See the Montlake Lid Being Built + Other News

Construction Begins on the Montlake Lid!

Over the past few weeks, an amazing transformation has been underway in Northeast Seattle. The skeleton of the Montlake Lid, forming before our eyes, will provide the foundation for a three-acre new park and transit hub. Check out our website for photos and video of what’s happening.

Montlake Lid under construction (image by Lid I-5)

The Montlake Lid shows the basics of how we will lid the Interstate 5 lanes between Downtown and First Hill & Capitol Hill It’s not much more than thick walls and hefty girders. Over the coming months, crews will pour a concrete deck over the girders, and in early 2022 we’ll start to see soil, trees, and grass form a new space for people. The lid will also host bus stops and help regional buses quickly merge on and off State Route 520. Further to the east, a swooping land bridge will improve walking and cycling connections.

Interestingly, before the park is built, Mountlake Boulevard will be temporarily rerouted onto the lid structure so that the street overpass can be rebuilt in place. This is a smart strategy to minimize travel impacts. Could the same method be used to replace old overpasses in Central Seattle while I-5 lids are built? We think it’s definitely worth exploring.

Montlake Lid Board June 2016
Concept plan for the Montlake lid, land bridge, and other nearby improvements. (Washington State Department of Transportation)

The Montlake Lid is part of a larger rebuild of State Route 520. Previous phases included three lids east of Lake Washington and a new floating bridge. The Montlake portion of the project is expected to be completed in 2024. The final phase, connecting to Interstate 5, is planned to be built 2023-29 and will include an additional lid in the Roanoke neighborhood. See the WSDOT project website for details.

Pike-Pine Renaissance Moves Forward

The Seattle Department of Transportation has issued final environmental documents for the Pike-Pine Renaissance project. View project plans at the Waterfront Seattle website. This project will greatly improve the experience of traveling over I-5 in the Downtown core.

The Project will make Pike and Pine Streets a one-way arterial couplet from 1st Avenue to Bellevue Avenue, with Pike Street being one-way eastbound and Pine Street being one-way westbound. The project will also add and shift protected bike lanes, widen and reconstruct portions of the sidewalk, upgrade traffic signals and lighting fixtures, plant a continuous tree canopy, and install street furniture and public art.

The design phase of the project is 30 percent complete. Construction is expected to start in 2022 and finish in 2023.

Pages from 2020_0507_SeattleDesignCommission_ PikePine30Presentation
The soon-to-be refreshed Pike Street overpass, looking east up to Capitol Hill. I-5 is at left below the bridge. (City of Seattle)

Gratitude for #GivingTuesday Support

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who donated to Lid I-5 in December. We raised more than $800! Even though we’re a grassroots, volunteer-led organization, we depend on your donations to maintain basic administration and outreach (i.e. website, publication of case studies, assistance with feasibility research, community events, etc.)

In addition, we want to give a shout-out to our ongoing monthly donors, who help provide a predictable and sustainable funding source for Lid I-5’s research, technical analysis, advocacy, and outreach efforts. Thank you for your continuing support.

Haven’t donated to Lid I-5 yet? Or want to chip in $5 or $10 a month to keep us going? It’s never too late and you can start today! Click here to see your donation options.

The Lid I-5 campaign is all about people and bringing together our community.

State of Downtown (A Look Back at 2020)

The Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) hosted its annual event virtually last week and invited a cross-section of leaders working in government, business, and the arts  to discuss how our city has fared through a challenging year and what they see ahead. Though the pandemic reversed a years-long trend of strong growth in the heart of our city, and many businesses have either permanently closed or are hanging on, the discussion left us feeling optimistic for brighter days ahead.

Watch a recording of the event, download the State of Downtown report, and do what you can to support our great city! Many of our small, local businesses need you now more than ever. If you are able to do so, we encourage you to visit Downtown and check out progress on the Waterfront project and the Convention Center expansion, and visit the shops and cafes that are open (following all safety protocols, of course). We all can play a part in making sure we bounce back into a more resilient, compassionate, and visionary city than before.