A critical safety project to replace the aging Fairview Ave N bridge kicks off construction next week.

South Connection of the new Fairview Ave N Bridge

 

Thousands of people travel on Fairview Ave N between South Lake Union and Eastlake every day without even realizing that they’re passing over Seattle’s last remaining major road on a wooden bridge. The road next to the historic Lake Union Steam Plant building just south of where Fairview Ave N splits off from Eastlake Ave E is held up by wooden posts built over 65 years ago which desperately need to be replaced. On Monday, September 23, this section of Fairview Ave N will close for approximately 18 months so that crews can rebuild this aging bridge which does not meet current seismic standards.

 

Your Move Seattle Levy tax dollars at work!

 

Peeking underneath the Fairview Ave N bridge, which will be rebuilt to improve safety and seismic vulnerability.

Peeking underneath the Fairview Ave N bridge, which will be rebuilt to improve safety and seismic vulnerability.

 

This critical public safety project will be funded by the Levy to Move Seattle passed by Seattle voters in 2015. The Levy will provide a $27 million investment in the Fairview Bridge Replacement project, which is one of three major bridge projects funded by the Move Seattle Levy. The Levy committed to replacing Seattle’s aging and seismically vulnerable Fairview Ave N bridge, improving safety and updating the street design to accommodate all people.

 

With funds from the Levy’s Maintenance & Repair category, the Fairview Bridge Replacement project is an investment in the future with improvements to move people and goods more safely and efficiently. We’re proud to begin construction on this cornerstone project and deliver on our commitment to voters.

 

Getting around during construction.

 

A map showing how to get around during the Fairview Ave N Bridge closure.

A map showing how to get around during the Fairview Ave N Bridge closure.

 

To replace the bridge, we will need to close this section of Fairview Ave N for 18 months starting on September 23. We know this will be a challenging period as we’re all dealing with the ongoing traffic created by the Seattle Squeeze, but this is an absolutely critical investment in public safety. Learn more about the details of the closure and detour on the Fairview Ave N Bridge Replacement Project web page.

 

This is a critical safety investment.

 

Decaying timber piles hold up the Fairview Ave N bridge.

Decaying timber piles hold up the Fairview Ave N bridge.

 

While the 65-year-old bridge is safe to travel on today, it will not last forever and does not meet current seismic standards.

 

The timber posts which hold up the western half of the bridge are decaying and the concrete girders which stabilize the street on the eastern half of the bridge are cracked. Rebuilding the bridge is essential for public safety.

Concrete girders which stabilize the street on the eastern half of the bridge are cracked

Concrete girders which stabilize the street on the eastern half of the bridge are cracked

The final bridge design has many benefits for our community.

 

The final bridge design includes improvements for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles

The final bridge design includes improvements for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles.

 

When the bridge is completed in 2021, all people will be able to move through the corridor more safely. A new wider street will benefit all users and provide more room for people to drive, walk, bike, and get to transit.

 

Unlike the current bridge, the design will feature sidewalks on both sides as well as a protected 12-foot, 2-way bike lane on the west side of the bridge. Just like today, there will be three lanes for cars and buses.

 

Along with seismic improvements, we’re building 3 new lookout points along the west side of the bridge to provide viewing platforms looking out to Lake Union. They will replace the current lookout area located on the northern end of the bridge.