Keeping people moving on the waterfront

Keeping people moving on the waterfront during viaduct removal

Removing the viaduct will be unavoidably disruptive to people's typical travel patterns along the waterfront. However, the work plan contains a number of elements designed to shorten detours and keep people and goods moving during construction. These elements include: 

  • Closing lanes only in immediate proximity to active construction.
  • One lane of Alaskan Way will be open in each direction adjacent to active construction. Elsewhere, two lanes will be open in each direction.
  • Marion and Spring streets will not be closed at the same time.
  • Madison and Columbia streets will not be closed at the same time.
  • No more than three adjacent cross-streets will be closed at a time, with up to six cross-streets closed throughout the entire alignment at any one time.
  • A 24/7, two-way ADA shuttle will be available between Western Avenue and Alaskan Way when the Lenora Street Pedestrian Bridge is closed.

Bicycle paths along waterfront

There will be no fixed detours during construction, as the work zone will be frequently moving up and down the structure. The cross-section below shows common north-south bike options along the waterfront:

  1. West side shared-use sidewalk: always open.
  2. Alaskan Way travel lanes: street is always open, in some places reduced to two lanes.
  3. *East side path: closed when in work zone, open before and after work.
  4. *North local access lane: closed when in work zone, open before and after work.

Cross section of Alaskan Way with labels

For east-west routes beneath the viaduct, the closest open street beneath the viaduct will be indicated with signs. The contractor is prohibited from blocking more than three cross-streets at any one time, so a crossing will always be within several blocks.

Getting to and from Colman Dock ferry terminal

Whenever Colman Dock is open, you will be able to reach it via car, bicycle or on foot. The Marion Street Pedestrian Bridge will remain open while the viaduct is removed in front of the terminal. A new, temporary bridge will be built on Columbia Street and Western Avenue, connecting Colman Dock to the existing bridge at Western Avenue. See the map below:

Top down view of current ped bridge alignment and new bridge on Columbia Street

Building this new bridge is expected to take up to four months. There may be a gap of up to 14 days between the closing of the current bridge and the opening of the new bridge. In that event, an ADA-accessible pedestrian route will be provided to and from Colman Dock.

The new bridge will be in place until a permanent bridge opens in conjunction with the end of Colman Dock construction in early 2023.