Confirmation: The Mercer Mess is… still a mess

How long does it take to get through Taylor & Mercer? Forever!

Taylor & Mercer gridlock at 3pm…

Today, the Puget Sound Business Journal published an article on the Mercer Mess. Not the old Mercer Mess, but rather the current Mercer Mess. After spending $74 million for improvements to the Mercer corridor, data from TomTom shows that Mercer traffic is no better than it was two years ago.

According to PSBJ:

“Peak morning congestion, between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., on the 1.74-mile stretch of Mercer Street from Elliott Avenue to Interstate 5 has improved by two seconds since 2014, according to TomTom data.”

The City plans to spend $1 million to improve the light timing on Mercer, but according to KIRO, the City “acknowledged that would not speed up commute times” – so don’t expect any improvements anytime soon…

Traffic Alert: Aurora/99 closure this weekend and Mercer work update

Several traffic alerts this weekend, and into next week:

  • Parts of 99 will be closed for semiannual Viaduct inspection, Oct 17-19
  • Northbound 5th Ave N restricted to one lane; Dexter restricted to one lane in each direction, Oct 17-18
  • Phish (sold-out, 18,000) at Key Arena, Oct 18
  • Mercer Street westbound lane closure, Oct 21-22Taylor Avenue North closed at Mercer, Oct 21-22

Here are the details:

99 Viaduct Inspection Closure, Friday Oct 17 – Sunday, Oct 19
– Portions of SR 99 will be closed as part of the semiannual inspection of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Friday, Oct. 17 through Sunday, Oct. 19.

5th Ave N and Dexter lane restrictions, Friday, Oct 17 – Saturday, Oct 18
– Northbound 5th Ave N will be restricted to one lane between Republican and Roy streets from Friday, Oct. 17, at 8pm through Saturday, Oct. 18, at 8am for utility work
– Dexter Ave N will be restricted to one lane in each direction also between Roy and Mercer streets, from Friday, Oct. 17, at 8pm through Saturday, Oct. 18, at 8am
– Bicyclists on Dexter Avenue North will merge with vehicular traffic.
– Night work is anticipated to be noisy in the surrounding area.

Mercer and Taylor restrictions, Tuesday, Oct 21 – Wednesday, Oct 22
– Westbound lane restriction on Mercer St from Dexter Ave N to 5th Ave N; Taylor Ave North will be fully closed at Mercer Street
– Westbound Mercer St will be restricted to one lane between Dexter Ave N and 5th Ave N from Oct 21 at 5am through Oct 22 at 5am
– Taylor Ave North will be fully closed between Roy and Mercer streets as crews pave a portion of the roadway
– Turns to and from Mercer St at Taylor Ave N will be prohibited
– Travelers from Queen Anne should use 5th Ave N to access Mercer
– Morning and evening travel times will be affected; please plan ahead and use alternate routes when possible.

Following this work, Taylor Ave N will continue to be restricted to southbound travel only through October as crews complete additional roadway paving. Travelers headed for the Queen Anne neighborhood from westbound Mercer Street should use 5th Ave N.

Traffic Alert: Northbound 5th Ave N closed this weekend

As part of the ongoing Mercer Corridor Project, SDOT will be closing part of northbound 5th Ave N this weekend, from 4am Saturday, March 29 through 6pm Sunday, March 30th.


•Northbound 5th Ave N will be restricted between Mercer and Republican streets.

•Southbound 5th Ave N will be restricted to one lane between Roy and Republican streets. One southbound lane will be maintained at all times.

•Local access to businesses and properties will be maintained at all times.

•Travelers heading towards Queen Anne and Seattle Center from I-5 or downtown should use westbound Broad Street and Denny Way to northbound 1st Ave N as alternate routes.

•Travelers heading toward I-5 or downtown from Queen Anne should use Queen Anne Avenue N to Denny Way or Taylor Ave N to Mercer Street as alternate routes.

5th Ave N closure March

Mercer Alert: Eastbound Mercer traffic shift begins Thursday; full closure this weekend

As part of the continuing work on the Mercer corridor, SDOT will be shifting Mercer traffic to one lane between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N tomorrow, Thursday, February 6th. This shift will be in place for “approximately four months” – after which Mercer will be opened to two-way traffic.

Plus, this weekend there’s a planned full closure of Mercer Street and 5th Ave N, from Saturday, February 8th through Monday, February 10th.

Here are the details from SDOT on the traffic shift:

  • The morning of Thursday, February 6, traffic on eastbound Mercer Street between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N will be shifted one lane north in order to facilitate construction activities on the south side of the roadway
  • Two eastbound lanes will be maintained on Mercer Street through the work zone
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists will be shifted from the south side of Mercer Street to a temporary asphalt path on the north side of Mercer between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N
  • No pedestrian access will be allowed on the south side of Mercer Street

Mercer 020614 map

Information information on pedestrian and bicycle access during construction is available online.

And, here’s the information on the full weekend closure:

  • Closure in effect from 4am Saturday, February 8 through 5am Monday, February 10
  • Eastbound Mercer between 5th Ave N and 9th Ave N, and southbound 5th Ave N between Roy and Mercer streets will be fully closed to traffic for demolition of the old SR 99 bridge footings and utility work beneath the roadway
  • The sidewalk on Mercer Street will also be closed between 5th Ave and Dexter Ave N – pedestrians will be detoured to Broad Street
  • Mercer Street between Broad Street and I-5, Broad Street, Dexter Ave N, SR 99/Aurora and the I-5 on- and off-ramps at Mercer Street will remain open during the weekend work

Mercer 020814 closure

Aurora/99 and Viaduct closures this weekend

Mercer Corridor Project logoIf you’re heading south from Queen Anne (or north to return) this weekend, don’t plan on doing it via Aurora/99… and plan on slow going with “significant” delays expected.

Per SDOT, there will be a full weekend closure of Aurora/99 from 11pm Friday, October 4 to 5am, Monday, October 7 for Mercer Corridor Project work. It will coincide with WSDOT’s semi-annual Viaduct safety inspection, which closes the Viaduct from 5am-6pm Saturday and 6am-6pm Sunday.

Here are the details from SDOT:

  • SR 99 will be fully closed to traffic between Valley Street and the southern end of the Battery Street Tunnel. Traffic traveling through Seattle via SR 99 will be directed to I-5 in northern Seattle at North 85th Street or in southern Seattle at East Marginal Way South and South Spokane Street.
  • Mercer Street, Broad Street, and the I-5 on- and off-ramps at Mercer Street will remain open.
  • Pedestrian access will be maintained on the south side of Mercer Street between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N or via Broad Street.
  • Travelers can expect significant traffic and delays and should plan ahead and use alternate routes.

SPD and Mercer St on Wednesday’s QACC Agenda

The Queen Anne Community Council meets tomorrow, Wednesday, January 2 at the Queen Anne Manor. This month’s meeting has two key items on the agenda – a report from the Seattle Police Department and an update from SDOT on the Mercer Corridor Project. SPD hasn’t confirmed yet, but the QACC did get a verbal commitment from the West Precinct a couple of weeks ago. The public is welcome to attend, so if you have questions or concerns about crime on Queen Anne or the even messier Mercer mess, mark your calendar.

Key Details

  • What: QACC January Meeting
  • Where: Queen Anne Manor, 100 Crockett Street
  • When: Wednesday, January 2, 7:30pm
  • Agenda:
    • 7:30 – Adoption of Agenda
    • 7:35 – Public Comments
    • 7:45 – Seattle Police Department (not confirmed)
    • 8:15 – SDOT- Update of Phase II Mercer Corridor
    • 8:45 – Committee Reports
    • 9:15 – New Business
    • 9:30 – Adjournment

PSRC secures $5.2 million for Mercer improvements

The Puget Sound Regional Council has secured $5.2 million in federal funding for transportation improvements in the Mercer Corridor, according to a statement released this afternoon. The PSRC says the funding will go toward constructing and improving bicycle lanes on Roy Street, and sidewalk and pavement reconstruction on Mercer Street.

“Helping communities secure federal transportation funding is one of the key roles of the PSRC,” said PSRC President Josh Brown in a press release. “This project rose to the top on its merits and can not only deliver improvements for the future, but help grow jobs in the near term.”

From the PSRC:

PSRC develops policies and coordinates decisions about regional growth, transportation and economic development planning within King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties. The Council is composed of over 80 entities, including all four counties, cities and towns, ports, state and local transportation agencies and tribal governments within the region. In 2012, PSRC will select projects for the roughly $400 million in federal funds the region can expect to receive over the next few years.

Read more about the PSRC and its transportation improvement work in the region here.

Nighttime lane closures on Mercer canceled

SDOT’s demolition contractor had planned nighttime lane closures on Mercer Street through Friday of this week in order to do some work on the Mercer Corridor project. However, today SDOT canceled the lane closures. The reasoning for the change of plans:

During demolition the contractor encountered larger and deeper foundation walls than anticipated at the former West Marine building. SDOT and the contractor are reevaluating methods of wall and foundation removal.

According to SDOT, the construction and subsequent lane closures will be rescheduled shortly, but a time has not yet been set.