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SR 520 - West Approach Bridge North Project: What's Happening Now?

Updated: Nov. 1, 2017

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Project photos

See more photos of SR 520 construction
on our Flickr site .

Project overview

The West Approach Bridge North (WABN) project is underway in the Montlake area and on Lake Washington. Work hours may vary depending on the construction activity. Construction crews will continue to employ best management practices throughout construction to minimize impacts on the community and environment. Due to the dynamic nature of construction activities, construction plans are subject to change. WSDOT will provide the public with ample notice before construction activities or closures occur.

In the next few weeks, crews will begin the following activities within project boundaries:

Project milestones

Stay tuned for updates about the opening date of the SR 520 trail. As soon as a date is set we will post it here and announce it through our email update.


Construction activities under a city of Seattle temporary noise variance

  • No activities currently under a city of Seattle noise variance

Construction activities

SR 520/local road closures 

Westbound SR 520 off-ramp closures planned next week

As crews complete construction of the West Approach Bridge North Project, some of the remaining work will require westbound SR 520 off-ramp closures.

The westbound SR 520 off-ramp to Lake Washington Boulevard will be closed from 10 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, to 6 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.

The westbound SR 520 off-ramp to Montlake Boulevard will be closed from 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Only one of the off-ramps will be closed at a time, and westbound drivers heading to the Montlake area should detour using the open exit. Crews will use these closures to continue work on an expansion joint, stripe the roadway, remove temporary support structures under the 24th Avenue East Bridge, and other tasks.

For the most up-to-date information on closures and construction impacts, please visit the SR 520 Orange Page


Arboretum Waterfront Trail closures

The Arboretum Waterfront Trail is open.

Construction activities near the MOHAI and Old Canal Reserve staging areas

Activities in the next few weeks (early - mid November 2017)

Nighttime work

  • Crews plan to work nightly Monday nights through Thursday nights, between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., starting Nov. 6 and continuing for two weeks.
  • We do not anticipate this work will disrupt Shelby-Hamlin neighbors.

Daytime work: Preparation for MOHAI restoration

  • Overview: As you are all well aware, in recent weeks crews have transitioned from using the MOHAI area as an active staging area to conducting restoration work on the site. Below are more details of the work neighbors should expect as crews continue to work to restore the MOHAI site in the coming weeks.

Completing the new parking spaces on East Park Drive East: Nov. 2 – Nov. 10

  • Where: Crews plan to stripe the final bay of parking spaces on East Park Drive East near East Montlake Park. Additionally, crews will install curbs to block of the last set of stalls in preparation for installing the planter box tress. 
  • Impact: Nearby neighbors may hear crews working during daytime hours to complete this work.

Landscaping in MOHAI and new median areas: Continuing through early November

  • Where: Crews will complete placing and spreading landscaping materials, including soil amendments and mulch, in preparation for grass seeding.
  • Impact: Neighbors may smell the mulch. 
  • Note: After paving work at East Park Drive East is complete, additional landscaping work will take place.

Daytime work: General

24th Avenue East Bridge roadway improvement: Continuing through November

  • Completing pedestrian path – Ongoing through early November 
    - Where:
    Crews will continue working to complete the new pedestrian path on the 24th Avenue East Bridge, including completing the traffic-pedestrian barrier, installing the handrails, placing curbs and paving connections to the SR 520 trail.
    - Impact: Neighbors may hear crews cutting concrete, securing handrails and placing additional 54-inch barrier. All path work will take place during regular daytime hours. Crews will intermittently reduce the 24th Avenue East Bridge to one lane during this work.
    - Closure: Crews will close the westbound SR 520 off-ramp to Montlake Boulevard from 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, to 6 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, to complete the removal work. Neighbors may see light illuminating the worksite.

Landscaping and fencing in the Old Canal Reserve: Ongoing

  • Where: The contractor continues to seed the Old Canal Reserve. 
  • Impact: Neighbors may smell the mulch.

Continued bicycle/pedestrian detour on Montlake Boulevard

Since the 24th Avenue overpass closed last fall, bicyclists and pedestrians have been detoured from 24th Avenue to the Montlake Boulevard sidewalk, via East North Street. For your safety, please continue to use the signed detour route along Montlake Boulevard, as shown in the map below. To avoid potential conflicts between bicyclists and pedestrians with construction vehicles and off-ramp drivers, the bicycle-pedestrian path across 24th Avenue East bridge will remain closed during this temporary configuration. For more information on this topic, check out our "Frequently Asked Questions" document.

Stay tuned for updates on bicycle-pedestrian access through this area as the WABN project is completed in 2017. WSDOT secured full funding in 2015 to build the remaining west side portions of SR 520 and is currently evaluating how to phase the remaining portions of the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program. There may be additional changes as we identify how the next phase of construction interfaces with the WABN project.

Detour route

Click image for larger, printable version. (pdf 5 mb)

City of Seattle temporary noise variances

When needed, a temporary noise variance can be granted to Flatiron by the city of Seattle to allow the contractor to conduct noisier work outside the typical hours of construction.

  • The city's noise ordinance allows for variances for louder nighttime work between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. on weekends.
  • Use of noisy impact equipment, like jackhammers, will occur before 5 p.m. as required by the temporary noise variance.
  • WSDOT inspectors will monitor nighttime activities to be sure work complies with city of Seattle requirements.

Watercraft restrictions

For boater information, please visit our SR 520 Boater webpage.


Tree protection and removal

To make way for the temporary bridge and staging areas, crews removed trees as necessary on Foster Island and in the Montlake area. WSDOT worked with the city of Seattle to remove as few trees as possible, and will continue to mark trees for protection with orange fencing and will coordinate on replacement plantings.