23rd Avenue Corridor Improvements Project
Updated November 18, 2015
What traffic impacts can I expect?
Crews have made good progress rebuilding 23rd Ave since construction began in June 2015. Work to replace the 100-year-old water main is complete in Zones A and B and now underway in Zone C. Crews are rebuilding the street in Zone A and will extend this work into Zone B on November 30.
The project is on schedule for completion in early 2017. However, the timing and phasing of the northbound detour has changed from original plans and now includes some overlap between Zone A and Zone B. This overlap is needed to keep the overall project on schedule as a result of construction challenges we have encountered in Zone A with the planned locations for the new trolley poles. Read the FAQs for more information.
Traffic closures and changes:
Typical work schedule:
Other temporary construction impacts:
How to use the detour
Northbound traffic within the active construction zone will be detoured east to Martin Luther King Jr Way. To access a home or business mid-zone, drivers will need to use Martin Luther King Jr Way (or another nearby arterial) to travel northbound and turn onto an east-west street at the end of a zone – S Jackson, E Cherry, E Union or E Madison/John streets – to then go southbound on 23rd Ave. Use the detour map at right to determine how to access a business or residence mid-zone on 23rd Ave.
We expect the first few weeks of detours in each zone to be a challenge as you adapt to the new routes. We appreciate your patience as we make adjustments to keep traffic and people moving – please plan for extra time as you travel through the corridor.
How to access your home or business during construction
Pedestrian access to your home or business entrance will be maintained. Crews can close driveways temporarily, but the Community Liaison will notify businesses and residents prior to driveway work. For businesses with a driveway of 20 feet or wider, crews may be able to work on half of the driveway at a time to maintain access.
King County Metro bus detours and stop changes
During construction, there will be long-term bus reroutes and stop relocations, due to the construction detours in each zone, as well as short-term reroutes and stop closures. See the bus detour maps and descriptions by route below for more information on the transit changes during the Zone A detour.
To get the latest information about your route and any changes during construction, visit Metro's Rider Alerts page, check for posted Rider Alerts at your bus stop, or call Metro at 206-553-3000. In advance of bus route changes, Metro will:
Southbound Route 48: Southbound service will continue on 23rd Ave but may be delayed. Some bus stops may be temporarily closed, as needed for construction. Adjacent stops will remain open.
Northbound Route 48: During active construction in a zone, northbound Route 48 will follow the Martin Luther King Jr Way detour, along with general purpose traffic, and go west back to 23rd Ave at the end of the active work zone to continue north on 23rd Ave. See map.
Two additional temporary stops will serve northbound Route 48: just north of S Jackson St and just north of E Yesler Way on Martin Luther King Jr Way.
Southbound Route 4: On weekdays, Route 4 will only operate as far as 21st Ave and E James St. Route 4 will not travel south of Garfield High School on weekdays because this route uses trolley buses and no substitute diesel buses are available on weekdays.
On weekends, Metro will operate a revised Route 4 using a diesel bus that does not require trolley wire. See map.
Northbound and southbound Route 8: Will operate on Martin Luther King Jr Way between S Jackson St and E Yesler Way. See map. (They will not operate via S Jackson St, 23rd Ave S and E Yesler Way northbound or via E Yesler Way, 23rd Ave S and S Jackson St southbound.)
Two additional temporary stops will serve northbound Route 8: just north of S Jackson St and just north of E Yesler Way on Martin Luther King Jr Way.
Likewise, one additional temporary stop will serve southbound Route 8: just south of E Yesler Way on Martin Luther King Jr Way.
Why is northbound 23rd Ave closed?
To ensure the safety of pedestrians and drivers, as well as to allow enough space for crews to safely complete their work in a timely manner, northbound traffic in the active work zone will be detoured to Martin Luther King Jr Way. Southbound traffic will be maintained, though reduced to one lane at most times.23rd Ave is a narrow street. Maintaining two-way traffic requires 22 feet, or 11-foot-wide lanes, at a minimum. Construction activities and equipment require approximately 30 feet of the roadway. The graphic below illustrates why there is not enough space in the road to accommodate more than one lane of traffic during construction
Keeping your neighborhood safe and moving during construction
To balance the various needs of everyone who lives, works, plays and goes to school on and around 23rd Ave, we have identified some tools to help manage traffic and keep people safe on the neighborhood’s streets. These include:
How will the contractor rebuild the street?
The construction work to rebuild 23rd Avenue will consist of four main activity types:
Your favorite businesses and organizations will be open during construction
In addition to safety and mobility, we want to ensure the local businesses and places you visit regularly remain accessible during construction.
To help local businesses stay accessible and minimize some of the construction impacts they may experience, the City will:
Minimize impact to customer access
Provide communication tools to businesses
The City has additional resources available for businesses and organizations affected by construction; see our project materials section below. If you are a local business/organization and would like more information, please contact the Office of Economic Development directly at 206-684-8090.
Construction contact information
Construction can be difficult. If you experience any issues or have questions during construction, please contact the community liaison via phone or email anytime, day or night:
The 23rd Avenue Corridor Improvement project includes three phases:
Phase 1: S Jackson St to E John St: June 2015 – early 2017 (approximately 20 months)
Phase 2: S Jackson St to Rainier Ave S- construction starts in 2017 (pending additional funding)
For a good introduction to the project, be sure to check out our overview video.
23rdAvenue is an essential arterial that connects a variety of users to businesses,educational institutions and residences in the Central District and beyond. Approximately 13,400-20,000 vehicles use 23rd Avenue each day. This area also serves high volumes of pedestrians, bike riders, and transit users(approximately 6,000 daily transit riders).
Why is the project needed?
Improving safety and mobility in your neighborhood
In June 2015, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will begin construction on 23rd Avenue between S Jackson Street and E John Street. This is the first phase of a project to improve safety and mobility for people who drive, walk, bike and take transit in the area.
Project improvements vary by phase and include:
The new roadway –opportunity for a safer 23rd Avenue
The new corridor will have wider lanes – one in each direction – plus a 10-foot-wide center turn lane. The turn lane will allow left-turning vehicles to make a safe left turn, while still allowing thru-traffic to continue through an intersection and down the street.
On streets with 25,000 vehicles per day or fewer, such as 23rd Avenue, changing the street design from four lanes to three can increase safety by reducing collisions, reducing speeding, allowing vehicles to turn without blocking traffic, managing drivers cutting in and out of lanes, creating space for wider sidewalks, making streets easier to cross and making it easier for freight and transit to travel. At most bus stops, the road will flare to approximately 18feet, where buses can pull to the side and vehicles can pass the stopped bus inthe travel lane. The City is also working with King County Metro to determine the benefits of electrifying the Route 48 line. The results from the study can be found in the Project Materials section below.
SDOT is committed to engaging with the community and understanding the needs in the project area. To get ready for construction,we are conducting door-to-door outreach, briefing community groups and businesses, sending email and online notifications, and hosting a pre-construction open house. Please contact us if you would like to request a community briefing.
SDOT has a total of $43 million in funding through a combination of local, state and federal sources. Phase 1 is estimated to cost approximately $31 million and is fully funded. SDOT has sufficient funding for Phase 2 and 3 design; however, additional funding is needed for Phase 2 and 3 construction.
Call the 24-hour project construction hotline: 206-727-8857
If you need this information translated, please call (206) 727-8857.