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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Paving of Downtown Fifth Avenue Begins July 9

7/9/2008  12:45:00 PM

Paving of Downtown Fifth Avenue Begins July 9
Bridging the Gap funds major roadway improvement work

SEATTLE - On July 9 the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will undertake a major downtown roadway project by paving Fifth Avenue. Funded by Bridging the Gap, the work on Fifth Avenue will occur between Denny Way and Marion Street and is scheduled to be completed by November 2008.

With over 18,000 daily vehicle trips, Fifth Avenue is a primary southbound arterial for Seattle’s Center City and this work will provide a smoother and safer journey for bicyclists, motorists and freight. SDOT will also upgrade many of the pedestrian crossings and ramps through this project. The paving of Fifth Avenue is part of a larger program to prepare downtown arterials for increased traffic during Alaskan Way Viaduct work.

Construction will begin on July 9 between Denny Way and Olive Way, with work between Olive Way and Marion Street expected to start in September. SDOT will repair the roadway base, lay new asphalt, install/upgrade curb ramps, improve pedestrian crossings and replace existing drainage grates with more “bicycle friendly” grates. Most work will occur on weekdays between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., though limited work will take place at night or on weekends. Temporary lane closures will be necessary, as will pedestrian detours and parking restrictions. At least one lane on Fifth Avenue will remain open at all times and access to businesses will be maintained throughout construction.

As part of its commitment to work closely with the community throughout this project, SDOT has conducted door-to-door outreach, mailed out project information and held public meetings. In addition, the department set up a Fifth Avenue Paving Project Information Line (206-615-0505) for callers to hear recorded project updates and leave messages for the project team. The paving contractor also has a staff member available to meet directly with the public at the project office, located at the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Bell Street. For more information or to sign-up for electronic project updates, please visit

The Fifth Avenue Paving Project is funded by the Bridging the Gap transportation initiative, approved by Seattle voters in 2006. The $365 million levy enables much-needed work by the Seattle Department of Transportation, such as roadway paving, sidewalk development and repair, bridge upkeep, and tree pruning and planting. It also supports the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans, the Safe Routes to School program, enhanced transit connections and large Neighborhood Street Fund projects.

The Seattle Department of Transportation builds, maintains and operates Seattle's $8 billion transportation infrastructure. To further Mayor Nickels’ goal to get Seattle moving, the department manages short- and long-term investments in streets, bridges, pavement and trees, that better connect the city with the region.

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Seattle Department of Transportation

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