News Flash

News Flash/Press Releases

Posted on: September 12, 2019

Olympic Drive improvements project nears completion

Olympic Drive Rendering

We’re preparing for the final phase of construction on the Olympic Drive Non-motorized Improvements Project and expect completion later this month.

The sidewalk on the west side of Olympic Drive is now open. However, the sidewalk on the east side will remain closed until the contractor receives materials to complete the pedestrian traffic signals. The project team expects all tasks to be complete shortly after the equipment arrives.

Next week, weather permitting, the contractor will continue work on pavement markings, including green bike boxes and sections of bike lanes. The new center bicycle lane (heading north from the ferry) and the southbound bicycle lane will remain closed until all traffic work is completed, including the pedestrian signal.

In the meantime, we hope you’ll take some time to review an animated video of the improvements on the project webpage (or click on the photo below) that will also be included on the Washington State Ferries (WSF) monitors in the terminals and aboard the Seattle-Bainbridge vessels. We encourage you to please share the webpage with your family, friends, passengers, customers, students, fellow cyclists, neighbors, etc. It’s important for all users to understand the changes to keep everyone safe on the road!

Olympic Drive

Safety Features
There are separated lanes for people who bike, drive and walk along Olympic Drive from Harborview Drive to Winslow Way.

  • Pedestrians: People walking will experience a safer commute with wider sidewalks, separated from vehicle traffic, to better accommodate wheelchairs and strollers and to keep people out of the street. There will be signals with visual and audible cues to indicate when to cross the street safely. As an additional measure, tactile warning strips will also be added to indicate the boundaries of the sidewalks.
  • Bicyclists: There will be lanes for bicyclists only and bike boxes at intersections to separate bicycles from motor vehicles.
  • Drivers: There will be new lanes to separate bikes from cars and motorcycles. Drivers will notice that the lanes are narrower for cars – please stay in your lanes.

Other Project Highlights

  • Utilities that were overhead are now underground
  • Biofiltration planters
    • The planters are located between the bicycle and pedestrian lanes on Olympic Drive to help with water quality in the area. Previously, the runoff went into a storm drain then straight into Puget Sound. Now, there’s a biofiltration system to capture the stormwater, filter it through soils, and then drain it into the Sound.
  • New trees and vegetation
    • Staff worked with certified arborists and the BI Parks Foundation to preserve some trees near Waypoint Woods. Fewer than 14 significant trees were removed and many of those were dead or dying. Crews have replaced the trees removed.


  • City staff will be on the Seattle-Bainbridge ferries on the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 12 to share information about the new changes. Please stop by the table in the galley to learn more.
  • City staff will provide information about the new changes at the Bike for Pie event Sunday, Sept. 15.

Stay Informed
Sign up to receive updates on the project and any construction impacts:

  • City Manager’s Report: Sign up to get a weekly email newsletter with updates on the project and other City information, including upcoming City Council agendas and discussions, meetings, events, and more.
  • Nixle: This free service is generally used for emergency notifications but due to the amount of ferry users, we are using Nixle messages to inform people of any immediate construction impacts.
  • Notify Me: This is a free service that allows you to subscribe to topics of interest for updates by email or text.
    • Select Olympic Drive NM Improvements
    • Select Traffic Notifications

Once we have an exact completion date from the contractor, we will share the information to help all users prepare for trips to and from the ferry. Thank you for your patience during this important project.

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