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SR 520 - West Approach Bridge North Project Design

What will I see when traveling across the West Approach Bridge North (WABN)?

New features you'll notice when driving, cycling, or walking across the West Approach Bridge North include:

  • Wider lanes and shoulders
  • A dedicated transit/HOV lane from the Eastside to Montlake 
  • A 14-foot-wide regional shared-use path on the north side of the bridge
  • "Belvederes," or viewpoints, along the shared-use path
  • A new Foster Island undercrossing
  • Noise-reduction components, including 4-foot-high concrete traffic barriers that are taller than standard barrier, encapsulated bridge joints and quieter concrete pavement on the new bridge

Visualization of the West Approach Bridge North showing three travel westbound lanes
WABN will have wider, safer lanes and shoulders that allow vehicles to pull off the road in the case of a breakdown.

Visualization of the West Approach Bridge North showing the bicycle/pedestrian path
WABN will complete the bicycle/pedestrian connection across Lake Washington with a new, 14-foot-wide regional shared-use path.

Visualization of the West Approach Bridge North showing the westbound off-ramp
WABN will extend transit/HOV lanes from the Eastside across Lake Washington to Montlake.

Visualization of the West Approach Bridge North showing belvederes
WABN's new shared-use path will include "belvederes," or viewpoints, for resting and enjoying the views.

Rendering of the West Approach Bridge from Lake Washington

The below rendering shows typical sections of the final west approach bridge, including both the funded north and unfunded south bridges.

Visualization of the West Approach Bridge North


What will the Montlake area look like when the West Approach Bridge North is built?

The West Approach Bridge North project includes design features that enhance the Montlake area and minimize impacts during and after construction.

Key design features in the Montlake area include:

  • Intersection improvements
  • Improved exits and merges
  • Wider shoulders and lanes
  • Connections to local and regional bicycle/pedestrian routes
  • New parking, constructed wetlands, landscaping, and a pedestrian path at East Montlake Park

Below is a key features map that provides additional detail on the Montlake section of the WABN project. 



Click image for larger, printable version. (pdf 5.8 mb)

How did WSDOT develop the bridge’s design, and did the Seattle Community Design Process inform the process?

Our design team has worked closely with the local design community on west approach bridge design through the Seattle Community Design Process (SCDP). At SCDP public sessions in spring and summer 2012, we shared preliminary design renderings with the public and gathered public feedback on design.

In fall 2012 following the SCDP, we collaborated with the Seattle Design Commission to refine the bridge’s design. Through this process, we incorporated techniques to minimize effects, including:

  • Streamlined bridge design with fewer columns
  • Reduced concrete and materials needs
  • Use of precast materials to minimize construction activity on Lake Washington