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Lifeline to South Lake Union to close soon

Fairview Bridge in Seattle. (KIRO Radio, Chris Sullivan)

Your secret way out of South Lake Union is going away soon and paving is continuing on Aurora.

Major Seattle route about to go away for 18 months

I’ve been warning you for months that the Fairview Bridge will be closing this fall. That will mean that Fairview Avenue between South Lake Union and Eastlake will be closed for up to 19 months, with workers replacing worn-down pilings. The Seattle Department of Transportation says the bridge could close as soon as Monday, Sept. 16.

A lot of drivers use Fairview to escape South Lake Union and the Mercer mess to access the U-District and I-5.

All traffic will be diverted along Eastlake Avenue, and if you need to get to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center or the businesses on the south end of Lake Union your only option is Aloha Street.

“Aloha Street is really the only street that connects between Fairview and Eastlake,” project manager Marilyn Yim said.

She is asking drivers to avoid using the Aloha Street cut-through if they are not trying to hit those local businesses.

“Aloha Street is just a local street,” Yim said. “It is not an arterial. We’re closing an arterial and putting all that traffic onto this much smaller road.”

Yim is asking commuters to stay on Eastlake or to stick with I-5 during this closure. All bikes, pedestrians, and buses will be using Aloha Street as their primary detour.

Aurora

Paving the Aurora Bridge

We’ve already seen four weekends of lane closures on the Aurora Bridge that have really upset our ability to get around, but the paving on the bridge wrapped up last week.

The contractor planned for 10 weekends of construction, but the work didn’t take that long.

What to know about Aurora Bridge work

The Washington State Department of Transportation’s Tom Pearce said that doesn’t mean the work on Aurora is done. Paving on either side of the bridge continues.

If you’ve driven 99 lately, you are probably tired of a ground down pavement between Roy and 145th.

“Right now, we’re working southbound from about 105th to about 65th,” Pearce said.  “In September, we’re going to pave several of the bridge decks. We have some short overpass bridges there. Those will be repaved in September.”

There will still be lane closures for the paving, but that will be handled overnight. The work should be done in just over a month.

“All of Aurora, from Roy to 145th, is going to have fresh pavement, good lane markings, and it will be a very nice drive for folks,” Pearce said. “Some of this work is weather-dependent, but we are close to finishing the work on Aurora.”

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