This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

Speaking of Mercer Street and the Viaduct, it occurs to me, looking over the maps, that the future, post-Viaduct plan gets rid of the current off-ramp that connects Aurora Ave N to Mercer.

I’ve often noticed that the freight trucks that use the Viaduct and are headed North will often use Mercer St. to cross town and hook up with I-5. This lets them avoid I-5 where it gets congested around downtown.

I can’t see how they could do that in this new configuration. Once you’re on Aurora North, you’re prtty much stuck on Aurora North. You’ll have options to turn right on Republican or Roy, but (a) those are both hard right turns that will require trucks to make a nearly full stop, and (b) neither offers a straight, 4-lane shot to I-5.

Combine this with the planned SoDo interchange improvements that Will called out yesterday as part of RTID, and suddenly you realize that there will far less freight traffic using the Viaduct in the future. Connecting to I-5 in SoDo will be far more convenient than at any point North.