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SR 520 Bridge Program - Public Outreach

Overview

The SR 520 team continually strives to engage and inform the public about the SR 520 program – from project planning and design to construction progress to traffic and neighborhood impacts. We have an obligation not just to share accurate, timely information, but to listen to community ideas and concerns. Our public communications take a variety forms, including attendance at neighborhood meetings, presentations to community groups, one-on-one interaction by phone and email, website content, public meetings and events, and interagency coordination. Our frequent Email Updates are another way we keep people informed about the latest project news.

Fairs and Festivals

The SR 520 team attended a variety of public Fairs and Festivals in Seattle and on the Eastside in 2014. We hope to see you out at our summer events in 2015. Stay tuned for the list of events here when it becomes available.

Outreach at Kirkland Farmers Market


SR 520 staff member Steve Strand explains the SR 520 construction program to a visitor at the Kirkland Farmers Market in August 2013.



History of Public Engagement

In 2013 the SR 520 bridge turned 50 years old. View more on SR 520 Memory Lane.

Since 1997, the effort to replace SR 520 has involved the TransLake Project, the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Project, and then in 2008 the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program with three separate projects: the Pontoon Construction Project, the Eastside Transit and HOV Project, and the I-5 to Medina Bridge Replacement and HOV Project. For these projects WSDOT and its consultant (EnviroIssues) have led the communications effort and provided technical support to develop and implement the following:

  • Provided program information at over 500 public events, including: open houses, drop-in events, community design workshops, fairs and festivals, and community organization briefings. Communicated with over 4,600 individuals on a regular basis, and tracked and responded to over 5,000 comments and inquires received from the public and agencies since 2003. Reached more than 36,000 people at fairs and festivals and other events hosted by the SR 520 Program. Coordinated with over 60 neighborhood associations in Puget Sound and another dozen groups in Grays Harbor. 
  • Mass communications, including: media releases and briefings, developing and maintaining Web content, providing public comment opportunities for technical documents, writing and issuing regular email updates, developing folios and fact sheets, gathering data and drafting responses to public inquiries, writing and distributing fieldwork notifications, and planning special events such as groundbreakings or other community events.
  • Extensive inter-governmental coordination, including: briefings to jurisdictions and legislative committees, outreach to federal delegation staff, assistance with tribal coordination, assistance with funding proposals, and coordination with regional planning and transit agencies. The SR 520 Program coordinates with multiple state and federal agencies, over a dozen regional, county and city jurisdictions, tribal governments, legislative districts and committees, and the state Transportation Commission. 
  • Agency coordination, including: technical review groups responsible for local, state and federal regulations; special projects such as Washington Park Arboretum mitigation planning and Section 106 coordination for historic and cultural properties; coordinating expert panels on topics such as noise mitigation, aquatic resources, or mitigation planning; and permitting assistance at the local, state, and federal levels. 
  • Assistance with legislative requirements. To meet the requirements of these bills, EnviroIssues has assisted with design of public processes, developing opportunities for public feedback, coordinating with technical team members to develop clear and concise public materials, and facilitating technical meetings. 
  • Conducting user research and writing or editing technical reports, including examples such as: managing a survey of SR 520 transit users in 2005, providing reader-friendly review of financial reports, coordinating the development and production of the Catastrophic Failure Plan and the High Capacity Transit Plan, coordinating design and reader-friendly review of executive summary documents and legislative reports and providing on-line feedback opportunities for the public to comment on draft technical reports.

For the SR 520 Program, the communications and public involvement work is summarized in public involvement appendices as part of the environmental documentation for the three separate projects. Links to these documents:

  1. SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Project – Draft Environmental Impact Statement
    Agency Coordination and Public Involvement Appendix
  2. I-5 to Medina: Bridge Replacement and HOV Project – Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
    Agency Coordination and Public Involvement Discipline Report 
    Final Environmental Impact Statement Agency Coordination and Public Involvement Discipline Report
  3. Eastside Transit and HOV Project – Environmental Assessment  Public Outreach and Tribal and Agency Coordination
  4. Pontoon Construction Project - Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
    Agency Coordination and Public Involvement Discipline Report