Local Information

Coming soon: SR 520 construction in Montlake

Thursday, August 1, 2019 - 09:00

Steve Peer, communications, 425-301-2023

Ramp restriping, a new work zone and traffic shifts will kick off a project expected to last until early 2023

SEATTLE – Beginning the second week in August, State Route 520 travelers and Montlake residents will see the first major construction work of the $455 million SR 520 Montlake Project. The project is the first phase of SR 520’s Rest of the West, a suite of projects that will reconstruct the highway’s east/west segment between Lake Washington and Interstate 5 in Seattle.

The first phase constructs new eastbound lanes between Montlake Boulevard East and the new floating bridge, builds a new Montlake community-connecting lid and transit hub (pdf 8.88 mb), rebuilds the Montlake Boulevard interchange, and constructs a bike and pedestrian bridge over SR 520.

A new work zone
Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation need to create a new work zone to launch a number of construction activities. The new work zone will provide access to land north of the highway near Montlake Boulevard for activities such as building a wall that will support the large highway lid.

Establishing the new work zone on the north side of SR 520 near Montlake Boulevard is tentatively scheduled for Monday, Aug 5. To accomplish this, crews will restripe the westbound SR 520 off-ramp to Montlake and remove the ramp’s temporary bus-only lane that currently allows buses to bypass general-purpose vehicles to reach Montlake Boulevard. The bus lane was temporarily put in place last October, with a plan to close it in March for the Montlake Project construction. Recognizing the value that the temporary lane provided to transit, WSDOT worked with the contractor to keep the lane open as long as possible without affecting construction.

During this initial stage of construction, crews also will install:

  • Drainage equipment to treat construction water runoff
  • Web cameras for the public to view construction progress
  • Noise and vibration equipment to monitor construction

In addition, it’s necessary for crews to remove trees and vegetation to build the new lid, temporary ramps and a temporary pedestrian and bike path. The project’s final design includes landscaping and tree planting throughout the project site.

Keeping travelers and neighbors informed
Although SR 520 will remain open to traffic during commute times, the four-year Montlake Project will have several associated Seattle street, highway and ramp closures, as well as traffic shifts and detours. The closures will mostly occur at night and on weekends to limit disruptions to weekday traffic and create safer conditions for both travelers and crews.

Neighbors will also have access to a drop-in information center, at the corner of East Lake Washington Boulevard and Montlake Boulevard. The drop-in center is expected to open Saturday, Aug, 17, with business hours to be posted soon.  

To get the most up-to-date information on construction activities or planned travel restrictions, visit and bookmark the SR 520 Construction Corner.

Other resources to stay informed about the project:

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