Sep 6, 2023 - Politics

Seattle council votes to support "lid" over Interstate 5

A view of downtown Seattle with a rendering of a green park space over interstate 5.

One idea for what a park over Interstate 5 might look like. Rendering courtesy of Lid I-5 Coalition

A plan to build a "lid" that could support a park above Interstate 5 got a nod of approval from the Seattle City Council Tuesday.

Driving the news: The Seattle City Council voted in favor of a resolution declaring the council's support for the project.

  • The vote paves the way for city officials to apply for federal grants to try to get the project started and for the city to start planning around it.

Yes, but: Should the project move ahead, it likely won't be completed for many years.

  • Creating the seamless overpass over I-5 would require coordination with the state Department of Transportation and, potentially, the removal of off-ramps and on-ramps.
  • A 2020 feasibility study estimated the project would cost between $1 billion and $2.5 billion, depending on what the city wants to put on top of the lid.

Details: The council voted 3-2 in favor of the pro-lidding resolution, with two council members abstaining and four absent.

What they're saying: "This has rippling impacts across our city, reconnecting neighborhoods, creating new park space, and creating potentially new buildings," City Councilmember Dan Strauss said at Tuesday's council meeting.

What's next: Councilmember Andrew Lewis, who sponsored the resolution in support of the I-5 lid, said he anticipates the council will approve several more measures in the future to help shape the project's development.

  • City officials have said they hope to apply for federal grants to support the project as soon as this month.
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