In our report last night on a City Hall briefing about changes related to the Viaduct-to-Tunnel transition – aka #Realign99 – we mentioned temporary bus lanes, including the 4th Avenue S. offramp from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge. We asked SDOT after the briefing when that work would be done. They didn’t have an answer then – but today, they’ve announced work will happen tomorrow:
Temporary bus lane construction will occur on Saturday, January 5.
To manage the increased volume of traffic on our city’s streets and changing traffic patterns in advance of the SR closure beginning Friday, January 11, we’re rechannelizing key streets downtown starting Saturday, January 5. Streets include the Spokane Street Viaduct, the eastbound off-ramp to 4th Ave S and a short section of 4th Ave S approaching Spokane St.
These dedicated bus-only lanes will allow buses coming in from West Seattle to access the SODO busway and improve bus travel time throughout the SR 99 closure.
The graphics included with our Street changes for SR 99 closure begin January 5, 2019 flyer show what’s changing.
Here’s what you can expect:
On the Spokane Street Viaduct in the eastbound direction, the right lane will be converted to a bus only lane from 1st Ave S and will continue to the 4th Ave S exit to the signalized intersection at 4th Ave S. On 4th Ave S, we are adding a short bus-only lane heading northbound approaching Spokane St. These changes will be in place by 11 PM on Saturday, January 5.
To accommodate this change, we have modified the island separating the north and southbound lanes on 4th Ave at Spokane St and a third northbound lane was added in December.
Rain is expected to occur after Saturday, January 5, so these lanes will be installed prior to these weather impacts. Completing this work one week early ensures that we avoid delays associated with weather for this installation in order to allow buses to begin using the lane on January 11. So, while we are installing these lanes on Saturday, January 5, there won’t be any buses using this lane until after 8 PM on January 11.
Please note that these are temporary bus lanes and will be restored to general travel lanes open to all vehicles in mid-February when the northbound off-ramp to Dearborn St is opened and King County Metro resumes northbound service on the SR 99 corridor.
And another reminder – the first #Realign99 closures start tonight – the Atlantic and Royal Brougham exits from/to 99 in the stadium zone close permanently at 10 pm tonight, exactly one week before the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s 10 pm January 11th permanent closure.