Construction of Seattle’s new waterfront continues along with traffic changes on Alaskan Way S between S King and S Columbia Streets

Work area on Alaskan Way S. Photo Credit: City of Seattle.

Summary

  • The Waterfront Seattle program is constructing the new Alaskan Way S. This work began following the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct in 2019.
  • Next weekend, December 12-13, traffic lanes on Alaskan Way S between S King and S Columbia Streets will switch places with the current work zone.
  • Alaskan Way S construction includes new intersections for S Washington St that will fit with the future Pioneer Square East West Pedestrian Improvements.
  • These changes are part of the Pioneer Square East West Pedestrian Improvements project, which prioritizes travel for people walking and rolling.

The Waterfront Seattle program is constructing the new Alaskan Way S. This work began following the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct in 2019.

The Waterfront Seattle program is a collaboration between the Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects and other Seattle departments including the Mayor’s Office, SDOT, Planning and Development, and Parks and Recreation.

Over the past year, things have been busy on Alaskan Way S! Building the new roadway is more than what you see on the surface. The old roadway had to be removed and construction teams dug deep to install a variety of essential utilities, such as electrical, water, sewer, and storm. Once those new utilities were in place, we could begin paving the new road and sidewalk, installing lighting and signage, and planting trees.

Next weekend, December 12-13, traffic lanes on Alaskan Way S between S King and S Columbia Streets will switch places with the current work zone.

Map of project area on Alaskan Way S. An orange line shows future work zones on Alaskan Way S from S King St to just past Marion St. Pink areas show other area projects near S Dearborn St and Railroad Way, S Jackson St S Washington St and Yesler Way.
Map of work zones and new traffic configuration. Credit: Seattle Office of the Waterfront.

Starting the evening of Friday, December 11, we will be working around the clock until the morning of Monday, December 14 to transition vehicle traffic smoothly and safely from west to east. Access on Alaskan Way S will be maintained through the weekend. This new traffic configuration on Alaskan Way S will be in place until additional sections of the new roadway are completed. This is expected in the fall of 2021.

As part of this traffic switch, S Washington St will be reconnected to Alaskan Way S and permanently become a single-lane, westbound-only street between Alaskan Way S and 1st Avenue S (read more below). Once shifted, Alaskan Way S will remain open with two lanes in each direction during peak hours.

For more information, read our flyer.

Here’s what you can expect on Alaskan Way S:

This photo shows what Alaskan Way S looking north from S Columbia St will look like during construction. From left to right (or west to east), there is a sidewalk, two north and south lanes open during peak traffic times, a multi-use path, open crosswalks, and the work zone.

This photo shows what Alaskan Way S looking north from S Columbia St will look like during construction. From left to right (or west to east), there is a sidewalk, two north and south lanes open during peak traffic times, a multi-use path, open crosswalks, and the work zone.

Photo Credit: City of Seattle.

This image shows what Alaskan Way S looking south from S Columbia St will look like during construction. From left to right (or east to west), there will be new sidewalks open, two north and southbound lanes open during peak traffic times, east-west crosswalks, the work zone, and an open multi-use path.

This image shows what Alaskan Way S looking south from S Columbia St will look like during construction. From left to right (or east to west), there will be new sidewalks open, two north and southbound lanes open during peak traffic times, east-west crosswalks, the work zone, and an open multi-use path.

Photo Credit: City of Seattle.

Alaskan Way S construction includes new intersections for S Washington St that will fit with the future Pioneer Square East West Pedestrian Improvements.

S Washington St will become a single-lane, westbound-only street between 1st Avenue S and Alaskan Way S. Parking and loading will be temporarily prohibited for up to one week during the conversion, which is planned for the week of December 7. Once S Washington St is reconnected at Alaskan Way S, parking restrictions currently in place for construction will be removed. Parking and loading areas will return to both sides of the street, and can be accessed for westbound traffic only.

For more information, read our flyer and FAQ.

Here’s what you can expect on S Washington St once traffic shift is complete.

This image shows a view looking east toward Alaskan Way S from S Washington St at 1st Ave S. From left to right (or south to north), there is a parking and loading zone on the south side of S Washington St, a one-way, right-turn only lane onto northbound Alaskan Way S, and a parking and loading zone on the north side of S Washington St.
This image shows a view looking east toward Alaskan Way S from S Washington St at 1st Ave S. From left to right (or south to north), there is a parking and loading zone on the south side of S Washington St, a one-way, right-turn only lane onto northbound Alaskan Way S, and a parking and loading zone on the north side of S Washington St. Photo Credit: City of Seattle.

These changes are part of the Pioneer Square East West Pedestrian Improvements project, which prioritizes travel for people walking and rolling.

This rendering shows curbless streets and new landscapes on S Washington St in Pioneer Square.
Curbless streets and new landscapes on S Washington Street will create a new gateway from the waterfront to Pioneer Square. Photo Credit: MIG|SvR.

We’ll improve sidewalks and increase greenery on portions of S Main, S Washington and S King Streets, as well as on Yesler Way between Alaskan Way S and 2nd Avenue S.

This project is currently in the 60% design phase, and we expect to begin construction in summer 2022. Visit the project page or our view our concept design to learn about the planned pedestrian improvements.

Learn more: