SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program - News and updates

Sept. 19, 2019 | Rest of the West news

Here’s what you’ll find below:

Construction update: Westbound SR 520 off-ramps to Montlake and eastbound Arboretum on-ramp closed this weekend, Sept. 21-22

Last weekend’s rain prevented completion of new, temporary westbound off-ramp

WSDOT contractor crews will work around the clock this coming weekend to complete the construction of a new, temporary off-ramp to Montlake Boulevard and Lake Washington Boulevard that travelers will use for much of the four-year Montlake Project. We attempted to finish this work last weekend, but rain washed out our plan. Completing this weekend’s work still depends on the weather because it involves paving.

The westbound SR 520 off-ramps to Montlake Boulevard and Lake Washington Boulevard will close at 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, and reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 23. Weekend-long closures like this allow crews to condense their work and avoid what would otherwise be many overnight sessions of potentially noisy work. Whenever possible, the noisiest construction activities this weekend will be done during daytime hours to limit disruptions to neighbors.

Additionally, crews will close the eastbound SR 520 on-ramp through the Arboretum to do some soil sampling in preparation for construction of a new eastbound-only bridge over Union Bay. The ramp will be closed from 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, to 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 23.

As always, this work is weather-dependent and subject to change.

Highlights of what you need to know for the weekend

  • From 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, to 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 23, the westbound SR 520 off-ramps to Montlake and Lake Washington boulevards will be closed.
  • From 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, to 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 23, the eastbound on-ramp to SR 520 in the Arboretum will be closed.
  • Westbound SR 520 traffic headed to northeast Seattle will be detoured to Northeast 45th Street via northbound I-5.
  • Riding the bus? Be sure to visit King County Metro’s Alerts & Updates page for more information.

map of Sept. 21-22 Montlake ramps closure

What to expect following the weekend: Don’t miss your exit Monday morning!

  • On Monday, Sept. 23, westbound drivers exiting to Montlake Boulevard will use the new, temporary off-ramp’s two right lanes.
  • This is a change from current conditions, where drivers use the off-ramp’s left lane to access Montlake Boulevard. Starting Monday, the ramp’s left lane will connect vehicles to Lake Washington Boulevard.

A map of the westbound 520 off-ramps to Montlake shown as their September 16 configuration. The Montlake Boulevard off-ramp is north of the Lake Washington Boulevard off-ramp, and labeled as the right lanes of the off-ramp.

What to expect for bicyclists and pedestrians

  • The SR 520 Trail across Lake Washington will be open this weekend.
  • Bike and pedestrian access across the 24th Avenue East overpass will close Friday night, Sept. 20, and remain closed for the duration of the project. When the project is complete, the route will reopen over the new Montlake lid. During project construction, detour routes will be available along Montlake Boulevard. Later this year, we’ll open a separate north-south route for bicyclists and pedestrians that passes under SR 520 east of 24th Avenue.
  • Monday morning Sept. 23, a temporary connection will open from the SR 520 Trail to Montlake Boulevard just north of the Montlake Boulevard off-ramp. Keep your fingers crossed for no rain this weekend so this new trail section can open!

As always, if you have any questions about this work, you can call the 24-hour Montlake Project construction hotline at 206-775-8885. 

Lights, camera … construction! View Montlake Project work online and track its progress

Want to follow our construction progress from home? Now you can since we’ve started taking selfies, robotically, of our Montlake Project construction!

Online photos from four cameras show the worksite from various viewpoints. New pictures are shot and posted every 10 minutes ‘round the clock, and you can browse through previous photos to see crews making progress. With these cameras, you can:

  • View auto-generated time-lapses. Right click anywhere on the picture and select “Time-Lapse Movies.” You’ll be able to see two videos showing how the worksite has changed during construction.
  • Select a smaller area on each camera and compare its progress to current conditions. On the bottom right of the screen, next to the date bar, is a rectangle button with dashed lines around the edge. Click on the button and a box will appear in the middle of the screen. You can move this box around the picture and change the size/dimensions of the box. Then, start browsing through different dates/times using the forward/back buttons at the bottom of the screen. You’ll notice that the pictures in the box will change, according to your time selection, and the rest of the image will stay static. This feature allows you to see how a specific part of the work site has changed over time, and compare it to current conditions!

SR 520 Montlake Project construction camera 

Join us this Saturday for the grand opening of the Montlake Project Information Center

You’re invited to Saturday’s grand opening of the Montlake Project Information Center. This location will serve as a community resource throughout the design and construction of the project. Come celebrate with us, explore project resources and enjoy refreshments. Plus, the first 10 attendees will receive a WSDOT SR 520 Program coffee mug – and we’ll pour you the first cup!

A house with a green sign in front labeled Montlake Project Information center.

Event highlights:

  • Meet members of project team.
  • Ask questions and comment on the project.
  • Explore project resources and informational materials.
  • Learn how to stay up to date throughout the project.

Please join us!

Grand opening details:

  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 21
  • Time: 9 a.m. to noon
  • Location: 2209 E. Lake Washington Blvd., Seattle

Bus routes 43, 48, 167, 271, 277, 540, 541, 542, and 556 serve the Montlake/SR 520 area. The Link light rail station at Husky Stadium is about half a mile from the information center.

Can’t make it?
For those unable to attend the grand opening event, the Information Center is open to the public during the following times through 2019:

  • Mondays and Wednesdays from 12 to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Third Saturdays of the month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

We welcome everyone’s participation. If you require any accommodations, please email the project team at

Sept. 23-27 daytime drilling at gas station and market property to continue the investigation of contamination

Following WSDOT’s acquisition of the Montlake Market and 76 gas station property in June, we are committed to cleaning up the contamination present on the site. In preparation for the cleanup work, WSDOT crews will conduct additional soil and groundwater investigations next week to evaluate the extent of the contamination.

Between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily, from Monday, Sept. 23, through Friday, Sept. 27, crews will bore multiple holes into the ground on the market and gas station property. Testing of material from the borings will help WSDOT develop a plan to efficiently sequence cleanup work and address other Montlake Project construction needs.

What to expect

  • Crews will use drilling equipment to bore nine holes on the market and gas station property. Nearby neighbors may hear intermittent noise and feel vibrations from drilling equipment, including a vacuum truck.
  • The drilling will be done during the day to reduce effects to nearby residents.
  • The 76 gas station will be closed from 4 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Sept. 25, for pressure testing of the existing fuel storage tanks. Outside of this time, the market and gas station will remain open during their regular business hours and at least half of the gas pumps will be open at all times. Some of the parking spaces may be used fordrilling equipment. There will be no associated traffic effects from this work. 

Start planning: westbound SR 520 closed Oct. 5-6 weekend

Heads up! On the first weekend of October, westbound SR 520 will be closed across Lake Washington. Work will begin at 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, and end by 5 a.m. Monday, Oct 7. During the westbound closure, crews will install temporary barrier, as well as pave and restripe roadway to create two lanes of traffic in both directions on the new westbound bridge. By Monday morning, westbound traffic will shift to a new two-lane configuration. We’ll provide more details as we get closer to this closure.

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. Lake Washington Blvd., 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.

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.