West Emerson Overpass repairs set to cause major traffic impact

Starting this Thursday, October 9, SDOT crews will be repairing the W Emerson Overpass for a total of 12 weeks. The significant repairs will completely close the overpass to motorists for the duration of the construction.

SDOT will also close 15th Ave W to all traffic at night, between W Emerson and W Dravus streets, on the weekend of October. 10 – 12. This initial work will allow crews to safely remove and replace a damaged girder on the north side of the W Emerson Overpass.

Short term detours will impact motorists this week and into the weekend. Check out the specifics below:

  • Thursday and Friday, October 9 and 10 – 15th Ave W will undergo mid-day lane closures between W Emerson St and W Ruffner St.
  • Friday, October 10, through Sunday, October 12 – 15th Ave W will be closed between W Dravus and W Emerson streets during the night with local access to businesses permitted. Closures will begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights and reopen by 9 a.m. the following mornings.
  • Sunday, October 12 – 15th Ave W will close at 7 p.m. and reopen in time for the morning commute on Monday, October 13, by 6 a.m. The westbound Nickerson – 15th Ave W ramp will also be closed at these times.

During this week’s scheduled repairs the following detours will be in place:

  • Both north and southbound traffic on 15th Ave W will have a signed detour route between W Dravus and W Emerson streets that uses 20th Ave W and Gilman Ave W.
  • Westbound traffic on W Nickerson Street must use the Ballard Bridge detour route to NW Leary Way and back to reach W Emerson Street; the alternate route described below will not be available these nights.
  • On-street parking will be restricted on 14th Ave W between W Dravus and W Emerson streets from Friday evening through Monday morning to accommodate King County Metro bus routes during the nighttime closures of 15th Ave W.

The demolition work scheduled for Friday night, October 10, will be unavoidably loud. Crews will be active throughout the night, operating heavy machinery to demolish the northern edge of the overpass.  Residents in the area should expect loud noises and lights for most of the night.

The long term detours listed below are also set to start this Thursday:

  • Westbound to Magnolia: Travelers will have a signed detour route to NW Leary Way and back via the Ballard Bridge.
    • An alternate route (not suitable for freight movements) exists via the one-way Nickerson-15th Ave W Ramp and southbound 15th Ave W to cross Interbay using W Dravus St and reconnect with W Emerson St via 20th Ave W and Gilman Ave W.
  • Eastbound to Fremont: Travelers will have a signed detour route to W Emerson St. Traffic will be detoured to W Dravus St and back using 15th Ave W.
    • An alternate eastbound route (not suitable for freight movements) exists via Gilman Ave W and 20th Ave W to cross Interbay at W Dravus St and then reconnect with W Nickerson St via northbound 15th Ave W.
  • Pedestrian and bicycle routes: Pedestrians and bicyclists will need to use the Ship Canal Trail to cross under 15th Ave W. The stairways just south of the W Emerson Overpass will be closed; all other stairways will remain open.

Some residential parking restrictions along the detour routes will also be in place to provide King County Metro buses adequate turning room.

To find out more information about this project, including maps of signed and alternate detour routes, click here. Email updates about the project can be requested at 15thAveWestOverpass@seattle.gov.

For information on bus service, look for Rider Alert notices at bus stops, see Metro Online or call 206.553.3000.


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