Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project ceremony: ‘We’re done!’

(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
After four years of construction, finally a celebration for the completion of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. It was May 2008 when word came that the project would proceed, and we took a closeup look at “how it’ll change your life.” It’s added a 4th Avenue offramp on the eastbound side, consolidated on/offramps on the westbound side, and more travel lanes, among other things, all commemorated with this morning’s gathering beneath the SSV (known not that long ago as The West Seattle Freeway). There were of course speeches, including one from West Seattle restaurateur and Chamber of Commerce board chair Dave Montoure:

During the final phase of the project, he was part of an informal task force set up to avoid community-communication snafus like one that left many surprised by a weekend closure. But that’s all in the past – this morning was a time to celebrate, maybe even sigh in relief. Or at least, take pictures, as Mayor Mike McGinn was seen doing:

A closer look at that cake and the ribboncutting – plus what’s next, ahead:

Along with cake-cutting – note the icing inscription, “We’re Done!” – the event featured ribbon-cutting – requiring one big set of scissors:

Scissors in hand, it was on to the ribbon:

Dignitaries included West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the council’s Transportation Committee and spoke about this route’s importance to this side of the bay:

SDOT director Peter Hahn, who took the job after this project was under way, chatted with project manager Stuart Goldsmith, who spent a lot of time briefing community groups in West Seattle over the years:

The event also was meant to offer a “thank you” to West Seattleites for their patience. If you don’t remember all the backstory, this SDOT story recaps some of it.

There may still be some work here and there – for those who have wondered, take note of this footnote on the project’s official city webpage:

(Before the project is officially finished, the City of Seattle will evaluate the performance of the contractor to ensure that the work has been delivered as specified in the contract. As is customary on such major projects, it is likely the contractor will be directed to make adjustments to some of the work they have performed.)

WSB coverage from the past four and a half years is all archived here, in reverse chronological order.

25 Replies to "Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project ceremony: 'We're done!'"

  • Mark November 16, 2012 (3:29 pm)

    Kudos to WSB for the coverage. You had by far the best and most convenient source of coverage. Glad to not be looking out for closures every weekend any more — leave those to 520!

    • WSB November 16, 2012 (3:40 pm)

      Mark – not to burst the bubble but a couple more road projects (state) are coming up soon in the vicinity. Some ramp closures and lane narrowing, though NOT on the West Seattle Bridge, and NOT on 99 between here and downtown. Working on the story for tonight or over the weekend.

  • Dave November 16, 2012 (3:39 pm)

    I gotta say the the SSV and WSB in general are pretty awesome. Love the 4th ave exit and no more waiting for trains in SODO!!!

  • SillyGoose November 16, 2012 (3:47 pm)

    Looks like a private party for those involved!

    • WSB November 16, 2012 (3:51 pm)

      The community was invited. We first reported the plan more than a week ago, but at the time it was described as a dedication for the artwork under the SSV – it morphed into an overall ribboncutting. The only other one held during the project was when the 4th Avenue offramp on the eastbound side opened more than two years ago. – TR

  • JAT November 16, 2012 (4:43 pm)

    So what’s the speed limit going to be on this fancy new road? 35mph is fine with me, but if it’s going to be a safe reasonable expedient on-ramp merging friendly 35, when will we see regular enforcement?

  • U33C November 16, 2012 (4:53 pm)

    Great improvement. A project well done.

  • norsk girl November 16, 2012 (4:57 pm)

    I don’t prefer the graphics/art work. Visually very busy and distracting in an already visually demanding driving environment.

  • Baymo November 16, 2012 (5:59 pm)

    Boy was that ever a pain in the neck.

  • Ajax November 16, 2012 (7:04 pm)

    Had the pleasure of driving home under the bridge from Costco today for the first time since forever. Wonderful!

  • anti-obstruction November 16, 2012 (7:34 pm)

    Tangential question: when, if ever, will a sign indicating the 1st Ave Exit (eastbound) be erected???

  • costco to WS November 16, 2012 (7:38 pm)

    Ajax, I hope you are not taking a left turn from 4th Ave (northbound)to Spokane (westbound). SPD is watching.

  • jw November 16, 2012 (8:10 pm)

    Wait!! You still need to finish painting the neck of that standpipe next to the WS Bridge onramp to Hwy 99 North! It’s already getting wet and rusty.

  • JAT November 16, 2012 (11:01 pm)

    thanks for the link, WEB, I marvel at your earnestness but I really value all the great info.

  • Wisk. E. November 17, 2012 (12:16 am)

    Jesus… A ribbon cutting is “news”? Oh yeah, WSB… Home of jargon and mediocrity…

  • Dave November 17, 2012 (1:36 am)

    Don’t be rude Wisk E (oh isn’t that cute, its like the drink…sigh) It was a huge deal (the project) and this site covered it better than the big official newspapers. Its nice to see an official end to this thing.

  • miws November 17, 2012 (6:41 am)

    Yo Wisk. E! Ya forgot to blame WSB for forcing you to read it!



  • Wendell November 17, 2012 (8:19 am)

    I thought the pavement surface on the upper level wasn’t finished. It looks like a slapped down concrete job. Beggars can’t be choosers, I guess.

  • nichole November 17, 2012 (8:27 am)

    I have a giggle every time i drive by the upside down speed limit sign when you first get on the bridge going east bound. 4 years of construction and no one right side uped it.

  • anti-obstruction November 17, 2012 (11:11 am)

    As WSB is a font of knowledge on many subjects, but paricularly traffic-related issues, I will ask again about whether we might ever hope that some agency (fed/state/county/city) will be erecting a 1st Avenue Exit sign for eastbound traffic. My curiosity probably is shared by quite of few others. Thanks for any info you might learn and pass on pertaining to this, WSB. :)

  • brizone November 17, 2012 (11:48 am)

    @Wendell: Agreed, I can’t believe how bad the surface is for something that just got laid down. Really poor work.

  • Carraig na Splinkeen November 17, 2012 (4:44 pm)

    Must concur on the poor quality of all the surfaces, they won’t last a winter. Really bad. But will take the end of road closures, while they last.
    Wisk E? Really? Maybe have some and lighten up. Don’t like this blog? Then don’t read it, and for sure, don’t post on it. Sheesh.

  • Beto Álvarez November 19, 2012 (11:36 am)

    What about the old and and almost illegible signs in West Seattle that lead to the Bridge? There is one that is really sad looking on Delridge almost before accessing the bridge. There are also some signs on the bridge that are just as old. Does the Mayor ever sees them? Does anybody who works for him ever tell him about it?

  • Nancy F. November 19, 2012 (2:36 pm)

    Yea! So glad to see a project get built, and it really is an improvement!

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