Four exciting and pivotal downtown street upgrade projects are in progress, or about to get started, in and around Pioneer Square. The projects are all part of a comprehensive transportation vision for downtown Seattle that prioritizes efficiency for the multifaceted lifestyle in our energized city core.
The Post Alley project, replacing worn out wooden subsurface material with new basic sidewalk and roadway infrastructure between Columbia St. and Marion St. on Post Ave, is about bringing basic safety for pedestrians and cars to this historic cultural district.
The sweeping $688 million Waterfront Seattle Program, led by the City’s Office of the Waterfront, will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a pedestrian-friendly, multi-modal, state-of-the-art waterfront boulevard. The Waterfront Program, which includes improvements along many key east-west connection streets from the Stadium District to Belltown, will prioritize transit along Columbia St. and along Alaskan Way. This future work will be under construction in 2019 once the Alaskan Way Viaduct is demolished, and will complete the City’s transit priority improvements along Columbia from 1st Ave to 3rd Ave.
This is all important work, but with much of the targeted construction converging in the heart of downtown and Pioneer Square, we’re hyper aware that the work will disrupt the current traffic flow downtown. While the final blueprint will create a seamless transportation network for all, doing the paving, repairing, bulldozing, and building to make it happen may present problems downtown. To ease the pain, we’re sequencing these four complementary projects in a way that makes most sense for commuters, residents and visitors, and also for the efficiency of the project construction timelines themselves. We are also coordinating with other projects within the right-of-way in the downtown core.
Crews started with the Post Alley work in early October and are expected to finish in late December. The City is expected to start the two-way Columbia work in late November, with repaving, signage, and striping complete in mid-2018. Meanwhile, the first phase of the Center City Connector project began in October and is planned to wrap up in Pioneer Square by the end of 2018. The bulk of the Waterfront work won’t begin until 2019, with the exception of early utility work along the waterfront planned for 2018.
By overlaying project work schedules, SDOT hopes to minimize the inconvenience while also prioritizing the interplay between construction specifics that moves the projects along the quickest.