The plan for replacing the Alaskan Way viaduct includes reconnecting the street grid in South Lake Union across Aurora near the current north Battery St tunnel entrance. However, building these roads over the highway wouldn’t be complete until 2015 or 2016.
Publicola reports that Councilmember Tim Burgess recently pushed the state to consider reconnecting the grid earlier. Mercer St is being converted back into a two-way street in the next couple years and Burgess is concerned that the two-way Mercer project won’t be successful without congestion relief provided by connecting John, Thomas, or Harrison Street across Aurora.
Currently, the only way across Aurora in this area is by Denny Way, or the Mercer or Broad St underpasses, all of which are rather unpleasant pedestrian experiences. As a frequent walker in that area, I would welcome another way to cross Aurora, however it is not yet clear how seriously the state will consider Burgess’ suggestion.