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Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project

Revised: February 10, 2016

Work to extend a Bus Only lane starts the weekend of February 12

In conjunction with the Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will extend the existing 5th Ave transit contraflow lane by two blocks between Terrace and S Washington streets (green arrow on the map).

Over the weekend of February 12, crews will remove existing road paint on 5th Ave.

In the following two weeks, crews will:

  • Adjust traffic signs and signals and paint new road markings*
  • Remove parking on the east side of 5th Ave between S Washington and Terrace streets

*This work is weather dependent and will occur sometime in the next two weeks. As work occurs, flaggers will safely direct cars, pedestrians, and cyclists during periodic lane closures.

To learn more about the road repainting work, take a look at our construction notice.

What to expect during construction:

  • Typical working hours between 7 AM and 6 PM
  • 5th Ave will remain open during construction, but expect periodic lane closures
  • Permanent parking removal on the east side of 5th Ave between Terrace and S Washington streets
  • Construction noise from road paint removal and back-up alarms
  • The City has obtained a noise variance to complete this work
  • Access to businesses and residences maintained



Starting the week of Oct. 19, Seattle City Light (SCL) will be working to underground power lines currently on the underside of the Yesler Way Bridge over 4th Avenue that serves the 400 Yesler Way Building. This work needs to occur before the SDOT can rehabilitate the Yesler Way Bridge. This work will maintain service to the building during construction of the bridge and improve the area's overall electrical reliability by undergrounding the lines.

For more information and a map of this work, please visit SCL's project website.


Before construction can begin on the bridge, SDOT needs to complete an additional review and evaluation of the project design and construction. This will be specific to Section 4(f) of the Federal Transportation Act, which requires transportation agencies to minimize harm to historic properties. This evaluation will demonstrate how the current design alternative to rehabilitate the bridge and preserve its key, historic character-defining features minimizes harm to the character of Pioneer Square and surrounding historic buildings wherever possible.

SDOT does not anticipate that this additional review will lead to changes in the design for the rehabilitation of the bridge.

This additional review moves the anticipated start of construction to spring 2016 rather than December 2015.


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.

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.


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




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 closures during construction include:

  • 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 transit impacts during construction include:

  • Some transit routes may be affected during construction, including:
    • King County Metro routes: 27, 111, 114, 212, 214, 217, 304, 355
    • Sound Transit routes: 510, 511, 512, 513, 550, 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

Vehicle and sidewalk closures:

Transit detour routes:

Vehicle detour routes:

Parking impacts during and after construction include:

  • 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
  • After construction:
    • 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 a contraflow lane that will improve transit connectivity and travel times

Parking impacts during construction:

Parking impacts after construction:


Bridge design is nearly complete. The project team anticipates construction to 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. The outreach team will continue sharing information with stakeholders and the public in order to prepare for construction. As one of the oldest steel bridges in the city, historic preservation is an important part of the bridge’s rehabilitation. SDOT will continue working with the Pioneer Square Historic Preservation Board and International Special Review District Board to ensure the bridge and nearby neighborhoods maintain their key historic features, setting and that impacts from construction are minimized.

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 $16.1 million. Funding for the project 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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