Today was meeting day for the informal West Seattle community task force that SDOT convenes monthly to discuss the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. One big message from the project team: The workers on the bridge are very close to the traffic lanes now (we took the photo above from the 1st Avenue South exit while headed downtown Thursday morning), so please, please heed the speed limit. There are some other long-range project updates we’ll share in a separate report later, but right now, the official list of upcoming closures discussed at the meeting has just arrived in news-release format. (Side note: Regarding the traffic backups and signage problems last Tuesday night, SDOT saw and heard the comments, and is working on better signage for upcoming closures.) Note that this list of dates also includes the scheduled reopening of the 4th Avenue S. offramp from the eastbound bridge, likely May 22nd, at which time the 1st Avenue S. ramp will close for about a month, as bridge deck work shifts westward. Here’s this afternoon’s announcement:
There will be lane closures on the Spokane Street Viaduct and on surface streets next week for the viaduct widening project. All westbound lanes on the Spokane Street Viaduct will be closed at SR99 early on Tuesday morning and overnight on Wednesday, with traffic exiting at Harbor Island and continuing over the lower Spokane Street swing bridge to West Seattle. Then overnight on Thursday, westbound lanes of the viaduct will be closed between I-5 and SR99. All week the southbound SR99 off-ramp to West Seattle will remain open, however, providing the opportunity to avoid these westbound closures. On Thursday night, in addition to the westbound closures, the eastbound lanes of the viaduct will be reduced to one lane overnight. There will also be some surface street closures next week. Here are the closure details:
Monday, May 14 – Thursday, May 17
· The intersection of Sixth Avenue S and S Spokane Street will be restricted to one lane in each direction, both for north/south traffic and east/west traffic, from 9 p.m. each night until 5 a.m. the following morning.
Tuesday, May 15
· The westbound lanes of the Spokane Street Viaduct will be closed from 2 a.m. until 5 a.m. at SR 99. All westbound traffic will be forced to exit at Harbor Island and be detoured over the lower Spokane Street swing bridge to West Seattle.
· The intersection of East Marginal Way S and S Spokane Street will be closed to southbound traffic from 2 a.m. until 5 a.m. Southbound traffic will be detoured to the west.
Wednesday, May 16
· The westbound lanes of the Spokane Street Viaduct will be closed overnight at SR 99 from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. All westbound traffic will be forced to exit at Harbor Island and will be detoured over the lower Spokane Street swing bridge to West Seattle.
Thursday, May 17
· The westbound lanes of the Spokane Street Viaduct between I-5 and SR 99 will be closed overnight from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Friday morning.
· Eastbound traffic on the Spokane Street Viaduct will be reduced to one lane overnight from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. Friday morning.
The Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project is now approaching 90% completion, with a current projection that work will be finished in early September. Work began in mid-April to repair and resurface the road deck of the old viaduct structure. This required the temporary shift of eastbound traffic onto the new adjacent viaduct structure in order to give the contractor access to the old road deck in order to make the repairs.
The road deck repairs have required the temporary closure of the eastbound off-ramp of the Spokane Street Viaduct at Fourth Avenue South. It is now expected that this off-ramp will reopen on Tuesday, May 22, or Wednesday, May 23, at which point the work will require the closure of the eastbound off-ramp at First Avenue South for approximately 4 weeks. (Until the bridge deck repairs are completed, it is likely that one or the other of these two eastbound off-ramps will have to be closed; however, at least one of them will remain open at all times.)