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Southcenter Parkway & Klickitat Drive Re-Open; But Be Wary Of U-Turn Frenzy

Story & Photos by Scott Schaefer [1]

Tukwila’s Southcenter Parkway and Klickitat Drive have reopened, making access to that part of the city much better, just in time for shopping season.

BUT…as this Reporter experienced first-hand, there have been some changes that Drivers should be aware of:

UPDATE: Apologies to everyone – this appears to have been driver error – as many Commenters have noted, to turn left onto Strander from the Klickitat interchange, stay in the middle/left lane. However, it is still confusing if you’re used to the “old way” at this location.

Here are some pics of the re-opened interchange:

As you turn right from the very right lane, the new interchange looks nice and smooth...

...until you realize you're being funneled straight ahead. Be aware of a u-turn frenzy ahead!

Here’s more on the re-opening from the city’s website [2]:

After the roads open, the contractor will continue to wrap up some of the final construction elements of the project. Please expect some temporary lane closures within the project limits as these final elements are completed. These temporary lane closures will occur on up to ten days spread over the next month, with as much work being completed at night as possible. During this time, depending on weather, some of the work that will continue after the roadway opening may include:

  • Paving of the final layer of asphalt.
  • Turning on the new traffic signal just south of Strander Boulevard.
  • Construction of concrete crosswalks in the Doubletree Hotel vicinity. The crosswalks will require a minimum of 24 hours of cure time before vehicular traffic can cross them. Consequently, both directions of traffic will be routed to one side of the parkway while the first half of the crosswalk is curing, followed by the reverse process to complete the second half. These lane shifts may occur on up to four days spread over the next month.
  • Installation of a large sign structure across southbound Southcenter Parkway near the new tunnel. This work will most likely occur at night during late October. The new sign structure will have signs with arrows indicating which lane to be in for accessing I-5/SR 518, Strander Boulevard and Southcenter Park way.
  • Continued landscape maintenance throughout October. The contractor will provide this service to ensure the plants are established throughout the coming year. Some slopes may be temporarily protected against erosion using plastic or special matting.
  • Replacing all temporary wood pedestrian railings with new steel railings.
  • Continued monitoring and optimizing of the new traffic signal timing.
  • Installation of permanent striping. Some striping materials require a minimum cure time on asphalt pavements before they are installed. Permanent striping is also weather dependent.
  • Painting of concrete retaining walls. This will be completed as weather permits.

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