SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program - News and updates

June 12, 2019 | SR 520 news release

Montlake Freeway Stations closing for SR 520 construction

Permanent bus closures start June 22; other east/west service increased

SEATTLE – Crews will permanently close both the eastbound and westbound stops of the Montlake Freeway Station later this month to build the $455 million SR 520 Montlake Project.

The project is the first phase of the State Route 520’s Rest of the West, a suite of projects that connects the east/west SR 520 corridor between Lake Washington and Interstate 5 in Seattle. The first phase constructs a new Montlake community-connecting lid (pdf 687 kb) with a transit hub, rebuilds the Montlake Boulevard interchange, builds a bike and pedestrian bridge over SR 520, and constructs new eastbound lanes between Montlake Boulevard East and the new floating bridge.

Starting with service on Saturday, June 22, all Metro Transit, Community Transit and Sound Transit bus routes (pdf 675 kb) will no longer stop on SR 520 in the Montlake area. Riders can board, exit or transfer between buses at other locations, including on Montlake Boulevard and the University of Washington Link light rail Station.

“Removing the Freeway Stations next to SR 520 will allow crews to safely build improvements to the Montlake area and deliver the project benefits quicker,” said Omar Jepperson, deputy SR 520 program director. “We have worked closely with other agencies to minimize the effects on cross-lake transit riders.”

Expanded service
WSDOT has partnered with Sound Transit to expand bus route 542 – the primary east/west route between Seattle and the University of Washington. The new expanded service, operated by King County Metro Transit, will occur in the evenings and on weekends and will provide seven-day service between Redmond and the University District.

Expediting future SR 520 construction
WSDOT is also expediting construction of a new reversible transit/HOV ramp between SR 520 and I-5. Originally planned to open in 2029, the SR 520/I-5 Express Lanes Connection Project will now open in 2023, six years earlier than planned, to align with the completion of the Montlake Project. Once complete, the new connector will provide a safer, more reliable trip for transit users on the SR 520 corridor and the South Lake Union neighborhood.

June 10, 2019 | Rest of the West News​

In this update:

Montlake Project design and preconstruction open house now available online

Thank you to all who attended the design and preconstruction open house for the SR 520 Montlake Project last Thursday, June 6. About 70 attendees reviewed information about the project’s design features, construction impacts, the Community Construction Management Plan, and more. Representatives from the design-build contractor, Graham, and from WSDOT, Sound Transit and King County Metro were on hand to answer questions.

If you missed Thursday’s open house, or you’d like to revisit the information, we invite you to check out the online version. In the online open house, you can

  • View the materials about the Montlake Project presented at the June 6 open house, including the latest designs.
  • Preview upcoming construction plans and learn what to expect.
  • Get information about how to view the Community Construction Management Plan and provide comments.
  • Sign up for project notifications.

The online open house will be open until Thursday, June 20. Thanks to all who participate!

Three people talk in a room in front of informational boards

Materials from last month’s SR 520 / I-5 connection project meeting now online

Our thanks to all who attended our May 29 information session on the SR 520/I-5 Express Lanes Connection Project. At the meeting, SR 520 Program staff provided an overview of the project and information on our application for a nighttime construction noise variance for the project. The meeting presentation (1.9 mb) and display boards (4.7 mb) are now available online for those who were unable to attend. In the near future, we plan to publish a questions-and-answers document on the project page that captures the key topics discussed at the information session.

Once the noise-variance application is submitted, the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections will publish it online and host a public comment period and formal public hearing. We anticipate that this meeting will occur in July. We’ll be sure to update the public on the timing of the public comment period and hearing through our project webpage and email updates.

A group of people sit in a room watching a presentation

You’re invited: June 20 open house to highlight two future ‘Rest of the West’ projects

We’re kicking off a series of public meetings with a focus on design features of the Portage Bay Bridge and Roanoke Lid Project. We’re also sharing updates on the SR 520/I-5 Express Lanes Connection Project.

Join us on Thursday, June 20, to learn about these upcoming SR 520 construction projects, see the latest conceptual designs based on previous community engagement, and hear how you can participate moving forward. This summer and fall, WSDOT will host community and stakeholder design workshops and an additional open house to share further updates and gather more public feedback on the following project design refinements:

  • Bridge architectural features that enhance the experience for travelers and neighbors.
  • Urban design elements for a new Roanoke lid area that support safe and usable neighborhood green spaces.
  • Regional and local bicycle and pedestrian connections that provide safe and comfortable travel.

This summer/fall process will result in design recommendations for the Portage Bay Bridge and Roanoke Lid Project.

June 20 meeting details:

Parking: Paid and limited free parking available on-site
Date/Time: Thursday, June 20, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Format: Presentation at 5:45 p.m., followed by Q&A and open house
Location: St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Bloedel Hall; 1245 10th Ave. E, Seattle, WA 98102
Transit: Bus route 49 serves the vicinity

Heads up transit riders: Montlake Freeway Station bus stops closing June 22

In order to prioritize rider safety and enable a shorter construction period for the Montlake Project, the Montlake Freeway Station bus stops – currently located alongside SR 520 – will close permanently on June 22. This means that Metro routes 252, 255, 257, 268, 311 and 545, Sound Transit (ST) Express routes 545 and 555, and Community Transit Route 424 will continue to travel on SR 520, and will no longer stop in the Montlake area.

Metro routes 167, 271, 277 and ST routes 540, 541, 542, 556 will continue to serve and be accessible via bus stops on Montlake Boulevard East and the University of Washington Link station. Additionally, WSDOT partnered with Sound Transit to provide funding for evening and weekend service on Sound Transit Route 542 (Redmond – University of Washington). This partnership provides new, seven-day-a-week service for riders traveling to destinations located along the route, including the University of Washington Link station.

For more information on transit route planning and service information, please visit King County Metro (pdf 87 kb) and Sound Transit’s webpages.

June 5, 2019 | Rest of the West News​

Montlake Market update: WSDOT, market operator discussing lease through end of 2019

You may have heard our recent announcement that WSDOT leadership determined it is impracticable to maintain an operating Montlake Market during upcoming SR 520 construction. Since then, WSDOT and the market’s proprietors have been discussing a lease that would keep the market open until Jan. 1, 2020. In the meantime, the local market’s doors remain open for business, as usual.

Besides discussing a lease, we are talking to the market’s owners about the possibility of their operating a smaller, temporary market or food service in Montlake during the approximate four years it will take WSDOT to complete the SR 520 Montlake Project.

As we noted during our May 23 public meeting regarding the market, if the Montlake Market operators choose not to run a temporary store during SR 520’s Montlake Project construction, WSDOT will engage the community on its preferences for a local market or food service, and then solicit interest from outside vendors to operate the business. Once Montlake Project construction is complete, WSDOT will sell the remaining, unimproved portion of the market property – about six years sooner than previously planned. Under current zoning, the property potentially could see a new market sometime after 2023.

We’ve posted on our SR 520 website the presentation slides discussed during our market-related public meetings in May 2019, January 2019 and November 2018.

How to reach us and stay informed about SR 520 construction:

  • Call the 24-hour construction hotline (206-775-8885) with pressing Montlake Project questions or concerns.
  • Call the SR 520 Program information line (206-770-3554, M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) with general SR 520 inquiries.
  • Email SR 520 staff with your questions about the project or construction activities.
  • Visit the SR 520 Construction Corner for the most up-to-date information on closures and construction impacts.
  • Visit the SR 520 Program website to find general information about the project.
  • Follow us on Twitter @wsdot_520 to get key news and updates about the SR 520 program.

Get weekly updates via email

Visit the WSDOT email updates page, enter your email address, and under "Construction Reports" select one of the following:

"SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program"
The email update on the entire program, from I-5 to I-405. Includes information on highway closures, construction milestones, and upcoming public meetings.

"SR 520 Rest of the West News"
Construction is expected to begin in spring 2019 on our next stage of construction in Seattle -- the Montlake Phase. This update focuses squarely on SR 520 construction activities and impacts in Seattle.