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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Two-way Traffic Begins on Mercer Street

8/26/2012  9:00:00 PM

Two-way Traffic Begins on Mercer Street
Rapid completion of work allows early opening of two-way Mercer and I-5 on- and off-ramps

SEATTLE – This evening the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced that two-way traffic has begun on Mercer Street. By rapidly completing needed tasks and opening the I-5 ramps early, the department placed both east- and westbound traffic on the road for the first time since the 1960s. In achieving this major milestone, the Mercer Corridor Project (East Phase) takes another step towards addressing the decades- long “Mercer Mess.”

“After decades of traffic winding through the neighborhood, a two-way Mercer creates a more direct route for the 80,000 trips taken daily through South Lake Union,” said SDOT Director Peter Hahn. “While we still face another year of work on this phase and additional construction for Mercer West, this is a tangible sign of progress on this important corridor.”

Two-way Mercer Street will now accommodate three lanes of westbound traffic that will travel straight off the I-5 off-ramps. Eastbound Mercer Street will maintain three lanes onto the I-5 on-ramps, in addition to a left turn lane onto northbound Fairview Avenue N as well as travel across Fairview Avenue N that allows eastbound access to Eastlake and Capitol Hill.

With the opening of two-way Mercer, Stage 3 construction begins and includes restrictions on Fairview Avenue N. Roadway users will see:

-One northbound travel lane on Fairview Avenue N between Harrison and Valley streets
-No access to Fairview Avenue N via Republican Street and no southbound access onto Fairview Avenue N at the I-5 off-ramps at Mercer Street
-One southbound lane on Fairview Avenue N from Aloha Street connecting to westbound Valley Street
-Valley Street closed to eastbound traffic east of Terry Avenue N
-Access maintained to Lake Union Park and businesses in Chandler’s Cove

This temporary configuration will be maintained during Stage 3 of construction as crews complete work on Fairview Avenue N and Valley Street in early 2013. For more information about the project and its benefits, to include maps illustrating the two-way flow and new restrictions, please visit its website at

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