2014 – Looking at the Road(s) Ahead

While most folks spent the last few weeks thinking about their favorite (fill-in-the blank) lists for 2013, or making resolutions for 2014, SDOT’s Capital Projects and Roadway Structures division has been busy planning next year’s projects. Here’s a brief overview of the work coming up and some insights into what’s involved.
The big repaving projects in play for 2014 are the completion of the Northgate/NE 105th Street project and Holman Road. The former is typical of a project that includes new storm drainage structures deep below the surface, and new curbs and sidewalks. The latter is a far simpler effort, involving just new asphalt, curb ramps and pedestrian refuge islands.

Stormwater structure installation.

Stormwater structure installation.

Another type of “bread-and-butter” project for CPRS is our Bridge Rehabilitation work. In 2014 we will finish the Ballard Bridge Seismic Rehabilitation – which ended up having almost none of the impacts that we originally thought likely – and replace the deck of the 15th Avenue West interchange, which connects Nickerson and Emerson, south of the Ballard Bridge. These projects are even more technically demanding than most, and always involve critical junctures in our road network.

Many arterials will be improved in 2014 in a variety of ways. Some, like Greenwood Avenue, will receive a mix of transit and pedestrian improvements, while others, like the Central Area Greenway, will make what are principally safety improvements for vehicles or bicyclists at crossing points.

There will be almost a dozen new projects funded by the Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) entering design this year. These projects, scattered around the city, will be built – for the most part – in 2015. There are also several Safe Routes To School (SRTS) projects which will be done. The NSF and SRTS projects often involve improving pedestrian safety or access, and have local rather than neighborhood wide construction impacts.

No look-ahead would be complete without mention of the ongoing Mercer West, First Hill Streetcar and Seawall projects. These major endeavors typically involve Seattle Public Utility and Seattle City Light to a greater degree than usual and their presence will be felt for generations, like that of the Waterfront Improvement Program which is now entering design.

With so many projects ahead, those of us at SDOT would like to thank you for all of your past support and apologize for future inconveniences, but – more than anything else – we wish you safe travels in the year ahead.