Sound Transit, WSDOT, UW celebrate new connections to campus

Jul 22, 2015

New bike/pedestrian bridge connects light rail station to UW, Burke-Gilman trail

Representatives from Sound Transit, the Washington State Department of Transportation and the University of Washington today opened the latest piece of major bike and pedestrian improvements at the busy “Montlake Triangle” area of the UW campus in Seattle. 

Dignitaries cut the ribbon on a new bike and pedestrian bridge over Montlake Boulevard that connects the University of Washington Station at Husky Stadium with the UW campus and popular Burke-Gilman trail. 

“The Montlake Triangle will soon become a regional crossroads for thousands of light rail riders every day,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. “With this new bridge, people on foot or on bikes can get directly to campus and the Burke-Gilman Trail without having to cross four lanes of heavy traffic.” 

The new bridge from the light rail station touches down on an improved “Montlake Triangle” area that features safer access to UW via a new land bridge and major upgrades to the regional Burke-Gilman trail, the future State Route 520 regional bicycle and pedestrian path, and faster bus access for transfers to and from the light rail station. 

“This project represents Washington’s multimodal transportation direction,” said WSDOT Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton. “It considers all the parts of the system and how they can best connect and work together to benefit all users.”

"This project has been on the UW's wish list since 2008, when we first commissioned a concept plan for the entire length of Rainier Vista, including a pedestrian bridge across Montlake," said UW Senior Vice President for Planning and Management Paul Jenny. "Rainier Vista is the centerpiece of the UW campus and this new bridge will help ensure it remains an iconic campus fixture for the generations that follow."

The $1.8 billion University Link light rail extension includes new stations at Capitol Hill and the University of Washington. The line is entirely underground and currently $150 million under budget and will open in the first quarter of 2016. A trip from UW to downtown will take 8 minutes bypassing some of the most congested traffic in the region.