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Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project

Revised: September 19, 2016

General Update

Crews made steady progress during recent closures of 4th Avenue S between S Washington St and Jefferson St. The August 26-29 and September 9-12 closures marked the start of a series of bridge demolition activities to rehabilitate the Yesler Bridge. Demolition activities included removal of girders, beams, and decking. These rehabilitations will improve safety and reliability while preserving the bridge's historical elements. Thank you for patience and understanding as we continue work.

Before demolition activities

After September 9-12 demolition activities

A trip to 9000 Barbershop

SDOT Director Scott Kubly and Office of Economic Development (OED) Director Brian Surratt showed their support for a local business by stopping to get their hair cut. Watch the video here.

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Yesler Way Bridge closure on 4th Ave S
We will begin a series of bridge demolition activities to rehabilitate the Yesler Way Bridge. These rehabilitations will improve safety and reliability while preserving the bridges historical elements. Crews will close 4th Ave S between Washington and Jefferson streets, from 7 PM on Friday, August 26, through 5 AM on Monday, August 29 to complete work. Look for No parking and Road work ahead signs around the work zone prior to the start of work. During construction you can expect:

  • Loud, intermittent construction activity on Saturday, August 27 from 8 AM to 10 PM
  • Large construction vehicles, lights, and noise from trucks, back-up alarms, and other equipment
  • Vibration associated with large impact tools
  • Use of water to control dust
  • Pedestrian, bicycle, vehicle, and bus detours around work areas

Read more below about what to expect during construction or click here to view the closure notification.

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Yesler Way Bridge to close starting May 23
We are beginning preparations for construction. This could include work starting on 4th Ave requiring a single lane closure as soon as Thursday, May 12. Contractors will close the Yesler Way Bridge to begin the first phase of construction to rehabilitate the bridge on Monday, May 23 at 4 AM. Please expect the following:

  • Complete closure of the Yesler Way Bridge starting May 23 - No through access on Yesler Way and Terrace St between 3rd Ave and midway between 5th and 6th avenues (local access will be maintained to the alley off Terrace St from 5th Ave)
  • Transit and bicycle detour routes in the project area
  • Parking restrictions on Yesler Way, Terrace St, Main St, 4th Ave and 6th Ave
  • Work hours will typically be Monday through Thursday, 7 AM to 5 PM
  • Weekend and night time work will be required
  • Noise associated with construction equipment
  • Business and residential access maintained

Read more below about what to expect during construction or check out the construction fact sheet.

Tree trimming work week of May 16 (5/10/2016)
Before closing the Yesler Way Bridge, the contractor plans to trim trees on 5th Ave between Washington and James streets and on Washington St between 2nd and 3rd avenues to provide better clearance for detoured buses. This work is currently planned for non-peak hours (between 9 AM and 3 PM) on Monday, May 16. Traffic lanes will be maintained on 5th Ave and Washington St, though there may be intermittent closure in sections of a lane.


During construction, vehicle and transit detours will be in effect and a number of parking spaces will be removed because of several street closures and channelization changes.

Street and sidewalk closures during construction:

  • Yesler Way will be closed in both directions between 3rd Ave and midway between 5th Ave and 6th Ave
  • Terrace St will be closed to through traffic, open to local access
  • 4th Ave will have ongoing lane closures and occasional full nighttime and weekend closures
  • Sidewalks on either side of 4th Ave will have alternating closures

Vehicle and sidewalk closures:

Vehicle and transit detours during construction:

  • Some transit routes may be affected during construction, including:
    • King County Metro routes: 27, 111, 114, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 252, 257, 268, 304, 308, 311, 312, 355
    • Sound Transit routes: 510, 511, 512, 513, 554, 590, 594, 595
    • Community Transit routes: 402, 405, 410, 412, 413, 415, 416, 417, 421, 422, 424, 425, 435
  • Some bus stops will be temporarily relocated
  • Transit agencies will notify their riders as appropriate

Vehicle detour routes:

Transit detour routes:

Parking restrictions during construction:

  • There will be no parking:
    • In the construction area along Yesler Way between 3rd Ave and midway between 5th Ave and 6th Ave
    • Along Terrace St from the alley to Yesler Way
    • Beneath the bridge on 4th Ave
    • In the east curb lane of 5th Ave between Washington and Terrace Streets
    • On the west side of 6th Ave immediately south of Yesler Way
    • On the north side of Main St immediately west of 6th Ave

Parking impacts during construction:

Parking restrictions after construction (permanent):

  • Parking will no longer be allowed on the Yesler Way Bridge due to safety concerns
  • A few parking spaces will be removed on both Yesler Way and Terrace St immediately adjacent the bridge due to safety concerns
  • Parking will no longer be allowed on the east side of 4th Ave between S Washington and Jefferson Streets to improve transit reliability
  • Parking will no longer be allowed in the east curb lane of 5th Ave between S Washington and Terrace St to accommodate the contraflow lane that was installed in February 2016 to improve transit connectivity and travel times


The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will be rehabilitating the Yesler Way Bridge, located at the intersection of Yesler Way and Terrace St over 4th Ave S, starting as soon as May 2016 and lasting through fall 2017.

Built in 1910, the bridge is one of the oldest permanent steel roadway bridges in the City of Seattle. SDOT will be rehabilitating the Yesler Way Bridge to improve safety and reliability while preserving the bridge’s historical elements.

The Yesler Way Bridge is vital in connecting residents, commuters, workers and businesses in the surrounding area and neighborhoods. In addition to providing a major east/west arterial connection across I-5, the bridge displays unique and historic design elements which include decorative pedestrian railings, parabolic and circular features of the exterior “fascia” girders, and ornamental capitals and casings on the “fascia” girder columns, all of which will be preserved with the bridge rehabilitation.


Improvements to the bridge include:

  • Remove interior steel columns to form a single span superstructure
  • Rehabilitate east abutment wall and replace west abutment wall
  • Reconstruct the northwest staircase
  • Rehabilitate and preserve the key historic features of the bridge, which include:
    • North and south fascia girders, columns, cladding, capitals and corbels
    • North and south pedestrian railings
    • Decorative lighting on north fascia girder
  • Improve intersection design to reduce crosswalk distance, accommodate ADA and increase user safety
  • Provide curb ramps that meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards to the maximum extent feasible at crosswalk locations within the project limits





Bridge design is complete. Construction will begin in spring 2016 and will last for approximately 14 to 16 months.

October 2014: 60% Design
April 2015: 90% Design
September 2015: Final Design
Spring 2016: Begin Construction
Fall 2017: Project Complete


SDOT is committed to engaging with the community and understanding their needs in the project area. We will continue sharing information with you leading up to and throughout construction.

Project Materials

Translated Materials


Yesler Way Bridge Over 4th Ave S under construction in 1910

Yesler Way Bridge Over 4th Ave S (1920)

Existing Yesler Way Bridge

Historic features on the Yesler Way Bridge


The project budget is approximately $19.8 million. Funding comes from the Bridging the Gap (BTG) transportation levy passed by voters in November 2006 and a grant from the Federal Highway Bridge Program.


If you have questions or comments about the Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project, please contact us at: or 206-684-8684.

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To request translation services or accommodation for persons with disabilities, please call 206-684-8684/TTY Relay: 711.

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