West Seattle, Washington
(photo added 3:26 pm, after SUV was righted, view from slope on north side of bridge at Avalon end)
ORIGINAL 2:36 PM POST: Westbound bridge is closed – that word from Desiree – not sure how far it extends but we are en route to check out a “heavy rescue” call westbound on The Bridge at Admiral, which undoubtedly is the reason why. More shortly. The traffic camera that points westward in that area isn’t showing much, but the one pointing eastbound shows the lanes empty all the way back to 99, which suggests there is a detour or barricade that far back. 2:52 PM UPDATE: Looks like the westbound bridge is open again – traffic camera now shows vehicles heading that way. Patrick found a viewpoint and sees a maroon SUV, on its side, that’s apparently about to be hauled/towed away. He also saw an aid car leaving the scene. 3:02 PM UPDATE: There may still be some slowing for a bit – authorities are checking now for any “(oil) sheen” on the bridge and getting ready to clear the scene – sounds like SDOT will sand the area after the wreckage is cleared – it appears that traffic is now being diverted off at the Admiral exit till the towing and sanding is done (Patrick is watching from the Fauntleroy foot bridge). So if you’re seeing this from downtown or points further east, a good idea to delay your trip West Seattle-bound for a while. 3:28 PM UPDATE: Still no word on the people who were in the SUV that crashed; this photo is from Sharonn Meeks, looking at where the bridge was blocked off just past Admiral:
Thanks to Marco for sending word, and that picture, of a bus stop closure TFN on northbound 35th just south of Avalon (as the sign says, buses will pick you up 20 feet south of there). Shortly after getting his note, we went to check out the area, and discovered that construction congestion because of Avalon Center is REALLY intense today – a lineup of cement mixers in the center lane on Avalon stretching eastward from 35th, eastbound lane on Avalon and northbound lane on 35th blocked off at the corner, good idea to avoid that area if you can:
Avalon Center is a mixed-use building (ground-floor retail, about 60 apartments, per city permits) that’s been under construction for almost a year at the southeast corner of 35th/Avalon (here’s our update from 11 months ago). Here’s the architect’s project page showing drawings of what it’s supposed to look like.
Just in from SDOT:
SDOT crews plan to work on the westbound approach to the lower Spokane Street Bridge to West Seattle on Friday, December 5, from 9 a.m. until no later than 12 p.m. Eastbound traffic will not be affected. Westbound traffic will be detoured around the work area by way of Southwest Klickitat Avenue before crossing the bridge. During this time, crews will place a shim on a sharp dip in the roadway.
If you travel The Bridge this Saturday night into Sunday morning, you’ll likely see city crews and encounter lane closures. Here are the details.
Just in from SDOT: “There is a report of an accident northbound on the Alaskan Way Viaduct approaching Seneca Street that is blocking the two right-hand lanes. Traffic is very slow from approximately South Royal Brougham Way.”
(WSB photos added 8:50/9:13 am; #1 by Patrick Sand, #2 by Christopher Boffoli)
Thanks to Manuel for the tip that the 54X bus had broken down (headed for downtown). We’re at the scene – it’s at Edmunds, blocking a lane so traffic is diverting around it. According to Manuel, a wheel fell off; we’re working to verify exactly what went wrong. 8:32 AM UPDATE: Metro supervisor at the scene confirms a wheel did come off, but the bus had a veteran driver who got it safely to the side of the road. Nobody hurt; everybody transferred to another bus relatively quickly; the bus will be towed shortly, but till then, it’s still slower going heading northbound on Fauntleroy. 9:20 AM UPDATE: Keri, who was on the bus when it happened, e-mailed this:
The bus seemed to shudder and skid a bit, as if it was trying to stop on wet pavement and couldn’t. It came to a halt and felt tilted. One woman suddenly said “tire!” (I thought she said “fire!” yikes.) She then said, “our tire just rolled by us!”
As we were getting off the bus, the driver said we actually lost two. We were all extremely grateful that this didn’t happen while we were on the viaduct.
More work along the north side of Westwood Village, on Trenton, and it’s a bit of a snarl, so the Barton side is your better bet if you’re headed that way any time soon.
Just back from the big Gatewood Elementary event about the speed-camera van (photo above; much more on the van show-and-tell shortly, including the ballot-initiative underscore to the whole thing) – while speaking at the news conference, the mayor announced that the Seneca offramp from the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct is currently closed because a “20-foot chunk of concrete fell.” TV report says it was a guardrail section, knocked down by a truck. (Speaking of The Viaduct, SDOT is still checking for us on why the closure-warning lights didn’t work for hours on Saturday morning.) 1:17 PM UPDATE: SDOT’s Rick Sheridan clarifies, the Seneca ramp “is soon to be closed. SDOT will need to close it for 6-8 hours to safely conduct the repair work.” We’ll let you know when we get the exact time frame. 4:25 PM UPDATE: The ramp’s open again, says SDOT.
It’s been in the right sidebar, on the Traffic page, on the Events page, but one more reminder can’t hurt: Alaskan Way Viaduct closed for inspection this weekend, 6 am Saturday till 6 pm Sunday (we’ll let you know if it reopens sooner).
Texted by Shannon (thank you!): There’s a stall in the righthand lane on The Bridge “just after the Fauntleroy split.” So if you run into a backup, that’s what’s up.
In case you missed it in the comment thread on the Thistle crash – Aim reports that Trenton is closed on the north side of Westwood Village (map) because of construction work, and traffic was a “mess” when she went through a bit earlier. Don’t know how long this will last but we’ll check back on it later. Many projects affecting traffic are NOT pre-announced, so we appreciate hearing from you whenever you spot a problem, so we can in turn pass the information along. 3:19 PM UPDATE: Passed through the area moments ago, Trenton’s open again. Steel plates in place on the road, so drive slow!
Thistle’s closed in both directions between 39th and 40th due to a two-car accident. Traffic is being routed down the side streets while police are still investigating. One of the cars is still in the street along with some debris.
UPDATE 1 PM: Thistle is open again. One car was able to leave the scene under its own power. The other car has been towed.
As this weekend winds down, another reminder about next weekend: The Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed 6 am Saturday-6 pm Sunday (10/18-10/19) for its semiannual inspection. (And if that in turns detours you to the 1st Avenue South exit for the first time in a while, remember that as of a month ago, you have to turn left – north – there.)
Lots more in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup, but wanted to hit these again: ROAD WORK — Three spots on California will see crews today; details and a map here. DELRIDGE NATURAL AREA WORK PARTY — Not too late to join; show up across from Boren/Sealth at 10 am — see our preview here. MAYOR @ ORCHARD STREET RAVINE — One week after neighbors got word of a new plan for the “connector” through this greenspace, the big dedication/celebration happens noon-2 pm today. ADMIRAL CONCERT — Tonight’s show headlined by local up-n-coming Brent Amaker and The Rodeo launches a new era for entertainment at the historic theater; read our preview here.
We told you yesterday about the extensive no-parking zone along Alki and Harbor Aves 5 am-3 pm Sunday for striping work; now another alert from SDOT about 3 other areas of West Seattle (map above) where work is planned tomorrow:
SDOT paving crews will make street repairs at three locations on California Avenue Southwest on Saturday, October 11. Traffic will be able to get through, but drivers should expect congestion and may want to consider an alternate route.
The work will take place in the northbound lanes of the following blocks: the 5900 block (between SW Juneau and SW Raymond), the 4500 block (between SW Oregon and SW Alaska) and the 3200 block (between SW Hanford and SW Hinds) from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
The work is required to restore the pavement after repair of underground water lines.
Not IN West Seattle, but close enough that you might need to know – so we’re passing along this advisory from the city:Read More
(photo added 9:20 am, thanks to David)
ORIGINAL REPORT: Trying to get to a “heavy rescue” 911 call at 11th/Spokane (map), Harbor Island vicinity, we are stuck in a mess near the Delridge approach to the low bridge, and we see police on the low bridge. Stay away at all costs, it’s gridblock, even to try to turn west back onto W Marginal. UPDATE: Just heard it’s an overturned semi (photo above, added 9:20 am), so that’s why the low bridge is blocked before you get to the scene. Trying to get west onto West Marginal or SW Spokane back toward the rest of WS – the problem is a huge amount of diverted semitruck traffic trying to get up onto the high bridge the other way. Gridlock as a result. This city camera has a partial view of the backup west of the crash, Marginal/Chelan. ADDED 9:31 AM: Two of our pics taken as we came off Delridge into the jammed intersection at Delridge/Marginal/Spokane – police officer at blocked west end of low bridge, followed by the truck-dominated traffic viewed facing north.
Odd irony that today is the start of the Spokane Street work we’ve been reminding you about – and in fact we were about to head to check out the start of the detour, just as we got word of this – but that’s happening about a mile east, and this crash had NOTHING to do with it. Just heard on the radio that this may not be cleared until about 10:15; we’ll post updates as we get them. (Admiral and Fauntleroy approaches are obviously your better bet to get on the high bridge but with the low bridge out of commission, they’re likely slower too.) 9:45 AM UPDATE: Got a note from Hawk, who’s on a Route 21 Metro bus “that was re-routed all the way down to the 1st avenue bridge” – a reminder that this is affecting buses too. 9:52 AM UPDATE: Bike commuter Simon sent the following photo looking back westward toward the wreck scene, and notes that bicyclists/pedestrians are being allowed across the low bridge.
10:13 AM UPDATE: In comments, another West Seattle bike commuter, Aaron, says he saw the truck topple: “I watched this all go down, it was surreal. Not sure what caused the truck to lose balance, but as I was coming over the lower level bridge on my bike, the truck appeared to drop down off the curb, sway, and then ease over on its side. Driver was able to climb out and appeared unharmed.” 10:36 AM UPDATE: Just confirmed this with a drive through the area – the low bridge has reopened and the gridlock near the West Seattle-side approach has cleared.
From WSDOT: “The on-ramp from Spokane Street to southbound I-5 is closed due to an oil spill from an earlier collision that involving a semi truck. The ramp will be closed while crews apply absorbent material to the roadway. WSDOT maintenance and incident response are on-scene.” We’ll let you know when we get word it’s reopened. 2:30 PM UPDATE: Open again.
We’ve seen the flashes and heard the thunder — watch out for another bout of nasty weather on your drive home — though we can see a bit of sun over Vashon, it’s solid ominous gray looking toward Bainbridge and points northwest. Here’s the latest forecast; remember you can check out all the area traffic cameras here. (And here’s the radar link; thanks to Amy for that.) 4:41 PM UPDATE: OK, *that* flash was RIGHT HERE – the thunder followed almost immediately.
Just in from WSDOT: “A roll-over collision is blocking the three left lanes of southbound I-5, just south of Spokane Street in Seattle. Fire and aid are on scene. WSDOT Incident Response is en-route.” Here’s the camera (what it shows, depends on where its operators focus it):
11:05 AM UPDATE: WSDOT says the crash has cleared but traffic is backed up a few miles into downtown.