the word on the street October 19, 2006

Big Swap During Closure This Monday Night
Traffic across the bridge approaches will be switched this coming Monday night, October 23rd, from the west side-where it has been since May-to the east side.

To enable the changeover, the bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic from 9PM Monday night through 6AM Tuesday morning (October 24th); bicycles and pedestrians will be allowed to cross.

Police officers will assist during the swap to the east side, and will be on hand each evening the rest of the week.

Driving Lanes and Parking Areas to Shift
Traffic along Fremont Avenue North between North 34th and 35th Streets will be reconfigured to align with the eastern half of the bridge approach. Fremont Avenue's eastern curb lane, used for parking since May, will become a driving lane once more, while parking will be allowed along on the western curb lane (by Hansen's Florists, Starbucks, and Blue C Sushi).

Traffic flows on the north side of the bridge will otherwise remain basically the same after the shift, with one vehicular lane in each direction and a shared bicycle/pedestrian path, with no turns permitted at 34th Street for northbound vehicles.

Florentia Turns Temporarily Foiled
Southbound bridge traffic accustomed to turning right at Florentia (between the Nickerson Street Bar & Grill and the Bleitz Funeral Home) will now continue to the signaled intersection (with Westlake, Dexter & Nickerson) to avoid what will be a really deep hole.

Florentia Street itself will be open; just not accessible from the bridge approach until traffic moves back onto the west side next spring. Until then traffic can access Florentia (and the flanking businesses) from the 3rd Avenue North intersection.



  The Sounds of Progress
On next Monday evening Mowat Construction will grind away some lane stripes on Fremont Avenue and along 34th Street, a noisy process that will take only a few hours. Later next week crews will be saw-cutting next to the bascule bridge itself, another loud, short-term activity.

Demolition will begin in earnest on October 30th, with "rubblization" starting on the south approach. The work will take place primarily during the dayshift, with the debris loaded into trucks and hauled away at night.

Demolition of the north approach will begin mid-November and continue into December.

New Bridge Railing Has Character
Final planning is underway for Fremont's biggest autumn event, which will be held September 22nd, 23rd and 24th this year.

Once traffic swaps to the east side next week, pedestrians will cross the bridge on the new sidewalk past new lighting fixtures alongside a bridge edge railing specially fabricated to reflect the character and history of the world's busiest bascule bridge.

Tricks and Treats on Tuesday - 10/31
Don't forget Fremont's Halloween celebration for kids in costumes! Adult-accompanied gremlins will find the hospitality of participating retailers and restaurants rewarding. The fun starts at 3PM and will continue until 6PM (or until the goodies run out).


For More Info
If you have questions or concerns regarding the project please call SDOT Project Manager Lorelei Mesic at 206-684-5178 or lorelei.mesic@seattle.gov. Also, businesses may contact Art Brochet at 206-547-1008 or art@muirpr.com.