Update: Opening time for new 1st Avenue S. ramp

When SDOT announced late Thursday that the long-awaited new 1st Avenue South onramp/offramp from the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct would open next Friday (WSB coverage here), they hadn’t set a time yet – but now they have. Just heard from project spokesperson Paul Elliott that the ramp will be open by 6 am Friday (August 31st).

17 Replies to "Update: Opening time for new 1st Avenue S. ramp"

  • BLB August 24, 2012 (2:57 pm)

    Holy Hell! Finally.

  • rw August 24, 2012 (3:17 pm)

    Awesome. We’re almost there.

  • hopey August 24, 2012 (4:51 pm)

    Cue the hallelujah chorus!

  • jgonplay August 24, 2012 (5:36 pm)

    SWEET! Traffic hell is almost over!

  • dj August 24, 2012 (6:30 pm)

    Finally. My bus got stopped at the Hanford Street train crossing. Skip the ribbon cutting and open the ramp even sooner.

    • WSB August 24, 2012 (7:56 pm)

      DJ – There has been no mention of a ribboncutting since the discussion on which I reported earlier this month, so I believe that idea was scrapped and “by 6 am” that day will be as soon as they can …

  • BlairJ August 24, 2012 (8:10 pm)

    From the US Naval Observatory website:
    Seattle, King County, Washington
    (longitude W122.3, latitude N47.6)
    Friday 31 August 2012
    Pacific Daylight Time
    Begin civil twilight 5:55 a.m.
    Sunrise 6:27 a.m.

    Looks like they want to make the change as soon as it starts getting light out.

  • tk August 24, 2012 (8:19 pm)

    my question to SDOT:
    What is the recommended route for west bound traffic coming from the Georgetown/4th Ave S (Costco)/Spokane St. area going back to West Seattle via the 1st Ave onramp?
    Once Spokane St is reopened, how do we access the onramp? Turn north on 1st Ave & pull a U-turn? (will SDOT put up signes allowing this like some places in Bellevue?) Or continue on 4th north to the old potholed non-arterial Holgate just to get south again?
    There doesn’t seem to be any reasonable solution that comes to mind, and there is a lot of traffic which will have to deal with this daily.
    Any ideas?

    • WSB August 24, 2012 (8:29 pm)

      TK, I can send that question to our project contact and post the answer – I expect to have a series of reports on logistics next week as we count down to the ramp opening and that would be very helpful info for even more people. But let me know if you already sent it to somebody … TR

  • tk August 24, 2012 (8:55 pm)

    WSB- No, I didn’t know who to ask & figured you might!
    Thanks so much for looking into this question— I’ve been wondering this for 2+ years now.
    I did ask this question at one of the original open houses but SDOT reps could only come up with “you should stay on the arterials & go north up 4th to Lander to get south on 1st Ave back to Spokane…”
    Actually, in Bellevue and in SeaTac they have posted U-turn lanes which might work on 1st Ave going north from Spokane St, then U-turning south to the on-ramp?

  • onion August 24, 2012 (10:34 pm)

    I vote for a special flyover exit from Costco directly to the westbound Spokane St viaduct. As a longtime West Seattleite I will stay grumpy until this basic need is met.

  • Lou August 24, 2012 (11:17 pm)

    And now the 1st south offramp from eastbound West Seattle Bridge is closed until 9/30. I’m sure once that’s open something else will close. It’s like some physical law.

    • WSB August 24, 2012 (11:31 pm)

      Lou, you may be psychic. We got word today of another project that looms ahead with some ramp closures at the east end of the bridge this fall. Working on the story for next week.

  • dsa August 25, 2012 (8:05 am)

    It is so easy to believe that they replaced an on ramp to West Seattle that was accessible from both the east and north with one that is *only* accessible from the north.
    I am consistently disappointed in just about anything SDOT does.

  • KD August 25, 2012 (11:25 am)

    Tk, GOOD question! I just hope SPD-Traffic wont’t be ready to pounce on people trying to figure it out and get tickets.

  • flynlo August 25, 2012 (12:24 pm)

    A more generic question to SDOT would be why it is that they can design an OFF ramp (4th ave) which allows access both north and south and they can’t design an ON ramp (1st ave) which will all access from both the north and south. SDOT apparently doesn’t realize that there is NO access to west bound Spokane viaduct from south of Spokane street.
    It defies belief that there is no access to south bound 99 from the viaduct, no access westbound from northbound 1st ave (the odds of allowing a U-turn are about -99!), access from northbound 4th & 6th will require fighting with the port traffic and trains (even to use the low level bridge. $160 million + and we get an improved parking lot for northbound I5, and access to south bound 4th ave!!!

    • WSB August 25, 2012 (1:23 pm)

      Flynlo, I don’t know if it figures into what you would envision as a ramp accessible from other directions, but fwiw a reminder, this is an on- and off-ramp. Somewhere in our four years of coverage I suspect they explained the configuration; will look that up later.

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