Work by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to widen the South Spokane Street Viaduct – the 60-year-old elevated roadway that connects I-5 to the West Seattle Bridge – will have additional traffic impacts beginning Friday, January 22. SDOT’s contractor, PCL Construction Services, will begin construction near Fourth Ave S and S Spokane St that will necessitate the following ramp and lane closures (subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances):
- Permanently close the existing westbound Spokane Street Viaduct off-ramp to Fourth Ave S beginning Friday, January 22, at 10:00 p.m.
- Close the northbound I-5 off-ramp leading to the West Seattle Bridge for the weekend (10:00 p.m., Friday, January 22 through 5:00 a.m., Monday, January 25).
- Close the ramp from westbound Columbian Way leading to the West Seattle Bridge for the weekend (10:00 p.m., Friday, January 22 through 5:00 a.m., Monday, January 25).
- Close all lanes of westbound lower Spokane Street (from Sixth Ave S to First Ave S) to through traffic for the duration of the project beginning January 22. Local business access, however, will be preserved throughout the duration of the project.
- Close Fourth Ave S between S Horton and Industrial Way S to all traffic from 10:00 p.m., Friday, January 22 to 5:00 a.m., Saturday, January 23. Possible further restrictions as needed.
- Reduce Fourth Ave S between S Horton and Industrial Way S to one lane in each direction beginning January 22, and lasting for a minimum of one month. This may include full closure of northbound lanes at night for up to a week.
Due to the closure of westbound lower Spokane St and the westbound Fourth Avenue S off-ramp, traffic will be detoured on surface streets through the south of downtown area via the detour route shown on the enclosed map (see map below). Drivers should expect congestion on I-5 near the Spokane Street Viaduct and in the SODO area Friday night through early Monday morning. This phase of the project should have minimal disruptions for King County Metro Transit bus service, but there could be delays if there is traffic congestion. In case of rain, crews will reschedule this weather-dependent work for the following weekend.
SDOT has several tools to help motorists get around during construction, which are outlined below:
- Detour maps/E-mail updates – Visit the SDOT project Web site for detour routes and maps, and to sign up for e-mail updates about the project: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/spokanestreet.htm
- Travelers Information Map – Visit this SDOT Web page to better plan your driving route: http://web5.seattle.gov/travelers/
- Way To Go SoDo – Get information on alternative transportation at this SDOT Web site: http://www.seattle.gov/waytogo/wtg_sodo.htm
When complete, the South Spokane Street Viaduct Widening project will nearly double the width of the elevated roadway. Seattle commuters and the freight community will enjoy improved access between I-5, SODO (the area south of downtown) and West Seattle, and significantly improved traffic flow and safety on this key east-west route. The $168 million viaduct effort, SDOT’s largest project currently in construction, is expected to be complete by 2012.