Stay up to date on West Approach Bridge North construction
- The 24th Avenue East bridge is scheduled to close as soon as the week of Aug. 31. For a bicycle/pedestrian detour route around the closure, see our What's Happening Now page.
- Join us for our next monthly meeting from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Graham Visitors Center on Wednesday, Sept. 2.
- See our latest email update on our website. Haven't joined our subscriber list yet? Sign up for our WABN email updates today.
- Visit the Orange Page to learn about upcoming highway closures and construction activities.
The West Approach Bridge North Project is the next phase of construction of the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program. The new approach bridge will be open to traffic in summer 2017, extending SR 520’s three westbound lanes from the new floating bridge to the Montlake area in Seattle
Why is WSDOT
building a new west approach bridge?
The existing west approach bridge is a fixed structure that connects the current floating bridge to the Montlake interchange. The hollow columns supporting the existing approach bridge are vulnerable to a catastrophic earthquake, and its four-lane roadway has narrow shoulders and no transit/HOV lanes or bicycle/pedestrian path.
While construction has not yet started on the south (eastbound) half of a new west approach bridge, the north (westbound) half is projected to open to traffic in 2017. The existing, seismically vulnerable approach bridge needs to be replaced. If the aging structure fails in a severe earthquake before a south-half replacement can be built, the new West Approach Bridge North will have the width to support four lanes of traffic in an interim configuration.
The End Result
When completed in 2017, the new West Approach Bridge North will carry westbound cars, trucks and buses from the new floating bridge to the Montlake area.
Eastbound traffic will continue to use the existing west approach structure during WABN construction. Eastbound traffic will ultimately travel on a new West Approach Bridge South..
Also, as a result of West Approach Bridge North construction, SR 520’s new bicycle and pedestrian path will extend from Montlake across Lake Washington to the Eastside, with connections to local and regional trails on both sides of the lake. The West Approach Bridge North project also will implement local street improvements in the Montlake area, a new stormwater treatment facility at the site of the old Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), and a wider bicycle/pedestrian path on 24th Avenue East in Montlake.
The West Approach Bridge North project will:
- Build a new, seismically sound structure designed to modern earthquake standards.
- Connect Montlake and the Eastside with new transit/HOV lanes.
- Complete the bicycle and pedestrian connection across Lake Washington with a new, regional shared-use path.
- Build environmental improvements such as a new Arboretum trail, a public park north of SR 520, and a stormwater treatment facility at the old MOHAI site for highway runoff.
- Enhance the Arboretum by removing the westbound Arboretum off-ramp and unused R.H. Thomson ramps.
What is the project timeline?
- Spring 2014: Advertise construction contract
- Summer 2014: Select contractor
- Fall 2014: Begin construction
- Summer 2017: Open new bridge to traffic
The West Approach Bridge North project is fully funded by state and federal sources.
WSDOT awarded a $199.5 million contract to Flatiron West, Inc. to construct the West Approach Bridge North Project.
Visit the SR 520 Budget and Performance page for additional information about SR 520 program funding.
How can I get more information?
24-hour construction hotline: 206-708-4657
Construction email updates: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/WADOT/subscriber/new
• Enter your email address
• Sign up for the new alert called “SR 520 West Approach Bridge North Project” from the subscription list (located under the “Construction Reports” section)
Mail: West Approach Bridge North Project
SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program
999 3rd Avenue, Suite 2200
Seattle, WA 98104
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