Civic duty: Take a tour and a survey on the plans for the Montlake Lid

For a change of pace from the Capitol Hill protest zone and yet another civic duty deadline — Tuesday night! — how about some reporting on a water fountain at a new park in Montlake. The Washington State Department of Transportation is hosting an online open house about the state Route 520 project near Montlake Blvd. The open house includes a survey asking about the sorts of amenities people may want when the park lidding 520 is completed. Consider it an entertainment option for the rest of your Tuesday.

In the COVID-19 era, what would normally be a public, in-person open house has been moved to the Internet. The “open house” documents are fairly compact, though some of them do get into a bit of detail. Continue reading

WSDOT’s 520 ‘Montlake Project’ construction moving forward with open house updates, new plan for neighborhood market

“This project, with a $455 million contract cost, is part of the remaining $1.6 billion in SR 520 improvements from Lake Washington to I-5 – the ‘Rest of the West.’ These improvements are funded by the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation legislation.” (Image: WSDOT)

Some things, like speeding tickets issued near Montlake Elementary, will never change — also, apparently, the presence of the Montlake Market.

The new plan for keeping the store operating in the neighborhood — and the several construction elements that make up the Montlake Project of the state’s 520 replacement effort will be on the docket at two WSDOT open houses: Continue reading

Here’s why WSDOT paid $1.9M for this Montlake house — UPDATE

(Image: WSDOT)

In the middle of the Montlake neighborhood bracing for big changes and years of construction as WSDOT completes the replacement of SR 520, one building got a lot of attention as the landowners finally struck a $16 million deal to sell the Montlake Market property to the state. But it wasn’t the only private property in the neighborhood to change hands for the 520 project.

Turns out, in May, the state also struck a deal to pay $1.9 million for a two-story, three-bedroom, single family-style Lake Washington Blvd E home. The property will be unveiled Saturday to start a new chapter in its life as the state’s Montlake Project Information Center:  Continue reading

Montlake prepares for years of new 520 construction, life without market

WSDOT’s “artistic rendering of the transit hub on a planned SR 520 highway lid in Montlake.”

The Montlake Market won’t stand in the way of progress to complete the replacement of SR 520. The state has agreed to acquire the property for $16 million as it prepares for the start of construction on the “Montlake Project” to create an improved Montlake Boulevard interchange, a landscaped lid over SR 520, a bicycle and pedestrian “land bridge” east of the lid, and a three-lane West Approach Bridge South over Union Bay for eastbound traffic.

Thursday night, WSDOT will hold a pre-construction open house hosted by the SR 520 project’s contractor from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. The meeting will cover the latest project designs, construction schedule, and management plan for limiting construction effects in Montlake.

But the fate of the market destined to make way for the project became much more clear with the $16 million deal. Continue reading

WSDOT to present Montlake Market ‘preservation options’

Washington Department of Transportation officials are holding a public meeting Wednesday to discuss its $455.3 million “520 Montlake Project” and community calls for solutions to save the much-loved Montlake Market.

CHS reported in October on the higher construction bid for the project to create an improved Montlake Boulevard interchange, a landscaped lid over SR 520, a bicycle and pedestrian “land bridge” east of the lid, and a three-lane West Approach Bridge South over Union Bay for eastbound traffic.

Construction is slated to start in early 2019 start and the work could wrap up as early as 2023. Continue reading

With $455.3M construction bid, 520 ‘Montlake Project’ set for 2019 start

The Washington Department of Transportation has selected the contractor and says construction is set to begin in early 2019 on its Montlake Project, the next phase in completing the replacement of SR 520.

WSDOT announced Wednesday that Graham Contracting Ltd. submitted the top proposal, a $455.3 million contract for construction of an improved Montlake Boulevard interchange, a landscaped lid over SR 520, a bicycle and pedestrian “land bridge” east of the lid, and a three-lane West Approach Bridge South over Union Bay for eastbound traffic. Continue reading

With plan to start construction later in 2018, WSDOT ready to talk ‘Rest of the West’ plans including new Montlake lid

A new Montlake lid and interchange… A new pedestrian and bicycle land bridge over SR 520… A new West Approach Bridge South to carry eastbound traffic from Montlake to the floating bridge… New transit/HOV ramps to and from the Montlake lid… WSDOT will visit Montlake Tuesday night for an open house before construction begins later this year on the first phase of the “Rest of the West” final portion of the 520 replacement project.

“SR 520 staff and partner agencies will be available during the open house to discuss what’s coming up and answer your questions,” WDOT promises. Continue reading

Celebrate trails, trees, and the next big phase of 520 work at Arboretum Loop grand opening

Central Seattle now has its very own Green Lake. With the lake’s running, walking, and rolling trail serving as a busy superhighway of human locomotion in a lovely Seattle setting, the Washington Park Arboretum’s new 1.2-mile Arboretum Loop Trail is ready to serve a similar purpose winding through the wooded wetlands along Lake Washington. You can celebrate its grand opening Sunday:

Arboretum Loop Trail Grand Opening

Built with $7.8 million in 520 construction mitigation funds from WSDOT, the rambling park and botanic collection now features a 12-foot-wide paved path for walkers, wheelchairs, slow bikes, and strollers. The “slow” in “slow bikes” is operable — the path is to improve access to the plant collection and was designed with curves undesirable for speedy bike commuters. Continue reading

520 Trail: Capitol Hill Eastside commuters can now walk, skate, and bike to work

Good news Capitol Hill commuters headed to the Eastside: You can get to work without a car or a bus. Wednesday, the SR 520 Trail finally opened to pedestrians and cyclists and everything in between along the northside rail of the Lake Washington floating bridge:

The full length of the State Route 520 bicycle and pedestrian trail across Lake Washington is now open. Part of the West Approach Bridge North Project that built new westbound SR 520 lanes and off-ramps, the new 14-foot-wide trail is the final piece that connects about a dozen miles of trail along SR 520 between Redmond and the Montlake neighborhood in Seattle. The new path connects users to over 60 miles of regional trails.

Officials expect around 1,000 people a day to use the path. We’ll know for sure. Federal grants paid for a new bicycle and pedestrian counter at the trailhead in Montlake. “The counter will track bicyclist and pedestrian use in the 520 corridor, allowing WSDOT to better support these communities,” the agency said.

Wednesday’s grand opening gave the counter plenty of work to do.

Continue reading

Montlake Community Club raising funds for appeal in legal fight to save neighborhood market

Neighbors in Montlake are putting more community money into the legal fight to save a neighborhood market. The Montlake Community Club has announced it will pony up another $29,000 to launch an appeal after a September ruling against a lawsuit seeking to save the Montlake Boulevard Market and gas station from condemnation to make way for construction of an expanded 520 through the neighborhood.

“The MCC and our attorney, Dave Bricklin, argued that WSDOT did not consider the environmental impacts associated with closing the Montlake Market,” the club’s update on the lawsuit reads. “By intervening in the case, the MCC hoped to strengthen the argument for saving the market and force WSDOT to consider alternatives.”

A King County Superior Court judge ruled against the lawsuit in September, according to the club. The community club expects the appeal to be heard in January. Continue reading