In recent discussions of excruciatingly slow West Seattle-bound bus journeys from downtown, there’ve been many reminders that buses’ use of 1st Avenue South is temporary, with new permanent “pathways” in the works. Construction started today on the next phase of creating one key route, the 2-way version of Columbia Street (prep work was done more than a year ago). Here’s the city’s announcement:
With the former on-ramp to the Alaskan Way Viaduct now fully demolished, construction began today on Columbia Street for transit and pedestrian improvements between 1st Avenue and Alaskan Way. As part of the Waterfront Seattle Program, the City of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects is transforming Columbia Street into a two-way corridor with bus-only lanes and improved sidewalks. This critical transit pathway is expected to be completed and operational by early January 2020. Once operational, transit will use Columbia Street and Alaskan Way for both inbound and outbound travel between downtown and southwest King County.
Construction of the Columbia Street improvements is expected to take about four months and includes new underground utilities. Work will mostly take place during daytime and weekday hours, with occasional overnight and weekend work. Columbia Street will be closed to vehicles at 1st Avenue, with other intermittent traffic closures on Western, Post, and 1st avenues. Columbia Street will remain open to pedestrians throughout construction, with sidewalks open on at least one side of the street.
Later this fall, the City will begin rebuilding Alaskan Way, as soon as Viaduct demolition is complete. The City is committed to keeping the waterfront open and accessible throughout construction. To learn more visit waterfrontseattle.org, call 206-499-8040 or email email@example.com
The plan has been long in the making – back in 2012, when decisions about downtown traffic flow were being made, we reported on Columbia being “in the lead” over other possibilities.