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

Updated: Jan. 20, 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:


Construction activities under a city of Seattle temporary noise variance

  • No activities currently under a city of Seattle TNV

Construction activities


SR 520 closures 

Last month, crews completed the removal of five of the eight girders that made up the section of the old westbound SR 520 off-ramp that extends over the highway. Crews plan to finish removing the last three girders during a weekend SR 520 closure of all lanes and ramps of SR 520 between 92nd Avenue NE and Montlake Boulevard from:

  • 11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, to 5 a.m. Monday, Jan. 30.

Full SR 520 closure map
Click image for larger, printable version. (pdf 5 mb)

To ensure public safety that weekend, crews also will close the bicycle/pedestrian path on the new floating bridge and, on Saturday only, the Arboretum Waterfront Trail will be closed while crews work to rebuild the trail.

Motorists will need to use I-90 or drive around Lake Washington if traveling between Seattle and the Eastside during the weekend highway closure.

Montlake-area closures 

Before and during the full weekend closure, SR 520 Montlake Phase crews plan to inspect a sewer line that crosses the Montlake intersection. This work will require brief, 15 to 30 minute, closures of the westbound SR 520 on-ramp to unload equipment and a single right-lane closure on southbound Montlake Boulevard between the westbound and eastbound SR 520 on-ramps from:

  • 9 p.m. Wed. Jan. 25, through 5 a.m. Thurs. Jan. 26
  • 9 p.m. Thurs. Jan. 26, through 5 a.m. Fri. Jan 27
  • 11 p.m. Fri. Jan. 27, through 11 a.m. Sat. Jan. 28
  • 11 p.m. Sat. Jan. 28, through 11 a.m. Sun. Jan. 29

Crews will use a temporary noise variance for this work. Neighbors may hear the Vactor truck - pictured to the right - as it inspects the sewer lines. During the hours listed above, crews also may close a left lane of southbound Montlake Boulevard between the Montlake Bridge and East Shelby Street. 

Sewer inspection and construction work is weather-dependent. All closure information is kept up-to-date on our SR 520 Orange Page and you can receive live-time closure notifications by following our SR 520 Twitter feed.

Girder delivery and installation

GirdersNo need for a gym. Only one week into the new year and WABN is already making big changes in its physique. Just last week, on Thursday Jan. 5, crews installed the 353rd girder – marking the completion of all girder installation for the final WABN structure!

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 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

Crews will continue on-lake construction activities near the Montlake shoreline and the Arboretum. Cranes and other waterborne construction equipment limit water access under SR 520 near the Arboretum. Canoers and kayakers should use caution when navigating near the construction zone and stay at least 150 feet away from all construction equipment.

During construction, many of the canoe/kayak landings in the area will remain open but we recommend using the launches in the Arboretum or the University of Washington's Waterfront Activities Center. If you are unsure which boat launch to use, take a look at the map below and/or contact our construction hotline at 206-708-4657.

Click image for larger, printable version.
(pdf 262 kb)

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.