After more than a year of construction as part of the overhaul of 23rd Ave from Montlake to the Central District, the southern end of the route is back open to vehicular traffic and the long project is moving into its final phases.
The Seattle Department of Transportation announced that 23rd Ave south of Jackson has been re-opened to two-way motor vehicle traffic though construction is still being wrapped up.
The so-called Phase 2 of the 23rd Ave Vision Zero plan began last spring to continue the effort of slimming down the corridor and adding sidewalk improvements including new paving, crosswalks, and upgraded pedestrian crossing signals, new landscaping and trees, and transit improvements including real-time arrival information and bus pullouts between Jackson and S Hill.
The city also said it would undertake work to extend the adjacent Central Area Neighborhood Greenway for bikes and pedestrians.
A major water main project was also tackled during the roadwork.
SDOT says it still has sidewalk, curb ramp, and signal work to do along the transformed roadway.
“Although the road is open to traffic in both directions, there will still be active construction happening throughout the corridor,” SDOT notes. “This construction will require traffic control and some lane closures. Please be prepared to stop or slow down for flaggers and crews. If you are traveling through the area, please consider using an alternate route.”
The milestone is a significant moment for area bus riders. With the reopening, Metro Routes 4 and 48 resumed service on 23rd Ave S, south of S Jackson.
The corridor is being prepared for what is expected to be faster, more reliable transit service. Speeding the route for bus service on 23rd Ave is being planned as a “Transit-Plus Multimodal Project” as it awaits a schedule for implementation — eventually — as a RapidRide route.
The Central District work follows a more modest effort to overhaul 23rd Ave and 24th Ave through Montlake.
Earlier, the more significant first phase of the 23rd Ave project between John and Jackson streets took 21 months to complete.
Montlake neighbors, meanwhile, are gearing up for a new long bout of construction as crews are about to dig in on the “Montlake Project” component of the 520 replacement work that will create an improved Montlake Boulevard interchange, a landscaped lid over SR 520, a bicycle and pedestrian “land bridge” east of the lid, and a three-lane West Approach Bridge South over Union Bay for eastbound traffic.
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