List of bridges in Seattle

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 A freeway with a smaller bridge next to it spanning a waterway to a wooded but still urbanized hillside with a city's skyline in the distance
Bridges crossing over waterways towards downtown Seattle

The city of Seattle has multiple bridges that are significant due to their function, historical status, or engineering. Bridges are needed to cross the city's waterways and hilly topography.[1] Twelve bridges have been granted historical status by the city, federal government, or both. Seattle also has some of the only permanent floating pontoon bridges in the world.[2]

Lake Washington and Puget Sound are to the east and west of the city, respectively. They connect via a series of canals and Lake Union that are collectively known as the Lake Washington Ship Canal.[3] The four double-leaf bascule bridges crossing the Ship Canal are the oldest in the city, having opened between 1917 and 1930. The easternmost—the Montlake and University bridges—connect neighborhoods south of the canal to the University District. The Fremont Bridge crosses the center of the canal and is one of the most often raised drawbridges in the world due to its clearance over the water of only 30 feet (9.1 m).[4] The westernmost crossing of the ship canal is the Ballard Bridge.[5]

The floating bridges carry Interstate 90 and State Route 520 across Lake Washington to the Eastside suburbs.[6] The SR 520 Albert D. Rosellini Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, which opened in 2016 as the replacement for another floating bridge at the same site,[7][8] is the longest floating bridge in the world.[9][10] The Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge had previously been replaced after the original span sunk in 1990 when water filled an open maintenance hatch during refurbishing. Age and the 2001 Nisqually earthquake have damaged several other spans. The risk of future earthquakes has increased the need to replace already deteriorated bridges in the city, such as the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the Magnolia Bridge.[11][12]

The neighborhoods that make up West Seattle are on a peninsula separated from downtown by the Duwamish River. The West Seattle Bridge is the primary roadway crossing the river.[13] The neighborhood's Spokane Street Bridge is the world's first and only hydraulically operated concrete double-leaf swing bridge.[14]

List of bridges[edit]

Key: Year opened
*: Listed in the National Register of Historic Places[15]
†: Listed as a city landmark[16]
(Alternative names in parenthesis)
Image Year opened Type Length Spans Carries Coordinates
Alaskan Way Viaduct The Alaskan Way Viaduct 1953[17] Viaduct 5,280 ft (1600 m)[18] Alaskan Way State Route 99 47°36′14″N 122°20′18″W / 47.603986°N 122.338246°W / 47.603986; -122.338246
Arboretum Sewer Trestle Reinforces concrete piers and arches supporting a walkway 1913 (circa)*†[18] Arch 180 ft (55 m)[18] Lake Washington Boulevard E Sewer and a foot path 47°38′22″N 122°17′50″W / 47.63952°N 122.29724°W / 47.63952; -122.29724
Ballard Bridge
(15th Avenue Bridge)
An aging concrete and steel bridge crossing calm waters on a sunny day 1917*[19] Bascule 2,854 ft (870 m)[20] Salmon Bay 15th Avenue NW 47°39′35″N 122°22′34″W / 47.65980°N 122.37622°W / 47.65980; -122.37622
Cowen Park Bridge An art deco styled concrete bridge over a wooded ravine 1936*†[21] Arch 358 ft (109 m)[21] A ravine in Cowen Park 15th Avenue NE 47°40′24″N 122°18′42″W / 47.67338°N 122.31178°W / 47.67338; -122.31178
First Avenue South Bridge  A bridge crossing a river in an industrial area 1956[a] Bascule 300 ft (91 m)[23] Duwamish River State Route 99 47°32′32″N 122°20′04″W / 47.54231°N 122.33443°W / 47.54231; -122.33443
Fremont Bridge A low and blue colored bridge spanning crossing a canal 1917*†[b] Bascule 242 ft (74 m)[25] Fremont Cut Road connecting Fremont Avenue N and 4th Avenue N 47°38′51″N 122°20′59″W / 47.64750°N 122.34967°W / 47.64750; -122.34967
George Washington Memorial Bridge
(Aurora Bridge)[c]
A high steel bridge 1932*†[23] Cantilever and truss 2,945 ft (898 m)[26] Lake Union State Route 99 47°34′16″N 122°21′13″W / 47.57112°N 122.35366°W / 47.57112; -122.35366
Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge
(Third Lake Washington Bridge)
An interstate highway crossing a lake on a floating bridge 1989[23] Floating pontoon 5,811 ft (1,771 m)[23] Lake Washington Interstate 90 47°35′23″N 122°16′10″W / 47.58984°N 122.26942°W / 47.58984; -122.26942
Jeanette Williams Memorial Bridge
(West Seattle Bridge)[d]
An arching concrete bridge near a port 1984[28] Cantilever 2,607 ft (705 m)[27] Duwamish River Road connecting Fauntleroy Way SW and the Spokane Street Viaduct 47°34′15″N 122°21′01″W / 47.57094°N 122.35033°W / 47.57094; -122.35033
Jose Rizal Bridge
(12th Avenue South Bridge)[e]
A steel bridge over a roadway 1911*[30] Truss arch 420 ft (130 m)[30] S Dearborn Street and Interstate 90 12th Avenue S and Interstate 90 47°35′45″N 122°19′02″W / 47.59584°N 122.31728°W / 47.59584; -122.31728
Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge al=The support structures of a bridge before it continues to a section floating on water 1993[f] Floating pontoon 6,620 ft (2,020 m)[23] Lake Washington Interstate 90 47°35′24″N 122°16′13″W / 47.58988°N 122.27031°W / 47.58988; -122.27031
Magnolia Bridge A bridge spanning between residential neighborhoods through an industrial district 1930[12] Truss 3,600 ft (1097 m)[31] Filled-in tidelands of Smith Cove W Garfield Street 47°38′00″N 122°22′57″W / 47.63344°N 122.38255°W / 47.63344; -122.38255
Montlake Bridge A bridge with Collegiate Gothic style towers over a canal at sunset 1925*†[32] Bascule 344 ft (105 m)[32] Lake Washington Ship Canal State Route 513 47°38′50″N 122°18′17″W / 47.6473°N 122.30468°W / 47.6473; -122.30468
North Queen Anne Drive Bridge A steel bridge surrounded by trees 1936†[33] Arch 238 ft (73 m)[33] Wolf Creek N Queen Anne Drive 47°38′31″N 122°21′09″W / 47.64206°N 122.35238°W / 47.64206; -122.35238
Salmon Bay Bridge A bridge supported by trusses with a section of it raised 1914†[34] Bascule and truss 200 ft (61 m)[35] Salmon Bay BNSF Railway 47°40′00″N 122°24′08″W / 47.66680°N 122.40213°W / 47.66680; -122.40213
Ship Canal Bridge A steel bridge with two decks crossing high above a body of water 1962[36] Truss 4,429 ft (1,350 m)[37] Portage Bay Interstate 5 47°39′11″N 122°19′21″W / 47.65309°N 122.32252°W / 47.65309; -122.32252
Schmitz Park Bridge The bridge name ("Schmitz Park Bridge") and year ("1936") completed engraved on in concrete 1936*†[38] Rigid frame 175 ft (53 m)[14] A ravine in Schmitz Park SW Admiral Way 47°34′38″N 122°24′11″W / 47.57731°N 122.40310°W / 47.57731; -122.40310
Spokane Street Bridge A concrete portion of a bridge being swung over water 1991[20] Swing 480 ft (150 m)[20] Duwamish River SW Spokane Street 47°34′17″N 122°21′12″W / 47.57138°N 122.35336°W / 47.57138; -122.35336
SR 520 Albert D. Rosellini Evergreen Point Floating Bridge
(Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, 520 Bridge)[g]
A long floating bridge crossing a lake in a suburban area 2016[7] Floating pontoon 7,708 ft (2,350 m)[10] Lake Washington State Route 520 47°38′26″N 122°15′37″W / 47.64051°N 122.26019°W / 47.64051; -122.26019
20th Avenue NE Bridge
(Ravenna Park Bridge)
A steel bridge arching over a ravine 1913*†[40] Arch 354 ft (108 m)[14] A ravine in Ravenna Park 20th Avenue NE (pedestrian access only) 47°40′19″N 122°18′23″W / 47.67189°N 122.30632°W / 47.67189; -122.30632
University Bridge A concrete and steel bridge crossing over a body of water 1919*[h] Bascule 218 ft (66 m)[25] Portage Bay Eastlake Avenue NE 47°39′11″N 122°19′12″W / 47.65309°N 122.32010°W / 47.65309; -122.32010
Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A parallel span was built in 1996; the approaches to the original span were partially demolished and the structure was retrofitted between 1996 and 1998.[22]
  2. ^ The city rebuilt the approaches at each end of the bridge between 2006 and 2007.[24]
  3. ^ Commonly known as the "Aurora Bridge" but the structure was named after George Washington.[26]
  4. ^ Known as the "West Seattle Bridge" but the span was renamed for a city council member in 2009.[27]
  5. ^ Known as the "12th Avenue South Bridge" but named in honor of José Rizal.[29]
  6. ^ All but the approaches replace the original bridge, which opened in 1940 and sank in 1990.[23]
  7. ^ Replaced a 1963 bridge at the same site. The original bridge was initially called the "Evergreen Point Floating Bridge" but renamed in honor of Albert Rosellini.[39]
  8. ^ Remodeled and dedicated in 1933.[20]


  1. ^ Petroski, Henry (2003). "Floating Bridges" (PDF). American Scientific. 91: 302–306. 
  2. ^ Gutierres, Scott (February 29, 2012). "Washington: Floating Bridge Capitol of the World". Seattle Post Intelligencer. Retrieved January 4, 2015. 
  3. ^ Insiders' Guide to Seattle. Insiders Guides. 2010. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7627-5544-8. 
  4. ^ Posada, Janice (August 21, 1995). "The People Who Operate Seattle's Movable Bridges Can Attest to the Ups and Downs of Solitary Work Tender Times". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 
  5. ^ Ohlsen, Becky (2008). Seattle. Lonely Planet. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-74059-834-7. 
  6. ^ Petroski, Henry (2005). Pushing the Limits: New Adventures in Engineering. Knopf. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-4000-4051-3. 
  7. ^ a b Lindblom, Mike (January 12, 2016). "New 520 bridge to open in April; walkers, bicyclists get to try it first". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Traffic switch from old SR 520 floating bridge to new bridge" (PDF). Washington State Department of Transportation. January 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 17, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2016. 
  9. ^ Gaudette, Karen (April 26, 2005). "DOT on 520 project: "The Sooner the Better"". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 22, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Longest bridge, floating bridge". Guinness World Records. Retrieved April 17, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct begins". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. February 18, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Cunningham, Jeffrey (November 25, 2014). "Magnolia's Bridges". Queen Anne & Magnolia News. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  13. ^ Southwest Seattle Historical Society, Log House Museum (2010). Images of America West Seattle. Arcadia Publishing. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-7385-8133-0. 
  14. ^ a b c Holstine, Craig; Hobbs, Richard (2005). Spanning Washington: Historic Highway Bridges of the Evergreen State. Washington State University Press. ISBN 978-0-87422-281-4. 
  15. ^ National Register of Historic Places; Annual Listing of Historic Properties (Part II) (PDF). National Park Service. March 1, 1983. p. 8669. 
  16. ^ "Landmarks and Designation". City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Retrieved February 28, 2011. 
  17. ^ WSDOT Projects: Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement
  18. ^ a b c Landmark Preservation Board (April 1, 1975). "Seattle Historic Building Data Sheet" (PDF). City of Seattle. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 20, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  19. ^ Dorpat, Paul (August 12, 2001). "A Bridge Loses Track". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on February 17, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  20. ^ a b c d "Bridges and Roadway Structures". City of Seattle Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  21. ^ a b Blecha, Peter (January 23, 2011). "Ravenna Park (Seattle)". Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  22. ^ "1st Avenue S. Bridge". Washington State Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2008. World Almanac Books. 2008. pp. 737–739. ISBN 978-1-60057-072-8. 
  24. ^ Gilore, Susan (May 22, 2006). "Project Will Keep Bus Traffic off Bridge in Fremont". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 22, 2011. 
  25. ^ a b Shellin Atly, Elizabeth (January 2, 1980). "Nomination Form" (PDF). City of Seattle; Department of Community Development/Office of Urban Conservation. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 24, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  26. ^ a b Gilore, Susan (July 15, 2008). "3 Designs Released for Fence on Aurora Bridge". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 22, 2010. 
  27. ^ a b "West Seattle Bridge Honors Jeanette Williams". West Seattle Herald. October 30, 2009. 
  28. ^ "The Northwest Today". The Register-Guard. July 8, 1984. p. 5A. 
  29. ^ Long, Priscilla (December 23, 2007). "Seattle's 12th Avenue South (Dearborn Street) Bridge Is Built in 1911". Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History. 
  30. ^ a b "View From on High". City of Seattle Department of Transportation. August 24, 2010. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Magnolia Bridge Site Recommended". The Daily Journal of Commerce. February 9, 2006. Archived from the original on March 30, 2006. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  32. ^ a b Gelula, Melisse (2002). Fodor's Cityguide Seattle. Fodor's Travel Publications. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-676-90194-8. 
  33. ^ Shellin Atly, Elizabeth (January 2, 1980). "Nomination Form" (PDF). City of Seattle; Department if Community Development/Office of Urban Conservation. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 24, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  34. ^ The Encyclopedia Americana: A Library of Universal Knowledge, Volume 4. Encyclopedia Americana Corporation. 1918. p. 504. ISBN 978-1-2763-9784-1. 
  35. ^ "Final List of Nationally and Exceptionally Significant Features of the Federal Interstate Highway System". Federal Highway Administration, USDOT. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  36. ^ Dorpat, Paul; McCoy, Genevieve (1998). Building Washington: A History of Washington State Public Works. Tartu Publications. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-9614357-9-0. 
  37. ^ Long, Priscilla (December 23, 2007). "Schmitz Park Bridge in West Seattle Is Completed in December 1936". Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History. Retrieved December 19, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Weekly Roundup of Facts, Figures and Forecasts". The Seattle Times. August 25, 2004. Retrieved July 11, 2011. 
  39. ^ Long, Priscilla (January 23, 2008). "Seattle's Ravenna Park Bridge Is Constructed in 1913". Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History. Retrieved November 28, 2011.