Heavy work on W Thomas St overpass gets underway

Concept image on the overpass, looking west

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. 

From SDOT:

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.

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14 Responses to Heavy work on W Thomas St overpass gets underway

  1. Bruce Nourish says:

    Snapped a crappy iPhone photo of last night’s work:
    https://twitter.com/#!/brucenourish/status/144309098068979712/photo/1/large

  2. Gary says:

    A good start, now the next bit is to get us over/around Broad St. and then SR-99.

    • Bruce Nourish says:

      Well, the Aurora Street Grid project will pretty much do just that. You just have to wait seven years or so.

    • Mike says:

      I’d rather complain about the Ballard Bridge. When this is completed, my commute will be fantastic, except for that damn Ballard Bridge,

      • Double D says:

        Mike – agreed. While riding in this morning (southbound) I looked over and noticed the only two people “working” on it were sitting inside the cab of a city truck, which was in the the coned-off right hand northbound lane. F#@*ING RIDICULOUS…

      • Anthony says:

        Do what I’m doing, ride in traffic. I have had it with this BS from the city, so from now on I ride north in the only open lane. Those jerks on the bridge are about to get an earful if I hear nasty comments again, and I”ll stop traffic right in the middle of the bridge if need be. I’m sure that will get their attention.

        Of course guess which driver is the ONLY ONE to honk at me so far while crossing, a yellow Curtis/First Student school bus, the other drivers are much more courteous.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Just a reminder: It is legal to ride in the general traffic lanes of the Ballard Bridge. However, be super careful when it’s wet or freezing out. The metal grates can be extremely slippery, especially if you have skinny tires.

      • Andreas says:

        @Double D: A fair amount (if not most) of the work is on the underside of the bridge, so there could’ve been plenty of work going on that you didn’t see. More importantly, though, there are hundreds of legitimate reasons why those workers could’ve been in that truck. If someone were to walk by your desk at work once and you weren’t there, would it be reasonable for them to assume that you’re never at your desk, never doing your job? Or would it be more reasonable for them to assume that you just happened to be in bathroom, or at the copier, or consulting a coworker in another office at that one random moment? Try giving those workers the same benefit of the doubt you’d want someone to give you.

      • MondoMan says:

        Anthony, I don’t think they can stop you from riding north on the west side (open) sidewalk, if you’re looking for another option. You’re much braver than I am by riding in the bridge’s traffic lanes.

  3. RTK says:

    Thanks for posting this, everyday as I go through Myrtle Edwards I look over to see the progress. Lot’s of visual progress lately as the bridge supports have been poured. Kind of amazing to realize how many new trails and trail projects there are going on around town. Good stuff.

  4. MondoMan says:

    Yes, nice to see what the big blocked-off construction area is all about.

  5. Anthony says:

    @ MondoMan. I’ve ridden the west sidewalk many times, but I don’t know for the simple fact that I don’t like to get in the way of the southbound commuters. They deservedly get the ROW, and it’s easier for me to just ride in the northbound lane instead.

    @Andreas, those workers on the bridge get respect when they EARN it. Their comments directed at me the other day deserve a least a ass-chewing. So why not head on down to the bridge and explain to them that people have places to get to, and that cyclists are more vulnerable than any other user out there on the road with the exception of pedestrians. They aren’t earning their keep right now, at all.

  6. Pingback: Mercer West open house Tuesday will discuss cycle track plans | Seattle Bike Blog

  7. Pingback: W Thomas St overpass opening delayed until July | Seattle Bike Blog

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