Magnolia Bridge Planning Study

What's happening now?

We've been collaborating with local stakeholders to develop an Emergency Transportation Response Plan for the Magnolia Community in the event one or more of the bridges are closed. The plan provides actions and processes to ensure resiliency in the transportation network including emergency contacts, transportation hubs and surface street routes into the community. Additionaly, we have identified short-term solutions to improve the capacity and operation of existing routes into Magnolia. The final report summarizing the plan is here.

Concurrently, we've kicked off the long-term Magnolia Bridge Planning Study, which will develop a permanent alternative tot he existing Magnolia Bridge structure. SCJ Alliance, a local engineering firm, brings a new lens to evaluate solutions that address the current and future transportation needs in the area and a solution that can be constructed. We intend to keep the public engaged throughout the process. Email us with questions at or subscribe here to receive occasional project updates.

Project Overview

Environmental impacts over the last two decades have weathered the Magnolia Bridge. We perform regular maintenance and frequent inspections on the bridge to ensure it is safe to use. However, in the long term, we will need a replacement for the bridge. In 2002, the year after the Nisqually Earthquake, we received a grant to identify a Magnolia Bridge replacement that would meet the community needs and the environmental conditions in the area. The team began with more than 20 options. Many of these options were eliminated due to environmental restrictions, community concerns, and engineering limitations. Five alignments were presented to the community. Ultimately, the community's desire drove the decision for a parallel bridge south of the existing Magnolia Bridge. Unfortunately, we've been unable to obtain adequate funding to complete the design and construct the preferred option.

We'll use the recommendations from the 2002 Magnolia Bridge Replacement Study as a basis for identifying short-term, and permanent solutions for accessing Magnolia should the bridge be closed. Our primary goals throughout the study are to identify financially feasible solutions and maintain a level of service similar to the current traffic conditions.

Magnolia Bridge Planning


Community involvement will be important in determining the permanent solutions. Please visit this website to learn where we are in the planning process and how you can provide comments. Subscribe here to receive occasional project updates.

Past Public Involvement

February 16, 2017: Magnolia Community Council – Magnolia Bridge Disaster Plan Presentation

May 4, 2017: Stakeholder Meeting #1 – Emergency & Short Term Solution Brainstorming; Permanent Solution Goals & Objectives

June 22, 2017: Stakeholder Meeting #2 – Draft of “Traffic Maintenance During Bridge Closure” Presentation & Discussion

November 21, 2017: Magnolia Community Council - Discuss Long-term planning scope, purpose, & needs.


May - November 2017: Emergency Transportation Closure Planning with key stakeholder involvement

July 2017 - Spring 2018: Permanent Solution Planning (Short-term & Long-term) with key stakeholder and community involvement

Project Library

For more project background information, please refer to the following documents:

Magnolia Bridge - Traffic Maintenance During Bridge Closure

2015 Environmental Assessment Report


This planning study is funded by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015. Learn more about the levy at


The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released the Final Magnolia Bridge Replacement Project Environmental Assessment (EA) in July, 2015 as part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The EA examined the potential effects of the project on the natural and built environments. However, due to a lack of funding, the project is currently on hold.