Rainier Ave S and S Dearborn Street: transit and pedestrian improvements are coming

A contractor working for the Seattle Department of Transportation began today constructing pedestrian safety and transit improvements at Rainier Avenue South and South Dearborn Street.  During this project, to last about two weeks, there will be lane closures and turn restrictions at the intersection(see below).

The contractor is widening the sidewalk on the east side of Rainier Avenue South, north of South Dearborn Street where there is a bus stop, and also widening and realigning the crosswalk on Rainier on the northern side of Dearborn. The contractor will return at a later date to move a signal pole.

A new southbound, bus-only lane on Rainier Avenue South in the inside lane between South Weller and South Dearborn streets will be installed to help increase transit speed and reliability. The bus stop that was at this location will be moved three blocks north to King Street so buses will have time to move from the curb lane at the bus stop to the bus-only inside lane at the intersection with Dearborn. A separate traffic signal for the bus-only lane will provide a green light before other traffic to give buses a head start through the intersection.

During the next two weeks, a northbound lane will be closed on Rainier Avenue South for one block north of the intersection (between South Dearborn and South Lane streets), and there will be only one left hand turn lane from northbound Rainier to westbound Dearborn instead of the usual two. The block of Dearborn Street to the east of Rainier (Rainier to Hiawatha Place South) will be closed to westbound through traffic. Motorists should expect additional delays and congestion until the construction is completed.

Pedestrians will be detoured, but access to business will be maintained.  For information on bus service, look for Rider Alert notices at bus stops, see Metro Online, www.kingcounty.gov/metro or call (206) 553-3000.