After years of work (and fears the project had stalled for good), SDOT has announced that it has the funding to move forward with a bicycle and pedestrian overpass connecting Lower Queen Anne and Myrtle Edwards Park. The bridge will be built in the middle of a 1.2 mile stretch where the park and the neighborhood currently have no crossings. The project will make the park and the Elliott Bay Trail much more usable for both recreation and transportation.
From the SDOT blog:
When the bike/ped overpass project kicked off the fall of 2003 construction was scheduled for mid 2005, but further analysis of the area determined that Elliott Ave W was also a major barrier to park access. Discussion centered around whether or not the structure should cross Elliott Avenue West, as well as the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks. The safety of pedestrians and cyclists along the access routes was at the heart of the debate. A study ensued as construction plans bumped to 2006.
Public debates continued as did environmental research, agency reviews and an extensive permitting process (for access to build in the area). Ultimately the scope was expanded to address this safety issue.
Needless to say, costs for materials rose sharply during that time and the project already in need of extra funds had to cease for lack of enough dedicated dollars. That said the project IS now fully funded: the W. Thomas St Pedestrian Overpass Project was selected and included on a list of other competitive projects to receive supplemental funds administered by the Puget Sound Regional Council.
Construction is expected to start this March. The community requested the overpass, which is included in both the Queen Anne and Belltown neighborhood plans, and worked hard to ensure that additional funding was provided through Parks Levies and the city budget process.
As you can see in the map, there are no access points to the park anywhere near the site of the planned overpass.