Starting May 26, 2009, Belltowners will see more of their tax dollars going to work.
You may remember in November 2006, Seattle voters passed a nine year, $365 million levy for Seattle traffic improvements entitled Bridging the Gap. If you did not vote, forgot about the levy or had not moved to Seattle yet (like me!), here is a refresher.
Two major projects are simultaneously scheduled to start May 26 and continue through November 2009. The idea is to improve surface streets and traffic before the major Alaskan Way Via-Duct project is underway, hopefully making the commute less strenuous. According to SDOT, we should be prepared for road/lane closures, vehicle/pedestrian detours, construction noise, dust and parking restrictions.
The Fourth Avenue construction will start at Olive and make its way towards Denny. Nighttime grinding will take place May 26-28. While construction is scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., SDOT claims that concrete breaking will end at 10:00 p.m. After grinding is complete, repairs are to be made before paving starts in mid-June. The paving will also be taking place at night.
The Second Avenue construction will start at Denny Way and move towards Pike Street. Like Forth Avenue, asphalt grinding and concrete breaking will occur. Most construction will be during daytime hours (usually 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) and some evenings and weekends.
In addition to these two major projects, Broad Street between First and Alaskan Way and Wall Street between Fifth and Sixth will also be repaved later this summer.
To avoid driving in this mess you could opt to use First Avenue, Third Avenue or Fifth Avenue. Then again, if you are like me you could choose not to drive at all and take the bus.
If you do have any questions, comments or complaints about the Belltown paving or street improvement projects, SDOT can be contacted using their Citizen Response Form or you can call SDOT at 206-684-ROAD (7623).