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February 13, 2017
Next week WSDOT will advertise a $425 million design-build contract that includes the final link between Montlake and the new floating bridge that opened last year.
The contract is known as the Montlake Phase of the Rest of the West project, which connects the floating bridge to Interstate 5.
A large chunk of the Montlake Phase will involve replacing the old approach bridge near Union Bay with a new span that carries three lanes of eastbound traffic, including an HOV lane, to the floating bridge.
Just north of the old approach bridge, another new bridge is being built that will carry westbound traffic from the floating bridge to Montlake. General contractor Flatiron West should have that project finished by late summer or early fall.
The old approach bridge, dating to the early 1960s, will be demolished and the new south approach bridge built in its place. Traffic will run in both directions on the north approach bridge while construction is underway on the south approach bridge.
The south approach bridge will connect to the Lake Washington shoreline near 24th Avenue East.
Another big part of the contract will be extensive modifications to the interchanges between SR 520 and Montlake Boulevard, including a land bridge lid over SR 520 with view points, open space, covered gathering areas and a multimodal transit hub.
Here is what will be reconstructed: eastbound and westbound highway off-ramps to Montlake Boulevard, and eastbound and westbound highway on-ramps from Montlake.
Other modifications will be made to the 24th Avenue East interchange, including a new eastbound on-ramp and westbound off-ramp. That intersection will also be raised.
East of the 24th Avenue interchange, a new pedestrian crossing will be built over SR 520 to connect trails between Washington Park Arboretum and East Montlake Park.
There also will be improved path and trail connections at other locations, including a new shared-use tunnel under Montlake Boulevard that in the future will connect to the existing Bill Dawson Trail.
WSDOT plans to advertise the request for qualifications on Feb. 22, with responses due March 29. Short-listed firms would then develop proposals. WSDOT expects to issue a request for proposals on May 24.
A pre-bid meeting will be held March 2 at 2 p.m. at Seattle Central Library. For more information, see the notice in the Jan. 27 DJC.
WSDOT wants to start construction next year and wrap it up in 2022 or 2023.
The Montlake Phase is the first part of the Rest of the West project. The next phase includes a new Portage Bay Bridge, a lid at Roanoke and a new interchange to I-5.
The final phase will build a second bascule bridge over Montlake Cut.
HDR is WSDOT's lead consultant.
Last year, Julie Meredith of WSDOT and Larry Kyle of HDR wrote an article for a DJC special section that said all work in the corridor should be finished by 2029.
Benjamin Minnick can be reached by email or by phone at (206) 622-8272.