South Spokane Street Viaduct Deck Rehabilitation

Updated July 17, 2024

What's Happening Now?

We’re slated to begin construction on the South Spokane Street Viaduct in Late July 2024! We thank you for your patience as we worked with our contractor on the schedule. In the coming weeks, we will provide updates on this webpage, but you can also sign up for email updates here.  

Project Background  

As its name suggests, the Spokane Street Viaduct (or the SSV) sits above South Spokane Street. The Viaduct was first built in the 1920s. Back then, it was one of only two road connections between West Seattle and downtown.  

The SSV is important to Seattle's transportation network. The Viaduct literally helps connect West Seattle to the rest of the city: people leaving Interstate 5 (I-5) use the SSV to enter the West Seattle Bridge and the Spokane Street Swing Bridge (aka the Low Bridge). Large, heavy vehicles travel across the bridge every day. Think heavy freight vehicles, buses, and hundreds and hundreds of cars. Add wet weather conditions to this equation and the wear and tear is inevitable.  

What are we doing? (Project Overview) 

To keep the SSV in good shape, we are dedicating the money, time, and labor to repair the road surface. We want to make sure the road surface (or what we call the deck) can handle that volume of cars, buses, and trucks. This Deck Rehabilitation project will replace the existing surface and fix these cracks using a stronger and more durable top layer of polyester coating. 

We will also update the scuppers. Scuppers let rain or other water drain into inlets. They are the are openings on the bottom of the bridge’s median barriers. We need those in good working condition so that water can drain from the road surface, making it safer to drive. 

Why are we doing this work (now)? 

The best answer to the above question is that a LOT of vehicles cross the Viaduct daily. While the SSV has undergone repairs and expansions in recent years, the deck occasionally gets cracks or other damage from the traffic. Again, a lot of people use the viaduct daily. If we do this work now, we can avoid the road surface deteriorating sooner. 

How will we do it? 

First, we grind down the current road surface. Then we blast that exposed road to give it a coarser texture. That coarseness will help the polyester coating stick better. Then we apply the polyester overlay! All three eastbound lanes will receive this treatment. We will also be doing spot repairs on the westbound lanes.   

We will also update the scuppers. Scuppers are openings on the bottom of the bridge’s median barriers. A scupper lets rain or other water drain into inlets. Water can then drain from the road surface, making it safer to drive. 

When we’re doing it (Schedule) 

30% Design Complete
60% Design Complete
90% Design Complete
Construction Begins Late July 2024

*Construction schedules are subject to change and depend on factors such as weather and availability of crews and materials.   
 
The work is projected to be complete by early October 2024. You’ll see us doing prep work on the bridge near the end of July. After that, the majority of our work will require us to close certain lanes during the workweek. We will also need to fully close the Viaduct on five weekends. The full closures require us to close the bridge to all traffic for the entire weekend (i.e., from 10 PM on Friday until 5 AM on Monday). People traveling to or from West Seattle or into SODO will need to adjust their routes accordingly. You can see what the detours are below, as well as their corresponding dates: 

Date Lane Closures Detour
August 3-4 Eastbound + Southern Westbound Lanes Head north to exit for SR 99  
August 10-11 Eastbound + Southern Westbound Lanes Divert underneath viaduct from 1st Ave Exit  
August 17-18 Eastbound + Southern Westbound Lanes Divert underneath viaduct from 1st Ave Exit  
August 24-25 Eastbound + Southern Westbound Lanes Divert underneath viaduct from 1st Ave Exit  
September (TBD) Westbound Lanes + Pavement Striping Traffic from I-5 going south will be detoured to S Forest St. (Exit 163B) 
 
Traffic going westbound S Columbian Way and I-5 going north will be detoured (Exit 163, toward Spokane St.) under the viaduct  
  • As we have new graphics showing these detours, we will share them on this webpage, through emails, and other media outlets. You can sign up for these email updates here.  

Funding  

The SSV is one of three Seattle bridges that will receive $4.5 million for repairs. The Federal Highway Administration Bridge Improvement Program supplies this money. Thanks to a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can perform these repairs. 
 

Materials

  • We will share our outreach materials here when available
     

Transportation

Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623
684-Road@seattle.gov

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.