Fairview Ave N Bridge Replacement

Updated: November 29, 2018

What's happening now?

The Fairview project has secured construction permitting and issued the advertisement for construction contractor. Learn more about the advertisement. Preparation work for the Aloha St intersection detour will start in spring 2019 in advance of full bridge closure. The full length of construction should last about 15 months and the bridge will reopen in 2020.

The project team will be out in the community late 2018-early 2019 to share more information on what to expect during construction.

Project overview

We are replacing the bridge at Fairview Ave N. The oldest portion of the current bridge was built more than 65 years ago and is the last timber-supported bridge on a major road in Seattle. While safe for travel today, the bridge is structurally unstable and vulnerable to earthquakes, including the newer portion made of steel and concrete, and needs to be replaced. Located on the southeast shore of Lake Union near the 1200 block of Fairview Ave N in Seattle, the bridge is next to the historic Lake Union Steam Plant building.

Existing conditions

The timber piles on the western half of the bridge, which hold up the roadway are decaying and the concrete girders on the eastern half of the bridge, which stabilize the street, are cracked.

The bridge wasn't built to current seismic standards and has a limited load capacity for oversized vehicles.

Future bridge design

The new, wider street will help everyone travel more safely along Fairview Ave N. The bridge will feature sidewalks on both sides of the street, a separated 12-foot, two-way bike lane on the west side of the bridge, and slightly wider northbound vehicle lanes for people driving cars and trucks.

Existing Crossection
New Crosssection

Along with seismic improvements, we're building 3 new lookout points along the west side of the bridge to provide viewing platforms looking out to Lake Union. They will replace the current lookout area located on the northern end of the bridge.

Rendering of bridge users
Rendering of bridge users at a belvedere

Other area improvements

The project will make improvements to the area before construction begins, including:

  • Installing a new traffic signal at Aloha St and Eastlake Ave E, which will allow left turns onto Eastlake Ave E
  • Improving signal timing at Aloha St and Fairview Ave N
  • Removing the traffic circle at Yale Ave N and Aloha St and building a permanently raised intersection

Schedule and construction

Fall 2018

Advertisement for construction contractor
Ongoing public and stakeholder outreach

Early 2019

Ongoing public and stakeholder outreach

Spring 2019

Preparation work begins for Aloha St intersection detour
Full bridge closure and construction begins (bridge closure to last approximately 12 months)**


Bridge reopens to traffic

*The project will comply with all necessary environmental permitting and associated schedules
**Construction start date pending permit approvals

Driving, biking, and walking during construction

We understand that traffic must keep moving in the area during construction. The transit, biking, and walking detour routes shown below are the result of working with communities near the bridge. Freight and general traffic will be encouraged to use alternate routes. Detour and "businesses are open" signage will be placed at key locations during the full closure. We will continue to work with King County Metro, other nearby construction projects, the community, and those who travel through the area before and during construction.

2018_2019 Fairview Detour Map


The total project estimate is $42 million and the project is fully funded in 3 ways: Bridging the Gap, the federal Bridge Replacement Advisory Committee (BRAC), and the Move Seattle levy .

Get involved

We want to keep you up to date!
Our outreach team is committed to keeping you informed in a variety of ways, including:

  • Email updates (email FairviewBridge@seattle.gov to sign up)
  • Project mailings
  • Updating this webpage
  • Dropping off flyers at businesses and residential buildings
  • Presenting at community group meetings
  • Responding to emails from area neighbors

Contact information

MariLyn Yim, Project Manager