South Access - Surface Street Connections

Project news

Last updated July 21, 2021

Construction begins this month as WSDOT's contractor, Scarsella Brothers, mobilizes in the area. Standard work hours will be 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:

  • July: Mobilization around South Dearborn Street, including potholing to locate utilities
  • August: A 3-week full closure of South Dearborn Street for sewer, drainage and paving work
  • 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
  • September: Work begins on the future Charles Street and the pedestrian plaza along Railroad Way between First Avenue South and Occidental Avenue

Full closure of South Dearborn Street, August 2 - 25

On August 2, crews will close South Dearborn Street between Alaskan Way South and First Avenue South. The street and its northern sidewalk will be fully closed through August 25. This closure allows crews to perform extensive work on South Dearborn Street, including paving the street during favorable paving weather. The detour route is via South King Street, one block to the north. A uniformed police officer will help direct traffic at the intersection of South King Street and First Avenue South.

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
  • Aug. 2 - 25: Full closure of South Dearborn Street
  • August: First phase of work begins on First Avenue South between South Royal Brougham Way and South Dearborn Street
  • September: 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

Want to receive periodic email updates about construction? Send an email to the address above and request to be added to the email list.

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