Magnolia Bridge Planning Study

What's happening now?

Earlier this spring, we kicked-off the long-term Magnolia Bridge Planning Study, which will develop a permanent alternative to the existing Magnolia Bridge structure. We’ve been evaluating the feasibility of 9 improvement components and have added a 10th component in response to comments received through our presentations to community forums in March and April. We realize how frustrating it can be when an alternative is identified that can't be built, so we’ve been working to ensure the concepts presented to the public don't have any hidden infeasibilities. And with our rapidly changing city and the new opportunities presented by Expedia’s, Port of Seattle’s, and Sound Transit's future development in the area, this has taken a significant amount of up-front investigation and coordination with these fellow agencies.

We presented our draft alternatives and next steps at our Stakeholder Meeting held May 1, 2018. See the latest presentation materials below in the Project Library. We will kick-off our broader public engagement both through an online open house and in-person outreach events starting in the next month. We will continue to coordinate with the Port of Seattle, Sound Transit, and BNSF throughout the current alternative analysis process.

Email us with questions at magnoliabridge@seattle.gov or subscribe 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

Emergency & Short Term Planning

We've collaborated with the local stakeholders to develop an Emergency Transporation 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. Additionally, we have identified sort-term solutions to improve the capacity and operations of existing routes into Magnolia. The final report summarizing the short-term traffic maintenance plan is here.

Involvement

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 - Final "Traffic Maintenance During Bridge Closure" Presenatation & Disussion.

March 20, 2018: Magnolia Community Council - Long Term Planning Update Presentation

April 4, 2018: Queen Anne Community Council - Long -Term Planning Update Presentation

April 9, 2018: Coalition for Magnolia, Queen Anne, and Interbay Neighborhoods - Long-Term Planning Update Presentation

May 1, 2018: Stakeholder Meeting #3 – Presentation and Discussion of Component Evaluation and 3 Draft Alternatives

May 8, 2018: W Galer Community Association – Long-Term Planning Update and 3 Draft Alternatives Presentation

Schedule

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 or visit the Magnolia Bridge Historical Project Library.

Magnolia Bridge Planning Study - 3 Draft Alternatives Stakeholder Presentation and Minutes (May 1, 2018)

Magnolia Bridge Planning Study - Long Term Planning Update (April 9, 2018)

Magnolia Bridge - Traffic Maintenance During Bridge Closure

2015 Environmental Assessment Report

Funding

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

History

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.