Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Intersection

Updated October 20, 2022

What’s happening now?

With the West Seattle Bridge reopened, we expect to begin construction of this project in late 2022 or early 2023. For project updates, check back on this webpage or sign up for our email updates.  

Project Overview

Highland Park Way SW is a major north-south route in West Seattle, providing access to SR 99, SR 509, I-5, and the Duwamish Trail. It has been the site of several crashes and safety issues due to poor sight distances, high speeds, travel lane confusion, and a lack of pedestrian facilities like crosswalks. Additionally, it is now a major intersection on the detour route for the West Seattle Bridge closure. The Highland Park community had been asking for changes at this busy intersection.

The project includes:

  • A more durable traffic signal with metal poles that have signal lights instead of lights connected to wooden poles.
  • The signal will also include traffic cameras to monitor and adjust the signal in real-time, as well as vehicle detection in the pavement so the signal can recognize when a person driving is waiting at the light.
  • Rebuilding all four corners of the intersection with new American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible concrete curb ramps and curb bulbs. 
  • Painting permanent crosswalks at each crossing. 

1% Art Funding

We have secured 1% art funding for this project! The City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture can access approximately $120,000 in SDOT 1% for Art funds to implement some form of artwork at the project location. In early 2021, SDOT will work with the Office of Arts & Culture to select an artist or artist team. The artist(s) selection process will be focused on hyper-regional artists in West Seattle and the South Sound. 

We look forward to working with the Highland Park neighbors on the design concepts for this gateway into West Seattle.

Project Design

The design graphic below shows all four corners of the intersection are being rebuilt to include curb ramps and a permanent traffic signal will replace the temporary traffic signal that was installed after the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure. The main difference between a permanent signal and the temporary signal at the intersection is that a permanent signal will have more durable, metal poles with signal lights instead of lights affixed to wooden poles. The permanent signal will also include traffic cameras to monitor and adjust the signal in real-time, as well as vehicle detection in the pavement so the signal can recognize when a vehicle is waiting at the light. 

intersection graphic

West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Closure Impacts

The closure of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge on March 23, 2020 brought significant traffic to the Highland Park neighborhood and to the already-strained intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St.

Temporary traffic signal. One of the first projects SDOT crews built after the High-Rise Bridge closure was a temporary signal at the intersection, which will be replaced by a permanent signal in 2021 as part of the Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St Safety Project. On January 30, 2021, we installed a left-hand turn signal for people driving northbound on Highland Park Way SW and turning left onto SW Holden St. When the permanent signal is built in 2021, a left-turn signal phasing will be added. 

Traffic Calming 

In June and July 2020, speed humps and cushions were built in nine locations near the intersection to support safety around the new traffic signal. These locations are shown below. The speed humps and cushions help slow down vehicles as they approach the intersection and discourage neighborhood cut-through traffic. Speed humps are a solid hump across the road and speed cushions leave spaces between for emergency vehicles and people biking to easily pass through. 

Separate from this project, the Reconnect West Seattle project team added traffic calming in the Highland Park neighborhood to address detour traffic from the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure, through a Home Zone. A Home Zone involves the entire neighborhood working together to prioritize improvements that calm traffic on residential streets and improve pedestrian mobility and neighborhood livability.

Locations of speed humps and cushions in Highland Park neighborhood

Schedule 

The project has reached final design. We originally scheduled construction at this intersection for fall 2021. During the West Seattle Bridge closure, out of sensitivity for Highland Park neighbors who are already experiencing increased traffic and the travelers who use the intersection, construction has been moved to start in late 2022 or early 2023. We expect to select a contractor in 2022. 

Materials

Funding

This project is funded by the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle, approved by voters in 2015.