Video: New westbound Spokane Street Viaduct ramp is open

Just back from SODO, where we verified that the new ramp to/from the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct is indeed open. For the first time in more than two years, you can get onto the westbound West Seattle Bridge without taking I-5 or Highway 99. The dash-cam view right at 6 am:

The old westbound onramp at 1st/Spokane closed in May 2010 and was demolished shortly thereafter as part of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project; the old westbound onramp at 4th/Spokane was closed in 1993, but not torn down till this project (we photographed the then-15-year-old sign for our first in-depth look at the then-upcoming SSVWP in May 2008).

Note that this opening does NOT mark the end of the project – westbound surface Spokane Street won’t open for another month or so, SDOT says, and that’s also when they expect to reopen the eastbound 1st Avenue S. offramp, which is being repaired/resurfaced.

ADDED 3:14 PM: Thanks to KING 5 for sharing this SkyKING image of the new ramp:

The image looks toward the northeast – that’s the offramp on top, the onramp “below” it.

25 Replies to "Video: New westbound Spokane Street Viaduct ramp is open"

  • kumalavula August 31, 2012 (6:37 am)

    they were busy hanging that sign pictured above around 7:30 last night when I came back from Costco and had to do the railroad track/lower bridge combo to get back home. not any more as of this am!!!!!

  • blank August 31, 2012 (6:52 am)

    Yay! Finally, no more going to white center to get home. Now if the 1st ave exit will open.

  • Brandon August 31, 2012 (7:02 am)


  • West Seattle Since 1979 August 31, 2012 (7:15 am)

    Woohoo! Finally!

  • pam August 31, 2012 (7:28 am)

    Glory, glory, glory… no more 20 minute or more waits for the trains to load/unload when coming home from the waterfront, downtown, etc. Hooray!! It’s been a long time.

  • sw August 31, 2012 (9:14 am)

    All hail The Ramp.

  • Kris August 31, 2012 (10:16 am)

    Thank you for showing the actual drive thru. Very helpful. Kris

  • cjboffoli August 31, 2012 (11:03 am)

    Thank the gods! No more waiting for trains!

  • Dylan August 31, 2012 (11:35 am)

    yay! no more having to take the 6th Ave onramp and then turning around at 14th and Columbian way to go back west. that was so annoying

  • OP August 31, 2012 (11:39 am)


  • Truntru August 31, 2012 (12:27 pm)

    This is awesome!

    Seperately, I was wondering if there has been any discussion on the quality of work on the upper deck? I don’t drive on the road often anymore but it seems almost as bumpy an uneven as the old road. Really weird…

  • WSratsinacage August 31, 2012 (12:33 pm)

    Picture driving westbound on the viaduct. A driver can exit to 1st Ave from the right lane. About 30 feet ahead, the same lane is used for people entering the viaduct from 1st.. This space looks to not be paved the same way as the rest of the viaduct and appears to be some dead space that shouldn’t be used for safety reasons. I was wondering what the plan is for keeping people from changing their mind about exiting at 1st and continuing westbound and meeting up (crashing) with those trying to enter the viaduct from 1st?

  • maxvekich August 31, 2012 (2:20 pm)

    What a difference.
    Coming back from the Hawks game last night and having to use the little bridge to coming home to highpoint this am using the new ramp. OMG an actual transportation improvement for West Seattle. Smiles.

  • Jack Chandelier August 31, 2012 (4:53 pm)

    @WSratsinacage – If you look at the picture you can see that that is not the case. When you enter via the ramp you are in your own lane. If someone in the exit lane changes their mind they are going to change back out of the exit-only lane – for them to crash into an incoming car they’d have to not change lanes and essentially drive on the shoulder (for more what looks like at least 60 feet).

  • Bob Loblaw August 31, 2012 (5:15 pm)


  • SuperAwesome August 31, 2012 (6:22 pm)

    I drove it home from work today. LOVE!

  • Jill Loblaw August 31, 2012 (8:16 pm)

    Waaaaahoooooooo! We will we will rock you!

  • Dylan August 31, 2012 (8:19 pm)

    Ironic, my first time taking the new ramp I had to wait almost 10 minutes for a train just to get on the ramp. I hope that doesn’t happen often or I’m not even going to bother using it.

  • JanS August 31, 2012 (9:06 pm)

    Dylan…you confuse me. Since there are no trains on 1st ave or across 1st Ave., where did you encounter a train?

  • Todd September 1, 2012 (12:29 am)

    Hey Jack, I’ve seen stranger things on the bridge. In general, people drive crazy all the time trying to save time or correct a mistake. I drove this westbound route tonight and I’m going to send an email to SDOT to be proactive.. They may have a plan for this area, there are temporary barrels there now, but If someone does stay on the shoulder because they don’t want to exit at 1st but want Harbor Island, I’m not sure people coming on from 1st would be able to see the person in time.

  • Scott September 1, 2012 (4:57 pm)

    YES! Glad it’s finally open; had some really long bus rides the past couple years!

  • thegodshavegonecrazy September 3, 2012 (5:30 pm)

    The fact that a conversation such as between WSratsinacage and Jack can even take place concerns me…sounds like poor planning that needs to be addressed, and soon, before someone is hurt/killed.

  • Gary September 3, 2012 (10:54 pm)

    Does anyone know if the metro 22 bus (or 116, 118, 119) will take this ramp?

  • Todd September 6, 2012 (11:41 am)

    Hi. Just wanted to follow up. I emailed Paul at the DOT and he said many others have alerted them to the potential danger at the westbound 1st Ave off ramp / on ramp from the viaduct. He said it was a concern of theirs as well. Next week they will be painting the gore area with chevrons which should make it clear to motorists that this is not a drive zone. No physcial barriers are planned at this time but they will monitor the situation.

Sorry, comment time is over.