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by HEATHER GRAF / KING 5 News Posted on April 10, 2014 at 11:07 PM
The next phase of the State Route 520 bridge project is headed to one of Seattle's busiest and most congested neighborhoods. Construction on the West Approach Bridge North, or WABN, is expected to start in late summer. That's not sitting well with people who live in Montlake.
The WABN is a three-lane, 1.2 mile-long structure, built to modern earthquake standards. It will connect westbound travelers from the new floating bridge to the Montlake area.
"The traffic is already very challenging here," said Peter DeLaunay. " So what's the benefit? What's the expected outcome of the project?"
He's a concerned resident who organized a community meeting held Tuesday night in Montlake. Neighbors invited representatives from the Washington State Department of Transportation to be there, to explain exactly what they should expect over the coming months and years.
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More than 100 neighbors from Laurelhurst, Madison Park, Montlake, North Capital Hill and Portage Bay/Roanoke heard WSDOT officials talk about construction of the 'West Approach Bridge North' (WABN) project that is expected to start in September, 2014. WSDOT has included mitigation for quiet pavement, pedestrian and cycling. WSDOT will meet with neighbors monthly during construction, plans a 24-hour construction hotline, and will work with neighborhoods to minimize impacts.
Neighbors welcomed Andrew Glass Hastings from Mayor Murray's office and 43rd District Representative Brady Walkinshaw, who attended to learn of neighborhood concerns and WSDOT/WABN construction plans.
WABN will include a new trail in the Arboretum, a new public park at the south UW campus, and a storm water treatment facility at the former Museum of History & Industry site. WSDOT promises ongoing community input, and says the interim design at Montlake does not preclude future decisions. (scroll to the end for WSDOT/WABN comments and diagrams)
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