Some big changes are coming as the Seattle Department of Transportation continues the process of widening and improving the South Spokane Street Viaduct (formerly known as the West Seattle Freeway).
The westbound off-ramp to Fourth Avenue South from Columbian Way/Beacon Hill is closing permanently on January 22. From that point on, drivers will need to take alternate routes to SoDo:
- From southbound I-5, exit at South Forest Street (before the West Seattle Bridge exit). Turn right on Sixth Avenue South. Turn left on South Lander to access Fourth Avenue South.
- From northbound I-5, take exit 163 for the West Seattle Bridge. At the fork, stay right to exit toward Spokane Street/Safeco Field/Qwest Field. Merge onto lower South Spokane Street. Continue until Sixth Avenue South and then follow the detour signs to Fourth Avenue South.
- From South Columbian Way, head towards I-5. Follow signs for the West Seattle Bridge. Follow the signs for South Spokane Street/Sixth Avenue South then follow the detour signs to Fourth Avenue South.
In late 2011, a new ramp will open at First Avenue South to replace the Fourth Avenue ramp.
Some other changes are coming in the next few weeks. On January 22, westbound
South Spokane Street (lower roadway) will be closed between Sixth Avenue South and Fourth Avenue South. From January 22-24, the southbound I-5 off-ramp to the West Seattle Bridge will be closed at night. And sometime in February, westbound South Spokane Street (lower roadway) will be closed between Fourth Avenue South and East Marginal Way.
Later, in the spring, the ramp to the viaduct from First Avenue South will be closed and removed.
For more information about the project, complete with maps, see SDOT’s Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project page.