February 17

Northgate construction complete; more planned



If you’ve been avoiding Northgate Way since construction began last summer, you may now resume your regular travel routes — but don’t get too used to it.

The Seattle Department of Transportation last week announced that all lanes again are open to traffic, and that all of the planned intersection and pedestrian improvements are completed at Northgate Way and Fifth Avenue Northeast. What it means for you: 

To help ease traffic congestion, two turn-lane improvements were made. The crews added a left-turn lane from westbound NE Northgate Way onto southbound Fifth Avenue NE, and also extended the right-hand turn lane from northbound Fifth Avenue NE onto eastbound NE Northgate Way. They also built a landscaped median with trees on NE Northgate Way just west of the intersection, created decorative crosswalks on all four sides of the intersection, installed a new traffic signal system, and improved drainage and water quality.

But this spring, SDOT is planning another Northgate construction project along North 105th Street and Northgate Way, all the way from from Greenwood Avenue to Lake City Way. Completion is expected in spring 2014. In a nutshell:

This project will improve the corridor along N 105th Street and N/NE Northgate Way from Greenwood Ave N to Lake City Way NE. Improvements will include roadway repaving, new sidewalks and curb ramps, drainage improvements, street lighting and traffic signals, and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) components.

But more importantly:

This project will have considerable impacts on traffic and the public.

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  1. At least they are making some much needed road improvements–and reading the SDOT link, part of the action is to add cameras to monitor the lights–which will lead to better timing, which is really needed. Easy to complain about it–but does seem infrastructure to support increase in people/traffic is not tied to the property sales/permitting that let the land be developed to add more people/attractions…

  2. I guess it’s back to going down Greenwood to 85th and going east to get to I-5. Northgate Way is always a mess no matter what time of the day…

  3. The city never seems to think past the immediate project. They should have done the Northgate mess as part of a project fixing the entire road as it is nearly undriveable in the right lane west of College Way/Meridian. But to expect the fools running this city to think past the middle of next week is so unrealistic that I can’t even think up a metaphor to end this sentence with.

  4. Are the traffic light “improvements” going to install smart lights? The ones on Northgate have completely horrible timing that definitely contributes to the problem. It’s very evident how bad they are when you are come by them at 1am and have to sit for a minute and a half when you’re the only car there. During rush hour times the E/W lines are packed to hell while the N/S ones are reasonably empty. Bad bad bad bad bad. Getting to Aurora Ave from Northgate takes like 10-15min and then things are nice and clear. Simple solutions.

  5. It seems like the traffic on 5th Ave going north has gotten much worse since these improvements. The light at Northgate Way is rarely cleared now and there is no where for people coming out of the mall or the library to turn to go north. So now I go right out of the mall or left out of the library and then take 105th or 98th through the neighborhood.

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