Construction starting soon on 15th Ave and Ballard Bridge

Get ready for bridge closures and construction on and around the Ballard Bridge starting in July: Work is beginning next month on the paving and safety upgrades in the area.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) says work could start as early as July 8 on the 15th Ave W/NW and Ballard Bridge Paving & Safety Project. The project will include paving the roadway, add bus lanes, add a traffic signal, and make it safer for walking and biking on and around the Ballard Bridge.

The project also includes maintenance on the Ballard Bridge. SDOT says there will be overnight southbound closures and lane reductions to complete maintenance and paving on the bridge. These will take place on certain weeknights starting as early as July 8.

SDOT says to expect bridge closures in early fall to replace aging bridge parts and complete other work.

Improvements on 15th Ave W/NW and the Ballard Bridge will include (from SDOT):

  • Paving 15th Ave W/NW from W Emerson St to NW 57th St, including the Ballard Bridge (excluding the movable section), to smooth trips for bus riders, freight, and drivers.
  • Maintenance on the 107-year-old Ballard Bridge, including replacing old expansion joints to keep the bridge strong and resilient against movement, temperature changes, and extreme weather conditions.
  • New red “bus only” lanes on parts of 15th Ave NW between NW Market St and the Leary Way Bridge to speed up RapidRide D bus trips during peak commute hours.
  • A new bike and pedestrian signal and crosswalk at NW 51st St to improve access and safety for people walking, rolling, and biking to Ballard businesses, attractions, and bus stops.
  • A new landscaped median on 15th Ave NW between NW 50th St and NW 54th St to calm traffic speeds and enhance travel safety.
  • Sidewalk upgrades and replacement of curb ramps meeting ADA accessibility standards.

Work is expected to start on July 8 and continue through 2025.

SDOT says to expect the following temporary construction effects:

  • Lane and street closures
  • Detours for vehicles and buses
  • Ssidewalk detours and closures
  • Relocated bus stops
  • Changes to on-street parking
  • Noise, dust, and vibrations during work hours
  • Parking impacts near work sites
  • Occasional night and weekend work
A map graphic showing the project area and key features to be completed as part of the work. The graphic includes the Ballard Bridge and 15th Ave NW, and shows upgrades such as new paving, new red markings for bus lanes, new landscaped median, and other elements.
Map of the project area and key improvements. Graphic: SDOT

Ballard Bridge overnight southbound closures

SDOT will temporarily close the southbound lanes on the Ballard Bridge overnight (Mondays through Thursdays after 10 p.m.) and reduce northbound travel to a single lane overnight as early as July 8.

Lane reductions may start as early as 7 p.m., and southbound lanes will be entirely closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday for about six to eight weeks. SDOT plans to reroute drivers to Aurora Ave N and the Fremont Bridge.

SDOT says they’ll keep one side of the Ballard Bridge’s path open to walkers and bikers, but access locations are subject to change.

Ballard Bridge full weekend closures

This September and October, the Ballard Bridge will be fully closed to traffic on select weekends for maintenances on the 107-year-old bridge.

SDOT says the potential weekend closures are the following (subject to change):

  • Friday evening, September 6, 2024, through Monday morning, September 9, 2024
  • Friday evening, September 13, 2024, through Monday morning, September 16, 2024
  • Friday evening, September 27, 2024, through Monday morning, September 30, 2024
  • Friday evening, October 4, 2024, through Monday morning, October 7, 2024
  • Friday evening, October 11, 2024, through Monday morning, October 14, 2024

Featured image: Rendering of the improved street at 15th Ave NW and NW 51st St upon project completion. Graphic: SDOT