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SDOT is studying options for fixing or replacing aging Magnolia bridge. No, not the one you’re thinking of.

Project map.

Photo looking down the wooden bridge surrounded by trees.
Photo from SDOT.

As you emerge from the tree cover on a bridge high above the train tracks, it’s easy to feel like you’ve found a magical secret hidden deep within Seattle. The 33rd Ave W Bridge is an old biking and walking bridge connecting W Government Way in Magnolia (not far from the main Discovery Park entrance) to the Ballard Locks.

When wet and especially when covered in wet leaves, the wooden bridge surface and its steep approaches can be very slick. But apparently, that’s the least of its problems. SDOT has identified “signs of deterioration.” And though it is currently safe to use, the city is starting work to identify options repair or replace it.

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Crews will be out August 21 through and 26 studying the soil conditions to help inform the process. The bridge will remain open while they are working.

SDOT plans to have the first stage of design ready later this year, and there will be community outreach about the options this fall. As of now, there’s no word on expected costs. Sign up for project emails here.

More details from SDOT:

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is evaluating the feasibility of options to rehabilitate or to replace the 33rd Ave W Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge. While still safe to use, the bridge is showing signs of deterioration. This evaluation will be based on considerations like demand for walking and biking, short- and long-term residential impacts, bridge maintenance, cost, and environmental impacts. There are no plans to remove the bridge.

This bridge is an important part of Seattle’s biking and walking network, and links Magnolia to Ballard and the Burke-Gilman Trail. The bridge crosses an active railroad corridor, which runs through the city from the Industrial District in the south to Broadview in the northwest.

What’s next?

We’re  in the early design phase and are working toward the first milestone (30% design) in late 2020. This fall, we’re hosting an online engagement opportunity where the public will be able to learn about the project and ask questions.

We’ll be back in touch  with more information about this event and other ways to be involved in the project.

If you have questions, please email us at 33rdAveWBridge@seattle.gov or call us at (206) 256-5458.

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2 responses to “SDOT is studying options for fixing or replacing aging Magnolia bridge. No, not the one you’re thinking of.”

  1. Skylar

    I used to use the bridge occasionally to get to the locks and return to Wallingford after biking in Magnolia. With the locks closed indefinitely, I haven’t used the bridge at all, which brings up the questions of whether the Army Corps of Engineers has given any indication of when the locks could re-open at least as a keep-it-moving transportation route.

  2. Conor

    I used to run through here all the time back when the lockes were open. I’ve only fallen once coming down from the magnolia side when it was extra slick 😂

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