Northgate Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge

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What’s happening now?

In August, we hosted a community open house and posted an online survey to get public feedback on our revised design for the Northgate Ped/Bike Bridge. Over 150 people attended the open house and we received nearly 200 responses to our on-line survey. You can read the full summary here.

Since last spring, we've been working with North Seattle College on design details that meet the College's needs while also staying within our budget and maintaining a design that we can complete in advance of Link light rail's 2021 Northgate station opening date. In response to the College's requests, we've refined the design of the west-side landing and bridge approach, moving the bridge landing away from their parking lot to preserve College land and maintain a direct public access connection to College Way N. See the images below for more detail.

These design revisions also avoid or minimize impacts to critical natural habitat, heritage trees, and federally-protected wetlands. Of the alignments we've considered to date, the latest design will have the least impact to natural habitat on the west side of the bridge. It's also the most feasible option given Sound Transit's schedule and the project's budget.

We'll have a design update in the coming months along with more information on environmental review. We're committed to collaborating with the community to deliver this important project on-time and within budget. Don't hesitate to contact the project team with questions or to discuss the project.

Aerial View West Approach of Bridge

Aerial View West Approach of Bridge

Email is the best way to stay up to date on project progress:
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Questions? Contact the project team at

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Project overview

The Northgate neighborhood is a major residential and employment hub. It’s 1 of 6
“urban centers” identified in Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan. An urban center is a relatively small area expected to accommodate high densities of development for housing and employment.

Northgate is also listed as a regional growth center in the Puget Sound Regional Council’s (PSRC) Vision 2040 regional growth management plan. With the completion of Sound Transit’s Link light rail station to the east of Interstate 5 (I-5) in 2021, the neighborhood is poised to become one of the region’s most active transit hubs.

Connecting communities on the east and west sides of I-5 in Northgate

We’re building a new pedestrian and bike bridge over I-5 in Northgate. The Northgate Ped and Bike Bridge will improve connections between the east and west sides of the Northgate community, helping knit together a neighborhood historically divided by a 10-lane interstate and maximizing the use of transit facilities. The King County Transit Center currently serves over 6,000 passengers a day, and the future light rail station is expected to serve over 15,000 passengers per day.

When complete, the bridge will help connect the neighborhood’s thriving job and retail centers with the rest of the city and region. The project will also connect to nearby walking and biking routes with a multi-use bike and ped path along 1st Ave NE between NE 92nd Street and NE Northgate Way.

The project consists of four main parts:

  • Bridge spans over I-5
  • Western approach between North Seattle College and wetland area, connecting to College Way N and N 100th St
  • Eastern approach between I-5 and 1st Ave NE at NE 100th St, near the King County Transit Center
  • Multi-use path along 1st Ave NE

The project will benefit the area by providing:

  • A new connection over I-5, decreasing travel times for people walking and biking between the 2 sides of the highway

  • Safety improvements and access for people walking and biking throughout the Northgate area

  • Better access to regional transit at the King County Transit Center and future Link light rail station, resulting in increased use of transit facilities

  • Improved connections between the Northgate retail center for its employees and customers and for residents and visitors to other nearby amenities, such as parks and medical and social services

Project Location

Northgate Ped/Bike Bridge Project Area
The user experience walking or biking across the bridge.

Design Rendering

Truss Passage
The user experience walking or biking across the bridge.

Campus Pond Overlook
A view of the bridge, looking east

Recent cost-saving changes

The design team developed a bridge design that includes the following cost-saving changes and design improvements:

Original DesignRevised Design
20-foot wide walkway on bridge 16-foot wide walkway on bridge
2,100-foot long bridge length Shortened bridge length to 1,900 feet
East approach conflicted with WSDOT Park-and-Ride at 1st Ave NE East approach modified as it touches down near 1st Ave NE, simplifying the connection and preserving the WSDOT Park-and-Ride lot
West approach included stairs at the North Seattle College, with limited sight distance West approach modified to improve sight distances and make a more direct connection
Complicated construction approach Standard construction approach to reduce project duration
Tube/truss design (enclosed) More open structure and more graceful bridge transition

Finally, an added benefit of the revised design is enhanced user experience with features such as a wetland wildlife overlook and a view of arriving light rail trains at NE 100th St.

What we’ve heard

Based on community input, we know there is interest in:

  • Minimizing environmental impacts of the bridge by making sure, for example, that the project doesn’t disturb wildlife during construction and ensuring the bridge’s drainage system (for stormwater) is designed to enhance wetlands on the west end
  • Ensuring safety of all bridge travelers
  • Understanding how the project is funded and the cost of the project
  • Connecting the bridge to other infrastructure, including neighborhood bike routes
  • Separating or managing modes of traffic on the bridge

We value the community input provided to date, and we’re continuing to incorporate community goals and priorities into the revised design where feasible.


We expect construction to begin in 2019 and to be complete in 2020, prior to the opening of the Link light rail station in 2021.

Click to view larger
click on image to view larger


We’ve secured funding from various sources in addition to the voter-approved Move Seattle levy. These include SDOT, Sound Transit, Washington State, and additional local funds.

Get involved

In the year ahead, as we finalize design of the bridge project, you'll have opportunities to learn more about it and provide feedback. Our team will be in the community making presentations, hosting public events, sending information to project neighbors, and hosting pop-up tables at busy public spaces. Email is the best way to stay up to date on the project and to get notifications about outreach events.

Click here to sign up to receive project email updates

Outreach events:

Past Events
November 2, 2017 Haller Lake Community Club
August 13, 2017 Idriss Mosque BBQ
August 9, 2017 Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board Walking Tour
August 3, 2017 Public Open House
July 26, 2017 Maple Leaf Summer Social
July 22, 2017 Live in D5!
June 30, 2017 Department of Neighborhoods Community Conversation Meridian Manor
June 14, 2017 Maple Leaf Community Council
June 14, 2017 Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
June 7, 2017 Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
May 18, 2017 Seattle Design Commission
May 6, 11 AM-1 PM King County Metro
Transit Oriented Development Public Meeting
April 29, 2017 Housing Affordability and Livability Community Open House (sponsored by Dept. of Neighborhoods)
June 22, 2016 North District Council
May 25, 2016 Feet First
May 18, 2016 Licton Springs Community Council
May 17, 2016 Victory Heights Community Council
May 16, 2016 North Seattle College (Campus meeting)
May 5, 2016 North Seattle College (students)
October 15, 2015 Public Open House
September 17, 2015 Seattle Design Commission Briefing
August 18, 2015 Seattle Design Commission Subcommittee Meeting
July 29, 2015 Maple Leaf Summer Social
July 15, 2015 North Seattle Chamber of Commerce
June 17, 2015 Licton Springs Community Council
June 17, 2015 Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
June 24, 2015 Pinehurst Community Council
May 27, 2015 Northwest District Council Briefing
May 26, 2015 Cascade Bicycle Club: Connect Northgate
May 22, 2015 Seattle Neighborhood Expo
May 12, 2015 Meadowbrook Community Council
May 2015 Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
April 29, 2015 Maple Leaf Community Council
April 22, 2015 North Seattle College Earth Day Symposium
October 21, 2014 North Seattle College
September 10, 2014 Public Briefing
June 3, 2014 Open house
March 2014 Sound Transit Open House
February 2014 Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board
February 2014 Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board


December 2017 - Email Update

November 2017

October 2017 - Email Update

August 2017

July 2017Email Update

June 2017

April 2017Project Fact Sheet

Previous Design Materials:

October 2015

September 2015Seattle Design Commission Presentation

June 2015 – 2015 TIGER Grant Application

July 2015 – Project Factsheet

November 2014 - Northgate Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge: Alternative Development and Selection report

October 2014Presentation

September 2014Presentation

August 2014Presentation

June 2014

April 2014TIGER Grant Application  (Not selected. TIGER Grant is a highly competitive federal funding source)

April 2014 - Project Fact Sheet

February 2014 - Presentation

Background Resources

Updated: 12/1/2017