Utility work began this week on the Seattle Center City Connector. Over the next month crews will be confirming utility locations for upcoming utility work. This will require roadway excavations along 1st Avenue South between South King Street and Yesler Way; and on South Jackson Street between Occidental Avenue South and 1st Avenue South. Consequently, there will be some parking and travel lane restrictions and traffic detours. This comes on the heels of the Mayor’s budget amendment deadline, where there was concern of a proposal for pulling funding.
The city currently has two disjointed streetcar lines: the First Hill Streetcar and the South Lake Union Streetcar. This utility work is the first step of the $177 million project which will create a 1.2 mile addition that connects the two lines via 1st Avenue and Stewart Street.
Scheduled to open in 2020, it will mainly run in streetcar-designated lanes in the center of 1st Avenue. Once complete, the streetcar line will feature 23 total stations. The project will also add 7 new streetcars allowing stations along 1st Avenue to run at 5 minute intervals during peak hours. In total, it is anticipated that the streetcar will move about 25,000 people per day. With then number of planned office and residential space opening within the next 3 and a half years, this project should hopefully ease downtown mobility.