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2008 Arterial Asphalt & Concrete Program

Fifth Avenue Paving Project FAQs

Revised March 18, 2008

1. Why is Fifth Avenue being repaved?
Fifth Avenue is an important part of Seattle’s Center City transportation system. It is one of the primary southbound arterials in the Center City area. Due to heavy use over the years Fifth Avenue’s paving is in poor condition.

As part of the Bridging the Gap Transportation Levy passed by Seattle voters in 2006, funding has been set aside to repair and repave Fifth Avenue. In addition, the paving of Fifth Avenue is part of a larger program to prepare the primary north and south connectors in the downtown core for increased traffic during major construction on the Alaskan Way Viaduct (Central Waterfront section).

2. What is the scope of the project?
Fifth Avenue will be repaved from Denny Way to Marion Street. The work includes grinding and removing the top layer of existing asphalt, repairing portions of the base beneath the asphalt, and overlaying the base with new asphalt. New curb ramps will be installed or upgraded to meet current standards

3. When will Fifth Avenue be repaved?
Weather is a major factor in determining when particular projects can be constructed. The months of April through October are the best months for construction in Seattle. Paving especially needs the predictability of the fairly warm and dry conditions offered only during that time period. As a result, Fifth Avenue paving will take place between May and October 2008.

4. How will this project benefit me?
New pavement makes quieter, smoother and safer travel for bicyclists, cars and pedestrians. Drivers can focus on their driving instead of avoiding potholes. New markings are more visible to drivers day and night ensuring a safer and more efficient flow of traffic. Pedestrian access and safety will be improved as curb ramps are upgraded.

5. How long will the work last?
The project will last approximately six months from beginning to end. We anticipate selecting a contractor in April of 2008, starting construction in May/June and completing the work in late fall 2008. However, not all of Fifth Avenue will be under construction at the same time. The contractor’s work will progress through the area in a logical manner, to allow for the most efficient use of time. We will distribute the schedule of work when it becomes available.

6. What can I expect during construction?
The construction will create noise, vibrations and dust. This project will also require temporary lane closures, pedestrian detours and parking restrictions.

7. What are the work hours?
Work hours will generally be 7a.m. – 4p.m., with occasional grinding and paving at night and on weekends. The work zones are often set up and taken down each day in the area of work where the contractors are working, although some work requires lane closures for 24 hours.

8. What about noise?
This project will generate significant noise at times, especially when pavement breaking is necessary. Night work will also generate some noise however pavement breaking is prohibited after 10 pm.

9. Will I have access to my business?
Access to businesses will be maintained throughout construction. There will be some isolated times when a driveway will have to be temporarily closed. This will be discussed individually with the affected property owner/business manager in advance of the closure to minimize the impact.

10. Will there be lane closures along Fifth Avenue?

Yes. Lane closures along Fifth Avenue can be anticipated. We will make every effort to keep as many lanes open in the peak direction at the peak times.

Lane closures create safe work zones. Parking, travel lane, and pedestrian restrictions may be required to promote safe and efficient movement through the work zone. (There may not always be work going on everywhere behind the barrels/cones but the zone is part of a larger traffic control set up to ensure safety).

11. Will there be sidewalk closures?
Sidewalk closures/detours will occur. During curb ramp repairs to sidewalks, the contractor is required to keep pedestrian access available to cross the street, even if it might mean going to the opposite side of the street and back for crossing.

12. How do I report issues or problems?
Issues and/or problems can be reported to Josh Stepherson, 5 th Avenue Paving Project Outreach Coordinator, at 684-3136 or Prior to the start of construction a project information line will be set up that will provide updated construction information.

13. What forms of communication will be used to notify business owners?
SDOT will employ a variety of communication methods to notify businesses and other affected parties along Fifth Avenue. These include a project website, information phone line, door-to-door outreach and regular construction notices. To sign up for electronic updates please visit In addition, the contractor will have a Community Communications Officer on site during designated hours to respond to questions or issues.

SDOT is working closely with the business associations such as DSA and BOMA to alert business owners of this and other upcoming construction projects. SDOT‘s Project Outreach Coordinator and Project Manager work together to assure distribution of information promptly and to respond to questions from nearby businesses and residents.

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