Major construction and traffic changes begin June 8 on 23rd Avenue

Traffic delays expected for Central Area commuters and residents


The Seattle Department of Transportation advises travelers in the Central Area to be prepared for major traffic changes when 23rd Avenue construction starts June 8. Crews will close all northbound lanes and reduce southbound traffic to one lane on 23rd Avenue in the first of three work zones, between S Jackson and E Cherry streets. Northbound traffic between S Jackson and E Cherry streets will be detoured to Martin Luther King, Jr Way. These closures are expected to last for approximately eight months.

These traffic changes mark the start of construction to improve safety and mobility for people who drive, walk and take transit on 23rd Avenue between S Jackson and E John Street. The 20-month construction project was divided into three three work zones to minimize the impacts on businesses, residents and the traveling public.

Beginning at 6:30 a.m. Monday, June 8, travelers can expect the following changes:

  • Northbound lanes on 23rd Avenue will remain fully closed to traffic between S Jackson and E Cherry streets. Northbound traffic will be detoured at S Jackson Street to Martin Luther King, Jr Way and connect with 23rd Avenue at E Cherry Street.
  • Southbound travel on 23rd Avenue will be maintained at all times between S Jackson and E Cherry streets, though reduced to one lane (except at key intersections). Drivers should expect delays.
  • Metro bus route detours and changes:
  • Northbound Route 48 will follow the detour on Martin Luther King, Jr Way around the construction zone.
  • Southbound Route 48 will continue to operate along 23rd Avenue but may be delayed during construction due to traffic.
  • On weekdays, Route 4 will only operate as far south as 21st Avenue and E James Street. On weekends, Metro will operate a revised Route 4 using a diesel bus that does not require a trolley wire.
  • Route 8 will stay on Martin Luther King, Jr Way in both directions.
  • For more information about Metro changes and detours during construction visit

Uniformed police officers will be stationed at key locations along 23rd Avenue and the detour route to help manage traffic.

Please visit the project website for more information and to view detour maps at