Feasibility Study Consultant Team Awarded!

Feasibility Study Consultant Team Awarded

Last week the Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) selected a consultant team for the I-5 lid feasibility study.

This is a momentous occasion in Seattle history.

A half-century of freeway noise and pollution, enormous urban growth, shrinking public land supply, and years of community work by the Lid I-5 Steering Committee and our partners have led to this point. We are closer than ever before to unlocking the critical engineering and economic data we need to advance the campaign to reconnect Seattle’s central neighborhoods. This is an important step towards achieving the grand vision.

The consultant team is led by WSP, a global engineering firm with an extensive portfolio of bridge, tunnel, and highway work. WSP has an office in Seattle with local experience, and the company has advised on several freeway lid efforts nationwide. They have teamed up with a number of firms who are providing subject matter expertise:

  • OJB Landscape Architecture (designers of Dallas’ highly successful Klyde Warren Park)
  • HR&A Advisors (economics, with work on several freeway lid projects)
  • Magnusson Klemencic Associates (engineering)
  • BergerABAM (engineering)
  • Framework (urban design)
  • Enviroissues (public outreach)
  • Shiels Obletz Johnsen (real estate project management)
  • Rule Seven (marketing)

The consultants are charged with studying the feasibility of lidding the area between Denny Way and Madison Street. This is a 15-acre opportunity for the parks, affordable housing, and civic centers that dense neighborhoods need. The team has experience in freeway lidding projects, including in Dallas, Philadelphia, and Glendale, CA.

The study is funded by a $1.5 million public benefits contribution from the Washington State Convention Center. Lid I-5 joined the Community Package Coalition for advocacy and negotiations in 2017 and 2018. The Convention Center, which itself spans over the freeway, recognizes the benefits of mitigating I-5 and improving urban livability. The funding was recommended by the Seattle Design Commission and approved by the Seattle City Council.

The study is projected to take a year to complete. Throughout, a new Feasibility Study Committee (FSC) will meet to review the scope of work, advise on progress, and liaison to their communities. Members include affordable housing, parks, environment, real estate, and transportation stakeholders. Three Lid I-5 representatives (Liz Dunn, John Feit, and Scott Bonjukian) have accepted invitations to serve and will provide an important oversight role as the project catalysts.

The FSC first meets on Tuesday, March 26, 3:00 PM – 5:00 at the Seattle City Hall Bertha Knight Landes Room. The public is welcome to attend and observe the proceedings.

Track progress on the study via our newsletter, the Lid I-5 website, and the official OPCD feasibility study webpage.

Sold Out: March 9 Walking Tour

Our March 9 walking tour of the feasibility study area is filled up, but you can still register for the wait list. Click here to see the full details.

Due to the popularity of this event, we may host similar tours later this year – stay tuned!

Freeway Histories and Futures Panel

Lid I-5 will join a panel discussion on the past and possibilities of urban freeways, hosted by Friends of Waterfront Seattle. The event is Thursday, March 21 at Waterfront Space, 1400 Western Avenue. Doors open at 5:30 PM and the program begins at 6:00. RSVP online here.