News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


Distraction on 520 at Montlake on Tuesday

October 25th, 2010 by master

WSDOT is warning about a big distraction that could cause delays across 520 on Tuesday (10/26). From 10am to 4pm, crews will use a crane to lower and assemble a barge and drill rig from an unused 520 ramp next to the westbound off-ramp to Montlake Boulevard. The equipment will be used to drill into the lakebed and shoreline to test the conditions for design work on the new 520 Bridge. You can track the project here.

Simulated view of new Montlake lid looking west (From WSDOT)

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Traffic alert: 520 bridge closed this weekend

August 18th, 2010 by master

Here’s an early heads up that the 520 bridge will be closed this weekend for its annual inspection and maintenance.  The bridge will close Friday (8/20) at 11pm and reopen by 5am on Monday.  The closure extends from Montlake Blvd to 92nd Avenue NE on the Eastside.

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520 work starts today, distracted drivers could cause slowdown

July 23rd, 2010 by master

State DOT crews begin fieldwork in Lake Washington today (7/23) to study the lakebed where support columns and anchors will be placed for a new 520 Bridge.  Barge-mounted drill rigs will be placed alongside the entire length of the floating bridge. Nearly 40 borings will be completed, with a depth of 60 to 100 feet into the lakebed. 

WSDOT says daytime traffic slowdowns are possible on 520 if distracted drivers watch the work. The work is scheduled from 7 am to 7 pm in 10-day shifts, with four days off in between shifts. Nearby residents may see and hear the work.  This phase of work should be wrapped up by the end of September.  You can learn more about the project here.

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New 520 bridge plan includes lid over Montlake

April 29th, 2010 by master

At a press conference on the UW campus, Gov. Chris Gregoire unveiled the WSDOT’s “preferred alternative” for expanding the 520 Bridge to six lanes, including a plan to build a lid at Montlake Blvd.

Map sketch of the plan, with the university to the north.

The plan includes an “urban interchange” from Montlake Boulevard to the waterfront, with an extended lid with open space, bike trails and bus stops. It involves a proposal to build a second drawbridge across the Montlake Cut with dedicated transit and carpool lanes.

Rendering of bus stops on the expanded Montlake lid

Up near Husky Stadium, a smaller lid would serve as a pedestrian walkway, providing easier access across campus and the UW Medical Center. WSDOT says the plan provides for a 45-foot space between west approach bridges for future light rail connection to the University Link station.

“For more than a decade we’ve worked with the neighborhoods, local governments, transit agencies and the public to replace this aging bridge,” Gov. Gregoire said. “Today, after all of that hard work and cooperation, we have a new 520 and are ready to move forward to open the bridge in 2014.”

The UW said it’s reviewing the plans, and Mayor Mike McGinn told the Seattle Times that the plan doesn’t go far enough in accommodating light rail. The state is about $2 billion short to complete the entire project, and next steps include pulling together environmental impact reports.

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