Seattle Center to Waterfront Walking and Biking Connection

Updated June 3, 2021

What's Happening Now?

Timeline graphic showing we're into construction

This summer, we're constructing an important walking and biking connection between Myrtle Edwards Park and the Seattle Center. The construction contractor started in early June 2021 and we expect to complete work by the end of summer 2021.

The first piece of work will focus on the expanded walking/biking path on 3rd Ave W near the Thomas St pedestrian bridge. Subscribe to receive regular email updates about construction. 

See our project fact sheet for more and check out our blog post to see how this fits in with other projects in the area. 

Design rendering showing expended walking/biking path on 3rd Ave W

What to expect during construction

The heaviest construction will be contained to the half-block area near 3rd Ave W and W Harrison St. Typical work hours will be Monday through Friday 7 AM to 4 PM with limited weekend work. We will coordinate with businesses, residents, and commuters who may be affected and will provide advance notification as needed. 

Businesses, residents, and people traveling through the area may experience:

  • Noise, vibrations, dust, and debris
  • Driveway impacts
  • Street and/or lane closures
  • Large machinery and truck activity
  • Construction staging and parking impacts near the construction sites
  • Crosswalk and sidewalk closures, and detours for people walking and biking

Business, resident, and ADA access will be maintained as well as access to the Thomas St Pedestrian Overpass.

Project Overview

The Seattle Center to Waterfront Walking and Biking Connection project will build an important connection between Myrtle Edwards Park and Seattle Center providing a safer, more comfortable way to walk and bike between some of Seattle's most popular destinations.

This project is identified and funded by the North Downtown Mobility Action Program (NODO MAP) and Bicycle Master Plan.

In coordination with the fall 2021 opening of the new Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center, this project will construct an all ages and abilities walking and biking connection between the Thomas St Overpass and Seattle Center via Harrison St, Queen Anne Ave N, Thomas St, and Republican St. We will extend the bike improvements to connect with the future Queen Anne Ave N and Thomas St protected bike lanes that will be constructed in association with the new Climate Pledge Arena.

Map showing project elements

Click for a pdf of the map above (page 2 of the project fact sheet)

Project Background

The North Downtown Mobility Action Program (NODO MAP) was developed in late 2019 to support access and livability in North Downtown, which includes the Uptown, Belltown, and South Lake Union neighborhoods. The program builds on existing community planning efforts, reviews existing community plans, planned projects, and is closely linked to the redevelopment of the new Climate Pledge Arena. 

Thomas Street Redefined is a community-driven, visionary concept plan for a pedestrian and bicyclist-oriented corridor connecting the Waterfront, Uptown, Seattle Center, South Lake Union, and Eastlake neighborhoods. Thomas Street Redefined consist of two parts: West of Seattle Center (Seattle Center to Waterfront Connection) and east of Seattle Center (5th Ave N to Dexter Ave N). 

Design

Throughout 2020, we engaged community members, neighborhood groups, and City advisory boards at key milestones in the design process - thank you to the over 200 people who were able to attend our drop-in session, complete our online survey, or participate in a community group meeting in early 2020! 

See this outreach summary for details on the process and what we heard. In response to the feedback we collected, we made the following changes to the project design:

  • Updated the route to streets with less steep slopes and better pavement conditions
  • Maintained all-way stops
    • All-way stops, 3 of which we're keeping from the initial route but are no longer on the project route, at 4 intersections will be installed as a part of a neighborhood analysis to improve overall walking and biking connectivity
  • Expanded the sidewalk on 3rd Ave W (a key element of Option 3) which will improve the walking and biking connection to the Thomas St Overpass

3rd Ave W Rendering

3rd Ave W design image

Funding

This project is identified and funded by the North Downtown Mobility Action Program (NODO MAP) and the Bicycle Master Plan (Neighborhood Greenways).


Schedule

  • Early 2020: Shared proposed design with community and collected input
  • Mid and late 2020: Developed design based on community input and shared design updated with neighbors
  • Early 2021: Reached final design
  • Spring 2021: Select construction contractor and develop construction timing and sequencing plans
  • June-mid/late summer 2021: Construct project 

Project Materials

Project fact sheet (June 2021)

Construction postcard (April 2021)

Final Design Fact Sheet (January 2021)

Design Outreach Summary (January 2021)

Project Design Update Flyer (August 2020)

Lower Queen Anne Mailer (August 2020)

Project Planning Fact Sheet (May 2020)

Drop-in Session Boards (February 2020)

Drop-in Session Mailer (February 2020)