We’ll upgrade the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St intersection after the West Seattle Bridge reopens

Photo showing the traffic signal installed in March 2020. As part of a Levy to Move Seattle project, the intersection will be upgraded with a more durable signal, new curb ramps, curb bulbs, and crosswalks after the high bridge reopens in mid-2022.

Summary 

  • When the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closed in March 2020, the Highland Park neighborhood and the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St intersection became part of a detour route.  
  • We immediately installed a traffic signal at the intersection to keep people moving safely and efficiently along the detour route. 
  • Thanks to Levy to Move Seattle dollars, the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St intersection is scheduled for upgrades, which include intersection changes and a new, more durable signal. 
  • Construction of these upgrades was planned for this fall and it now will begin after the high bridge reopens, which we are on schedule to reopen in mid-2022. 
  • This schedule change will help avoid more disruption in Highland Park while the high bridge is closed.  
  • The temporary signal will continue to serve an important role until the high bridge reopens. 

When the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closed to traffic in March 2020, the Highland Park neighborhood and the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St intersection became part of a detour route. We immediately installed a traffic signal at the intersection to keep people moving safely and efficiently.  

The traffic signal has been working well and will continue to serve its purpose until the high bridge reopens in mid-2022 (and the intersection is no longer part of a detour route).  

Thanks to Levy to Move Seattle dollars, the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St intersection was scheduled for upgrades prior to the high bridge closure.  

We originally scheduled construction at this intersection for fall 2021. Out of sensitivity for Highland Park neighbors who are already experiencing increased traffic, and the travelers who use the intersection, construction on the signal will now begin after the bridge reopens in 2022. This is to ease the impact on people living in Highland Park of more congestion and more cut-through traffic. 

We expect to select a contractor later this year. 

Prior to the high bridge closure, we had already been working with the community to better understand needs for this intersection.  

Graphic showing the project area along the West Seattle Bridge detour route, at the intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St. 

The Highland Park community had been asking for changes at this busy intersection, which has been the site of several crashes and safety issues. Poor sight distances, high speeds, travel lane confusion, and a lack of curbs and crosswalks for pedestrians have contributed to these issues.   

The project has reached final design and we expect to select a contractor for building the changes next year after the high bridge reopens to traffic.  

Diagram

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The final project design includes: 

  • A more durable traffic signal with metal poles that have signal lights instead of lights connected to wooden poles. 
  • The signal will also include traffic cameras to monitor and adjust the signal in real-time, as well as vehicle detection in the pavement so the signal can recognize when a person driving is waiting at the light.  
  • Rebuilding all four corners of the intersection with new American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible concrete curb ramps and curb bulbs. 
  • Painting permanent crosswalks at each crossing.  

These upgrades prioritize people walking, rolling, and biking in the area, bringing us another step closer to our Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets.  

We know the community is feeling the impacts of living on the detour route, as well as the construction in on the detour route to make it safer and more efficient.  

We will continue to maintain and adjust the traffic signal to keep people moving along the detour route and do what we can to reduce speeding and people cutting through the neighborhood.  

Upgrading the traffic signal and this intersection will require major street work that would impact detour route traffic for several weeks and may involve lane and driveway closures.  

Since March 2020, we’ve been making a lot of changes in the Highland Park neighborhood. This includes installing the temporary signal at this intersection, as well as building more than over 60 speed humps/cushions, installing speed radar signs, reducing speed limits, and installing home zones in three Highland Park areas.   

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