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Northgate Improvements Coming

The Northgate area has seen significant improvements in recent years, with a new community center, library and park as well as a new Fifth Avenue NE entrance into the Northgate Mall complete with cobblestone-look crosswalks…

Lately you may have also noticed a change at Key Bank, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue NE and NE Northgate Way.  It used to look like the photo below, but now the angle of the building that went out toward the sidewalk is just a little less pointed.  It’s all to make room for this summer’s NE Northgate Way & 5th Avenue NE Intersection and Pedestrian Improvements Project.

The project has been on the books for some time, following significant community coordination to develop, and now fully funded it gets underway this summer.  But first comes preparation in the form of utility relocations.  Seattle City Light will be closing Fifth Avenue NE at NE Northgate Way from 6 a.m. to noon on both May 5 and May 6.  The weekend closures are necessary so that crews can remove existing utility poles and install two new 90-foot poles using a huge crane.  The crane will take up much of the roadway and is necessary to lift and position the heavy poles.  While this utility work takes place all travel lanes on Fifth Avenue NE will be closed as follows:

  • Saturday, May 5, 6 a.m. to noon, from NE Northgate Way 300 feet north
  • Sunday, May 6, 6 a.m. to noon, from NE Northgate Way 300 feet south

The road closure includes sidewalk access on the east side of Fifth Avenue NE. Seattle City Light crews will also transfer overhead wires and underground connections to the new and relocated poles, which will require Fifth Avenue NE curbside lane restrictions through Mid May.

Once utility work is complete the Seattle Department of Transportation will begin work on the NE Northgate Way & 5th Avenue NE Intersection and Pedestrian Improvements Project.  This project is part of the Northgate Coordinated Transportation Investment Plan and the Fifth Avenue NE Streetscape Plan developed by the City of Seattle in conjunction with the Northgate community (click map below for a larger version describing details).

So, when you’re sitting in traffic westbound on NE Northgate Way waiting to turn left onto Fifth Avenue NE, know that it will get better soon.  For more information visit and we’ll see you out there soon!