Prepare for Travel Impacts on 5th Ave from July-August for Rainier Square

Crews will be blocking the west lane on 5th Ave between Union St and University St from 9 AM to 3 PM, Monday-Friday to remove the guardrail beginning on Monday, July 22.

While this will impact travel for up to a few weeks, putting this structure in place saved years of disruption on 5th Ave.

Quick history lesson on Rainier Square, from 2017 to today.

A look back on construction on Rainier Square from May 2018. View from 4th Ave.

A look back on construction on Rainier Square from May 2018. View from 4th Ave.

Construction on the Rainier Square development on 5th Ave between Union St and University St began in late 2017 and is expected to be completed next year.

The original plan from 2017 was to close the travel lanes on each side (yep, that’s 4th Ave, 5th Ave, Union St, and University St – all of them) for two years. Our Construction Hub Coordination team had many meetings with their project team to minimize the impacts to the travel lanes, keeping them open for people to travel through the area.

In the end, to keep the travel lane open on 5th Ave, the teams reached a consensus to install a guardrail structure to protect people traveling through the area from the hole they were digging as part of construction.

Installing this guardrail kept the lane open for nearly two years since construction has begun, and now it’s time to remove it!

The initial proposal to remove the guardrail this July and August was to close a lane on 5th Ave 24/7 to complete the work. Our team found that the majority of the work will take place on site which will reduce the impact to 5th Ave. The conclusion was taking the west lane on 5th Ave only from 9 AM to 3 PM. While this may make the work take longer, it will create less overall impact to 5th Ave, helping you travel through the area more easily!

Here’s what you can expect.

Looking down 5th Ave at Union St with the guardrail installed in the west lane.

Looking down 5th Ave at Union St with the guardrail installed in the west lane.

SCHEDULE

The dates needed to remove the guardrail are tentatively scheduled for Monday, July 22 – Saturday, August 31. If work is completed before then, the lane will be reopened prior to August 31.

At some point before Thanksgiving, the west lane will need to be closed 24/7 for about two weeks to pour the curb back and remove the guard rail. After this, they will start pouring the sidewalk back. When that is completed, the sidewalk on the west side will be open again after 2 years of closure. The schedule for the sidewalk restoration is still being determined.

CLOSURE | DETOUR

Work will be occurring in the west lane of 5th Ave between Union St and University St from 9 AM to 3 PM, Monday-Friday. Plan ahead and prepare for increased travel times on 5th Ave.

Map showing impacts of work on the west lane of 5th Ave. Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

Map showing impacts of work on the west lane of 5th Ave. Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

NOISE

Noise will be mostly during the day for the curb and street restoration.

PROJECT OUTCOME

Completing this work now will allow the west sidewalk to be open for people walking prior to the Holiday Construction Moratorium, which is the restriction we place on construction in the Downtown Retail Core, Pioneer Square, and Chinatown-International District neighborhoods between Thanksgiving and the Lunar New Year. By restricting construction for the winter holidays, we support Seattle businesses during the peak shopping season and reduce traffic congestion during this busy time of year.

Want more information?

Gazing up at the Rainier Square tower in downtown Seattle.

Gazing up at the Rainier Square tower in downtown Seattle.

Check out our blog post from 2018 describing the Rainier Tower projectand the work we did to minimize sidewalk and travel lane closures!

If you have further questions, please contact our Construction Hub Coordination team at SDOTConstructionHub@seattle.gov.