Local Information

Former home of history museum about to be history

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 14:58

Ian Sterling, WSDOT communications, 206-819-7230

Site will stage SR 520 construction, serve as natural area to filter stormwater

SEATTLE – Removal of the building that for 60 years housed the Museum of History and Industry begins in Montlake Tuesday, Feb. 3. Contractor crews working on the State Route 520 West Approach Bridge North Project expect demolition to take about a month to complete.

Once the building is gone, the site will be used as a staging area for constructing a new off-ramp from 24th Avenue East to East Lake Washington Boulevard. The site will then be allowed to return to its natural state and become a basin that will capture stormwater runoff from the reconstructed highway, improving water quality in Lake Washington. The surrounding area will be integrated into the nearby East Montlake Park and Washington Park Arboretum.

“I’m pleased that we’ve reached this important part of our highway construction effort,” said Julie Meredith, program administrator for the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program. “We’re not only building a safer, more reliable highway, but for the first time we’ll be capturing and cleaning roadway runoff before the water re-enters local streams and Lake Washington.”

The museum moved from the building in Montlake on 24th Avenue East to its new home on Lake Union in 2012. Demolition of the unused building is part of the improvements the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program is bringing to Seattle.

Other construction activities now underway include removal of the “Ramps to Nowhere” in the Washington Park Arboretum and construction of a nearly 1-mile-long, elevated work platform across Union Bay. Crews will use the temporary platform to build a new approach bridge that carries the westbound lanes of SR 520 from the new floating bridge to Montlake.

The new floating bridge is scheduled to open to drivers in spring 2016. All but three of the 77 pontoons that make up the backbone of the new bridge are now constructed, with the rest slated for completion this spring. The new West Approach Bridge North will open in 2017.

For information on road closures associated with SR 520 construction, please visit the SR 520 Orange Page and follow the project on Twitter.

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