Northbound 23rd Avenue Detour Extending North to East Madison Street on June 1

Central Area commuters and neighbors should plan ahead for traffic changes 

SDOT advises travelers of major detour changes on 23rd Avenue starting Wednesday, June 1 as crews move north to continue constructing important safety and mobility improvements as part of the 23rd Avenue Corridor Improvements Project.

Beginning June 1, northbound 23rd Avenue will be closed from East Cherry Street to East Madison Street. Travelers in the Central District should plan ahead, allow extra travel time, and follow signed detours to avoid cutting through neighborhood streets.

East Cherry Street to East Madison Street

Northbound 23rd Avenue traffic is currently closed from East Cherry Street to East Union Street with a detour to Martin Luther King Jr Way. Crews will extend the detour from East Union Street to East Madison Street on June 1. This detour will stay in place for up to two months, when 23rd Avenue is expected to reopen between East Cherry and East Union streets.

Beginning at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 1, travelers can expect the following changes:

  • Northbound lanes on 23rd Avenue will be fully closed to traffic between East Cherry and East Madison streets. Northbound traffic will be detoured to Martin Luther King Jr Way at East Cherry Street and reconnect with 23rd Avenue at East Madison Street.
  • Southbound travel on 23rd Avenue will be maintained at all times, though reduced to one lane (except at key intersections). Drivers should expect delays.
  • East Cherry, East Union, and East Madison streets will remain open to eastbound and westbound traffic, except during periodic weekend intersection closures.
  • Access to some side streets from 23rd Avenue may be intermittently restricted.
  • Uniformed police officers will help manage traffic at the start of the extended detour.
  • King County Metro bus route detours and changes:
    • Northbound Route 48 will travel north on 23rd Avenue to East Cherry Street, east on East Cherry Street to Martin Luther King Jr Way, north on Martin Luther King Jr Way to East Union Street, west on East Union Street to 19th Avenue, then continue north on 19th Avenue to East Thomas Street before rejoining 23rd Avenue.
    • Southbound Route 48 will continue to operate along 23rd Avenue but may be delayed during construction due to traffic congestion.
    • For more information about Metro changes and detours during construction, sign up for Transit Alerts at or call 206-553-3000.

South Jackson Street to East Union Street

23rd Avenue was reopened to two-way traffic between South Jackson and East Union streets on March 14. All major construction activities in this area are expected to be completed by early June.

Project Update

Crews have continued making good progress rebuilding 23rd Avenue since construction began in June 2015, and the project is on schedule for completion in early 2017.

To minimize impacts during the extended detour, SDOT is limiting the overlap to 2 months; limiting weekend closures of the East Union Street and 23rd Avenue intersection while the northbound detour is in both zones; working to maintain transit connections; improving pedestrian detours with orange and white partitions; promoting business visibility and patronage through new wayfinding signage, advertising, and support for community festivals and events; addressing business access concerns through regular onsite inspections and connections to resources offered by the Office of Economic Development; and improving site cleanliness by moving construction materials, equipment, and contractor parking to an off‐site staging yard.

For more information on this project go to: