South Access - Surface Street Connections

Project news

Last updated August 30, 2021

Construction is currently underway on the South Access – Surface Street Connections project. Standard work hours are Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., with crew using the empty lot at the southwest corner of First Avenue South and South Dearborn Street for construction staging. Here is what people living, working or travelling through the area can expect in the coming months:

  • August: Travel lanes on First Avenue South shifted east to create a work zone on the west shoulder between South Dearborn Street and South Royal Brougham Way
  • August: South Dearborn Street reopened Aug. 25 to vehicular traffic. Sidewalks on South Dearborn Street remain temporarily closed.
  • September: Periodic one-lane closures on southbound First Avenue South for paving and street improvement work.
  • September: One night of overnight work to remove a sign bridge over the roadway between South Royal Brougham Way and South Dearborn Street. First Avenue South will be fully closed for the work.

Overnight work on First Avenue South Sept. 16-17

On the evening of Sept. 16, crews will close First Avenue South between South Royal Brougham Way and South Dearborn Street to remove a sign bridge over the road. 

Map showing construction zone on west side of First Avenue South between South Royal Brougham Way and South Dearborn Street, with the SR 99 tunnel portal to the west and Lumen Field to the east

Needs & benefits

This project completes final roadway work around the south portal of the SR 99 Tunnel, and builds new pedestrian and bicycle amenities that connect Seattle’s stadiums with the waterfront. The work includes paving portions of First Avenue South and South Dearborn Street, and turning Railroad Way South into a pedestrian plaza that links Seattle's stadiums with the central waterfront. Much of this work could not be completed previously due to SR 99 Tunnel and Alaskan Way Viaduct Demolition work.

Map of South Access Surface Street Connections project area showing road improvements on First Avenue South near Seattle's stadiums and a pedestrian plaza where Railroad Way once ran between King Street and Occidental Avenue.

View a fact sheet detailing project elements (PDF 4MB)

Project schedule

  • July 19, 2021: First construction working day
  • August: Paving and street improvement work begins on First Avenue South between South Royal Brougham Way and South Dearborn Street
  • October: Work begins on a new Charles Street and the pedestrian plaza east of First Avenue South 
  • Late 2021/early 2022: Charles Street opens between First Avenue South and Occidental Avenue South
  • Early 2022: A new pedestrian plaza opens between First Avenue South and Occidental Avenue South
  • Fall 2022: Construction expected to be complete

Note: construction timeline above is preliminary and subject to change

Funding

The $3.3 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program (AWV) is funded by state, federal, and local sources. The South Access - Surface Street Connections project, with state funds only, is part of the $2,145.6 million SR 99 tunnel project of the AWV Program.

Contact

Email: viaduct@wsdot.wa.gov

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Map highlighting South Access roadwork on First Avenue and South Dearborn Street in Seattle, near highway 99