Aurora Ave N Sidewalk Upgrades & Tree Preservation

November 3, 2022

What's Happening Now?

Thanks to the voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle, we are repairing sidewalks in areas along the east side of Aurora Ave N (State Route 99) between N 80th St and N Northgate Way. 

We will completely rebuild the most damaged sidewalks on the eastern side of Aurora Ave N between N 80th St and N 82nd St, and also between N 100th St and N 103rd St. In other locations along the corridor, we plan to smooth, repair, or replace damaged sections of the sidewalk. Afterward, people will more easily be able to walk and roll to destinations along the street, supporting safety and mobility. 

The project is expected to conclude end of 2022, depending on weather conditions. Major storms could redirect crew time and impact the project schedule. During the construction, please observe all signs when traveling in the project area by car or on foot.

This is one of several projects to improve safety and accessibility to and along Aurora Ave N, including Aurora Ave N Corridor Safety Project, Green Lake Outer Loop Project, and Aurora -Licton Springs Home Zone Project.

A graphic map showing the stretch of Aurora Ave N where sidewalk repairs and improvements will be taking place, from N 80th to N 105th street

Project Details

The project has two objectives, to:

  • Build, operate, and maintain an accessible transportation system that reliably connects people, places, and goods, and
  • Improve Seattle’s environmental health for future generations and to address the climate crisis through a sustainable, resilient transportation system.

After receiving 250 comments from community members, we worked to find a way to repair the sidewalks while preserving the mature and healthy trees on this stretch of Aurora.

New project design will preserve nearly all street trees

We will use a variety of innovative techniques to preserve the healthy trees. In the areas where we are completely rebuilding sidewalks, we will begin by removing the old sidewalk pavement, exposing the roots so that arborists can evaluate their condition and use established standards to determine if pruning is necessary and how it can be done without harming the trees. Arborists will remain onsite during the construction of new sidewalks to ensure that this is done a way that will let the trees grow and thrive.  

Photo of the ground where a sidewalk has been removed, revealing the root system of a tree A graphic overlay on a photo of the existing sidewalk showing the wider margins of the new, more accessible sidewalk.

The new sidewalks will be slightly wider in some places than they are today, creating more room for the trees and people walking or using a wheelchair. This is possible because there is a narrow strip of publicly owned land adjacent to the current sidewalks, which was not used when the previous sidewalks were built. We have worked with the property owners who have previously been allowed to use this space, and they have been supportive of our work to widen the sidewalk. 

Due to poor health, one tree immediately south of the pedestrian bridge at N 103rd St has been removed. Our Urban Forestry team plans to plant two new trees within the project area to replace this unhealthy tree. We will water these young trees each summer for the next five years to help them mature healthily. 

New sidewalks will meet the needs of people of all ages and abilities 

People within Seattle and around the region use Aurora Ave N to shop, go to work and school, access services, and deliver goods. It is home to one of the busiest transit lanes in King County and an important freight route.

Repairing and improving the sidewalk will make it safer and easier for pedestrians to get around, especially people with disabilities. The new sidewalks will follow ADA design standards and our sidewalk accessibility guide to meet the needs of people who were not able to easily use the existing sidewalk due to obstructions and pavement damage.

We want people to walk safely and with pleasure in ever-increasing numbers. With walking being the most accessible form of transportation and recreation, a quality pedestrian network is at the core of an equitable, accessible transportation system.  

Learn more

Interested in participating in the future of Aurora Ave N? Learn more at our planning website and sign up to receive emails.