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SR 520 - Bicycle and Pedestrian Connections

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Cyclists on the regional shared use pathNew cross-lake bike path to reach Montlake this fall
Excited for the new bicycle and pedestrian path along SR 520 to connect Seattle and the Eastside? We are too! The SR 520 Trail will open at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20. Check out our WSDOT Blog for more details. We'll see you out there!

Bicycle and Pedestrian Connection Overview

The SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program is expanding routes and improving access for bicyclists and pedestrians all along the highway corridor, from I-5 in Seattle to the Eastside. A key part of this effort is construction of a new, dedicated shared-use path across Lake Washington, with connections to existing local and regional trails on both sides of the lake.

We're building the bike and pedestrian path in phases. When fully built out, a separated, 14-foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian path, bordering the rebuilt SR 520 and its new floating bridge, will connect to local and regional trails, including:

  • Points Loop Trail
  • Burke-Gilman Trail
  • Washington Park Arboretum Waterfront Trail
  • Bill Dawson Trail
  • Existing SR 520 Trail east of I-405

Bicyclists and pedestrians on the Eastside corridor

A cyclist on the new SR 520 trailThe first section of the new SR 520 regional path – the segment between Evergreen Point Road in Medina and 108th Avenue Northeast in Bellevue – opened in early 2015. WSDOT later helped the city of Bellevue extend the path from 108th Avenue Northeast to the existing SR 520 trail east of I-405. That eastern leg of the SR 520 trail, in turn, connects with other local and regional shared-use trails in Redmond and beyond.

Extending the SR 520 path across Lake Washington to I-5

The new SR 520 regional shared-use path runs along the north side of the rebuilt highway. On the new floating bridge, the 14-foot-wide lane includes scenic viewpoints with resting areas for bikers, joggers and walkers. These viewpoints include interpretive signage for trail users to learn more about the history and context of the corridor.

The path also has knee-level lighting all the way across the bridge, a protective barrier between the path and adjacent traffic, and a specially designed railing that provides views of the lake while keeping foot-powered travelers safe. Bicyclists and pedestrians will not pay a toll to cross the bridge.

Because of the SR 520 program's phased construction, the path on the new floating bridge does not yet link Medina and Seattle. The path on the bridge opened in July 2016 as an "out and back" trail from Medina to the west end of the floating bridge.
map of bike pedestrian path phases openings
Planned phasing for the new bicycle/pedestrian path. Click on the image above to see an enlarged version of the graphic. (pdf 1 mb)

The West Approach Bridge North (WABN) opened to traffic in August 2017. In late fall, the shared-use path will extend from the floating bridge to an exit at 24th Avenue East in Montlake, giving bicyclists and pedestrians a new route between Seattle and the Eastside.

Biking and walking in Seattle: plans for west side improvements

Westside path improvements

Bicycle and pedestrian path connections to many local Seattle trails will be built in coming years. This includes a bicycle/pedestrian land bridge over SR 520 (rendering above) to provide a safe connection from the Washington Park Arboretum to East Montlake Park.

When the new regional path reaches Seattle, it will provide easy connections to local trails such as the Burke-Gilman and Washington Park Arboretum trails.

Later, when newly funded corridor improvements from I-5 to Lake Washington are completed, the path will extend from Montlake to I-5 along the south side of a new Portage Bay Bridge, with an improved bicycle and pedestrian crossing at I-5 to provide a better connection to Seattle's Eastlake neighborhood, South Lake Union area, and downtown. Find an overview of some of the planned bicycle and pedestrian improvements on pages 6 and 7 of the SR 520 West Side Final Concept Design (pdf 6.54 mb).