UW Skybridges

Review Status

On January 21, 2016, we reviewed the University of Washington's proposal to retain five pedestrian bridges. At this meeting we approved one 10-year permit renewal for all five pedestrian bridges as well as the public benefit package with several recommendations.

Project Description

The University of Washington (UW) is requesting a new term permit ordinance for the following five (5) pedestrian overpasses (skybridges) that cross City rights-of-way (ROW):

  • Schmitz/15th Ave pedestrian bridge - located north of the 15th Ave and NE Campus Parkway intersection
  • Hitchcock pedestrian bridge - Located near the Hitchcock Building along NE Pacific St
  • T-Wing pedestrian bridge - Located near the Magnuson Health Sciences Center along NE Pacific St
  • Wahkiakum pedestrian bridge - Located north of the UW track facilities along Montlake Boulevard NE
  • Whatcom pedestrian bridge - Located north of the UW sports fields along Montlake Boulevard NE

The UW main campus is generally bounded by 15th Avenue NE to the west, Campus Parkway/NE Pacific to the South, Montlake Blvd to the east and NE 45th Street to the north. Each of the five bridges provide pedestrian connections between UW properties off the main campus, or the adjacent ROW, to the main campus. Four of the five pedestrian bridges - 15th Ave, Hitchcock, T-Wing, Wahkiakum, and Whatcom – also provide direct access to the Burke-Gilman Trail.

As required by Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Section 15.64, we make recommendations on the re-authorization of an existing skybridge to SDOT and the City Council, including recommendations on a public benefit package to offset the impacts on the ROW as a result of the skybridges.

January 21, 2016