of Excellence’ Award.

  • alki champion April 8, 2012 (11:44 am)

    I’m so, SO sick of bridge closures, and insanely long bridge commutes. Briples is spot on, West Seattle has been ‘marginalized for close to a decade by the city’s planning crew’. Argh

  • Ajax April 8, 2012 (10:19 pm)

    I just accepted a job based almost entirely on the fact that it allows me to work from home. I’m not sure if it’s the best job for me, but it’s better than dealing with gridlock for the next 3+ years.

  • sun*e April 9, 2012 (9:30 am)

    With all this said, it’s really unfortunate that the transportation Gods didn’t think to incorporate a link light rail in the 4 miles from WS to Sodo during all these changes and construction. I mean why not just do it all at once, right?! That really would have been shocking if they thought ahead for us West Seattleites… they sure haven’t so far.

Sorry, comment time is over.