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

Updated: July 14, 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


Construction activities under a city of Seattle temporary noise variance

  • No activities currently under a city of Seattle noise variance

Construction activities


Opening of new westbound SR 520 off-ramps

The news: WSDOT is opening the new westbound SR 520 exit lane and off-ramps to the Montlake area.
The date: 5 a.m. Monday, July 17
The big deal:

  • To reach Montlake and Lake Washington boulevards, westbound drivers will begin exiting the highway a mile before they currently do. The new exit lane will begin on the floating bridge, noted by the map's red star below.
  • Crews will prepare to shift traffic onto the new exit lanes and off-ramps during a weekend westbound SR 520 closure from 11 p.m. Friday, July 14, to 5 a.m. Monday, July 17
  • Check out this video to see what changes are coming with the opening of the new westbound SR 520 off-ramps.

Off-ramp map
Click image for larger, printable version. (pdf 1.64 mb)

SR 520 closures 

July 14-17 weekend closure of westbound SR 520

Crews will close all lanes and ramps of westbound SR 520 between 92nd Avenue Northwest and Montlake Boulevard from 11 p.m. Friday, July 14, to 5 a.m. Monday, July 17.

The westbound SR 520 off-ramp to Montlake Boulevard will close early, at 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 14, and remain close through the duration of the weekend closure. 

map of westbound SR 520 closure
Click image for larger, printable version. (513 kb)

Visit the SR 520 Orange Page for more details.

Arboretum Waterfront Trail closure

The Arboretum Waterfront Trail is now open.

Arb trail is open
Click image for larger, printable version. (pdf 5 mb)  

Construction activities near the MOHAI and Old Canal Reserve staging areas

Activities in the next few weeks

Weekend closure work: July 14 – July 17

  • Where: Work will take place along the WABN structure, on land in the MOHAI staging area, and along the new and old SR 520 off-ramps.
  • Impact: Nearby neighbors will likely hear construction noise, feel vibrations and see lights used to illuminate the work site at night for crew members’ safety. A TNV is in place for all weekend work. Below is the work anticipated to have the highest impact over the weekend.

- On Saturday, July 15, beginning at 2 a.m. neighbors may hear work and feel vibrations as crews mill asphalt to prepare the path of the new Montlake off-ramp.
- On Saturday, July 15, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. neighbors may hear crews saw cut in two locations on the Montlake and Lake Washington Boulevard off-ramps.
- On Saturday, July 15, from noon – 10 p.m. and Sunday, July 16, from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. neighbors may hear demolition equipment as crews begin removing the temporary/existing Lake Washington Boulevard off-ramp.

Opening of new westbound SR 520 off-ramps: 5 a.m. July 17

  • Where: The new exit lane onto the WABN structure will start on the floating bridge and connect westbound drivers to new off-ramps to both Lake Washington and Montlake boulevards. (See the attached WABN email update for more information)
  • Impact: Crews will close westbound SR 520 from 11 p.m. July 14 to 5 a.m. July 17 to switch traffic onto the new off-ramps. The new off-ramps are aligned farther north than the existing off-ramps and drivers will exit SR 520 a mile earlier than they currently exit.
  • Note: The four-foot tall barrier on the north side of the new Lake Washington Boulevard off-ramp will not be completed as part of this weekend’s work. A temporary barrier will be in place as crews will still need access to the MOHAI staging area. Once completed, the new four-foot barrier is designed to reduce noise from the roadway.

Landscaping in the Old Canal Reserve: Ongoing 

  • Where: In the Old Canal Reserve, between the southern East Hamlin Street homes and the Montlake off-ramp, grading will continue and landscaping will begin in some areas.
  • Impact: Nearby neighbors may hear and feel the vibrations from the equipment used to excavate soil and grade the land in the Old Canal Reserve.

Repositioning the East Park Drive temporary fencing: July 20 – July 21

  • Where: The current temporary wooden fence along East Park Drive will be removed and replaced with a temporary chain-link fence in order to complete the ADA parking spots at East Montlake Park.
  • Impact: The removal of the wooden fence and installation of the temporary chain-link fence will create space for the last parking spots at East Montlake Park. As we have previously discussed, planter boxes with trees will occupy this space for the duration of the Montlake Phase. Another fence will be installed as early as this September.
  • Note: In conjunction with the repositioning of the fence, contractors will begin work in East Montlake Park. Crews will begin removing asphalt and curbing, to prepare for construction of the access path as well as restoration of the park.

Installation of new parking spaces on East Park Drive East: July 19 – July 28

  • Where: Crews will install the final bay of parking spaces on East Park Drive East near East Montlake Park.
  • Impact: Nearby neighbors may hear a grader and rollers as crews prepare the site.
  • Note: Construction of these parking spaces will begin next week, but active use of the parking spaces will not begin until after the completion of the Montlake Phase of the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program. 


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.