(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.