McGraw St Bridge Seismic Project

Updated: January 3, 2024

What's happening now?

We will begin construction on the seismic retrofits to McGraw St Bridge as soon as January 18, 2024! These improvements will help reinforce the bridge to better withstand earthquakes. We anticipate that construction will last approximately 8 months. Construction schedules are subject to change and depend on factors such as weather and availability of crews and materials. 

To complete the work as safely and efficiently as possible, the bridge will be closed to people walking, biking, rolling, and driving for the duration of construction. We understand this closure will impact everyone who uses the bridge regularly and we will do what we can to minimize impacts. The map below shows our planned detour route:

Planned detour route around McGraw St. Bridge will go down 2nd Ave N, Boston St, and up Nob Hill Ave N.
To stay up to date with the latest project information and receive construction updates, sign up to join the project listserv.

Project Overview

Earthquakes could have a major impact on Seattle's bridges. To address this risk, the City of Seattle established a bridge seismic program to assess how vulnerable the City's bridges were to earthquakes, and reinforce bridges to better withstand the potential impacts of an earthquake.  

As part of the Levy to Move Seattle, 16 bridges were selected for seismic reinforcement, including the McGraw St Bridge. The McGraw St Bridge is located in the Queen Anne neighborhood, between 2nd Ave N and Nob Hill Ave N. It is an older bridge constructed in 1936 and does not meet current seismic design standards for bridges. The bridge spans the Wolf Creek Ravine Natural Area, and it is used by people driving, biking, walking, and rolling.  

We won’t change the current use and operation of the bridge. The seismic retrofits will include several modifications to the existing bridge components and make the bridge less vulnerable in the event of an earthquake. Modifications include: 

  • Installing carbon fiber wrapping to strengthen the bridge's crossbeams, columns, and arches
  • Strengthening the existing arch with a concrete infill wall
  • Installing concrete blocks and supportive shells for the bridge's columns and crossbeams
  • Repairing cracks and damaged concrete
  • Replacing the expansion joints at both ends of the bridge 

Project Map

Click on map to explore it as an accessible PDF.

Photo of the existing McGraw St Bridge with a person wearing a bright reflective jacket running on the bridge.

Photo of the existing McGraw St Bridge. 

What to expect during construction 

To complete the work as safely and efficiently as possible, the bridge will be closed to people walking, biking, rolling, and driving for the duration of construction. We understand this closure will impact everyone who uses the bridge regularly and will do what we can to minimize impacts. Once construction begins, we will continue to share information on our webpage and through regular email updates. You can sign up online to receive email updates. 

The map below shows our planned detour route:

We currently anticipate the following construction impacts:

  • A full closure of the bridge during construction, with detours for people walking, biking, rolling, and driving
  • Noise, dust, vibrations, and construction equipment staged on the bridge and within the work area
  • Temporary on-street parking restrictions, with "no park" signs placed 72 hours in advance
  • Typical weekday work hours of 7 AM - 5 PM, Monday through Friday 

Schedule

  30% Design   Complete
  60% Design   Complete
  90% Design   Complete
  Construction begins   Early 2024

The schedule is subject to change. Once construction begins in January 2024, it is scheduled to last approximately 8 months. Construction schedules are also subject to change and depend on factors such as weather and availability of crews and materials. 

Funding

The total project estimate is $7.5 million and is funded through the Levy to Move Seattle. Approved by voters in 2015, the 9-year, $930 million Levy to Move Seattle provides funding to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options for a growing city.

Get involved

We're committed to keeping you informed and working with neighbors to limit construction impacts to the extent feasible. Here are some more ways to get information about the project:

Materials

Translation and interpretation 

If you need this information translated, please call (206) 775-8734.

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Transportation

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
684-Road@seattle.gov

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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.