Magnolia Bridge replacement costs far exceed city’s budget

By Meghan Walker at our sister site MyBallard

The 90-year-old bridge into Magnolia is nearing the end of its lifespan, and the cost replace it will likely require some federal funding.

In 2017, the Seattle Department of Transportation launched a study to look at viable replacements for the aging bridge, and distilled the options into four alternatives.

Alternative 1 is a new Armory Way Bridge and Western Perimeter Road, Alternative 2 includes Dravus St. improvements and Western Perimeter Road, Alternative 3 would create a new Garfield Bridge with Dravus St improvements, and Alternative 4 would replace the Magnolia Bridge.

The study ranked the Armory Way Bridge (Alternative 1) highest, with the Magnolia Bridge replacement (Alternative 4) coming in second, and the Dravus St. bridge improvements (Alternative 2) in third. The ranking for second and third place was narrow, with less than one point dividing the two.

Cost estimates for the above projects span from $190 million to $420 million, which “far exceed” available city funds, according to SDOT. The department says they would need “significant outside investment” from state or federal partners to complete the work.

The Magnolia Bridge study is part of a ten-bridge study funded by the Levy to Move Seattle — the next bridge study will assess the Ballard Bridge, and will commence later this year.

If you want to learn more or provide input regarding the Magnolia Bridge study in person, there’s a community meeting on Thursday, June 6 at Catharine Blaine K-8 in the cafeteria from 6 to 7:30pm.