Several weeks of Aurora lane closures begin Monday, January 18th

Back in December, we first gave the heads up on the upcoming Aurora Ave N lane closures that will surely impact traffic on both Aurora and Queen Anne. The closures begin the evening of next Monday, January 18th, and WSDOT estimates that the lane closures will take “several” weeks, with estimates from 4-8 weeks. Each direction of Aurora will have one lane closed through potentially March (timetable below).

January Aurora Closure

SDOT is emphasizing the following warning to drivers:

“While two lanes in each direction of SR 99 between Highland Drive and the Aurora Bridge will remain OPEN during peak commute hours, buses and vehicles will share the bus-only lane. We anticipate the possibility of backups and are urging commuters to use all the tools available to them from WSDOT, SDOT and Metro to stay informed about current traffic conditions once the extended lane closures start.  In addition, we want to ask drivers to consider commuting/traveling in off-peak hours or telecommute if that’s an option available to them.”

Why the closure? Sign foundations with communication lines, power lines, and traffic sensors to provide alerts for the future tunnel. This work requires access to the median lanes of Aurora.

Here are the closure details & timetable from WSDOT:

Jan. 18 through mid-February

  •  Median lanes close in both directions between the Aurora Bridge and Highland Drive
  • An additional lane will close at night and during several weekends including Jan. 23-24

Mid-February through early March

  • Median lanes reopen. Northbound traffic returns to normal pattern
  • The southbound curb lane near Comstock Street will close for approximately three weeks
  • An additional southbound lane may close at night

WSDOT is encouraging drivers and bus riders to plan ahead as additional congestion is expected on Aurora. For those of us on Queen Anne, expect more non-local traffic in the neighborhood, especially on the arterials and East Queen Anne.

Aurora Bridge sidewalk closure January 18 through September

As part of the restoration/painting work on the Aurora Bridge, pedestrians, runners, and cyclists need to take note of an extended closure of the northbound (east side) sidewalk. This closure begins Monday, January 18th and runs through September. During this time, sidewalk-users will be directed to the opposite southbound (west side) sidewalk.

Reminder: there are also upcoming extended lane closures planned for Aurora between the Aurora Bridge and Highland Ave that start the same night, January 18th that are estimated to run 7-8 weeks. We will post a reminder about these closures shortly, the original heads up is at the bottom of this post.

Here are the details from WSDOT:

Aurora Bridge sidewalk“Cyclists and pedestrians should prepare now for an extended closure of the northbound sidewalk over the State Route 99 Aurora Avenue Bridge in Seattle.

The sidewalk will be closed Jan. 18 through September with signed detours in place for cyclists and pedestrians.

The closure is necessary while contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation attach a containment system to the sidewalk for the Aurora Avenue Bridge preservation project.  Drivers may also notice the containment system which is a large tarp that will stretch up and over the bridge’s safety fence. The system is designed to keep paint and debris falling into the water below while crews repaint portions of the bridge.

A contact number and emergency phone for a vehicle pickup will be available at either end of the bridge to assist ADA users who are unable to use the cyclist and pedestrian detour.”

Traffic Alert: Trans-Siberian Orchestra & Seattle Marathon will impact traffic this weekend

Two traffic alerts for today and tomorrow – Trans-Siberian Orchestra is at Key Arena today, Saturday, for performances at 4pm and 8pm. The city estimates 10,000 people will attend each of the shows (20,000 total), so expect traffic around Key Arena this afternoon and evening.

The bigger impact will likely be from the Seattle Marathon, which is tomorrow, Sunday, November 29th. The organizers cite the Seattle Marathon as the “largest combination marathon/half marathon in the Northwest and one of the top ten largest in the US” – what does that mean? 15,000 participants + thousands of spectators, and road closures around the Seattle Center, where the race starts and finishes.

The race map with street closures is below. For some reason, the Seattle Marathon organizers have once again decided to produce a West-oriented map, instead of the standard North-oriented view. So, it may look a bit odd, but note that 5th Ave near the Seattle Center will be closed 5:30am-9am, and one side of Mercer will be closed 8:45am-4pm.

Click the map for a larger image:

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 1.34.42 PM

And, just to make things a bit more complicated, traffic-wise, the Seahawks are playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at CenturyLink tomorrow (Sunday), with kickoff at 1:25pm.

President Obama to attend Murray fundraiser at Westin this Friday

Westin Hotel mapPresident Obama will be visiting Seattle this Friday for a fundraiser at the Westin. The event is to raise funds for Senator Patty Murray’s re-election campaign, but few details have been released about the event or streets that will be closed.

Per SDOT, I5 and city streets will be impacted by the visit. Expect some traffic impacts around Queen Anne due to the proximity of the Westin and the ripple effect on Mercer.

Two month closure of one block of Roy St starts Tuesday

As part of the Mercer Corridor Project, SDOT will be fully closing Roy Street between 4th Ave N and 5th Ave N for 6-8 weeks. The closure begins tomorrow, Tuesday, September 8th. Vehicle traffic will be detoured to Mercer, so expect increased traffic on Mercer St during the closure.

Here are the details from SDOT:

Roy St closure fall 2015

SDOT advises travelers of a full street closure on Roy Street between 4th Avenue N and 5th Avenue N for six to eight weeks beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8. This closure will accommodate installation of a large storm water detention pipe beneath Roy Street in September and October. This will help manage storm water flows and reduce the risk of sewer overflows into Lake Union during a heavy rain. It will provide storm water detention for the area, including the North Portal and surface street improvements for the SR 99 Tunnel Project. Travelers through the area can expect the following:

• Beginning Tuesday, September 8, Roy Street will be fully closed between 4th Avenue N and 5th Avenue N and remain closed for six to eight weeks.

• Local access will be maintained to the alley on the south side of Roy Street between 4th Avenue N and 5th Avenue N via eastbound Roy Street. The alley will be southbound only during this closure.

• Vehicles and cyclists traveling on Roy Street will be detoured south to Mercer Street between 4th Avenue N and 5th Avenue N. Please obey all closure and detour signage.

• Street parking will be restricted on this block while work is completed.

• Pedestrian access will be maintained on the south sidewalk along Roy Street.

Traffic Alert: Bumbershoot starts Saturday and runs through Monday

BumbershootUPDATE: Bumbershoot starts tomorrow, not today (thanks, migraine).

A late heads up, but if you aren’t aware, Bumbershoot is this weekend at the Seattle Center. The festival starts tomorrow, Saturday, September 5th, and runs through Monday, and 50,000 people are expected each day. You can find out about all the Bumbershoot events and acts here.

Here’s SDOT’s notice about traffic impacts:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) advises travelers to be aware that Bumbershoot runs this weekend through Labor Day. The annual art, film and music festival takes place at the Seattle Center beginning Saturday, Sept. 5 until Monday, Sept. 7 at 1:30 p.m. tomidnight daily. About 50,000 people are expected to attend each day. Please travel safely and plan ahead for possible delays.

Expect an increase in traffic around Queen Anne this weekend, which is typical for the summer. Those who are frustrated can take solace in Labor Day weekend signalling the end of big summer event traffic (although there will always be traffic…).

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