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Fairview Ave N Bridge Replacement

Replacing an existing bridge on Fairview Ave N

March 28, 2017

What's happening now?

We’re securing the necessary permits and reaching out to community members and neighborhood groups to prepare for construction.

Project overview

We are replacing the bridge at Fairview Ave N. The oldest portion of the current bridge was built more than 65 years ago and is the last timber-supported bridge on a major road in Seattle. While safe for travel today, the bridge is structurally unstable and vulnerable to earthquakes, including the newer portion made of steel and concrete, and needs to be replaced. Located on the southeast shore of Lake Union near the 1200 block of Fairview Ave N in Seattle, the bridge is next to the historic Lake Union Steam Plant building.

Existing conditions

The timber piles on the western half of the bridge, which hold up the roadway are decaying and the concrete girders on the eastern half of the bridge, which stabilize the street, are cracked.

The bridge wasn’t built to current seismic standards and has a limited load capacity for oversized vehicles.

Future bridge design

The new, wider street will help everyone travel more safely along Fairview Ave N. The bridge will feature sidewalks on both sides of the street, a separated 12-foot, two-way bike lane on the west side of the bridge, and slightly wider northbound vehicle lanes for people driving cars and trucks.

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.

Rendering of bridge users at a belvedere

Other area improvements

The project will make improvements to the area before construction begins, including:

  • Installing a new traffic signal at Aloha St and Eastlake Ave E, which will allow left turns onto Eastlake Ave E
  • Improving signal timing at Aloha St and Fairview Ave N
  • Removing the traffic circle at Yale Ave N and Aloha St and building a permanently raised intersection

Schedule and construction



Winter 2014

Early project design and outreach

Spring 2014

Updated design complete

Fall 2014

Value Engineering study complete; design revised

November 10, 2015

Public open house

Winter 2016

Final design complete*

Spring - Summer 2016

Ongoing public outreach

Early 2018

Construction begins**

*The project will comply with all necessary environmental permitting and associated schedules
**Construction start date pending permit approvals


Driving, biking, and walking during construction
We understand that traffic must keep moving in the area during construction. The transit, biking, and walking detour routes shown below are the result of working with communities near the bridge. Freight and general traffic will be encouraged to use alternate routes. We will continue to work with King County Metro, other nearby construction projects, the community, and those who travel through the area before and during construction.


The total project estimate is $42 million and the project is fully funded in 3 ways: Bridging the Gap, the federal Bridge Replacement Advisory Committee (BRAC), and the Move Seattle levy.

Get involved

We want to keep you up to date!
Our outreach team is committed to keeping you informed in a variety of ways, including:

  • Email updates (email to sign up)
  • Project mailings
  • Updating this webpage
  • Dropping off flyers at businesses and residential buildings
  • Presenting at community group meetings
  • Responding to emails from area neighbors

Contact information

MariLyn Yim, Project Manager


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