SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program - News and updates

Oct. 22, 2020 | Rest of the West news

In this update:

Join our November online construction meeting

Another Montlake Project construction meeting is just around the corner. Join us Wednesday, Nov. 4, to learn more about what you can expect in Montlake and along SR 520.

When: 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4


A construction worker in a lift installs a directional sign on the side of a road.
Crews improve signage in mid-October along East Lake Washington Boulevard in Montlake.

Upcoming construction work in Montlake

Stay up to date on construction activities and effects to travelers. Here’s a highlight of what you can expect in the days and weeks to come:

  • Oct. 23: Single-lane closure with flagged through-traffic on Roanoke Street, along with a pedestrian detour
  • Oct. 26 – Nov. 6: Closure of East North Street east of Montlake Boulevard
  • Nov. 3 and Nov. 5: Early-morning closures of East Lake Washington Boulevard on-ramp to eastbound SR 520
  • Sept. 21 –  Nov. 27: Brief, temporary closures of SR 520 Trail over Lake Washington
Three construction crew members work on the base of a concrete wall. They are standing in mud.
Crews prepare the work area for construction of the south support wall for a Montlake freeway lid in this Oct. 14 photo.

As always, construction schedules are dynamic and subject to change. Always check the Construction Corner map for the latest updates.

New Fritz Hedges Waterway Park open on Portage Bay!

We’re excited to say that last week Seattle Parks and Recreation opened Fritz Hedges Waterway Park, a new community resource on Portage Bay, funded as part of SR 520’s construction mitigation efforts. The new park features a pier, kayak launch, a small beach, open lawn space, picnic areas, and more. The project also included extensive shoreline restoration and enhancement to support native species, such as juvenile salmon. Interpretive elements will be added later this year that include information about the use of the Portage Bay Trail by Native Americans and more recent maritime history.


A few yellow lawn chairs are placed on a bed of gravel in the foreground. Behind them is a green grassy area and then a body of water.
The new Fritz Hedges Waterway Park on Portage Bay.

The SR 520 Program provided funds to the University of Washington to help transfer the property to Seattle Parks and Recreation as part of mitigation for SR 520 construction impacts to the Washington Park Arboretum and East Montlake Park. We also provided funds for construction of the park.

You can learn more in the Fritz Hedges Waterway Park opening announcement, published by Seattle Parks and Recreation. We hope you’re able to enjoy this great new community open space!


Oct. 7, 2020 | Rest of the West news

Pile driving and bridge removal to resume on Foster Island

A large construction crane drives pilings in Seattle's Union Bay, with lily pads on the water and blue sky above.

Later this week, crews will restart pile driving on Foster Island and head east toward the floating bridge. Crews paused driving piles during the spring and summer to comply with environmental regulations for protecting migrating fish.

What is pile driving?
Pile driving is a construction method to embed large steel pilings into the ground to build support structures. In this case, crews vibrate steel piles into the bottom of Lake Washington and then hit them with a large hammer to ensure that they are firmly installed to support a temporary work bridge. Residents may hear a pinging sound and feel vibrations from the hammer.

The piles are part of a temporary work platform that crews will use to remove the old SR 520 bridge over Union Bay and build a new eastbound bridge to current seismic standards. As work continues farther east into deeper waters, crews will work from barges rather than the temporary trestle.

What will you notice?
Pile driving can be loud and cause vibrations, especially for Madison Park waterfront homes closer to the work. You will hear a pinging sound as a hammer strikes the top of a pile and feel vibrations as the steel piles vibrate into the soil. Pile driving can occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

As crews continue removing the old bridge, saw cutting of concrete and other removal activities will also produce noise. The noisiest part of the work (pile driving and saw cutting) will happen during the day. You may hear nighttime noise and see lights from trucks loading and hauling materials to and from the worksite. You will see the four large blue gantry cranes move slowly as they lift and transport pieces of the bridge.


Oct. 1, 2020 | Rest of the West news

Burb’s Burgers food truck now open in Montlake

The Burb’s Burgers food truck begins service today, Oct. 1, just off of East Roanoke Street, a couple hundred feet west of the intersection with Montlake Boulevard. Planned hours of operation are Thursday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., with extended service coming soon. As a result of the public input and selection process conducted earlier this year, WSDOT and the food truck operator, Huxley Wallace Collective, have entered into an agreement for Burb’s Burgers to provide service in the Montlake neighborhood until the end of Montlake Project construction (approximately 2023).

For more details and updates, see @BurbsBurger on Instagram. 

Check out our latest video on bridge work

Crews continue working from the SR 520 Trail to make repairs on the underside the highway’s bridge over Lake Washington. Flaggers are present at the work site, and bicyclists and pedestrians on the trail may encounter brief delays. We recommend that trail users slow down and stay alert while traveling through the work zone. Our latest video has more information:

YouTube video describing SR 520 bridge repair work from the SR 520 trail.


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 until further notice due to the COVID-19 outbreak.) Stop by in person at the Montlake Project Information Center (2209 E. North St.).

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.