The First Hill Streetcar project entered another phase of construction last week as it began excavation and construction for streetcar rail in the Pioneer Square neighborhood. Work began at Occidental and Jackson, the location of the terminus station for the project’s 2.5 mile route from Pioneer Square, through the Chinatown/International District and along Broadway on Capitol Hill. The future Pioneer Square station will provide riders with access to the historic district’s art scene, night life, stadiums and shopping.
Due to the presence of overhead trolley bus lines along Jackson, much of the work in this area will take place at night and on weekends, when these high voltage wires can be de-energized. Additionally, track construction will require the short-term closure of intersections along Jackson. The first closure, starting Friday, May 3, at 7pm, will close the intersection at Jackson and Second Ave until 6am on Monday, May 6. This closure will facilitate the construction of rails through that intersection.
The project team will have detour signs prominently displayed to help motorists and pedestrians navigate these closures. Access to residences and businesses will be maintained.
When completed, the First Hill Streetcar will be an important link in the regional transit system. In addition to Pioneer Square, the streetcar line will stop in Chinatown/International District, Central Area, Yesler Terrace, First Hill and Capitol Hill providing a connection between these diverse and vibrant residential neighborhoods and business districts. Funding for the project is provided through the 2008 voter approved Sound Transit 2 (ST2) transit expansion plan and the project has an estimated completion date of early 2014. For more information, go to: www.seattlestreetcar.org/firsthill.htm.