November 11, 2015
Seattle Department of Transportation held an open house last night about plans to replace the 65-year-old Fairview Trestle that runs beside the historic Lake Union Steam Plant building with a modern bridge. Construction of the new bridge is planned for spring 2017, and that’s when the detours would start.
SDOT had hoped to leave at least one lane open on the old bridge during construction, but that would have prolonged the project by at least six months, so they are opting for a quicker construction schedule of 15 to 18 months as opposed to 24. Quicker construction reduces costs and might be less inconvenient all around.
The most likely detour, said a SDOT representative, will be Aloha Street to Eastlake Avenune (but SDOT is also looking at Republican Street). If Aloha is chosen, the street will be resigned to allow for better traffic flow, signal priority and a left turn lane back onto Fairview south of construction site, where one is not currently allowed.
There is a stairway just north of Silver Could Inn that could be improved for pedestrian access, the SDOT official added.
The new bridge will exactly replace the old bridge in size, 65 feet wide, but will have wider car lanes and a two-way bicycle track, along with sidewalks on either side. To allow for the seeming expansions, the seven foot buffer lane is disappearing.
The floating walkway beside the bridge will also be removed and may be replaced if permitting allows. There are design plans for it.
The new bridge will have three lookout points and lots of new native plant vegetation and hardscaping (stones and pathways) on either end leading up to it.
It will be strong enough to hold a streetcar should the streetcar be extended to Eastlake and up Roosevelt, but that is not the reason for the trestle replacement. At 65 the trestle has outlived its useful life and is not earthquake sound.
For more information and to comment go to SDOT website.