Spokane St. Viaduct project 139 results

11 days and counting: Another 1st Avenue S. ramp-closure alert

It was one of the hottest topics on last night’s Southwest District Council meeting – the upcoming closure of the 1st Avenue South ramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge, as part of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. The closure’s now 11 days away – Monday, May 17th – and project manager Stuart Goldsmith got some tough questions last night at the SWDC meeting after taking some tough questions: What about West Seattle traffic after the closure? he was asked, as SWDC co-chair Erica Karlovits of the Junction Neighborhood Organization pointed out that trouble on The Bridge can back up traffic all the way into The Junction, or well into North Delridge. Goldsmith said SDOT would keep an eye on that. Meantime, the department has just issued another official reminder tonight of the impending ramp closure (which will mean almost a year and a half with no access to the westbound bridge between 99 and I-5), along with the official detour map (above) – read on for the full text:Read More

2 weeks till 1st Avenue ramp closure; SDOT at Kiwanis this week

May 2, 2010 9:31 am
|    Comments Off on 2 weeks till 1st Avenue ramp closure; SDOT at Kiwanis this week
 |   Spokane St. Viaduct project | West Seattle news

We’ve been talking about it for months – and now, it’s almost here – the next major closure affecting West Seattle drivers as part of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. Two weeks from tomorrow, on May 17, the 1st Avenue South onramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge will close for good; a new one, with a different configuration, will be built as part of the project, but it won’t be open till late 2011 at the soonest. If you’ve got questions for SDOT, this Wednesday morning’s meeting of the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle is your chance to get answers in person. They’re hosting Paul Elliott from SDOT community relations, 7 am, Be’s Restaurant in The Junction (4509 California SW), public welcome. Meantime, you can check out our archive of project coverage here, and detour maps/project updates are available in this area of the SDOT website. (Side note re: the Kiwanians: They were expected back at today’s Farmers’ Market, collecting eyeglasses, cell phone and ink-cartridge donations, KeyBank side, like last week.)

Restrict low-bridge openings at rush hour? New “voluntary” plan

(March 2010 photo taken during bridge tour, courtesy City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen)
Three weeks ago, we brought you the letter the city sent to the Coast Guard asking again for restrictions on opening the “low bridge” – this time, because its vehicle usage is about to increase dramatically, especially in the afternoon, with the May 17th closure of the 1st Avenue South onramp to the westbound high-rise West Seattle Bridge. (Here’s the detour map.) At last night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, Pigeon Point rep Pete Spalding asked about the status of the request, and SDOT’s Stuart Goldsmith indicated they’d gotten word it wouldn’t be granted. That’s just been confirmed today by SDOT communications manager Rick Sheridan, but he says there’s a “voluntary” plan:

Though we have not received official written notification, the US Coast Guard (USCG) has indicated that it will not support a suspension of peak hour openings of the lower Spokane Street Swing Bridge. In order to minimize traffic disruptions after the First Avenue S on-ramp closure, the parties involved in the decision agreed to a voluntary system for minimizing p.m. rush hour openings of the bridge. Waterway users, the Port of Seattle, the USCG and SDOT have jointly agreed to this. SDOT will monitor the impacts of bridge openings on traffic during this phase of construction and, should a sustained pattern of traffic disruptions occur, the Coast Guard is committed to working with the city to address the issue.

Looking ahead to increased traffic on the low bridge as the Spokane Street and Alaskan Way Viaducts’ construction projects approached, the city asked in 2008 for the peak-hour restrictions, and was turned down (WSB coverage here) without any “voluntary” attempts to make it happen. Meantime, if you’re tracking all the effects of various construction projects in the metro area, including the two viaducts, here’s the latest update from SDOT.

Delridge District Council toplines: Tale of two viaducts

The latest on the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project and the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project – both of which will affect West Seattle drivers in a major way, as we’ve reported here for the past few years – comprises two of our three toplines from tonight’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting at Youngstown Arts Center. Read on for the highlights:Read More

Metro reminder of upcoming 1st Avenue S. ramp-closure reroutes

Shortly after the date was announced last month for the upcoming closure of the 1st Avenue South ramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge — part of the city’s Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project — Metro provided WSB with its bus-rerouting plans (3/5 story here). They haven’t changed, but with the May 17 ramp closure less than a month away, Metro has now sent an official news release, so in case you missed the news before, here’s the full text:Read More

Spokane Street Viaduct: 1 ramp moving fast, 1 ramp closing soon

News tonight about “the other viaduct” – the Spokane Street Viaduct, aka the section of the West Seattle Bridge that’s between 99 and I-5. Construction of the new eastbound offramp at 4th Avenue South (SDOT photo above) is running ahead of schedule. Meantime, the closure of the 1st Avenue South onramp to the westbound WS Bridge is now just a month away. Here’s the latest from SDOT:Read More

City officially requests temporary PM restrictions on “low bridge”

(WSB photo from October 2009)
In ongoing reports about the convergence of various road projects and their effects on West Seattle drivers, we’ve been talking about the impending closure of the 1st Avenue South onramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge as part of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project, and how that will affect traffic. In particular, it’s going to mean many more vehicles – including buses – using the “low bridge” during the afternoon/evening rush hour (detour map here), with no access to the “high bridge” between I-5 and 99. Knowing this was ahead, the city asked the Coast Guard two years ago to consider restricting openings of the “low bridge” during rush hours; the Coast Guard said no. Now, as anticipated, the city is trying again – and City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s office has just provided us with the official letter, sent this week. Specifically, they’re asking for restrictions between 3 pm and 6 pm weekdays, starting May 17, when the ramp is scheduled to close permanently (late next year, a new 1st Avenue S. on/offramp will be open), and continuing into 2011. As you’ll see if you read the letter, the city includes an example of how they expect traffic to be affected, for those flowing into the Delridge/Chelan/Marginal intersection on the bridge’s west end: Delays are projected to quadruple, from 40-ish seconds to 3 minutes. As for potential disruption of marine traffic, the city’s letter cites a one-year period in which about 30 vessels that had to go out at high tide went out during PM rush hour, and says those openings could be scheduled well in advance, with advance warning to drivers to plan around the bridge openings. So what next? The city is asking the Coast Guard to expedite review of its request – the request made in 2008 took months to review, but only six weeks remain until the 1st Avenue South ramp closes.

Update: 1st Ave So eastbound offramp lane closure starts Monday

Just last night, we reported on another lane restriction on the Spokane Street Viaduct (the section of The Bridge between Highway 99 and I-5) that at the time was noted as starting “soon” – reducing the eastbound 1st Avenue South exit to one lane – and now there’s word it starts Monday. Here’s the official announcement just sent by SDOT:Read More

New city detour map for upcoming 1st Ave So ramp closure

As first reported here two weeks ago, the city has set May 17th for the closure of the 1st Avenue South onramp to the West Seattle Bridge, as the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project goes into its next construction phase. Today the city has sent a news release reiterating that date, with a new detour map – read on for both:Read More

Followup: No formal request yet for “low bridge” change

(Thursday night photo by Christopher Boffoli)
As reported here a week ago, May 17 is now set as the date when the city will permanently close the 1st Avenue South/South Spokane onramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge – and that means no access to The Bridge between I-5 and Highway 99 until the new 1st Avenue South on/offramp opens more than a year and a half later. In the meantime, more traffic will be using the “low bridge” – including rerouted Metro buses – so it’s been suggested that the city should reopen its request for restrictions on marine use of that bridge during rush hours. (In 2008, the U.S. Coast Guard rejected a request for permanent restrictions.) This week, we checked with the city regarding the status of a new request to the USCG; SDOT communications manager Rick Sheridan tells us today it hasn’t been formally filed yet:

SDOT is interested in temporarily prohibiting evening rush hour openings of the Lower Spokane Street Swing Bridge starting in May, when a new phase of work begins on the Spokane Street Viaduct. While we believe this proposal has merit, we also understand there might be impacts to some marine users. We are currently in conversations about it with the marine industry, the Port of Seattle and the US Coast Guard, which is an important coordinating step prior to submitting a formal request to the Coast Guard.

City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chair of the Transportation Committee and main backer of the previous proposal to restrict rush-hour openings, says he’s aware of this and “willing to help.”

Followup: Metro’s detour route when the 1st Ave onramp closes

We didn’t want to bury this new information by adding it to our previous story about the city setting May 17 as the date for the permanent closure of the 1st Avenue South onramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge – so here’s a breakout. We spoke with King County DOT‘s Linda Thielke a little while ago, and she said Metro does have the BUS detour worked out for the year and a half that there will be no way to get on the westbound West Seattle Bridge between I-5 and The Viaduct. First, the routes that will be affected:
21 local
56 local

Second, the detour route (we tried to make a custom Google Map but the line-drawing function is just not behaving for us, so that’s just going to have to wait): 1st Avenue South to Hanford (map), west on Hanford to East Marginal Way (map), south on East Marginal to Spokane (map), then across the lower bridge. Only one current stop, in the 1st/Spokane vicinity, will be missed, and this will only affect the “back to West Seattle from downtown” runs, since the 1st Avenue South offramp on the eastbound side will not be affected (also, the new 4th Avenue ramp on that side will open later this year). The one key piece of the puzzle that Metro is still working on: Travel times/scheduling, so they can create something resembling a predictable schedule for this detour. They’re talking with the city re: signal timing, for example. And Thielke pointed out one other thing: Metro also is trying to keep this all in the “big picture” – they can address what needs to happen because of this May closure, for example, but with all the other work scheduled in the area, they are trying to make sure things don’t have to change every time “another domino” falls. This domino – the 1st Ave. So. ramp closure – is part of the city’s Spokane Street Viaduct project; the official online info starts here.

More traffic alerts – with the date for 1st Ave. bridge ramp closure

The newest roundup of upcoming traffic effects from road work in and around SODO and the Spokane Street Viaduct is now online – see it here – and it includes the first definite date we’ve seen for the impending closure of the 1st Avenue South onramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge: May 17th. (SDOT had previously just mentioned May.) The impending closure came up at this week’s Southwest District Council (our long-version story’s still in the works), during a guest appearance by City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the Transportation Committee; he promised to put the pressure on to make sure there’s more public outreach before that closure takes effect. The ramp is to be replaced by a new 1st Avenue on/offramp (with the entry/exit a ways north of the current one), opening in 2012. ADDED 10:11 AM: A related traffic-advisory note for next week is just in from SDOT – read on:Read More

Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project: I-5 ramp reopens early

January 30, 2010 7:23 pm
|    Comments Off on Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project: I-5 ramp reopens early
 |   Spokane St. Viaduct project | West Seattle traffic alerts

Once again this weekend, work that was supposed to last till early Monday has instead ended Saturday night: The city has just sent word that the West Seattle Bridge ramp from northbound I-5 is open again. (The note didn’t mention the Columbian Way westbound-to-WS-Bridge ramp status, so we’re checking on that. 7:37 pm update – city spokesperson Alex Fryer says it’s open too.)

Spokane St. Viaduct Widening Project: From ramp to rubble

One week after the shutdown of the 4th Avenue offramp from the westbound Spokane Street Viaduct section of the West Seattle Bridge, you can see crews wasted no time in taking it down. Marybeth Turner of SDOT visited the construction site on Thursday and shared this photo with us today. The north side of the westbound SSV is where the widening will take place, with a brand-new structure added; the new westbound off/on-ramp will be at 1st Avenue, while a 4th Avenue offramp is being built on the eastbound side. This gives us a reason to remind you that as of minutes from now, the northbound I-5 ramp and Columbian Way ramp to the westbound West Seattle Bridge are both closing for what could be the entire weekend, till Monday morning, though the same shutdown pattern last weekend ended much earlier than planned (on Saturday night); we’ll keep you up to date on changes. The city’s infopages on the project start here; more photos of the ramp demolition are here; our archives of project coverage, dating back more than a year and a half, start here.

Traffic reminders: Weekend closures for 2 ramps, South Park Bridge

January 29, 2010 7:59 am
|    Comments Off on Traffic reminders: Weekend closures for 2 ramps, South Park Bridge
 |   South Park | Spokane St. Viaduct project | Transportation | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

11:34 AM UPDATE – The South Park Bridge closures are POSTPONED till a future date.

One more reminder about three closures this weekend that might affect your travels to and from West Seattle:

10 PM TONIGHT THROUGH 5 AM MONDAY: That’s the schedule again this weekend for closures of the northbound I-5 ramp and the westbound Columbian Way ramp to the West Seattle Bridge, both related to the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. (Last weekend the work finished fast and both reopened Saturday night.) Details here.

7 AM-7 PM DAILY, SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: The South Park Bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic, and will not open for marine traffic, all four days. Crews plan to do tests related to future construction of a replacement bridge; details here.

Traffic alert: Two West Seattle-bound ramp closures this weekend

January 27, 2010 5:24 pm
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 |   Spokane St. Viaduct project | West Seattle traffic alerts

The same ramp closures that affected access to West Seattle for part of last weekend as part of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project are in the works for this weekend. Read on for the official word from SDOT:Read More

Traffic alert: I-5, Columbian Way ramps to The Bridge reopen early

Just in from SDOT:

SDOT’s contractor completed this weekend’s work early and expects to reopen the ramp from northbound I-5 to the West Seattle Bridge early this evening (Saturday, Jan 23). The ramp from Columbian Way (from Beacon Hill) to the West Seattle Bridge will reopen at the same time.

Several long-term closures that began last night (Friday, Jan 22) will remain in place for the Spokane Street Viaduct widening project. Lower Spokane Street from First to Sixth avenues is closed to both east and westbound through traffic. The Fourth Avenue South off- ramp from westbound lanes on the Spokane Street Viaduct is permanently closed.

Starting Monday at 9 a.m., Fourth Avenue South under the viaduct will be restricted to one lane in each direction from S Horton to Industrial Way, and will remain restricted for several weeks.

Today the contractor positioned barriers blocking the Fourth Avenue off-ramp from the westbound lanes of Spokane Street Viaduct. The contractor expects to begin demolition of this ramp next week.

Closures similar to this weekend are planned for next weekend if the weather is favorable. Watch for updates.

9:28 PM UPDATE: SDOT confirms the ramps are open.

Update: Expanded look at upcoming area traffic troublespots

That map just sent around by Delridge Neighborhoods District Coordinator Ron Angeles; it expands on the map published here last night when SDOT sent out its latest news release about the upcoming construction-related closures on and around the Spokane Street Viaduct (aka the section of West Seattle Bridge between 99 and I-5). As you can see, this one includes some other closures right outside the general area covered by the original map/info. This expanded list can be found on the city website here – along with a larger, more readable version of the map. Most immediately, as mentioned last night, tomorrow’s the day that the 4th Avenue S. exit from the westbound SSV closes forever, and a longer stretch of lower westbound Spokane Street closes too; plus the West Seattle Bridge ramps from northbound I-5 and Columbian Way on Beacon Hill both will close for the entire weekend, 10 pm tomorrow through 5 am Monday.

Reminder: Spokane Street Viaduct Project closures ahead

We’ve been reporting on this for more than a year and a half, and now it’s about to intensify – day after tomorrow, a ramp and road closure kick in for the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. The city’s sent out a reminder tonight as well as the detour map above – read on for the news release:Read More

West Seattle (and vicinity) scenes: From the air; toward the water

Last week while researching our update on the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project, we asked SDOT if they had an aerial of the new 4th Avenue offramp. No, they said at the time – but Monday, the shot you see above turned up on this SDOT site along with another aerial view and a few more ground-level pix. Meantime, one more scenic West Seattle view from the weekend – James Bratsanos shared this view from Alki, captured Sunday night:

Thanks again for all the photos! editor@westseattleblog.com – any time.

How Spokane Street Viaduct ramp closures will affect Metro

(Click to see full-size project-overview graphic on SDOT website)
Since our report two days ago about the impending ramp closures related to the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project (that’s the section of The Bridge between 99 and I-5), we’ve been following up on WSB’ers questions regarding how this will affect Metro Transit routing. King County Department of Transportation has an update in this news release:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is beginning the next phase of widening the South Spokane Street Viaduct on Jan. 22, and this phase should have minimal disruptions for King County Metro Transit customers.

As SDOT begins renovations on the 60-year-old elevated roadway that connects Interstate 5 to the West Seattle Bridge, there could be increased traffic congestion which could delay bus travel – but no transit reroutes will be necessary at this time.

What else? Read on:Read More

Spokane Street Viaduct update: Dates set for more closures

E-mail asking “what’s that ramp being built alongside the West Seattle Bridge?” reminded us it’s been a while since the last formal update on the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. The first phase involves that ramp you can see while driving the stretch of The Bridge between 99 and I-5; it will bring traffic off the eastbound bridge onto 4th, with one lane turning southbound (toward Costco), the other turning northbound (toward SODO and downtown). When we checked in with SDOT to ask about a construction photo – receiving the ones you see in this story – Marybeth Turner shared the brand-new mailer that should land in 35,000 West Seattle and SODO mailboxes today and tomorrow. In it: Dates are set for some key closures related to the projects – including one that’s happening sooner than first announced:

(date updated at noon) JANUARY 22: That’s when the two-phase shutdown of the rest of lower westbound Spokane Street will begin — first the road will be closed between 6th and 4th Avenues South; then February 1st, the closure will extend to East Marginal Way. SDOT says the closure will continue until the project is complete in 2012; the westbound side is where the new structure, doubling the width of the Spokane Street Viaduct, will be built.

(date updated at noon) JANUARY 22: The second major shutdown is a permanent one – the offramp to 4th Avenue South from the westbound SSV will be closed and demolished.

MAY: The exact date isn’t finalized yet, but this is when the ramp from 1st/Spokane to the westbound bridge will be permanently closed. Once that happens, until the new 1st Avenue South on/offramp is ready in late 2011, you will have to use either I-5 or 99 to get onto The Bridge.

SDOT also says you’ll see lane closures from time to time along the way, and temporary ramp closures such as one coming up January 22-24, 10 pm-6 am each night, from southbound I-5 to The Bridge. It’s not all about shutdowns, though – this summer, eastbound lower Spokane Street will reopen, and this fall is when the new 4th Avenue ramp will be ready to go.

This is all detailed in the flyer that’s just been mailed; if you don’t want to wait for it, you can see the whole thing here. (Our archived coverage of the Spokane Street Viaduct project is here.) NOON UPDATE: The city has sent a formal announcement of all this to media – and has already changed a couple of dates this morning; SDOT now says the 4th offramp and lower Spokane from 6th to 4th will all close on the same date, January 22. Read on to see the latest construction schedule from the news release – and note, these changes were made AFTER the aforementioned mailer went out, so they supersede what you will see if/when you get it:Read More

Closures: Westbound S. Spokane starts today; The Viaduct ahead

October 19, 2009 5:04 am
|    Comments Off on Closures: Westbound S. Spokane starts today; The Viaduct ahead
 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | Spokane St. Viaduct project | Transportation

Two reminders: Starting today (Monday), westbound South Spokane Street closes between 4th and 1st Avenues, TFN for the Spokane St. Viaduct Widening Project – that’s the side where the actual “widening” is happening, with a new structure being built on the north side of the old one. Here’s the detour map for both sides, the westbound closure starting today and the eastbound closure that’s been in effect a while:

Read more about the project here; here’s our original report on the closure that starts today; our coverage archive for this project is here. We’re also taking the occasion to remind you that next weekend (Oct. 24-25), the Alaskan Way Viaduct closes all day Saturday and Sunday for its semiannual inspection – scheduled for 6 am-5:30 pm Saturday, 6 am-6 pm Sunday.