SDOT Crews Help Improve Transit to and from South Lake Union

More reliable, more frequent and faster transit service is coming to South Lake Union this March.

Service improvements include extending the C-Line (W. Seattle/downtown) to South Lake Union and increasing bus service on Route 8 (Seattle Center/Capitol Hill/Rainier Valley), Route 40 (Ballard/Fremont) and Route 70 (U District). To help keep service frequent and reliable, SDOT is creating dedicated transit lanes on Westlake Ave N, widening sidewalks and extending transit stops to keep people, streetcars and buses moving. We recognize moving around South Lake Union is not always easy and we’re taking steps to make it better.

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That’s where SDOT’s Maintenance Operations crews come in. Since the start of the year, our crews have been widening sidewalks and building longer transit stops to accommodate the additional buses and information kiosks.  While carrying out the construction, crews are maintaining pedestrian access next to the site, carefully demolishing sections of concrete near storefronts and working through heavy rains.

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It takes a lot of coordination to carry out this kind of work in a busy job center. The City chose to keep the South Lake Union Streetcar running during rush hour to serve commuters. This means that each day our crews set up their work sites after morning rush hour, carry out their work and then clean up the site before the evening commute. Crews have also been working all day Saturday and Sunday because of the longer work window provided by the temporary cancellation of streetcar service on weekends.

Staff from our concrete crews are working closely with our urban forestry staff to build new tree pits at these transit stops, and our crews from the lanes and markings group are coordinating on this project to clearly mark the new transit lanes and other markings on the street. We’ve even come up with low-cost drainage solutions that help water planting strips.

This commitment and coordination from SDOT crews is necessary to meet our deadline – which will allow rush hour transit capacity in South Lake Union to double in March!

It’s also worth mentioning that the South Lake Union project is happening while SDOT crews repair sidewalks, curb ramps and streets; maintain street trees; and manage lane markings all across the city.

More details on the South Lake Union transit project are here.