Fairview Ave N Bridge Replacement

Updated: September 14, 2020

What's happening now?

Fairview Ave N bridge closed on Monday, September 23, 2019

Upcoming work

September - October 2020

Milestone reached:

  • The last of 15 concrete shafts was poured mid-June. These concrete shafts extend deep below the bottom of the lake and will support the weight of the new bridge super structure.
  • Column construction is complete. Bridge columns extend upward from the concrete shafts to support the deck of the new bridge super structure. These columns have a narrower diameter than the bridge shafts that support them.
  • Nighttime work associated with placing bridge support beams (girders) is complete. These large metal beams will support the future bridge deck.
Construction is currently on schedule. We plan to open the new bridge to vehicles, transit, bikes, and pedestrians in spring 2021. 

In September, crews will construct temporary in-water bridge support structures, install floating piles, remove portions of the temporary work trustle, and place loose rocks along the shoreline. When that work is complete, crews will begin constructing the new bridge deck. 

To receive our biweekly email updates that include construction information and photos, please click on the Subscribe Now button to the right. 

Typical work hours are Monday through Friday, 6 AM to 6 PM. Crews can continue work activity until 10 PM. Crews may also be working Saturdays 9 AM to 6 PM. Expect noise and vibration from heavy machinery and trucks in the area. 

What we've heard

Nicer weather is here, and we've noticed more people walking and biking near the project area and closure. We want to be good neighbors during construction. If you have questions or concerns about construction or construction staging in the area, please contact us at FairviewBridge@seattle.gov or at (206) 775-8715.

Getting around during construction

We understand the importance of keeping people moving during construction. This 18-month closure is significantly affecting how people get around Seattle. During construction, the bridge and Fairview Ave N from Eastlake Ave E to Aloha St is closed to through traffic, including people walking and biking. To accommodate the work on the bridge, we've temporarily removed the floating walkway and will reinstall it when the new bridge is complete. The transit, biking, and walking detour routes shown below are the result of working with communities in the area. Freight and general traffic are encouraged to use alternate routes. We will continue to work with King County Metro, other nearby construction projects, the community, and those who travel through the area. Businesses and restaurants remain open and accessible during the bridge closure. For more information on suggested detour routes, check out the map below our blog post. Temporary street parking is provided on the east and west sides of Fairview Ave N between Yale Ave N and Aloha St.

King County Metro Route 70 detour

Metro Route 70, which typically runs along Fairview Ave N, has been detoured around the bridge closure via Eastlake Ave E and Aloha St (see map below). Temporary bus stops are located on Eastlake Ave E:

  • The northbound bus stop is located on Eastlake Ave E near the signalized crosswalk and overhead walkway between Ward St and E Nelson Place
  • The southbound stop is located at the existing bus shelter on Eastlake Ave E near the staircase that connects to Ward St

The best way to stay informed about Metro rerouting is to check the King County Metro Rider Alerts.

Bridge closure map showing detour routes for general and freight traffic.

Schedule and construction

Construction schedule for Fairview Ave N Bridge Replacement project.

Early 2019

Advertisement for construction contractor
Ongoing public and stakeholder outreach

Summer 2019

Confirm construction contractor
Preparation work begins for Aloha St intersection detour*
Ongoing public and stakeholder outreach

Fall 2019

Full bridge closure and construction begins
Ongoing public and stakeholder outreach

2021

Bridge reopens to traffic

*The project will comply with all necessary environmental permitting and associated schedule. Construction, including work on Aloha St, to last approximately 19 months.

Why are we replacing the bridge?

The Fairview Ave N bridge is the last wooden bridge on a major road in Seattle. While safe for travel today, the bridge doesn't meet current seismic standards. The timber piles on the western half of the bridge, which hold up the roadway, are decaying. The concrete girders on the eastern half of the bridge, which stabilize the street, are cracked.

Future bridge design

The new, wider street will help all users, making it safer for people to drive, walk, bike, and access transit along Fairview Ave N. The bridge will feature sidewalks on both sides of the street, a separated 12-foot, 2-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 lookout points along the west side of the bridge to provide viewing platforms looking out to Lake Union. They will replace the lookout area at the northern end of the bridge.

Rendering of bridge users
Rendering of bridge users at a belvedere (viewpoint)

Other area improvements

The project made improvements to the area before construction began, including:

  • Installing a new traffic signal at Aloha St and Eastlake Ave E, to 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

Funding

MOVE SEATTLE LEVY: Your tax dollars at work

With the Levy to Move Seattle, passed by voters in November 2015, SDOT committed to replacing Seattle's aging and seismically vulnerable Fairview Ave N bridge, improving corridor safety and updating the street design to accommodate all people. The Levy to Move Seattle invests $27 million toward the total estimated project cost of $52 million. We're proud to begin construction on this cornerstone project and deliver on our commitment to voters.

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:

  • Sharing regular email updates (sign up here)
  • Sending 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

Project Hotline
(206) 775-8715 
FairviewBridge@seattle.gov

Materials