Northgate Ped/Bike Bridge – New Design

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has a new, completely-reworked design for the Northgate Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge (“The Northgate Bridge”).

They had the original design 30 percent complete in 2015. Concerns over the potential cost overruns were raised, and independent cost validations were performed. As the result, the original design was deemed too costly. A new project team was selected to start from the scratch in 2016. As of today, the new design of the Northgate Bridge is 30 percent complete.

SDOT presented this design to a group of civic stakeholders in a meeting on April 5.  The stakeholders included leaders from the Northgate and neighbouring communities, such as Greenwood, Lake City, Licton-Spring and Pinehurst. Notwithstanding the differing views and preferences on the details, the stakeholders liked the design. Here’s the SDOT presentation.

If you have any questions and/or feedback on the Northgate Bridge, please feel free to send it to, and we will be happy to relay it to the appropriate personnel at SDOT.


3 comments to Northgate Ped/Bike Bridge – New Design

  • Bryce Kolton

    Nice job improving on the first design of the bridge. I would put my priorities in shortening the overall span of the bridge. The kink increases travel time compared to a direct line from the station to 100th st near North Seattle’s campus. For a biker, travelling that extra kink isn’t too bad, but for pedestrians, it could add a lot of time to the crossing.

    Would it not be possible to make a more direct crossing at a small angle southwest from the light rail station to 100th st, cutting more directly through Barton Woods?

    Thank you!

  • Thanks for your comment, Bryce.

    I think the main issue with shortening the span of the bridge is the slope. The total span of the bridge was 2,100 feet (12 min travel time by foot) in the original design. SDOT has shrunk it to 1,580 feet (9 min). To keep the necessary clearance above the freeway, they’ve had to increase the slope of the bridge to 8.3 percent grade, which is the maximum allowed to be ADA-compliant.

    The kink is necessary to provide direct access to the station and the bridge for people who walk/bike on the multi-use path that will be built on the west side of 1st Ave NE. People who use the bridge to go to the station will not need to take it, since the hairpin part of the kink will have a direct entrance to the station.


  • Matthew Weatherford

    Thanks for posting this, Daigoro – good to see the latest plans for this. This is also a great example of a grass-roots/community coalition building interest in a project and requesting it as part of the station development. This bridge is only getting built because many nonprofits and communities in Seattle pushed hard for it. It wasn’t part of any sound transit or Seattle DOT’s plans. As Seattle grows, we need to remember that we have a say in what gets done. Its going to take some work, but don’t have to accept all the defaults.

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