Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project

What's happening now?

Photo showing view looking down onto 5th Ave from Yesler Bridge

  • As soon as the week of October 21, we will begin painting the Yesler Way bridge. We will be painting the steel grinders under the bridge and the handrails on top of the bridge to help protect the structure for years to come. 
  • This work will last up to 6 weeks. To limit traffic impact, this work will happen at night. We appreciate your patience!
  • During construction, you can expect to hear noise from the pressure washers and pumps, workers communicating on-site, and backup alarms from vehicles. The contractor will do what they can to minimize noise as much as possible. You may also smell some fumes from the paint; however, they should be minimal and are safe.
  • Yesler Way and 5th Ave will remain open to traffic and buses; expect there to be traffic control, temporary lane closures and shifts, and pedestrian detours.

Project overview

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will be rehabilitating the Yesler Way Bridge, located at the intersection of Yesler Way and Terrace St over 4th Ave S, starting as soon as May 2016 and lasting through fall 2017.

Built in 1910, the bridge is one of the oldest permanent steel roadway bridges in the City of Seattle. SDOT will be rehabilitating the Yesler Way Bridge to improve safety and reliability while preserving the bridge's historical elements.

The Yesler Way Bridge is vital in connecting residents, commuters, workers and businesses in the surrounding area and neighborhoods. In addition to providing a major east/west arterial connection across I-5, the bridge displays unique and historic design elements which include decorative pedestrian railings, parabolic and circular features of the exterior "fascia" girders, and ornamental capitals and casings on the "fascia" girder columns, all of which will be preserved with the bridge rehabilitation.


Improvements to the bridge include:

  • Remove interior steel columns to form a single span superstructure
  • Rehabilitate east abutment wall and replace west abutment wall
  • Reconstruct the northwest staircase
  • Rehabilitate and preserve the key historic features of the bridge, which include:
    • North and south fascia girders, columns, cladding, capitals and corbels
    • North and south pedestrian railings
    • Decorative lighting on north fascia girder
  • Improve intersection design to reduce crosswalk distance, accommodate ADA and increase user safety
  • Provide curb ramps that meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards to the maximum extent feasible at crosswalk locations within the project limits


Before map


After map


Bridge design is complete. Construction will begin in spring 2016 and will last for approximately 14 to 16 months.

October 2014

60% design

April 2015

90% design

September 2015

Final design

Spring 2016

Begin construction

Fall 2017

Project complete


The project budget is approximately $19.8 million. Funding comes from the Bridging the Gap (BTG) transportation levy passed by voters in November 2006 and a grant from the Federal Highway Bridge Program.

Get Involved

SDOT is committed to engaging with the community and understanding their needs in the project area. We will continue sharing information with you leading up to and throughout construction.

Project Materials

Translated Materials

Project Fact Sheet

Construction Impacts

During construction, vehicle and transit detours will be in effect and a number of parking spaces will be removed because of several street closures and channelization changes.

Street and sidewalk closures during construction:

  • Yesler Way will be closed in both directions between 3rd Ave and midway between 5th Ave and 6th Ave
  • Terrace St will be closed to through traffic, open to local access
  • 4th Ave will have ongoing lane closures and occasional full nighttime and weekend closures
  • Sidewalks on either side of 4th Ave will have alternating closures

Read more below about what to expect during construction or check out the construction fact sheet.

Vehicle and sidewalk closures:

Vehicle and sidewalk closures

Vehicle and transit detours during construction:

  • Some transit routes may be affected during construction, including:
    • King County Metro routes: 27, 111, 114, 212, 214, 216, 217, 218, 219, 252, 257, 268, 304, 308, 311, 312, 355
    • Sound Transit routes: 510, 511, 512, 513, 554, 590, 594, 595
    • Community Transit routes: 402, 405, 410, 412, 413, 415, 416, 417, 421, 422, 424, 425, 435
  • Some bus stops will be temporarily relocated
  • Transit agencies will notify their riders as appropriate

Vehicle detour routes:

Vehicle detour routes

Transit detour routes:

Transit detour routes

Parking restrictions during construction:

  • There will be no parking:
    • In the construction area along Yesler Way between 3rd Ave and midway between 5th Ave and 6th Ave
    • Along Terrace St from the alley to Yesler Way
    • Beneath the bridge on 4th Ave
    • In the east curb lane of 5th Ave between Washington and Terrace Streets
    • On the west side of 6th Ave immediately south of Yesler Way
    • On the north side of Main St immediately west of 6th Ave

Parking impacts during construction:

Parking impacts during construction

Parking restrictions after construction (permanent):

  • Parking will no longer be allowed on the Yesler Way Bridge due to safety concerns
  • A few parking spaces will be removed on both Yesler Way and Terrace St immediately adjacent the bridge due to safety concerns
  • Parking will no longer be allowed on the east side of 4th Ave between S Washington and Jefferson Streets to improve transit reliability
  • Parking will no longer be allowed in the east curb lane of 5th Ave between S Washington and Terrace St to accommodate the contraflow lane that was installed in February 2016 to improve transit connectivity and travel times

Parking restrictions after construction (permanent)


Yesler Way Bridge Over 4th Ave S under construction in 1910

Yesler Way Bridge Over 4th Ave S under construction in 1910

Yesler Way Bridge Over 4th Ave S (1920)

Yesler Way Bridge Over 4th Ave S (1920)

Existing Yesler Way Bridge

Existing Yesler Way Bridge

Historic features on the Yesler Way Bridge

Historic features on the Yesler Way Bridge


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.