Work to complete the new eastbound 4th Ave S off-ramp from the S Spokane St Viaduct is ahead of schedule. Originally set to open for use by December 2010, the new ramp is likely to open in late summer or early fall. Once utility work and paving are completed, expected by early summer, eastbound lower Spokane Street will be reopened and crews can then join the new ramp to the existing elevated structure. This is the final construction step in the creation of the new off-ramp, but it will require the closure of the eastbound right-hand lane of the viaduct between 1st and 4th avenues for approximately two months.
As a reminder, the next major milestone in the South Spokane Street Viaduct Project, which began the fall of 2008, is around the corner. On May 17, 2010, crews will close the westbound 1st Ave S on-ramp and prepare it for demolition. This makes way for work to widen the upper roadway 41 feet to the north, and build a new on and off-ramp along 1st Ave S that should open in the fall of 2011.
In the sixteen months during which there will be no access to the Spokane Street Viaduct from surface streets in SODO, southbound vehicles approaching Spokane on 1st Ave S will be detoured to the low level swing bridge to get to West Seattle. To reduce the expected congestion on this bridge during construction, SDOT is working with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Port of Seattle and others, and planning for signal timing adjustments and uniformed police officers to help guide traffic.
The 60-year-old S Spokane St Viaduct carries 65,000-70,000 vehicles daily between I-5 and the West Seattle Bridge. Once this project is completed, the elevated roadway between 6th Ave S and E Marginal Way will have wider lanes and shoulders, a new westbound acceleration/deceleration lane, and an additional eastbound lane between 1st Ave S and 4th Ave S. The project also includes seismic strengthening of the viaduct, and a new 10-foot wide sidewalk on the north side of lower S Spokane St that can accommodate pedestrians and bicycles.
For information about construction closures for this project and other projects, please visit Construction Closures in Downtown Seattle and SODO at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/sodo_latest.htm.
For information: LeAnne Nelson, (206) 684-3897
Media contact: Marybeth Turner, (206) 684-8548