Exciting Progress: Lidding I-5 is Technically Feasible

Feasibility Study Update


At the feasibility meeting on August 22, we heard good news: It’s technically (structurally) feasible to span I-5 and build lids to support a variety of uses, from parks to large buildings. This is still a draft stage of the analysis based on planning assumptions, but this is an important finding that affirms the work of the Lid I-5 campaign. Check out the August presentation here (PDF).

At the next meeting this fall, we’ll learn more about the economics. The study will be complete by spring 2020.

Participants at the August lid study meeting.

Our Volunteer Work

In the meantime, the Lid I-5 team continues to volunteer hundreds of hours on strategic priorities and determining our next steps. Our work includes:

  • In August, we had a productive meeting with WSDOT Secretary Roger Millar and top staff to affirm lidding I-5 is a great idea and needs additional analysis.
  • We are meeting with multiple state legislators, from Seattle and beyond, to explore I-5 planning and funding opportunities in the 2020 session.
  • We have been meeting with top King County staff to discuss how lids may connect the ongoing master plans for the County Civic Campus, Harborview Medical Center, and Yesler Terrace.
  • We have been engaging people running for Seattle City Council to share the campaign’s mission, vision, and values.
  • Through the summer we hosted multiple public events including walking tours, an open house, and a film screening.
  • We are close to publishing two booklets: One summarizing the 2018 Design Collaborative, and another highlighting great freeway lids across the nation.

Feeling inspired by the work of Lid I-5? You can always help us go further by becoming a monthly donor today! Your donation supports the campaign’s volunteer work and expenses like equipment, materials, and meetings.

Tuesday: Freeway Park Improvements

Did you know? Lid I-5 was part of the coalition which secured $10 million for improving Freeway Park! Planning for capital improvements at Seattle’s first freeway lid is now underway, and your voice matters. Join Seattle Parks and Recreation and consultant firm Walker Macy tomorrow evening in the park. They’ll have a table in Seneca Plaza from 4:30 PM to 6:30, alongside the Brews & Tunes event with live music and a beer garden. Learn more about the project and share your ideas!

Also, on October 28, plan to join Freeway Park Association and Seattle Parks at the project’s first major public event at Town Hall. The event includes presentations from a number of renowned public space and landscape experts from across the nation.

More details below, and check out the project website.

Design Festival Recap

We were delighted to host over 60 community members at two events in collaboration with Seattle Design Festival. Check out photos from our walking tour of the Center City lid study area, and a screening of Minda Martin’s “Ramps to Nowhere”, a documentary of the 1960s-70s Seattle Freeway Revolt. Without the work at the activists remembered by Seattle ARCH, our city would have even more polluting and destructive freeways than it does today.

August 17 walking tour (photo courtesy of Ray Dubicki).
August 17 screening of Minda Martin’s “Ramps to Nowhere.”

As always, learn more at our website, www.lidi5.org, and social media channels.

Best regards,
Lid I-5 Steering Committee

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