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LEVY DOLLARS AT WORK | We built smoother sidewalks & protected mature trees on Aurora Ave N!

We worked to connect this improved sidewalk while preserving a large tree directly adjacent to it. Photo: SDOT.

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This week, we finished repairing sidewalks along the eastern side of Aurora Ave N, from NE 85th to N 105th St. The result: safer, smoother travel for people walking and rolling.

Our sidewalk repair program is possible thanks to your tax dollars through the Levy to Move Seattle. We recently addressed damaged sidewalks along the east side of Aurora Ave N (State Route 99), between NE 85th St and N 105th St.

We completely rebuilt damaged sidewalks on some blocks and smoothed, repaired, or replaced smaller damaged sections of the sidewalk in other areas. We also widened some sections of the sidewalk. People can now walk or roll more comfortably along this stretch of Aurora.

We adjusted our plans and designs based on community priorities. This included finding innovative ways to save the existing mature trees along Aurora while completing sidewalk repairs.

Check out this short video about the project and the perspectives of local businesses owners, community representatives, and our director Greg Spotts.

Video highlighting the Aurora Ave N sidewalk upgrades & tree preservation project. Video: SDOT.
Eight people wearing orange vests work to pour concrete on a section of sidewalk next to the street. A large cement mixer truck is in the upper left, and a worker spreads the mix out for placement. Parked cars and orange cones are also in the picture.
Our crews pouring fresh concrete for the new sidewalk on Aurora Ave N at N 91st St. Photo credit: Ethan Bergerson

We are always looking for innovative solutions to balance priorities. In this case, we could preserve trees and other people- and climate-friendly elements of our transportation system while keeping people moving. This is another way we efficiently put Levy dollars to work to achieve more!

We used metal plates to bridge over existing tree roots that were growing close to the height of the new sidewalk. The metal plates allow for a “non-skid” walking surface under 1 ½ inches thick. The slim profile reduces impacts on roots, letting the trees stay where they are while ensuring the sidewalk is accessible.

In some places, we raised the sidewalk to be installed over tree roots or moved the sidewalk slightly, so it didn’t affect the tree roots. We also expanded the sidewalk where we could to maximize our use of the right of way, so it’s wider and more comfortable for people walking and rolling.

A large tree with mostly green leaves stands tall in this image. Parked cars and vehicles traveling are on the right and left sides, respectively. A pink and orange pedestrian bridge travels from left to right on the image. The trees roots are shown at the bottom with dirt and orange barricades also shown.
Photo of a mature tree near Aurora Ave N and N 103rd St. Photo: SDOT

Map of the project area

A map of the project area. The area extends along Aurora Ave N from N 105th St to the north, to N 80th St on the south. Repaired damaged sections of sidewalk are shown in blue line, and rebuilt and widened sidewalks are shown with orange line. Street tree locations are shown with green dots.
Map of Aurora Ave N sidewalk upgrades and large street trees in the area Graphic: SDOT.

The project helped advance two of our core values and goals: mobility and sustainability.

Graphic showing mobility as a core value and goal. The blue and black image has the word "Mobility" in large text, with a forward moving arrow, text describing the value, and the SDOT logo to the right.
Graphic showing sustainability as a core value and goal. The blue and black image has the word "Sustainability" in large text, with a yellow recycling icon, text describing the value, and the SDOT logo to the right.
Mobility and sustainability are two of our six core values and goals. Graphic: SDOT
The Levy to Move Seattle logo highlighting the Levy and noting "Your Tax Dollars at Work". It also notes that it is a 9-year, $930 million Levy.
This work was made possible by the voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle. Graphic: SDOT.