Spokane Street Viaduct project: Transit impacts
In mid-May, the city of Seattle begins a new phase of its project [ external link ] to widen the Spokane Street Viaduct between Interstate 5 and the West Seattle Bridge. Construction of this project is expected to affect local bus service to West Seattle, White Center, Harbor Island and Vashon Island for more than a year.
On May 17, the city is scheduled to permanently close the westbound on-ramp from First Avenue South to the Spokane Street Viaduct to build a new on and off-ramp at First Avenue South. The new ramp is expected to open in fall 2011. Until then, buses that normally use the westbound on-ramp will be rerouted from First Avenue South to:
- west on South Hanford Street;
- south on East Marginal Way South;
- west over the Duwamish Waterway on the low-level bridge to West Seattle.
This routing is expected to add several minutes to the travel times of buses heading south and westbound when traffic levels are light or normal. But increased congestion is expected over the low bridge, which means buses could be delayed significantly longer. Buses could also be slowed by trains crossing Hanford Street or openings of the low bridge for ships.
Routes expected to be affected the most
The King County Metro Transit bus routes expected to be affected the most are:
- 21 Local – Arbor Heights
- 22 – Alaska Junction, White Center
- 35 – Harbor Island
- 56 Local – Admiral District, Alki
- 57 – Genesee Hill, Alaska Junction
- 85 Night Owl – Admiral District, White Center
- 116 – Fauntleroy
- 118 – Vashon Island
- 119 – Vashon Island
Passengers on these bus routes should plan for extra travel time, particularly during the afternoon commute. On trips heading east and north toward Seattle, these bus routes will probably have more normal travel times.
Revised schedules for routes 116, 118 and 119 begin Monday May, 17
Beginning Monday, May 17, route 116, 118 and 119 trips will be revised to operate seven minutes earlier to improve connections at the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal.
At that time, the Route 116 trips to Fauntleroy leaving Bell St & 7th Ave at 3:10, 3:27, 3:49, 4:09, 5:04 and 5:34 pm will leave at 3:03, 3:20, 3:42, 4:02, 4:57 and 5:27 pm. The Route 118 trips to Tahlequah leaving Bell St & 7th Ave at 1:58 and 4:46 pm will leave at 1:51 and 4:39 pm, and the Route 119 trip to Dockton leaving Bell St & 7th Ave at 4:46 pm will leave at 4:39 pm.
Routes that could be delayed by traffic congestion
The following routes will not be rerouted, but could be delayed by traffic congestion if a large number of vehicles divert from First Avenue South.
- 21 Express – Arbor Heights
- 37 - Alki, Alaska Junction
- 54 Local and Express, 55 - Alaska Junction, White Center
- 56 Express -
Admiral District, Alki
- 113 - Shorewood
- 120 - Burien, White Center
- 121, 122 - Highline Community College
- 125 - South Seattle Community College, Shorewood
Because the routes below are often linked with routes from West Seattle, northbound service on them may sometimes be delayed:
- 15 - Ballard,Blue Ridge
- 18 - Ballard, North Beach
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