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Progress on Transit Upgrades, Paving, Safer Bike Connections in South Seattle, Bridge Strengthening, and More | LEVY DOLLARS AT WORK

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, SDOT Director Greg Spotts, and construction crew members at the construction site of the 11th Ave NE and 12th Ave NE Paving and Safety Project in northeast Seattle. Photo: SDOT.

Blog stats: 2,400 words | 12-minute read


Before diving into each project, here are a few key terms we’ll refer to:

  • Contract Advertisement: When we publish plans for contractors to bid on.
  • Bid Opening: When we open and publicly share submitted bids, including their price and technical details.
  • Contract Award: When we select and award the project to a contractor, an important step before construction begins.
  • Notice to Proceed: When we authorize the contractor to start construction.
Logo that says 'The Levy to Move Seattle: Your tax dollars at work." Blue circles show icons of a train, freight truck, bus, car, bike, and person walking.
The voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle provides significant funding to advance these projects. Thank you, Seattle.

This blog post highlights various projects moving into construction. It is not a comprehensive list of all current or upcoming SDOT projects.

1) Georgetown to Downtown Safety Project

A new connection will complete the north-south bike trail system between Seattle and South King County, which includes the Green River Trail and the South Park to Georgetown Trail. These improvements will also enhance light rail access for Georgetown and South Park communities.


  • Bid opening expected by the end of June.

Key features include:

  • Enhance safety for all travelers.
  • Improve access and travel options from downtown Seattle to Georgetown and South Park.
  • Preserve as much parking as possible along the corridor.
  • Provide a safe bicycle connection between Georgetown, South Park, SODO, and Downtown.
  • Connect to the existing SODO Trail and improve wayfinding signage to help people biking navigate on both ends of the trail.
  • Maintain freight and transit access by separating people traveling by various modes.

For more information, visit our website.

Mural on the side of a building that says "Greetings from Georgetown" in colorful lettering on a sunny day.
Greetings from Georgetown mural. Photo: SDOT

2) Georgetown to South Park Connection

The Georgetown to South Park Connection Project will build a path connecting the two neighborhoods, enhancing safety for pedestrians and people biking.


  • Contract advertised on May 29.

Key features include:

  • Georgetown Connection: A pedestrian and cyclist pathway spanning Ellis Ave S, S Albro Pl, and 13th Ave S.
  • E Marginal Way S Connection: A pedestrian and cyclist pathway located on the northern side of E Marginal Way S.
  • South Park Connection: One-way protected bike lanes situated on both sides of 16th Ave S facilitating access to and from the South Park Bridge.

For more information, visit our website.

A library building on a cloudy day. Planters with shrubs are in the foreground along with plastic poles and a painted street area.
View of South Park Library and art, greenery, and seating in the area. Photo: SDOT

3) Bridge Seismic Retrofit projects

Our Bridge Seismic Program aims to reinforce our city’s existing bridges, enhancing their resilience against major earthquakes. With funding from the Levy to Move Seattle, we’re making significant progress, on track to complete seismic retrofits for 16 bridges citywide.


Key features include:

  • Projects include modifications of a bridge’s components to decrease vulnerability to earthquakes while maintaining current use and operation.
  • More details and examples of specific retrofit strengthening measures can be found on our website.

For more information, visit our website and check out our recent blog post about our Bridge Seismic Program.

A person wearing a white hardhat and yellow and orange safety vest and jacket shines a flashlight upwards under a large bridge structure. Other people are standing in the background.
SDOT Roadway Structures Director Kit Loo inspects newly installed carbon fiber wrapping under the McGraw Street Bridge as part of an ongoing seismic retrofit project. Photo: Ethan Bergerson, SDOT

4) RapidRide J Line Project

The RapidRide J Line upgrades King County Metro’s Route 70 to an enhanced RapidRide service level. The project aims to enhance bus speed, accessibility, reliability, and station amenities. It also includes the  installation of protected bike lanes, a new watermain, and paving on Eastlake Ave E. Connecting  Downtown Seattle with the neighborhoods of Belltown, South Lake Union, Eastlake, and the University District, the J line brings numerous upgrades to enhance urban mobility and connectivity. 


  • Bid opening completed on June 5.

Key features include:

  • Enhance transit travel time and reliability along the route by adding dedicated transit lanes and transit signal priority.
  • Ensure a high-quality rider experience by equipping stations with shelters, lighting, real-time arrival information, and facilitating all-door boarding.
  • Improve transit accessibility with upgraded curb ramps, sidewalks, and signals.
  • Enhance connectivity to Link light rail, other bus lines, and Seattle Streetcar network.
  • Increase safety for all travelers by installing protected bike lanes.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting more transit options and decreasing reliance on private cars.
  • Construct a durable roadway by paving Eastlake Ave E from Fuhrman Ave E to Fairview Ave E with a minimum of 12 inches of concrete, ensuring longevity for over 50 years.
  • Collaborate with Seattle Public Utilities to replace the existing watermain on Eastlake Ave E.

For more information, visit our website and check out our recent blog post about the J Line project and the nearby 11th Ave NE and 12th Ave NE Paving and Safety Project.

A person boards a Route 70 bus with a sign saying it is traveling via Fairview, on a sunny day. A tree, trash can, bus shelter, and large buildings are in the background and foreground.
A Route 70 bus travels on Fairview Ave N in South Lake Union. Photo: SDOT

5) Route 40 Transit-Plus Multimodal Corridor Project

In collaboration with King County Metro, we’re enhancing the vital Route 40 corridor to reduce transit travel times, enhance reliability, and bolster safety and access to transit. Our primary objective is to decrease peak transit travel times by five to ten percent and ensure greater consistency in bus intervals.


  • Notice to proceed expected in mid-June.

Key features include:

  • Implementation of three miles of Business Access and Transit (BAT) or “Freight and Bus only” (FAB) lanes.
  • Enhancement of over 6,000 feet sidewalks.
  • Installation of three new or upgraded crosswalks.
  • Upgrading of watermain infrastructure in Fremont.
  • Improvement of 47 curb ramps.
  • Construction of eight new bus bulbs.
  • Anticipated travel time reduction of five to ten percent.
  • Adding a new traffic signal in Ballard to support efficient travel in the corridor.

For more information, visit our website.

A Route 40 bus travels on a street on a sunny day. Green trees and buildings are in the background, as well as people about to cross the street.
A Route 40 bus travels through downtown Seattle. Photo credit: King County Metro

6) 2024 Slurry Seal Program

Slurry seal is a cost-effective preventative maintenance method that extends the lifespan of street pavement by applying a thick protective sealant. This sealant not only rejuvenates the street surface but also prevents water intrusion and future potholes by sealing minor cracks and irregularities.


  • Bid opening expected in mid-June.

Key features include:

  • Resurface around 14 lane-miles of street pavement, equivalent to nearly 100 blocks, in the Olympic Hills/Pinehurst neighborhood of northeast Seattle. Our slurry seal efforts rotate through different Seattle neighborhoods annually.
  • Upgrade and enhancement of street markings across multiple areas to improve pedestrian safety.
  • Use slurry seal, an efficient surface treatment ideal for streets with low traffic volumes and minimal heavy vehicle usage.

For more information, visit our website and check out our previous blog posts from 2022 and 2021 that recap this work in prior years.

Several people wearing green safety vests and hard hats working on a pavement sealant effort on a sunny day. One person spreads the treatment in the center of the image.
Crew members applying the slurry seal treatment along a street in Seattle. Photo credit: SDOT

7) Denny Way Paving Project

Denny Way serves as a vital connector between Capitol Hill, I-5, South Lake Union, Downtown, and Uptown, linking several core neighborhoods to the west, south, and north. As a primary arterial, it facilitates crucial freight movement and is integral to Seattle’s transit network. We will pave and restore approximately 12 blocks of Denny Way, ensuring the pavement condition meets the demands of this critical Downtown Seattle arterial.


  • Contract advertisement expected in July.

Key features include:

  • Installation of new asphalt paving on Denny Way, spanning approximately from 5th Ave to Stewart Ave, and on Yale Ave, from Denny Way to Howell St.
  • Upgrades to curb ramps and sidewalks for improved accessibility.   
  • Modifications to signal phasing to enhance pedestrian safety and access. 
  • Implementation of “No turn on red” signs and stop bars at all signalized intersections.
  • Reinforcement of existing turn restrictions.
  • Adding a new westbound bus stop at 7th Ave N and removing two bus stops near Taylor Ave N and 6th Ave N to enhance transit travel time and reliability. 
  • Installation of concrete and paint-and-post curb bulbs at select intersections to reduce crossing distances. 

For more information, visit our website.

Map graphic showing planned changes along Denny Way from 5th Ave N to Stewart St in Seattle. Paving is shown in red, with other elements such as bus stops, sidewalk repairs, curb bulbs, traffic curbs, and other items.
Map of Denny Way Paving Project area. Graphic: SDOT

8) Safe Routes to School Improvements at Broadview-Thomson & Cedar Park Elementary

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a nationwide initiative aimed at facilitating safer and more convenient walking and biking routes for students. Our SRTS program is designed to enhance safety around schools and to promote walking and biking among students. Our goal is for Seattle’s school children to begin their day by enjoying themselves, fostering community ties, improving physical and mental well-being, and arriving at school in time for breakfast and prepared to learn.


  • Notice to proceed expected by the end of June.

Key features at Broadview Thomson K-8 School:

  • Installation of new sidewalks on both sides of Greenwood Ave N between N 125th St and N 130th St.
  • Implementation of neighborhood greenways on 1st Ave NW and Palatine Ave N between N 110th St and N 130th St, as well as on 1st Ave NW and N 132nd St between Greenwood Ave N and N 137th St.
  • Widening sidewalks on the west side of Greenwood Ave N between N 132nd St, and the mid-block pedestrian signal to the south

Key features at Cedar Park Elementary School:

  • Construction of a new sidewalk on the south side of NE 135th St between Lake City Way NE and 35th Ave NE.
  • Establishment of a new neighborhood greenway on NE 135th St between 27th Ave NE and 37th Ave NE, accompanied by:
    • Installation of an asphalt pathway connecting the street ends on NE 135th St between 27th Ave NE and 30th Ave NE.
    • Addition of new marked crosswalks on both arterial legs of 30th Ave NE & NE 135th St.
    • Addition of a new marked crosswalk with a rectangular rapid flashing beacon on the north leg of 35th Ave NE and NE 135th St.

For more information, visit our website and learn about our Safe Routes to School Program.

Be sure to explore our Neighborhood Greenways website, where you can find a range of projects in North, Central, and South Seattle. These projects play a vital role in creating safer and more comfortable connections for pedestrians and cyclists, especially those traveling to school.

Four people smile while looking at the camera. A kid is to the left with three adults to the right. Several people are wearing helmets and giving a thumbs up signal. A basketball court and grass are in the background.
Starting the day with a bike ride sets a positive and healthy tone. Our upcoming projects aim to enhance the comfort and desirability of biking and walking to school, making it an appealing option for students. Photo: SDOT.

9) Beacon Ave S & 15th Ave S Safety Project (North Segment)

The project’s safety upgrades are vital for advancing our Vision Zero safety goals citywide. Once finished, navigating North Beacon Hill will become safer and more convenient for pedestrians and cyclists, facilitating access to businesses, community destinations, and transit stations.


  • Notice to proceed expected in July.

Key features include:

  • Repairing sections of sidewalk near every intersection along the entire route.
  • Installation of new accessible pedestrian signals with pedestrian push buttons at every crossing at S Hanford St and Beacon Ave S and at the south and west crossings of 15th Ave S and S College St.
  • Construction of 42 new ADA-accessible curb ramps to ensure safe travel for individuals using wheeled mobility devices from the Dr Jose Rizal Bridge to S Spokane St.
  • Installation of concrete-protected bike lanes on both sides of 15th Ave S and post-protected bike lanes on both sides of Beacon Ave S.
  • Installation of new bike signals at the intersections of S Charles St and Golf Dr S, 15th Ave S and S College St, and 15th Ave S and Beacon Ave S.
  • Installation of new bus stop islands on both sides of Beacon Ave S at S Hanford St and outside of Beacon Hill Station.

For more information, visit our website.

A person bikes down the street on a partly sunny day. She is wearing a helmet and has a small bag in the front of her bike. A car is traveling the same direction further behind her.
A person bikes along 15th Ave S near S Massachusetts St in North Beacon Hill. Photo: SDOT.

10) Rainier Ave S Bus Lane (Phase 2)

We’ve partnered with King County Metro to enhance transit reliability in the Rainier Valley. Route 7, one of Seattle’s busiest bus routes, serves 8,000 riders daily (11,200 riders before the pandemic). Despite a scheduled frequency of every ten minutes or less, buses frequently face delays due to traffic congestion on Rainier Ave S. To address this issue and enhance transit reliability along this vital corridor, we’re implementing dedicated bus lanes on Rainier Ave S.


  • Notice to proceed expected in late July.

Key features include:

  • Establishment of a continuous northbound bus lane from S Grand St to S Walden St.
  • Implementation of one northbound general travel lane while preserving the center turn lane.
  • Installation of a new traffic signal at S Grand St to enhance transit reliability and facilitate safer crossings.
  • Anticipated time savings of nearly five minutes for buses during periods of higher congestion.
  • Enhancement of the attractiveness and reliability of bus transportation.
  • Contribution towards achieving the City’s climate and equity objectives. 

For more information, visit our website.

A Route 7 bus travels along Rainier Ave S in Seattle on a fall day. A person waits to cross the street nearby.
A Route 7 bus travels along Rainier Ave S in an existing bus-only lane. Photo: SDOT

Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to selecting contractors, starting construction, and making major advancements on these important projects in 2024.