Thomas St: 5th Ave N to Dexter Ave N

Updated: February 3, 2021

What’s happening now?

The Thomas St: 5th Ave N to Dexter Ave N project has reached 30% design. We are currently assessing the project cost estimates to determine the scope of the project. Please stay tuned as we will have more updates to share in late February. 

As of June 10, 2020, this project has been put on pause.

The decision to put a pause on this project is in response to the significant decline of revenues for the City and our funding partners related to the COVID-19 crisis. The goal is to quickly suspend work on enough projects now to address the SDOT revenue shortfall expected for 2020.

Learn more about what this project pause means, why we are making the pause, and how we will move forward together on the SDOT Blog. Near the end you will see a list of all impacted projects.

Questions? Email Ching Chan at or call (206) 615-0786.

Please click the following links to view the blog post in ChineseSomali, or Korean.

The planning and design process for the improvements identified in the Thomas Street Redefined concept plan for Thomas St between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N is proceeding forward towards 30% design. In coordination with Seattle City Light and other adjacent property owners, the design will focus on improvements for a half-block closure at Thomas St east of 5th Ave N, a northern promenade for a multi-use trail from 5th Ave N to 6th Ave N, and a protected intersection at Dexter Ave N and Thomas St. Bicycle facilities are existing or planned between 6th Ave N and Dexter Ave N.

We have initiated the first phase of the improvements along Thomas St from 5th Ave N to Dexter Ave N by constructing an interim diverter at Dexter Ave N. This was completed in conjunction with the new traffic signal at Thomas St and 7th Ave N (formerly Aurora Ave N). The purpose of the diverter is to lower vehicle traffic volumes along Thomas St, a corridor prioritized for people walking and biking. This improvement changed access to Thomas St at Dexter Ave N - as Thomas St will function as a right in - right out street.

Project Map

Thomas St: 5th Ave N to Dexter Ave N

Map showing project area on Thomas St between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N.

Map showing proposed changes to the intersection of Thomas St and Dexter.

Project Background

Thomas St is an important east/west green street and public realm connection, linking the Cascade neighborhood through South Lake Union to the Seattle Center. This project is associated with the Thomas Street Redefined Plan and is identified in the Bicycle Master Plan.

This project will construct a protected intersection at Thomas St and Dexter Ave N to support the opening of the new Climate Pledge Arena. The protected intersection will include a traffic signal to make it easier for people walking and biking to cross Dexter Ave N. This will provide an important connection in the citywide biking network by linking Thomas St to the popular Dexter Ave N bike lanes. 

Thomas Street Redefined

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. This project will begin implementation of the Thomas Street Redefined vision by establishing the vehicular use of Thomas St as defined by the vision in coordination with the 7th Ave N project. More intermediate and permanent improvements will follow as early as spring 2020.

Thomas Street Redefined consist of two parts: West of Seattle Center (connecting Seattle Center to the Elliott Bay Trail via Thomas St Overpass) and East of Seattle Center (connecting Seattle Center to Eastlake). This project is the first phase of the East of Seattle Center connection.

Target Schedule

Graphic showing project schedule: Planning phase in 2019, Design phase in 2020, and construction in mid to late 2021.

Spring 2020: Phase 1 installation of Dexter Ave N and Thomas St interim diverter
2020: 30% design of half block closure and northern promenade at Thomas St between 5th Ave N to 6th Ave N and protected intersection connecting the Dexter Ave N bike lanes to Thomas St