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The transformation of University Way Northeast, better known as "the Ave," is about to begin. The Ave, the main street of the University District's commercial area, will be rebuilt from Northeast 41st Street to Northeast 50th Street.
Seattle Department of Transportation's contractor plans to begin work the week of June 24, and expects to complete the project by September 2003. Stores will remain open, and access to pedestrians will be maintained. While Metro Transit buses will be relocated one block east of the Ave to 15th Avenue Northeast for the duration of the project, other vehicles will be detoured block by block, following the progression of construction. The contractor will begin work at Northeast 41st Street and work northward. The closures will be 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week, to speed construction.
The first block to be rebuilt is the block between NE 41st Street and NE 42nd Street, including the intersection at NE 41st. This area will be closed to vehicular traffic on June 24, and is currently scheduled to be reopened in August, with new sidewalks and pavement.
When completed, the construction project will include new storm drains, water main, street pavement, wider sidewalks, new street and pedestrian lighting, traffic signals, landscaping, transit upgrades, as well as other urban design features. The goal is to improve safety, to make pedestrian and transit improvements, and to make the area more inviting for customers of businesses located along the Ave. At the same time as the Ave is physically upgraded, the City of Seattle will be working with the Greater University District Chamber of Commerce and local businesses on other ways to improve the economic development of the area.
Public Information Specialist
University of Washington