Spokane Street Viaduct CLOSURES – Be Aware…

The far right lane traveling east on the Spokane Street Viaduct (West Seattle Bridge) will be closed overnight, starting at 10 p.m.  The eastbound lane will re-open at 5 a.m. tomorrow, July 6, BUT….

Then the westbound lanes lanes of the Spokane Street Viaduct will be closed all weekend, beginning Friday evening, July 6, at 10 p.m. until Monday morning, July 9, at 5 a.m.  The SR 99 off-ramp to West Seattle will remain open, providing an opportunity to avoid the closure.

  • The links below lead to information regarding other detour routes:

Map routes to West Seattle from north during the closure
Map routes to West Seattle from south during the closure

So WHY?  Why this traffic torment?  It’s a necessary evil to improve travel between Seattle and West Seattle (i.e. exanding and rebuilding the Spokane Street section of the West Seattle Bridge).  More specifically, the closures are so crews can replace an expansion joint at the east end of the project, near Fifth Avenue South.

Besides smoothly connecting large sections of structures, expansion joints are critical to bridge longevity since they allow for bridge movement due to temperature changes, vibration and ground movement that might otherwise create cracks in the concrete.  As the picture to the left shows, a bridge expansion joint runs the width of a structure allowing it to expand, contract and otherwise slightly shift.

So while traffic is shifting, during project construction, know that it’s for good reasons. (that doesn’t help much, does it?)  Oh, and not to be a downer, but you might as well be aware of other big closures this weekend.  OK – have a good weekend and try to focus on when all this work will be done…