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The West Sammamish River Bridge was constructed in the 1930s and is nearing the end of its engineered life. To ensure the long-term safety of our community, the City of Kenmore is replacing this structure.
This project will replace the existing southbound bridge across the Sammamish River and include the construction of new sidewalk and bike facilities on the west side of the road between NE 170th St and NE 175th St. The West Sammamish River Bridge Replacement Project will also include new signals at NE 170th St and NE 175th St, new streetlighting, utility undergrounding and new landscaping.
Construction started in March 2020 and will be completed in late 2022.
Current construction activity:
- Through fall 2021: The contractor will exercise their option to work on weekends (mostly Saturdays, but on some Sundays). This is necessary to:
- Keep the project on construction schedule.
- Prepare for construction during the 2021 July-August fish window (when work may occur 24/7).
- In-water work in July & August: Starting as early as July 1, crews are permitted to work around-the-clock to complete critical work related to the bridge replacement. The majority of the activities over the next two months will be in-water work, which is limited to a narrow period each year known as the “fish window,” identified as the time of year least likely to negatively impact fish and fish habitat. Through August 31, neighbors should expect:
- July 1 to August 31: In-water construction permitted 24/7.
- Loud noise, vibration, and impact hammer work during daylight hours.
- Noisy work will be mostly done during daylight hours, however, limited nighttime noisy work will also be required and will be within the City’s Noise Ordinance. Lighting will also be used during nighttime work.
- Intermittent closures of the waterway passage under the bridge for safety reasons (30 minutes or more during the day and up to 10 hours at night).
- If necessary, the waterway may be fully closed to ensure safety.
- Parking is limited at the Department of Fish and Wildlife boat launch. Additional parking is available in the right-of-way on NE 175th St, west of 68th Ave NE. See map here or posted at the boat launch.
- Water access: During in-water work, the Coast Guard requires that the contractor intermittently close waterway access for safety.
- Mariners may transit through the waterway construction zone but are advised that temporary work piers are currently in place, which has reduced clearances for both height and width.
- Waterway closures under the bridge may be restricted for 30 minutes or more at a time during the day and up to 10 hours at night.
- For more information on closures, please visit the US Coast Guard's Navigation Center.
- The west (southbound) bridge is closed to traffic as crews continue with demolition and replacement of the existing West Sammamish River Bridge. All traffic has shifted to the east bridge. For more information, read this mailer. What to expect:
- One lane open in each direction for 10 months on the existing east bridge. The new west bridge is expected to open to traffic in fall 2021.
- Increased traffic congestion and lengthy delays.
- Uniformed police officers at 68th Ave NE/NE 175th St and 68th Ave NE/NE 170th St intersections as needed to mitigate traffic congestion.
- Possible alteration of traffic signal timing/phasing at 68th Ave NE and NE 170th St intersection when needed.
- Construction continues under the category of “construction of critical or strategic infrastructure” in Governor Inslee’s proclamation.
- In response to the COVID-19 impacts on our community, City Hall remains closed to comply with the Public Health – Seattle & King County recommendations and the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order from the Governor’s office.
- The speed limit has been reduced to 25 MPH throughout the work zone for the safety of the public and construction team.
- This speed limit applies 24/7 in both directions.
- If you see vehicles speeding through the work zone, please contact the City of Kenmore Police Department’s non-emergency phone line at 206-296-3311.
- Additional speed limit signage has been posted.
- Traffic and pedestrian safety:
- Please drive safely and be aware of bicyclists sharing the roadway and construction crews nearby.
- New railing installation on the existing east bridge pedestrian path is complete.
- If you are using your bicycle to cross the bridge and do not feel comfortable sharing the roadway, please dismount and walk your bicycle across the bridge on the sidewalk.
- Pedestrian traffic has been shifted exclusively to the sidewalk on the east bridge.
- Kenmore Boat Launch access:
- The Kenmore Boat Launch is open during construction.
- Parking is available, but limited, at the boat launch. Additional parking is available in the right-of-way on NE 175th St, west of 68th Ave NE.
- Please be prepared for crowds, possible waits, and general changes to what you may be used to.
- Erosion control measures have been installed per permit requirements.
- Dirt and dust may be present.
- Upon the project’s completion, established trees will be planted.
- King County Metro will continue to provide service through the project work zone; however, bus stop locations may change due to construction activity. For more information about bus service, visit King County Metro’s website.
General construction activity overview:
- Construction is expected to last until fall 2022.
- Pedestrian access has been restricted to the east side of 68th Ave NE for most of the construction period. Cars will need to share the lane with bicyclists.
- Boat traffic underneath the bridge will temporarily be closed for 30-minute periods in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard during in-water work. During popular community events the City will continue to work with the U.S. Coast Guard to determine how to best accommodate access.
- Nighttime access under the bridge may be restricted for up to 10 hours at a time during the summer months (see "Why will it take three years to build the new bridge?" FAQ).
- During the months of July and August of 2021, 2022, and periodically at other times throughout the year, the parking stalls on the east side of the boat launch lot will be closed and used for construction. Trucks and trailers will need to park in the available right-of-way on NE 175th St, west of 68th Ave NE.
- The parking lot on the west side of 68th Ave NE will be used for construction. When parking is unavailable, vehicles and trailers will need to park in the available right-of-way on NE 175th St, west of 68th Ave NE.