Since the creation of the S. 170th Street cell phone lot for Sea-Tac Airport in 2014, the continued rise in airport traffic has proven that, while this is a popular amenity, it has also been challenging to access due to congestion.

This week the Port of Seattle opened a new entrance route from the Southbound Airport Expressway to the cell phone lot and implements traffic and pedestrian safety improvements along S. 170th Street and Air Cargo Road.

Here’s more from the Port:

What’s Happening Now
We’re getting closer to completing the new Cell Phone lot improvements! Please arrive at the airport early to prevent any possible impacts, or look for additional options to get to the airport and follow signage for access detours during these times:

      • Air Cargo Road (between S 166th Street to S 170th Street) will be reduced to one lane in each direction for curb and sidewalk installation work. Additional construction will continue on the overall project over the coming months with additional landscaping, as well as sidewalks, bus shelters and traffic signals along Air Cargo Road and S. 170th Street.
      • Roadway construction will occur Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and occasionally in the overnight hours and on Saturday as needed. Please plan accordingly if you are traveling through this area.

Cell Phone Lot Access Improvements
A new cell phone lot entrance ramp will be constructed using an existing segment of the old Airport Expressway to separate incoming traffic from the congestion at S 170th Street.

In addition to the new cell phone lot entrance from the S 170th Street exit, other improvements include a one-way parking lot configuration, added pavement for circulation, and an upgraded traffic signal. The separated cell phone lot entrance/exit and new dual right-turn lanes onto Air Cargo Road provide additional capacity improvements for the return to the Main Terminal.

cell phone lot improvements map

Air Cargo Road Access and Safety Improvements
These roadways serve as primary access routes used by cell phone lot customers, ground transportation, rental car buses, local businesses, and other airport services to-and-from the Main Terminal. Critical roadway construction and traffic safety improvements started in 2021.

air cargo road and s 170th street planned improvements map

    1. Air Cargo Road / S 170th St. Dual right turn lanes to return to Terminal.
    2. Cell phone lot improvements. New cell phone lot entrance ramp on S 170th St exit and dedicated entrance will reduce congestion. The cell phone lot will be reconfigured to support the revised access route. The traffic signal will be upgraded.
    3. S 170th St / Northbound off-ramp. New traffic signal and added lane for a northbound left turn.
    4. New pervious sidewalks and bus stops along Air Cargo Road improve pedestrian safety.
    5. Air Cargo Road / Southbound on-ramp. Construct protected southbound left turn and northbound thru movements.
    6. S 170th St / International Blvd. Designate center eastbound lane for thru movement only.

Additional access and safety improvements along S 170th Street and Air Cargo Road include pavement remediation, roadway illumination, and landscaping.

Diversity in Contracting
The Port is committed to advancing equity and addressing contracting disparities by increasing the utilization of Women Minority Business Enterprises (WMBE) and other disadvantaged firms. WMBE aspirational goals have been established for the design and construction procurements.

Anticipated Project Timeline:

Commission construction authorization Q4 2020
Construction start Q2 2021
Improved access and traffic safety work complete Q4 2021


Estimated Project Costs
The estimated budget for the overall Air Cargo Road Safety Improvements project is $13.5 million.

Funding for the project will come from a combination of Airport Development Funds and future revenue bonds. As with virtually all airport projects, no tax-payer dollars will be used to fund the project.


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