Major road project for Southcenter Parkway in Tukwila starts this month

The pieces are falling into place for a major road project on one of Tukwila's busiest retail streets. The Southcenter Access Project is scheduled to begin later this month, and is expected to stretch into this winter, as work crews reconstruct Southcenter Parkway between Strander Boulevard and Tukwila Parkway (between Westfield Southcenter Mall and Interstate 5.) Mike Ronda, construction project manager for the City of Tukwila, said road closures from this project (portions of Southcenter Parkway and Klickitat Drive) are tentatively scheduled to begin March 28. These will be long-term closures, expected to be lifted by November, when substantial completion has taken place. Even so, there are some visible reminders the project will soon begin: utility providers Puget Sound Energy and Qwest have been relocating equipment in the area, to make way for the street work. Ronda said in recent weeks, utility workers have been out pulling lids from utility vaults in the affected area. And at the southwest corner of the Westfield Southcenter Mall, near the Cheesecake Factory, PSE has backhoes out digging a new vault for utilities.

The pieces are falling into place for a major road project on one of Tukwila’s busiest retail streets.

The Southcenter Access Project is scheduled to begin later this month, and is expected to stretch into this winter, as work crews reconstruct Southcenter Parkway between Strander Boulevard and Tukwila Parkway (between Westfield Southcenter Mall and Interstate 5.)

Mike Ronda, construction project manager for the City of Tukwila, said road closures from this project (portions of Southcenter Parkway and Klickitat Drive) are tentatively scheduled to begin March 28. These will be long-term closures, expected to be lifted by November, when substantial completion has taken place.

Even so, there are some visible reminders the project will soon begin: utility providers Puget Sound Energy and Qwest have been relocating equipment in the area, to make way for the street work. Ronda said in recent weeks, utility workers have been out pulling lids from utility vaults in the affected area. And at the southwest corner of the Westfield Southcenter Mall, near the Cheesecake Factory, PSE has backhoes out digging a new vault for utilities.

According to the City of Tukwila Web site, “the work will affect two major intersections: Southcenter Parkway at Klickitat Drive and Southcenter Parkway at Strander Boulevard. The work will also affect the adjacent off-ramps from northbound I-5. The purpose of the project is to improve traffic flow on Southcenter Parkway and reduce congestion at the intersections and I-5 off-ramps. Construction is scheduled to begin in March, 2011 and be substantially complete by November, 2011. .

Most of the construction will occur between March 2011 and November 2011. In order to keep the construction within one year and reduce construction costs, portions of Southcenter Parkway and Klickitat Drive will have long-term road closures. These road closures will begin in March and reopen in November 2011. The actual dates of closures may change.”

Major road impacts during construction: (from the city’w Web site)
* Southcenter Parkway (both directions) closed long term* between Strander Boulevard and mall entrance (Nordstrom side)

* Klickitat Drive closed long term* (both directions) between Southcenter Parkway and I-5 (southbound) on-ramp

* I-5 (northbound) off-ramp to southbound Southcenter Parkway closed long term*

* Southcenter Parkway (southbound) potentially closed long term* between 61st Avenue S and mall entrance (Nordstrom side)

* Other road and lane closures updated on this website as information becomes available

* Long-term closure: road/ramp is closed 24-hours/7 days a week during construction (approximately March thru November 2011 – actual dates of closures may change)

Frequently Asked Questions (from the city’s Web site)

Q: Why is a section of Southcenter Parkway and Klickitat Drive completely closed? Couldn’t they be kept partially open to let traffic through?

A: Some sections of Southcenter Parkway and Klickitat Drive are completely closed during construction so that the work can be done much faster and at lower cost. If we only did partial closures, traffic would be very congested and the project would take many months longer and cost more. We need to have the roads open to traffic for the 2011 holiday shopping season.

Q: What roads and I-5 ramps will close during construction?

A: Go to the Road Closures and Detour Routes section above for a list of road and ramp closures. As construction gets underway, other closures will be posted to this site. We suggest signing up for email updates so we can notify you when there are construction updates.

Q: When will the road and ramp closures start?

A: Portions of Southcenter Parkway and Klickitat Drive (see map for closure areas) close in March. As the schedule is finalized, we’ll update the website with more detailed information as it becomes available.

Q: When will the roads and ramp reopen?

A: The roads are scheduled to reopen by November 2011. As the schedule is finalized, we’ll update the website with more detailed information as it becomes available.

Q: What are the detours?

A: The detours are currently under development and will be posted on this website once they are finalized. We suggest signing up for email updates so we can notify you when there are construction updates.

Q: Are any businesses in the area closed during construction?

A: Southcenter Mall and all businesses in the area are open for business during construction.

Q: Is there any night-work scheduled for this project?

A: A few construction activities, such as paving, relocating utilities, and work at the Strander Boulevard/Southcenter Parkway intersection are scheduled for night when traffic is the lowest so crews can close additional traffic lanes to complete the work.

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