SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program - News and updates

April 7, 2020 | Rest of the West news

We hope you and your families and friends are safe and healthy during this time. In response to Gov. Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order – extended through May 4 – the Washington State Department of Transportation has suspended most of its construction projects statewide, including the SR 520 Montlake Project. We will look to restart our projects when the Governor’s Office and health officials determine it is safe to do so.

Thank you, frontline workers - SR 520 floating bridge sentinels shining red in your honor

The S R 520 bridge sentinel lights shine red at night, reflected in Lake Washington.

We can’t say thank you enough to all the frontline workers for the work you do to keep us safe and healthy during the COVID-19 response. This month, we’re turning the SR 520 floating bridge sentinels red to recognize and honor you. Thank you.

Join us tomorrow for our online monthly construction update meeting

Tomorrow, April 8, take your lunch break with the Montlake Project team for our online monthly update meeting. There will be a short presentation led by Graham’s design manager and a Q&A to follow. Please join us!

Date/time: April 8, presentation starts at noon.

Registration: (You’ll be sent confirmation and reminder emails prior to the event.)

You can join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device. Access to the Internet will be required to view the presentation and your device speakers must be enabled.


March 26, 2020 | News of the week

Montlake Project construction suspended

In response to Gov. Inslee’s “stay home, stay healthy” order (pdf 221 kb), the Washington State Department of Transportation today (March 26) suspended work on nearly all of its construction projects statewide, including the SR 520 Montlake Project. The suspension will last for at least two weeks.

This temporary halt in construction is needed to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the health and safety of our employees, contractor crews and the public at large. We will look to restart our projects when the Governor’s Office and health officials determine it is safe to do so.

We have directed our Montlake Project contractor to secure the job site by the end of today. We will keep you updated as new information arises. In the meantime, we wish good health to you, your families and friends. Stay safe!


March 18, 2020 | Rest of the West news

WSDOT continues to coordinate with state leaders to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak while keeping our vital state transportation network running. The safety of our staff, our passengers and the traveling public remains our top priority. We ask everyone to practice good hygiene and social distancing to help slow the spread of the virus. We hope you and your loved ones are safe.

In this update:

What are those big blue structures on the SR 520 bridge?

Construction workers use large equipment to assemble two large blue cranes that span two work bridges over a partially removed bridge. An active highway is on the right.

If you’ve taken a look at our construction cameras recently, you can’t miss the large wheels and blue structures in our construction site. What are they? They are parts of the four gantry cranes we are assembling to aid in construction of the Montlake Project.

These cranes will move back and forth along the temporary work bridges they sit on. Crews will use these cranes to remove and replace the old eastbound bridge between Montlake and the new floating bridge. Using these cranes reduces the environmental effects on Lake Washington, as crews are able to hoist and remove large sections of the old bridge and haul them off-site for processing instead of doing it over the water. You can watch the crane assembly process on our construction cameras!

Reminder: Changes to SR 520 bus service begin March 21

Do you ride the bus across Lake Washington on SR 520? Be prepared for upcoming changes. To address growing travel needs for the Eastside, King County Metro and Sound Transit will restructure bus service in the SR 520 corridor beginning Saturday, March 21. Visit the King County Metro and Sound Transit websites for detailed information on route revisions to and from Kirkland, Kenmore, Bothell, Woodinville, and Redmond.

A group of people line up to board a 255 bus to Seattle on a sunny day.

In preparation for this change, King County Metro, Sound Transit, and the Seattle Department of Transportation are finishing changes to the bus and rail stations at the Montlake Triangle, located just north of the Montlake Cut next to the University of Washington light rail station. Visit the Montlake Triangle Project website for more information on these improvements and project background.

Following the March service change, some riders will have new connections to Sound Transit Link light rail or buses. If you pay cash to ride a Metro bus, your paper transfer will not be accepted on Sound Transit services, and you will need to pay separately for that transfer portion of your trip. If you pay with an ORCA card, you’ll save money by paying only the difference between your two fares when you transfer. You can go to the Just One Trip website for a free ORCA card (available until April 21). If you have any questions, please reach out to our partners at King County Metro and Sound Transit.

Thank you again for engaging with the SR 520 Program. As a reminder, we're asking everyone to practice good hygiene and social distancing to help slow the spread of the virus. We wish you and your families the best during this difficult time.


March 12, 2020 | News of the week

We know our communities are greatly affected by COVID-19. We hope that you and your families are safe. Below are updates while work on the Montlake Project continues.

In this update:

New bicycle and pedestrian route under SR 520 now open!

Good news, cyclists and walkers – the new, temporary shared-use connection between the SR 520 Trail and Lake Washington Boulevard is now open! This bicycle and pedestrian path runs parallel to the temporary on-ramp from Lake Washington Boulevard to eastbound SR 520 and dips under SR 520 along the shore of Lake Washington.

An aerial view of SR 520 in Montlake. A new bicycle pedestrian route is highlighted in yellow that parallels the eastbound lake washington boulevard on-ramp and then dips under 520.

With this separated path, cyclists and pedestrians can go under SR 520 instead of using Montlake Boulevard, connecting the Arboretum with the University of Washington and the east side of Lake Washington.

A map of SR 520 in Montlake. Multiple bike routes are shown, including a current detour on Montlake Boulevard. East of 24th, there is a dashed line labeled new bicycle pedestrian route that runs under SR 520.

The temporary trail will be in place for the next few years of construction. At the end of the project, the temporary trail will be replaced by new connections and route options.

Did you know? 2020 census affects transportation in many ways

The 2020 census will start arriving this month in mailboxes all over Washington state. The U.S. Constitution requires a tally of every resident, in every state, every 10 years. Collecting accurate information is important not only to our state, but especially for transportation, as census data is used in transportation planning and forecasting efforts. It can give us insights to determine where people live and work, where and how they travel, and how best to engage with them.

Questions? The Washington State Office of Financial Management has developed a WA Counts 2020 website with resources and more information about the census. Do your part – Make Washington Count!

Peak into the future – new project images around the Montlake work zone

Curious about what the finished Montlake Project will look like? See for yourself! Last month, in response to public feedback, crews added project images to the screening around the work site in Montlake. These images show various elements of the Montlake Project after construction – including the new Montlake lid, the outlook toward Portage Bay, the pedestrian and bicycle land bridge, and more. Take a look the next time you’re walking through the area!

There are images of people sitting at an overlook labeled coming soon. They are hung on black screening on a fence in front of a former gas station.


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.
  • Visit the Montlake Project Information Center at 2209 E. North St., open Mondays and Wednesdays from 12 to 6 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and the third Saturdays of the month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Follow us on Twitter @wsdot_520 to get key news and updates about the SR 520 program.
  • (Please note: The Information Center is currently closed because of the Governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.) Stop by in person at the Montlake Project Information Center (2209 E. North St.), open Mondays and Wednesdays noon to 6 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays 8 a.m. to noon, and the third Saturday of the month, 9 a.m. to noon.

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 underway on our next stage of construction in Seattle -- the Montlake Project. This update focuses squarely on SR 520 construction activities and other project updates in Seattle.