What’s next for Avalon/35th project, and what SDOT says about problems so far

As we received the end-of-week update on what’s next for the Avalon/35th/Alaska project, we also asked SDOT about related problems reported to us this past week. First, the update:

Here are the main things happening this weekend and next week:

We are wrapping up zone B demolition on the east half SW Avalon Way! This Saturday, May 4 and Monday, May 6, we are planning to pave the road base on the east side of SW Avalon Way from SW Genesee St to SW Yancy (Zone B). Please note that paving is weather dependent and may be postponed if the weather is wetter than anticipated. Once paving is complete, we plan to grind the sections of remaining existing pavement on Tuesday, May 7 and Wednesday, May 8. We will then move traffic to the east side of SW Avalon Way as we shift work to the west side of the street as early as Friday, May 10.

From Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5, we will be closing the east side of the intersection of SW Avalon Way and SW Genesee St to demolish existing pavement, grade, and pave the intersection. Crews will need to work across multiple lanes of traffic in the intersection. We plan to reopen this intersection as early as Monday, May 6.

Work on 35th Ave SW from SW Avalon Way to SW Alaska St (Zone E) will begin as soon as Tuesday, May 7. We will maintain one lane of traffic in each direction on 35th Ave SW between Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Alaska St. See below for more information about what to expect.

Current and upcoming side street closures:

-SW Genesee St will be closed through May 5 on the east side of SW Avalon Way. People driving west on SW Genesee St will not be able to access SW Avalon Way and will need to use alternate routes to access SW Genesee St east of the intersection. We plan to reopen the intersection as soon as Monday, May 6.

-30th Ave SW will be temporarily closed for construction staging. You will not be able to access SW Avalon Way from 30th Ave SW. 30th Ave SW will be permanently closed at the completion of this project.

-SW Snoqualmie St will be closed to 35th Ave SW for construction staging. Local access will be maintained from 36th Ave SW.

The full update is here (PDF).

Meantime, the project team also tells us, “We’ve received reports of people driving following people biking too closely through construction areas. Safety is our priority, and we want to ensure everyone can safely get around work areas.” This matches some reports we’ve received, too. Asked whether there’s anything more they can or will do for multi-modal safety, the project team told us:

Regarding safety for people riding bikes, we are continuing to assess and address the concerns raised. We have designed our work in smaller zones to minimize impacts to the current bike paths throughout the project corridor. To date we continue to advised people riding bikes to look for alternative routes through our work zones. We met with the West Seattle Bike Connections group to talk through alternative routes, and we understand this is a challenging geography. We have as much signage that is allowed in our work zone about bicycles merging with traffic and the bicycle lane ending. We also have Uniformed Police Officers to assist traffic in our work zone.

To complete each of the project phases, we have to maintain 11′ lanes and have to request that all modes of transportation share the road through the construction zones. We are adding a radar speed sign to advocate for cars to slow down when heading northbound.

Another issue that’s been brought to our attention: Side-street traffic trouble, like the 28th/Dakota truck problems Laura caught in these clips:

The project team also was sent those clips. Their response:

To access SW Avalon Way, people driving should be using the posted detour route by heading north on Delridge Way SW, turning left onto SW Andover, turning left onto 28th Ave SW and turning right onto SW Yancy St before they get to SW Dakota St.

We have witnessed many people driving bypassing the “road closed” signs in the neighborhoods which can get them into situations like the one shown in your video, making it difficult to make tight turns. To ensure that the “road closed” signs are as visible as possible to drivers, we have adjusted their location at 26th Ave SW and SW Genesee St to discourage people driving from traveling west towards 31st Ave SW.

Last but not least, we noted multiple reports of very late-night and early-morning work in the area earlier this week. That response:

There was unanticipated late-night work this week. Seattle Public Utilities is working along the corridor to renew water services as we have the roadway base demolished. Last night, emergency work took place to secure a leaking pipe. SPU had a noise variance for their emergency work. Unfortunately, due to the urgent nature of the work, they were not able to notify us about this work, otherwise we would have let the public know right away. Additionally, as we work throughout the corridor, private developers may do additional utility connections when we are not working. Our goal is to coordinate with them about work hours to pass information to the public; however, we don’t always get the information in a timely manner.

The project hotline for complaints/questions: 206-900-8734.

8 Replies to "What's next for Avalon/35th project, and what SDOT says about problems so far"

  • waikikigirl May 4, 2019 (4:32 am)

    RE: truck videos, why would a truck try and go thru that roadway ???  he did and now is paying the consequences but why would the driver(s) of those cars that can visibly see the truck driver that’s in distress turn into its way, why not turn around and go another way, much easier for the car than for the now 40+ long truck? IMO both are very much at fault.

  • valvashon May 4, 2019 (8:40 am)

    Laura should try holding her phone sideways.https://youtu.be/f2picMQC-9E

    • WSB May 4, 2019 (8:50 am)

      I used to be picky about vertical vs. horizontal video and always shoot the latter myself but otherwise have given up on grumpiness as there are legitimate reasons people shoot vertical – Instagram, for example. I still prefer to upload to YT – she sent her clips, I uploaded to our YT channel. Thanks to all who share video regardless of which way the phone’s held …

      • dhg May 4, 2019 (9:58 am)

        I’M going to invent a phone that always shoots landscape regardless of how you hold it.  I’m gonna call it the CINEMA phone and make a fortune.

    • Laura May 4, 2019 (12:43 pm)

      That’s why I’m a social worker and not a photographer! 😁 I just ran out and did the best I could to capture the chaos. It took that truck about 30 minutes to turn the corner and there was traffic stuck every direction on these little streets. The #50 bus even came down Dakota after getting stuck there earlier this week. 

  • TheBeanon30th May 4, 2019 (9:34 am)

    Yes, grumpiness is not a becoming look on anyone! Good thing we don’t have “I- C- U- 2- TV” like JP Patches had otherwise we’d be seeing a lot of grumpy people!     LOL!!!:>)

  • Avalon Resident May 4, 2019 (1:03 pm)

    “Seattle Public Utilities is working along the corridor to renew water services as we have the roadway base demolished. Last night, emergency work took place to secure a leaking pipe. “Okay, there’s an ongoing simultaneous project to replace the pipes (makes sense to do it while the road is ripped up). They discover a pipe that was leaking that somehow couldn’t wait 12 hours to be dug up and replaced, even though it had been like that for weeks, months or years. Or the pipe was damaged when they removed another part of the pipe 50 ft. away–which is possible, but a stretch (because that’s at least how much of the street they dug up after hours). They were out again doing paving work at 6am today, a Saturday. Again, they claimed this was urgent utility work. To the extent that they were paving the stretch of pavement that they demolished last week and where they replaced the pipes, maybe it’s part of the utility work. But blaming paving on a utility project that’s piggybacked on a paving project is…disingenuous at best. And certainly nothing that couldn’t have waited until 9am.Construction times allowed by the Seattle noise ordinance for public projects in this zone are 7am–10pm, weekdays, and 9am–10pm, weekends and holidays (private projects like housing have more restricted hours). Impact construction (jackhammers, hoe rams, etc.) is further limited to 8am-5pm, weekdays or 9am–5pm, weekends and holidays. If SDOT and the various public utilities continue to fail to stick to these rules or misuse the emergency variances, residents should file complaints with the city at noise@seattle.gov

  • Chris May 7, 2019 (3:40 pm)

    I commuted home this way from White Center. Sometimes I take west marginal as I did this morning so I was not aware of the closure until returning north just now.If you’re headed Northbound towards Avalon on 35th, there is no detour nor signage posted. It’s very confusing. Also if somebody is turning left from 35th on to Avalon then the entire traffic gets backed up 35th past Alaska and up the hill. Finally people taking the bus at 35th and Avalon have to walk onto the road and the bus has to stop traffic for boarding.

Sorry, comment time is over.