S Columbian Way / S Alaska Street Paving Project

Paving, protected bike lane, curb ramp upgrades, sidewalk repairs, pedestrian refuge island, drainage upgrades, parking removal, center turn lane removal

Updated: November 27, 2019

What’s happening now?

Our signals, capital projects, and bike program teams have designed new safety enhancements at the S Columbian Way/Beacon Ave S intersection. In the coming weeks, as soon as weather allows, crews will be making adjustments at the intersection.

The following improvements should provide more clarity to drivers at the intersection and increase the safety and comfort of people on bikes up to and through the intersection.

  • New bike protection leading up to the intersection
  • New bike signals at the intersection
  • New road markings and paint on the ground to better distinguish travel lanes
  • Restricting left turns in the intersection to keep east/west traffic flowing and prevent collisions between bike riders and drivers

With the new left turn restrictions for drivers looking to go northbound and southbound, drivers will now need to turn right, then make two left turns to get to their respective northbound or southbound destinations. These are called Michigan Left Turns. Suggested turn around streets include S Alaska St and S Ferdinand St. We understand this will be a change for some drivers; however, it will improve the traffic flow in the intersection and protect cars and people that ride bikes from collisions.

Thank you to residents and businesses in the project area for your patience as we have worked to redesign the intersection.

Graphic showing updated intersection design at S Columbian Way and Beacon Ave S.

For the latest project construction updates, see our construction email update archive.

We will share regular updates via email and distribute flyers in advance of work near affected properties. You can sign up to receive email updates using the form to the right.

Questions about construction? Email the project team at ColumbianAlaska@seattle.gov or call 206-256-5112.

Project Overview

S Columbian Way / S Alaska St between Beacon Ave S and Martin Luther King Jr Way S is a two-way arterial serving southeast Seattle. This stretch of road provides an important connection for all commuters between Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley. Our goal is to improve the safety, accessibility, and comfort for all users.

We repaved about 1 mile of S Columbian Way / S Alaska St between Beacon Ave S and Martin Luther King Jr Way S. As part of the repaving, we took off the old top layer of the road, placed new asphalt and repainted the lane lines. In addition to repaving, we also put in new protected bike lanes along this stretch of road between Beacon Ave S and Martin Luther King Jr Way S. To create space for the protected lanes, we removed the center-turn lane from Beacon Ave S to Martin Luther King Jr Way S. 

Project elements included:

  • Repaving S Columbian Way / S Alaska St between Beacon Ave S and Martin Luther King Jr Way S
  • Installing new protected bike lanes along S Columbian Way / S Alaska St
  • Installing or upgrading curb ramps to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Replacing traffic detection loops that control the signals
  • Repairing and replacing some sections of sidewalk in the project area
  • Building a pedestrian refuge island at the intersection of S Alaska St and S Alaska Pl
  • Removing some on-street parking, including planting strips that may be currently used for parking
  • Removing the center turn-lane in segments of the corridor

map of Columbia Way project



cross section view of lanes with one sidewalk, planting strip, bike lane, buffer and travel lane in each direction.

Protected bike lane on S Columbian Way and S Alaska St

The new protected bike lane extends beyond the S Columbian Way / S Alaska St Paving Project to 16th Ave S. The rechannelization of S Columbian Way west of Beacon Ave S included the removal of a portion of the center turn lane. 

Map of protected bike lane on S Columbian Way and S Alaska St from 16th Ave S to MLK Jr. Way S.
Map of protected bike lane on S Columbian Way and S Alaska St from 16th Ave S to Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. 

Protected bike lane between 16th Ave S and Beacon Ave S

Cross section of two protected bike lanes with center turn lane from S Snoqualmie St to 16th Ave S.

For more information about our paving projects, visit Current Paving Projects.

Project Schedule*

2016

Initial design and outreach

Spring - Summer 2017

Updated design

Community outreach continues

Fall 2017

Final design

Late 2017

Advertise for construction

Summer/Fall 2018

Construction begins

Late 2019

Construction ends

*This schedule is a rough estimation of the project timeline and is subject to change.

Funding

Total project budget: $2.02 million
Funding Sources:

  • SDOT’s Arterial Asphalt and Concrete Program
  • Sidewalk Safety Repair Program
  • Levy to Move Seattle

Outreach To Date

FormatDocument/DescriptionDate
Flyer Striping flyer May 2019
Flyer Paving flyer May 2019
Flyer Grinding flyer April 2019
Flyer S Columbian Way Protected Bike Lane April 2019
Flyer Project recap flyer March 2019
Flyer Pre-construction flyer August 2018
Flyer Spring 2018 fact sheet Spring 2018
Flyering Southeast business survey collection March 2018
Flyering S Columbian Way / S Alaska St residential flyer December 2017
Mailing Project letter to the community
Mailed to ~200 homes and businesses
October 2017
Flyer May 2017 fact sheet
Distributed to ~500 homes, businesses, and at fairs and festivals
Summer 2017
Email update Southeast cross-section announcement March 2017
Briefing Settle Bike Advisory Board December 2016
Briefing Rainier Vista Traffic Safety Committee December 2016
Flyer Southeast Door Hanger
Distributed to ~500 homes and businesses
November 2016
Email update Southeast Open House Summary November 2016
Open house Southeast Open House Meeting Boards October 2016
Open house Southeast Open House in Columbia City
Close to 30 people signed-in
October 2016
Flyer and email update Southeast Project Fact Sheet October 2016
Flyer Southeast Open House Notice
Distributed to over 500 homes and businesses
October 2016
Email update Southeast Survey Results Summary October 2016
Email update Southeast Survey Results September 2016
Flyer Southeast Paving Survey Notice
Distributed to ~500 homes and businesses
August 2016

Get Involved

If you would like to learn more about the project or would like to request a briefing, please do not hesitate to contact us.