Fairview Ave N Bridge Replacement

Updated: September 13, 2019

What's happening now?

Fairview Ave N bridge will close as early as September 23

The Fairview Ave N bridge will be closed as early as September 23 and will remain closed for approximately 18 months. During construction, the bridge will be closed to all through traffic including people walking and biking. The floating walkway adjacent to the bridge will also close as soon as September 23 and will remain closed for the duration of construction. Local access will be maintained for businesses north and south of the closed bridge.

Upcoming weekend work

September 14 - 15 and September 21 - 22: Fairview Ave N from Eastlake Ave E to Yale Ave N to prepare for the bridge closure and King County Metro Route 70 detour (details below), crews will install temporary overheard wires (negative continuity lines) along Fairview Ave N between Yale Ave N and Eastlake Ave E. This work will start on Saturday, September 14, at 4:30 AM and continue around the clock through Sunday, September 15, at 11:59 PM unless it is completed prior to that. If the work is not complete on September 15, crews will resume the work on Saturday, September 21, beginning at 4:30 AM and continue through Sunday, September 22.  

What to expect along Fairview Ave N between Eastlake Ave E and Yale Ave N: 

  • All public parking on the west side of the street will be unavailable as a safety precaution because crews will be installing overhead wires. No Park signs will be set up 72 hours in advance of the work.
  • The sidewalk will be closed and detours will be in place. Flaggers will assist people walking. 
  • The southbound curb lane will be closed to traffic .
  • Driveway access will be maintained but there may be short intermittent closures as work progresses through the driveway areas

September 14 - 15: Eastlake Ave E and Aloha St

In preparation for the bridge closure, crews are installing a new traffic signal at Eastlake Ave E and Aloha St. In order to complete the signal work prior to the bridge closure, crews will work on Saturday, September 14, and Sunday, September 15, from 9 AM to 4 PM. If the work is not completed on September 14 and 15, crews will continue the work on Saturday, September 21, and Sunday, September 22.

What to expect at the intersection of Eastlake Ave E and Aloha St:

  • Several parking spaces on the west side of Eastlake Ave E near Aloha St will be closed to provide space for staging of contractor materials and equipment.
  • Pedestrian detours will be in place and will shift to accommodate the work.

September 21 - 22: Fairview Ave N from Eastlake Ave E to Yale Ave N

In preparation for the bridge closure, crews will be removing the trolley wires that power the buses along Fairview Ave N between Eastlake Ave E and Yale Ave N. Because the wires are attached to trolley poles on the bridge, they need to be removed before the bridge is demolished. Once the trolley wires are removed, Metro's Route 70 buses will continue to serve passengers by traveling along Eastlake Ave N via Aloha St to Fairview Ave N. Minimal traffic impacts are expected during trolley wire removal on Saturday, September 21, and on Sunday, September 22. Work hours are 9 AM to 4 PM.

King County Metro Route 70 detour

King County Metro Route 70, which regularly runs along Fairview Ave N, will be detoured around the bridge closure. Beginning on September 23, Route 70 will travel along Eastlake Ave E via Aloha St to Fairview Ave N. Temporary bus stops will be located on Eastlake Ave E:

  • The northbound bus stop will be located on Eastlake Ave E near the signalized crosswalk and overhead walkway between Ward St and E Nelson Place.
  • The southbound stop will be located at the existing bus shelter on Eastlake Ave E near the staircase that connects to Ward St The best way to stay informed about Metro rerouting is to check the King County Metro Rider Alerts.

Aloha St construction activities continue

Construction activities along Aloha St are progressing and will continue over the next 2 weeks. This work is necessary to prepare for the bridge construction and closure which is planned for as early as September 23. There will be traffic control on Eastlake Ave E with flaggers present to direct traffic during working hours. Aloha St will be open to traffic, and local access will be provided to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Travelers should find alternate routes during this time. The project team will keep community members informed in advance of construction through email notifications and website updates. Project team members will also be available for briefings with businesses and residents, upon request.

Fairview Bridge Closure Map

Schedule and construction

Construction schedule for Fairview Ave N Bridge Replacement project.

Early 2019

Advertisement for construction contractor
Ongoing public and stakeholder outreach

Summer 2019

Confirm construction contractor
Preparation work begins for Aloha St intersection detour*
Ongoing public and stakeholder outreach

Fall 2019

Full bridge closure and construction begins
Ongoing public and stakeholder outreach

2021

Bridge reopens to traffic

*The project will comply with all necessary environmental permitting and associated schedule. Construction, including work on Aloha St, to last approximately 19 months.

Project overview

We are replacing the bridge at Fairview Ave N. The oldest portion of the current bridge was built more than 65 years ago and is the last timber-supported bridge on a major road in Seattle. While safe for travel today, the bridge is structurally unstable and vulnerable to earthquakes, including the newer portion made of steel and concrete, and needs to be replaced. Located on the southeast shore of Lake Union near the 1200 block of Fairview Ave N in Seattle, the bridge is next to the historic Lake Union Steam Plant building.

Existing conditions

The timber piles on the western half of the bridge, which hold up the roadway are decaying and the concrete girders on the eastern half of the bridge, which stabilize the street, are cracked.

The bridge wasn't built to current seismic standards and has a limited load capacity for oversized vehicles.

Future bridge design

The new, wider street will help everyone travel more safely along Fairview Ave N. The bridge will feature sidewalks on both sides of the street, a separated 12-foot, two-way bike lane on the west side of the bridge, and slightly wider northbound vehicle lanes for people driving cars and trucks.

Existing Crossection
New Crosssection

Along with seismic improvements, we're building 3 new lookout points along the west side of the bridge to provide viewing platforms looking out to Lake Union. They will replace the current lookout area located on the northern end of the bridge.

Rendering of bridge users
Rendering of bridge users at a belvedere

Other area improvements

The project will make improvements to the area before construction begins, including:

  • Installing a new traffic signal at Aloha St and Eastlake Ave E, which will allow left turns onto Eastlake Ave E
  • Improving signal timing at Aloha St and Fairview Ave N
  • Removing the traffic circle at Yale Ave N and Aloha St and building a permanently raised intersection

Driving, biking, and walking during construction

We understand that traffic must keep moving in the area during construction. The transit, biking, and walking detour routes shown below are the result of working with communities near the bridge. Freight and general traffic will be encouraged to use alternate routes. Detour and "businesses are open" signage will be placed at key locations during the full closure. We will continue to work with King County Metro, other nearby construction projects, the community, and those who travel through the area before and during construction.

2018 2019 Fairview Detour Map for pedestrians

Funding

The total project estimate is $42 million and the project is fully funded in 3 ways: Bridging the Gap, the federal Bridge Replacement Advisory Committee (BRAC), and the Move Seattle levy.

Get involved

We want to keep you up to date!
Our outreach team is committed to keeping you informed in a variety of ways, including:

  • Email updates (sign up here)
  • Project mailings
  • Updating this webpage
  • Dropping off flyers at businesses and residential buildings
  • Presenting at community group meetings
  • Responding to emails from area neighbors

Contact information

Project Hotline
206-775-8715 
FairviewBridge@seattle.gov

Materials