It’s really happening! Northgate bike/walk bridge coming together on schedule

The Northgate biking and walking bridge is an enormous undertaking. I-5 in this part of town is level with or even above street level, so the bridge needs to climb in order to get above and over the massive freeway. But it’s needed if Northgate Station is going to be able to reach people on the west side of the freeway.

Crews have been closing the I-5 Express Lanes for several days of intense work in recent weeks to install large structural elements that were constructed off-site.

Photo of a piece of the bridge under construction off-site.

Photo from SDOT.

The project is still aiming for completion in fall 2021 in time for the opening of Northgate Station. A lot of things have had to come together to meet this deadline, and it’s great to see that goal seemingly within reach. It had to gather funding from the Move Seattle Levy, Sound Transit and the Washington State legislature in order to become reality.

It’s also becoming a symbol, at least for me, of a better future once COVID is finally behind us. Knowing that more Link stations are coming online later this year and that this bridge should be ready to greet the first passengers is really inspiring to me after such a dismal year. We still have more time in COVID protocols (especially us parents), but there is promise on the other side. Because of projects like this, which people worked so hard for in the last decade, our city will open up this decade in ways it never did before COVID arrived.

And for as much criticism as I send to Mayor Jenny Durkan, it is really cool that when this opens students will be able to use it to access two years of free tuition at North Seattle College thanks to her Seattle Promise program.

This bridge is going to need a better name. “Northgate Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge” is way too long. I usually just call it the “Northgate Bridge,” but that maybe isn’t great because there is already a nearby I-5 bridge over Northgate Way. Maybe “Northgate Station Bridge?” Anyone have any other suggestions?

Here’s a video with some cool flyover footage of the area:

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5 Responses to It’s really happening! Northgate bike/walk bridge coming together on schedule

  1. CHRISTOPHER H BURKE says:

    It looks like you will be able to ride a bike from the corner of NE 100th St and 1st Ave NE up a ramp, over the bridge, and down to the north edge of North Seattle College. That’s pretty cool, though the transit center side is currently pretty bike-unfriendly. Do you know if there will be any bike improvements in that area?

  2. Erik Olson says:

    They appear to have been paving what appears to be a wide bike path on the West side of 1st Ave between the 92nd bridge and the transit center. But it’s all blocked off with bollards right now, not usable.

  3. eddiew says:

    https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8753/17014096045_884e04b4e1_o.jpg Note that the Forward Thrust alignments would have served pedestrian centers better. Decades later, the ST alignments are more often in freeway envelopes. Freeways are pedestrians as dams are to fish. The North ped-bike bridge, and a similar bridge planned by Shoreline, are attempts to add sugar to the lemons of freeway alignments for a more palatable lemonade.

    Yes, the PBL on 1st Avenue NE and North 92nd Street is an alternative to the bridge. The 1st Avenue facility looks better than I expected. Transit service is also an alternative to the bridge; in the Metro proposal, routes 20, 40, 345, and 346 will have about 16 trips per hour per direction, so the average wait at Link would be about three or four minutes. The in-vehicle time is about four minutes. so, a typical transit trip would sum to eight minutes. Walking between Link and College Way North, 1,600 feet would take more that six minutes at three mph.

    I biked around the mall a few weeks ago. I looked into the costly ST garage. The pavement is degraded on several arterials. Simon is transforming the mall. I used both North 92nd and NE 117th streets to cross I-5.

    The pedestrian connections at the SeaTac and Mt. Baker station are relatively weak.

  4. Peri Hartman says:

    My suggestion: College Bridge.

    I’m sure glad this project went through. I5 cuts a terrible swath through the city and every bridge – particularly a bike & ped bridge – helps mend that.

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