West Seattle, Washington
In ongoing coverage of the Spokane Street Viaduct widening project (plus the new “ramp to Costco“), it’s been mentioned before that westbound lower Spokane Street would close – now a date is set – read on to see the city’s announcement:Read More
This project — for most of the section of The Bridge between 99 and I-5 — is considered a key component of the road improvements that will keep West Seattle from being stuck in total gridlock when Alaskan Way Viaduct work starts in earnest – so the contract is big news – read on for the announcement (plus, here’s the project page on the city website, and here’s our archive of project coverage):Read More
SDOT has just sent one of its periodic updates on the Spokane Street Viaduct (basically the stretch between the high-rise bridge and I-5) widening (etc.) project – which incidentally is considered to be one of the components in the overall Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement work. Among the toplines: Bids are in for the actual widening work, and SDOT says three of the bids were less than $62 million – for a project that was estimated to cost up to $80 million. Read on for the full update:Read More
If you will be using lower Spokane Street 7 pm-5 am for any or all of the next five nights, note that the westbound traffic will be detoured into the currently closed eastbound lanes between 1st and 2nd (map) because of utility work related to the ongoing construction project. Police will direct traffic. SDOT adds, “Eastbound local access between 1st and 2nd will continue to be provided as needed.”
Less than two weeks ago, we got a tour of the Spokane Street construction zone alongside the east edge of the West Seattle Bridge, and an update that work on the new 4th Avenue offramp (aka the future Costco route; rendering above) is ahead of schedule. Today, we have another update from SDOT, including the latest on the ramp and also word of a westbound surface shutdown of Spokane St. later this week – read on:Read More
That’s one of the last two columns about to be poured, for a total of 22 that will hold up the new 4th Avenue South offramp for the Spokane Street Viaduct – a key precursor to the widening work that will soon begin. (Some have nicknamed this the “Costco shortcut,” since it will enable eastbound traffic to get off the West Seattle Bridge and onto 4th Ave. S. while bypassing the railroad tracks.) SDOT just hosted a media tour of the project site – that column is directly across 4th from Seattle City Light HQ, and we also got a look at the work that’s proceeding on the south side of the SSV itself. SDOT also announced that this portion of the project is running about a month ahead of schedule. ADDED 3:15 PM: Here’s a view of the ramp work going on under and alongside the existing SSV, just west of 4th – we were allowed to walk up onto the long-closed 4th Ave. onramp for this perspective:
And construction manager Tim Bramsen talked with us – we asked about any surprise challenges they’ve had to work around; his reply included a mention of a West Seattle-related pipeline:
The existing 4th Ave. S. offramp will be demolished later this year, as the widening work begins. The entire $168 million project is scheduled to be done in 2011 and is likely to be even more important to West Seattle drivers than the current SSV offramps, as another route into downtown as the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Tunnel access configuration changes. (A few more photos to come!)
From the city e-mail list updating what’s up with the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project work beneath and alongside the easternmost stretch of the West Seattle Bridge – several updates, including the latest on that “temporary closure” near 6th/Spokane on the surface; read on:Read More
Just in from SDOT: What’s new with all the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project work you see when you go to Costco, head downtown via the 1st Avenue South exit, etc. And a new detour on the way – read on:Read More
It’s been a long and winding road for the city to secure all the $ needed for the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project, which will widen (and change the ramp configuration of) the West Seattle Bridge section between 99 and I-5. And now, the mayor’s office is asking for support in fighting a legislative proposal — an amendment to the House transportation budget just unveiled this week, and coming up on the floor tomorrow — that they say would put some of the money at risk again. Here’s how mayoral spokesperson Alex Fryer explains it:
Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson introduced an amendment of HB 1314 (information, status here) with this section:
b) In order to ensure that the city of Seattle complies with its commitment as described in subsection (a) of this subsection, the state shall make $50,000,000 of the transportation partnership account-state appropriation as provided in the 2009-2011 transportation budget, or as much thereof as is appropriated from this account, whichever is smaller, available for contribution to the south Spokane Street Viaduct component of the Alaskan Way viaduct replacement project, contingent on the city of Seattle complying with this subsection.
Basically, this links $50 million of state money for Spokane Street Viaduct project to improvements the city was already going to make in the central waterfront and north end with the deep-bore tunnel. The problem is the widening of the Spokane Street Viaduct is expected to go to construction later this year, and tunnel improvements aren’t expected for several years – when the tunnel is nearing completion in early 2016.
We’re worried that Dickerson’s amendment, which passed (earlier this week) in the transportation committee, is now part of the House transportation budget. We want the state House to strip this provision, which could derail completing the Spokane Street Viaduct project by 2012.
We need folks to take action.
Call the state legislative Hotline at 800-562-6000. Ask for Eileen Cody, Sharon Nelson, Frank Chopp or Judy Clibborn and tell them to stop dickering and start building.
Reps. Cody and Nelson represent our area specifically – their websites are linked from here. Fryer says the Governor and Senate are opposed to this proposal, but it comes up on the House floor tomorrow.
ADDED THURSDAY NIGHT: Rep. Nelson says in comments below that she and Rep. Cody are on the case.
ORIGINAL 12:26 PM REPORT: According to citywide reports today, the mayor says that when legislative leaders announce this afternoon which projects they plan to earmark for distribution of federal “stimulus” money, the list will NOT include two major city projects – including $25 million sought for the Spokane Street Viaduct widening project adding more lanes to, and changing the ramp configuration of, the stretch of the West Seattle Bridge between 99 and I-5. We have a message out to the mayor’s office to ask where the money is supposed to come from otherwise, or if this would put completion of the project in doubt (early stages have already begun, with the work along lower Spokane St.); the other project that’s reportedly being aced out of stimulus $ is the “Mercer corridor” work planned for the south end of downtown. ADDED 2:41 PM: The mayor’s official statement on the Legislature’s announcement – AND FOLLOWING IT, A 4:06 PM ADDITION: Now there’s a statement that the mayor’s gotten some hope from the governor: AND FOLLOWING THAT, A 5:34 PM ADDITION FROM TWO COUNCILMEMBERS WHO ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THE MAYOR’S REVELATION EARLIER:Read More
We just got e-mail as a “reminder” that the deadline is approaching for artists to apply “to develop permanent artwork in conjunction with the widening of the Spokane Street Viaduct” (basic project rendering above). The “call for artists” is dated December 18th — which happened to be THIS day — so it might not have gotten a lot of attention. The reminder explains:
The selected artist will develop a creative response to the expansive viaduct and its industrial setting. Possible locations for artwork include the underside of the viaduct’s elevated roadway, its forest of support columns, the spaces surrounding new traffic ramps, the lower Spokane Street roadway and its new sidewalk and/or other areas adjacent to the viaduct. Safety issues prevent placing artwork on the elevated roadway. The artist will determine locations for artwork in collaboration with staff from the Seattle Department of Transportation.
The city notice also says, “The budget for design (including travel costs) is $60,000. It is anticipated that $340,000 will be available for fabrication and installation, for a total project budget of $400,000.” Deadline is 11 pm February 17th; if you’re an artist, you can read a lot more about it here, including links for applying online, or see the “call for artists” page here. Before you say “What? $400,000 for art? Aren’t we having a budget crisis?” take note that the Seattle Municipal Code requires “1 percent for art” for projects like this; read the specific ordinance here. (As for the widening project itself, lower-roadway work continues as crews prepare to start on the first big component, the new 4th Ave offramp for the eastbound side; the city’s project page is here.)
The Southwest District Council has new co-chairs for next year: Erica Karlovits of the Junction Neighborhood Organization and Chas Redmond from the Morgan Community Association. That was the easy part of Wednesday night’s meeting; otherwise, tough transportation talk put city reps in the hot seat — read on:Read More
As the photo shows (looking north from 1st Ave. So – the west side of the closure is where you see all the SDOT workers), we saw the final barricades and signs go up at quarter till 11. This means the “Costco detour” is now in effect, and will be for at least two years, as the three-year project to widen the Spokane Street Viaduct (the West Seattle Bridge between Highway 99 and I-5) begins. Detour map and much more info on the city website here.
MORNING: SDOT says the two-year-long closure of eastbound lower Spokane Street between 1st So. and 5th So. will start around 9 o’clock this morning, to kick off utility work as a prelude to the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. Read our latest preview here.
SDOT is sending out another round of reminders today – tomorrow marks the start of utility work on eastbound lower Spokane Street, which will be closed between 1st and 5th for the next two years, with drivers detoured northbound when they get off the bridge at 1st (at the spot shown above; detour map is at the bottom of this post). Important detail, though – we asked SDOT communications director Rick Sheridan exactly when the detour signs and barricades are going up, and he tells us it’ll happen around 9 am tomorrow – so eastbound lower Spokane will still be open during tomorrow’s morning commute, if you usually travel that way. This work is part of the preparatory stage for the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project. Read more about it here; check out the WSB coverage archive here.
Click that image for a larger look at the helpful chart drawn up by Morgan Community Association’s Cindi Barker after last night’s West Seattle Chamber of Commerce-sponsored transportation forum: She drew lines for each of the major projects likely to affect West Seattle drivers – BEFORE the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s Central Waterfront Project starts in 2012 – so you can see where they overlap, at least under current plans. (Remember, the next big thing to kick in is the closure of lower eastbound Spokane Street, starting Tuesday 9/16, for water-main work preparing for the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project – that means if you get off the eastbound SSV on 1st Avenue South, you will have to turn left; if you are on eastbound Spokane Street from points further west, you will be able to turn right on 1st – no one will be allowed to go straight ahead on eastbound Spokane from there except truly “local” traffic, such as deliveries.
We’ve been updating you on the upcoming closure of lower eastbound Spokane Street, starting right where you get off the eastbound West Seattle Bridge at 1st (or affecting you sooner if you are driving on the surface from someplace further west) — as first reported here last Wednesday, the closure is now scheduled to start a week from tomorrow (see the detour route above), and this morning Seattle Public Utilities — whose water-main project marks the start of the work — has sent a news release with more specifics on exactly what it’s doing and where (plus other Sodo effects, for those who work/do business in that area):Read More
If you use lower Spokane Street from 1st eastward (usually accessed by West Seattleites getting off the Spokane Street Viaduct at 1st Avenue So.), listen up: The city has just pushed back the start date for that street closure (and the above detour) till week after next, though a parking change WILL kick in next Monday, according to Elaine Yeung:
From a meeting this morning, we found out that we will not be closing eastbound S Spokane St until September 16th. The reason is that currently the re-paving work on 1st Ave S, south of S Spokane St is using eastbound S Spokane St as a detour route, and they will not be finished until a week later than we had expected.
To enable the contractor to stage and mobilize equipment, there will be no parking beneath the (Spokane Street) viaduct between 2nd and 4th beginning on Monday, September 8th.
The closure will be for utility work that marks the start of the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project, which will double the width of the elevated roadway between 99 and I-5, plus change the ramp configuration, over the next three years. Catch up with WSB coverage in this archive (newest to oldest).
We told you on Tuesday that the city’s project manager for the city’s Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project said the first major closure – the eastbound lower Spokane Street from 1st to 4th – was expected by mid-September; now, we’ve just gotten an update from the city, with a firm date: Monday, September 8th. So that’s the date most West Seattleites’ route to Costco will get a bit longer (among other things) because when you get off the SSV eastbound at 1st Avenue South, you will have to turn left to hit this detour route:
As reported last night, the jail-site search that has galvanized the Highland Park Action Committee is in a bit of a slow period, so the latest HPAC meeting tackled other topics too – including a city update on the first major road work that will be affecting West Seattleites in the months/years ahead, the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project (which in about three years will result in what you see above). We brought you an in-depth preview back in May (read it here); then a flurry of driver concern erupted four weeks ago ago when signs went up suggesting the first phase of the work — requiring the closure of eastbound lower Spokane Street from 1st onward (aka “the route to Costco”) — was imminent (here’s our July 28 report). That closure hasn’t happened yet, and last night at the HPAC meeting, project manager Stuart Goldsmith explained why:Read More
Thanks to everyone who has forwarded us an e-mail that is circulating today, and/or has asked about some new signage that has gone up, regarding the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project and work in that area beneath/alongside the east end of the West Seattle Bridge. We wrote an extensive in-depth preview about it and published it here in May, with graphics, detour information, and more. You can see that story here. We also have just checked with the city regarding what’s about to happen in the area – which is actually utility work, not the widening project itself, which starts in fall, but the utility work WILL trigger the first closure to dramatically affect West Seattleites heading for destinations such as Costco. We will add the details on the utility work here shortly, but since that e-mail is apparently going around fast, wanted to start by posting the link to our original preview. More shortly. ADDED 1:45 PM: Here’s the information on what’s about to happen in that area:Read More
Jam-packed agenda last night for the Southwest District Council (representatives from neighborhood groups and other key organizations in the area of West Seattle that the city defines as the “Southwest District”; you can see the map here), with a Spokane Street Viaduct project update, the latest from Seattle City Light on street lights, and more – read on:Read More
Say goodbye to what might be the oldest dated street sign in the city, as just one small part of the big upcoming project to change the ramp configuration of, and widen, the Spokane Street Viaduct – once known as the “West Seattle Freeway,” currently considered part of the “West Seattle Bridge” between Highway 99 and the I-5 northbound/southbound ramp split. As money to pay for it continues advancing through the City Council — it’s time for a closer look on exactly what this project will involve, and how it’s likely to change your driving life before, during, and after. We recently sat down at SDOT headquarters with the city’s project manager for the Spokane Street Viaduct work, Stuart Goldsmith, and its communications manager LeAnne Nelson, and here’s what we found out:Read More