Getting to West Seattle and Sodo from Beacon Hill is going to get more complicated, starting tonight. As we’ve reported previously, the Fourth Avenue South off-ramp from the West Seattle viaduct will be closing permanently starting at 10:00 pm tonight, eventually to be replaced by a new off-ramp at First Avenue South.
Spokane Street (at surface level) will be closed from First to Sixth avenues, though business access will be preserved. The eastbound lanes will reopen sometime in 2010, and the westbound lanes will be closed for the duration of the project.
In more short-term closures, the northbound I-5 ramp to the West Seattle Bridge will close at 10:00 pm tonight and reopen at 5:00 am on Monday. The ramp from westbound Columbian Way to the West Seattle Bridge will also be closed for the entire weekend.
Fourth Avenue South will be closed entirely between South Horton Street and Industrial Way South from 10:00 tonight until 5:00 am tomorrow morning, with possible further restrictions as needed, and the same stretch of road will be reduced to one lane in each direction for at least a month after that. This may include full closure of northbound lanes at night.
Expect detours and congestion both on I-5 and in the Sodo area over the weekend. See maps and further info here, and more about the project here.
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.