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Biking and walking access will be maintained during E Marginal Way construction

Map showing the project area from South Spokane Street to South Atlantic Street.

Construction crews are preparing to begin work on a major, multi-year rebuild of E Marginal Way S as soon as March 11, according to SDOT. The project includes building an entirely new roadbed built to withstand heavy truck traffic as well as new protected bike lanes. Work is not expected to be complete until 2026.

Walking and biking access will be maintained throughout the multi-year project, which is good news because there is no viable alternative land route between the Spokane Street Bridge and downtown Seattle. The exact route will move around and change as the work zone changes.

The project will rebuild E Marginal between S Spokane Street (West Seattle Bridge) and S Atlantic Street (start of the Alaskan Way Trail), passing by several major Port of Seattle access points. I addition to maintaining walking and biking access, the project will also maintain freight-only access to these major Port driveways. General purpose traffic will be detoured to 1st Ave S as necessary.


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When the street finally opens, it will likely be the final piece of a complete and connected Seattle Waterfront Trail (not its official name) that links the Alki and Duwamish Trails through SoDo and downtown to the Elliott Bay Trail in Myrtle Edwards Park and beyond.

The project recently overcame a complicated railroad ownership hurdle and is finally ready to start. SDOT has secured more than $38 million to build the project, $20 million of which is from a federal RAISE grant, $5 million from the Port and the rest from the Move Seattle Levy and state funding.

Below is a more detailed look at the final design:

Top-down maps of the project map with lines marking the path of the bike lane, mostly along the east side of the roadway.

More construction details from SDOT:

To complete our work as quickly and safely as possible, we are closing East Marginal Way S to general purpose traffic. Detour is not yet active and we will notify the community prior to the detour taking effect. When the detour is active, we will:

  • Convert East Marginal Way S to one-way northbound and access will be limited to freight vehicles and Port of Seattle traffic only. See the above route map for freight and Port-bound traffic.
  • Detour all non-Port of Seattle vehicle traffic to nearby streets
  • Maintain access for people walking, biking, and rolling along East Marginal Way S using different routes to avoid active construction areas. Detour routes may change to accommodate project work.

Detour routes for non-Port of Seattle vehicle traffic and for people walking, biking, and rolling may be in place before construction activities start in areas between S Atlantic St and S Spokane St.


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6 responses to “Biking and walking access will be maintained during E Marginal Way construction”

  1. Don Brubeck

    YAY!!!
    Happening at last. We’ve been working for 14 years for this along with many stakeholders and it’s going to be worth every minute of it.

    https://westseattlebikeconnections.org/2013/05/18/east-marginal-way-with-sdot/

  2. Brian Benson

    Boy, I sure will miss the cracks, broken concrete, puddles, narrow bike lane…not!

    1. Benjamin

      You think they won’t come back? And that the 2-way lane will be sufficient? I won’t hold my breath.

  3. John P.

    I’ve gotten flats 3 or 4 times from this section of road, so this will be great!

  4. Al Dimond

    Huh, I hadn’t realized they were going to run the path under 99 for a block at the north end. A break from rain some days, a lighting challenge some nights.

    It will be interesting to see how the intersection at Horton works out. The current crosswalk is the site of some pretty inconsiderate riding from our more aggressive cyclists. The planned signal could be like the Spokane/Manning signal — fine if everyone either follows the signals or goes against them in sensible ways, but dangerous if drivers are going too fast, cyclists are too impatient, etc.

  5. We’ll See

    Why is the path set to go under highway 99 for an eighth of a mile. It will likely just become a section where encampments will crop up and we will have to avoid the inevitable broken bottle detritus. Also better have good lighting, at least better than the section underneath the Spokane Street Bridge flyover.

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