East Marginal Way Corridor Improvement Project

Updated: May 13, 2019

What’s happening now?

Thank you for your patience as the E Marginal Way project team pursued multiple funding opportunities in 2018 and early 2019. We are happy to announce that we’ve identified funding from Transportation Improvement Board and Puget Sound Regional Council to allow for a Phase 1 construction.

E Marginal Way Phase 1 work will include:

  • Constructing a bicycle facility between S Atlantic St and S Spokane St with full separation between people biking and people driving and delivering goods to make biking safer and more predictable in the spirit of Vision Zero
  • Rebuilding the existing traffic signal at S Hanford St to protect all bicyclist and motorist movements
  • Constructing a new traffic signal at S Horton St to provide a protected diagonal crossing for bicyclists
  • Updating the existing signal at S Atlantic St and S Spokane St to work better with the changes to the corridor
  • Potentially relocating the railroad tracks at S Hanford St to provide more space between truck traffic and the bicycle facility
  • Designing up to the 60% design milestone for the remainder of work between S Spokane St and S Atlantic St

Phase 1 will be designed in 2019 and 2020, with construction starting as soon as fall 2020 and wrapping up as soon as 2021. We’ll continue to pursue funding for design and construction of the rest of the project.

Expect to see additional materials and events starting in summer or fall 2019. Comments and questions are welcome by emailing EastMarginal@seattle.gov or calling 206-684-8105.

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Project Overview

As Seattle grows, improvements to freight mobility are essential to promote regional and international economic competitiveness. East Marginal Way is a major freight corridor that provides access to the Port of Seattle terminals, rail yards, industrial businesses and the regional highway system, and between local Manufacturing and Industrial Councils (MIC's). It is also a designated Heavy Haul Route, critical last-mile connector and vital route for over-sized trucks or those carrying flammable cargo.  In addition, the corridor provides a major connection for people who bike between the West Seattle Bridge Trail, downtown, and the SODO neighborhood.

This project will:

  • Improve safety and reliability in the movement of people and goods
  • Support freight loads by rebuilding the roadway
  • Promote efficiency through signal modifications and intelligent transportation systems (ITS)
  • Improve safety by better separating non-motorized modes from freight traffic

Map of Project Area
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Project Details

North Segment

For the North Segment (S Atlantic St to S Spokane St), the recommended design includes:

  • 2-way protected bike lane on the east side of the street between S Atlantic St and S Spokane St
    • From S Atlantic St to approximately S Massachusetts St, this bike lane would be under the SR-99 Viaduct
    • From S Massachusetts St to approximately S Holgate St, the bike lane would be to the east of E Marginal Way with a significant buffer from the roadway
    • From S Holgate St to S Hanford St, and in some sections between S Hanford and S Spokane St, the bike facility will be adjacent to the roadway but buffered by a concrete barrier
  • Multi-use path on the west side of the street between S Horton St and S Spokane St
  • New signalized diagonal bicycle crossing at E Marginal Way S and S Horton St

North Segment
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East Marginal Plan View - Hanford Options
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PBL crossing at S Hanford St
East Marginal Plan View - Hanford Horton Options
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PBL crossing at S Horton St

These recommendations are based on the public’s desire to avoid Port driveways on the west side of the road and to separate bikes and pedestrians. This proposal is consistent with existing northbound bike flow. Our design team evaluated placing the diagonal crossing at S Hanford St to take advantage of the existing traffic signal, however our analysis shows less delay for all users if we create a new signal at S Horton St.

The original three options that were proposed and considered before landing on this hybrid option can be viewed in the online open house materials.

The biggest changes made between November 2017 and May 2019 are:

  • Two-way PBL on the east side of the street extended south to S Spokane St
  • SDOT has proposed relocating the railroad tracks shown at S Hanford St further east

As the project starts design, we’ll be working at confirming these changes and starting coordination with the railroads.

Future phases of the project will reconstruct the roadway, replace the existing water main, and rebuild the west sidewalk. All work occurring during Phase 1 of this project is necessary for future phases to be constructed.

Central Segment

This project aims to provide a clear route through the confusing area between S Spokane St and S Nevada St, where the SR-99 structure returns to the surface. The initial design we considered took advantage of the area to the east of the north-south Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Due to right-of-way limitations, the project team would now looking at placing a multi-use facility west of the viaduct and Union Pacific Railroad tracks, leading to the west side of E Marginal Way by the concrete plant. This would mark the beginning of a multi-use pathway heading south. No design work is anticipated for this section of the project until additional funds are secured.

South Segment

The South Segment (Duwamish Ave S to 1 Ave S) is part of SR 99. There are neither bike facilities nor sidewalks on the west side of the street, and some missing sidewalks on the east side. These factors contribute to a challenging walking and biking environment for people trying to move through the area. We heard that people want improvements for pedestrians, multi-use paths, and a connection to the 1st Ave S bridge.

Our recommended design for this section includes:

  • A new multi-use path on the west side of the street from north of Duwamish Ave S to Diagonal Ave S – we should have enough room for a planted buffer between the path and the roadway
  • Pedestrian improvements at each existing traffic signal
  • Constructing missing sidewalks on the east side of the street
  • Transit stop improvements
  • Signal enhancements where appropriate to improve predictability and safety for people walking and biking

We’ve developed a proposal to improve the connection to the 1st Ave bridge, however funding constraints will prevent this from being part of the core project scope. If we identify a grant opportunity that allows us to include this connection, we will do so.

Initial analysis of this section of the project also included evaluation of whether a lane of traffic on SR99 could be removed to allow construction of a protected bike lane, as called for in the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan. Due to traffic volumes on SR-99, removing a motor vehicle lane is not feasible at this time.

East Marginal Map South Segment
Click to enlarge

No design work is anticipated for this section of the project until additional funds are secured.

If you’d like more details on we’ve heard, you can view the summary of the online open house survey results here.

Project Benefits

  • Improved freight mobility –Support the economic vitality of our region including the Port of Seattle and local industrial businesses.
  • Safety - Better access and connections in combination with separating non-motorized modes to reduce potential conflicts.
  • Better pedestrian and bike connections – New and upgraded facilities for people walking and biking also improves access for employees using transit or non-motorized modes to get to work in the area.

Project Funding

Funding to evaluate alternatives and complete early design is provided by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015. Learn more about the levy at Levy to Move Seattle.

Full funding is dependent on contributions from other public partners such as the Port of Seattle and the State, as well as competitive Federal grant programs such as FASTLANE. Learn more about FASTLANE grants at:  www.transportation.gov/buildamerica/FASTLANEgrants

Schedule and Cost Estimate

Now that funding has been identified for a first phase of the project, the design process is expected to start in summer 2019. Design will be completed in 2020, with construction starting as soon as autumn 2020. SDOT will continue to pursue design and construction funding for additional phases of the project.


  • Data collection
  • Early design workshops
  • Preliminary traffic analysis


  • Online Open House and Survey from Spring to Summer
  • Spring
    • Develop options
    • Seek input on options
  • Summer
    • Create preliminary engineering designs
  • Fall
    • 10% design complete


  • Winter-Spring
    • 30% design complete


  • Restart design


  • Complete design
  • Begin construction


  • Complete construction

Public Outreach

This project began in 2015 with the examination of existing conditions and community input. A variety of methods engaged stakeholders, such as briefings, a public workshop, and an online survey.

In 2017, we are using public input, data collection, and technical analysis to evaluate different options for the future of the corridor.

Nearby Projects

S Lander St Bridge Project

Georgetown Mobility Study

Project Materials

Fact Sheet November 2017

East Marginal Way Summary of Online Open House Survey Results June 2017

East Marginal Way Survey Comments

East Marginal Way Online Open House

Online Open House Postcard April 2017

Seattle Freight Board Presentation March 2017

Seattle Bike Advisory Board Presentation March 2017

Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board Presentation March 2017

Fact Sheet March 2017

Draft Existing Conditions Report October 2016

Project Contact

Dan Anderson, Communications Lead

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