The Northgate Bike and Pedestrian Bridge – which will connect the future Northgate Link light rail station and North Seattle College (NSC) – passed a major milestone as construction officially began at a groundbreaking ceremony this past February 5th.
For the last eight years, Feet First has spearheaded a coalition effort to build the Northgate Bridge, a coalition that includes our friends at Cascade Bicycle Club, Sierra Club, local greenways groups and community councils, and engaged residents. This coalition convinced local decisionmakers to dedicate funding to build the bridge, including contributions from Sound Transit, the City of Seattle, and Washington state. This coalition continued to monitor and engage with the project as it proceeded through the design and engineering phase.
The bridge will be a tremendous boon for the Northgate community. It will tie the two halves of north Seattle’s economic center together, creating economic, environmental, and health benefits for both communities. By linking NSC to the Northgate Link light rail station, the bridge will connect new students to educational and job training opportunities, and will bring new customers to businesses in the burgeoning Northgate Urban Center — for example NSC students who want to grab lunch or shop between classes. According to the City of Seattle, an estimated 7000 people will use the bridge every day and daily light rail transit boardings at the Northgate station will increase by 5%. Completion of the bridge is anticipated for Fall 2021.
Feet First’s work in support of the Northgate Bridge is part of a larger effort known as the Sound Access for All program. This program is aimed at ensuring that walking and rolling access to Sound Transit’s light rail system is safe, accessible, and inviting for people of all ages and abilities. We are currently involved in station-area planning for light rail throughout the region, including Judkins Park, Shoreline, North Seattle, Everett, West Seattle, and Ballard.