After a short weather delay, heavy lifting on the W Thomas St overpass is underway. Crews have started installing large girders that will stretch from Lower Queen Anne to Myrtle Edwards Park on Elliott Bay.
The construction requires road closures on Elliott, Thomas and 3rd Ave W until the end of the week. By the end of the day Friday, large parts of the general structure of the overpass should be up.
Once completed, the overpass will provided a much-needed walking and biking connection between Lower Queen Anne and the waterfront park, including the Elliott Bay Trail. Now that the Ship Canal Trail reaches almost all the way to Gilman Ave in Magnolia, the new overpass will provide a connection from Lower Queen Anne (and Seattle Center) to the Fremont Bridge and the Burke-Gilman Trail that requires very little climbing and mixed-traffic biking.
Tonight SDOT hits a major milestone on the W Thomas Street pedestrian/bicycle overpass project. When completed this Spring, this project will connect people on foot and on bike between Uptown and Myrtle Edwards Park with a bridge that swoops over busy Elliot Ave W and the train tracks bordering the east side of Myrtle Edwards.
Tonight and the next two nights SDOT and its contractor will install huge horizontal girders on the east side of the project over Elliot Ave W, over the railroad tracks and touching down on W Thomas St at 3rd Ave W.
This is serious construction work–some of the girders are over 100 feet long, requiring the type of crane used to build skyscrapers. As you can imagine, moving traffic and hoisting girders don’t mix, so SDOT will close Elliot Ave W. for three nightsstarting tonight, Dec. 6. Elliot Ave W will be partially open during the day until the work is completed Friday.
By Friday the main structures of the bridge will be in place over Elliot Ave W, making it easier to envision the completed project.
The project will transform how Uptown relates to the waterfront and vice versa. Although beautiful Myrtle Edwards is only about a block away from Uptown as the crow flies, Elliot Ave W and the train tracks are barriers. The bridge will connect Uptown to Puget Sound and the Elliot Bay Trail in Myrtle Edwards park, which connects to Magnolia to the north and the Olympic Sculpture Park and the Downtown waterfront to the south. The bridge will also connect users of the Elliot Bay Trail with the proposed Lake Bay Loop, a trail connecting Seattle Center and South Lake Union.
More info on the project is here.