Southcenter Parkway & Klickitat Drive Re-Open; Plus, A Warning To Drivers

Tukwila’s Southcenter Parkway and Klickitat Drive have reopened, making access to that part of the city much better.

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

  • When turning right (south) from Klickitat Drive onto Southcenter Parkway, you will be funneled straight ahead. You cannot turn left onto Strander Blvd. as you could prior to the construction.
  • This “funneling” may confuse and upset some Drivers trying to get to the mall. This Reporter ended up turning left into the parking lot of Outback Steakhouse, then heading north and turning east on Strander.
  • Many Drivers have been seen performing u-turns in this area to access Strander Blvd. and the mall.

We don’t yet know the reason for this change in traffic control, but we do know this – it’s confusing and can upset some. Drive carefully in that area until people get used to it, or the powers that be change it back to the “old way.”

Here are some pics of the re-opened interchange:

As you turn right, 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:

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.


3 Responses to “Southcenter Parkway & Klickitat Drive Re-Open; Plus, A Warning To Drivers”
  1. Evenstar says:

    When you turn right from Klickitat, you can turn from both the right and and the left lanes (see the right turn arrow on the left lane in the top picture above). If you turn right from the right lane, then you’re funneled straight and can’t turn left on Strander. If you turn right from the left lane, then you’re funneled into a lane that’s on the left side of the underpass and then you must turn left on Strander.
    It’s slightly confusing, but it is possible to either go straight or turn onto Strander – you just have to be in the correct lane on Klickitat in order to do it.

  2. Trina says:

    I agree that it isn’t clear and hope that new signage will help. My first attempt going through the new road didn’t go well Saturday morning, as there were several workers doing striping and no flaggers to help me figure out where to go – I did the u-turn at the Outback like you mentioned!

    Based on the top picture, it looks like turning right from the left of the two lanes there will put you on a path to go east on Strander. Does that sound right? Check this page for an aerial photo that might help.

  3. Eric says:

    I like the change.

    Now the people who don’t know where they’re going are “funneled” out of my way.

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