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SDOT Issues Final South Holgate Street Railroad Crossing Study


Final Report


In 2009, SDOT, with grant funding from WSDOT, retained the consulting firm of Fehr and Peers to analyze the impacts of a full or partial closure of South Holgate Street between 1st Avenue South and 4th Avenue South where Holgate Street crosses a series of railroad tracks operated by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF), and which carries freight and passenger railroad traffic that includes Amtrak and Sound Transit Sounder trains.

The purpose of this analysis was to help determine how the safety and security benefits of a closure would compare with the negative impacts that would result from such a closure. The city consultant studied all modes of traffic and utilized video monitoring to better understand current operating conditions, in addition to conducting stakeholder interviews with SDOT, WSDOT, BNSF, Amtrak Sound Transit and the SODO freight community. Fortunately, there has never been a reported traffic collision involving trains on this section of Holgate Street. Beyond safety considerations, the project team paid particular attention to pedestrian access needs across Holgate Street and to the medium-to-long term railroad provider maintenance operations.

The consultant report concluded that, at the present time and through the replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall, closing South Holgate Street would too disruptive to the management of traffic demand, especially pedestrian demand, to be warranted. The report does contains a series of short-term improvements that could provide important safety and mobility benefits to all the users of South Holgate.

Please consider reading the final report and appendices to understand the study assumption, methodologies, conclusions and recommendations. For further information and questions, please contact Tony Mazzella, Project Manager, at 206-684-0811 or

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