Magnolia Bridge Planning Study

Updated: December 4, 2018

What’s happening now?

Thanks for stopping by the Magnolia Planning Study web page. We recently worked with the Magnolia Chamber of Commerce and Office of Economic development to complete an intercept survey of people in the Magnolia Village business area to better understand their behaviors, including: how often they visit, what they do during their visit, how long they stay, and what mode was used to get to this business hub. See the full results in the Magnolia Neighborhood Intercept Survey Report and look at results from other neighborhoods on the Intercept Survey Program’s website.

We know vacations, work, kids and other obligations can keep people from attending City hosted events. So, for those unable to go to one of our four summer drop-in sessions, or to take the related online survey, we placed a mobile display at the Magnolia Community Center, at two Magnolia Farmers Market events and the Magnolia Library in October and November. The mobile display described the history of the Magnolia Bridge; reiterated that the in-kind option is being included in the planning study; described the work we've completed to-date; and shared next steps.

We've extended our planning schedule to better incorporate information on the Sound Transit 3 alignment through Interbay and to prepare for the permanent Alaskan Way Viaduct closure scheduled for January 11, 2019. We are continuing to develop a more detailed analysis, including traffic analysis for an in-kind replacement, impacts to walking, biking, and bus travel, estimating construction duration and impacts for the alternatives, and finalizing the alternative analysis comparison.

While the planning study won’t make a recommendation, we anticipate the key findings will provide good information for the Department and our elected officials as they determine next steps. We expect to have results from the study to share next spring.

In the meantime, Councilmember Bagshaw has organized a regional taskforce to help address transportation needs in Interbay, working with the State, County, City, and Port. The work group is coordinating projects to leverage and inform possible funding sources. A Statement of Legislative Intent was released earlier this month for the 2019-2020 budget demonstrating Seattle’s commitment to the process.

More information on these updates are available in the Presentation and the Handout from a November briefing with the Coalition for Magnolia, Queen Anne, & Interbay Neighbors.

For answers to other questions we’ve been hearing from the community, please see this update provided by Councilmember Bagshaw. For additional details about the planning study, see the latest presentation materials below in the Project Library.

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 an alternative that would meet community needs and be well-suited to environmental conditions in the area.

The team began with more than 20 options, many of which were eliminated due to environmental restrictions, community concerns, and engineering limitations. Five alternatives were presented to the community. Ultimately, the community's preferred alternative was an in-kind replacement that would parallel the existing bridge to the south. To date, funding to complete the design and construct the preferred option has not been identified.

In 2017, we launched the Magnolia Bridge Planning Study to identify additional alternatives for the Magnolia Bridge. The study was funded by the Levy to Move Seattle. The primary goal is to identify an alternative that meets the functional needs of the existing Magnolia Bridge and the Magnolia community.

Once this planning study finalizes a comparison of alternatives, it will be presented alongside the cost and traffic impacts of the in-kind replacement option. The study creates a foundation for SDOT and elected officials to determine next steps as they consider funding options and upcoming projects in the Interbay Regional Transportation Corridor. 

Magnolia Bridge Planning

Emergency & Short-Term Planning

We've collaborated 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. Additionally, we have identified sort-term solutions to improve the capacity and operations of existing routes into Magnolia. Read the final report summarizing the short-term traffic maintenance plan.

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 to receive occasional project updates.

MBPS Updated Timeline

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" Presentation & Discussion.

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

June 12, 2018: Magnolia Bridge Planning Study Drop-In Session - Uptown Espresso

June 14, 2018: Magnolia Bridge Planning Study Drop-In Session - Magnolia Park Parking Lot

June 20, 2018: Magnolia Bridge Planning Study Drop-In Session - Magnolia Park Parking Lot

June 21, 2018: Magnolia Bridge Planning Study Drop-In Session - Uptown Espresso

June 13 - July 1, 2018: Magnolia Bridge Planning Study Online Open House and Survey

July 17, 2018: Stakeholder Meeting #4 - Presentation and discussion of cost and traffic analyses, results of public outreach to-date

November 19, 2018: Coalition for Magnolia, Queen Anne, and Interbay Neighbors - Planning Study status, Legislative Actions & Intercept Survey Results

Project Timeline

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

July 2017 - Fall 2018: Alternatives planning and analysis with key stakeholder and community involvement

Fall 2018 - Winter 2019: Continue planning study, focusing on alternatives analysis and ongoing outreach activities

Project Library

For more project background information, please refer to the following documents or visit the Magnolia Bridge Historical Project Library.

Funding

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

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.