by: John Knicely Updated:
SEATTLE - The next phase of the Mercer Corridor Project starts at the end of April. It’s all about turning one-way streets into two-way streets near Seattle Center and the Space Needle.
The first step is to shift the 2 Eastbound Mercer Street lanes onto the new lanes currently being paved between First Avenue North and Ninth Avenue North. The Seattle DOT said 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles drive that stretch of road each day.
“I know that a lot of people are late to work because of it,” said Brianna Thompson, who walks past Mercer Street daily. “Every day it's a different time for (being stuck in) traffic. You can't prepare for it.”
The second step will be converting Roy Street to two-way traffic, which will take several days. Then Queen Anne Avenue North will become a two-way street as it crosses Mercer and heads up the Queen Anne hill.
Broad Street will close in late May or early June. Currently, Westbound traffic gets shifted onto Broad. But this project is turning Mercer into two-way traffic. And Broad will be closed so Mercer can be further widened. It will also help line Mercer up with the new Highway 99 tunnel, a stalled project that's become a mess on its own.
The Highway 99 tunnel project is stalled because Bertha, the tunneling machine, is broken. It hasn't moved since December and won't be fixed until August at the earliest.
The Mercer Corridor Project is scheduled to be completed by mid-2015.