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Fremont Bridge Approaches Replacement Project

Updated April 24, 2008

Fremont Frequent Flyer, Issue 37

News: No more nighttime closures for Fremont Bridge

Please Note:
The bicycle ramp on the eastern side of the north approach will be closed until March 2008. It has been replaced with a temporary ramp just to the north. This temporary relocation is necessary to safely accommodate the flagger truck required for the single leaf openings.

Bridge Approach Construction Nears Completion!
Work continues underneath the approaches on drainage and final cleanup.

Ship Canal Trail To Remain Closed Until Spring 2008
It will be necessary to keep the Ship Canal Trail, underneath the south approach to the Fremont Bridge, closed until Spring 2008. This is due to the mechanical and electrical work being performed on the south leaf of the bridge, and the construction and storage area that is needed to do so. Originally this trail was to stay closed until the construction of a maintenance shop building was completed in 2008, but that project has been placed on hold at this time.

What to Expect During the Next Phase of Construction:
Mechanical and Electrical Replacements

In June, the final phase of work on the Fremont Bridge began. This is the work to replace the aging mechanical and electrical systems that operate the bascule bridge and is expected to continue through the spring of 2008.

Motor Vehicle, Bicycle and Pedestrian Impacts:
The mechanical and electrical work will require approximately five full closures of the bridge over weekends (Friday night to Monday morning) and an undetermined number of nights (from 9pm to 6am the following morning). During this time, motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians will be unable to cross the bridge. The contractor will provide a shuttle for bicyclists and pedestrians during the subsequent night and weekend closures. It will operate from 8:30am to 2:30am the following day, for weekend closures and from 8:30pm to 2:30 am for nighttime closures to pedestrians and bicyclists. Buses will be re-routed during these closures. As each closure approaches, see Metro Online at or call Rider Information, 553-3000.

The exact dates of the closures have yet to be determined. SDOT will send advance notice of closures to the media and to the Fremont Bridge e-mail listserv, and will post the information on the website and on variable message signs at the bridge.

Increased Time for some Bridge Openings:
The bridge is no longer operating on a temporary winch, so openings will return to their typical duration. Thank you for your patience over these past months.

Updated: Marine Traffic Impacts:
As of Friday, February 8, 2008, the Fremont Bridge is back to normal operations. This will continue until February 18th, 2008. Beginning on the 18th, the bridge will operate normally between the hours of 11:00 pm until 12:30 pm the following day. During the hours of 12:30pm and 11:00pm, only single leaf openings will be provided. This will continue until approximately April 11th. The purpose of this deviation is to rebuild the center-lock mechanism on the bridge, the last major item work.

Single leaf openings are subject to the regular rush hour restrictions between 7:00 and 9:00am and 4:00 and 6:00pm.

Until approximately April 11, 2008, the vertical clearance with the bridge leaves in the down position will be reduced to 27 feet. This is due to a scaffolding installation that is necessary to complete a portion of the mechanical and electrical replacement on the bridge.

For more details, please see the following City and Coast Guard links addressing marine traffic impacts and changes:


  • About the Fremont Bridge
    The Fremont Bridge is the key transportation link between the Fremont neighborhood and the Queen Anne and Westlake communities. It is one of only six Lake Washington Ship Canal bridges that link the northern end of Seattle to the Central Downtown Business District.

    Work to be Done
    The new structures will be in the same location and the same size as the existing approaches so they meet up with the existing bascule bridge and roadways at either end. In addition to replacing the approach structures, SDOT will upgrade the electrical and mechanical drive mechanisms that lift the bridge, and will replace the obsolete bridge maintenance shop located beneath the south approach.


    North Approach to the Fremont Bridge.

    Project Cost
    The cost estimate for this project is currently estimated at $42.6 million. Of this, $28.8 million is for replacing the approaches, $7.5 million is for upgrading the mechanical and electrical system, and $6.3 million is for replacing the maintenance shop.

    Construction Schedule
    Construction started in September 2005. The replacement of the approaches was completed in May 2007. Work will continue through Spring 2008 on the mechanical and electrical replacement for the bascule bridge.


    South Approach to the Fremont Bridge.

    Community Involvement
    During the planning and design phase of the project, a citizen's advisory group assisted the department with planning and implementing the project. Additionally, SDOT conducted stakeholder interviews, held three public meetings and met with several community groups to help identify community issues and preferences related to design and construction of the project. A newsletter was mailed to 30,000 addresses in December 2003, and January 2005, and June 2007. During construction, SDOT will have kept the community informed with newsletters, public meetings, kiosk displays and similar activities.

    Related Links
    Fremont Circulation Project

    For More Information
    If you have questions or concerns or would like to request a project briefing, please contact Lorelei Williams, Project Manager, at 206-684-5178 or via email at

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