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Portage Bay Bridge and Roanoke Lid Project: Environmental Online Open House – Section 4(f): Parks and recreation

What is section 4(f)?

Section 4(f) is a portion of federal law that requires all federally funded transportation projects to evaluate their effect on parks, recreation lands and historic sites during project development. WSDOT completed a Section 4(f) evaluation while preparing the 2011 Final EIS.

Due to design refinements since 2011, WSDOT is required to conduct a new Section 4(f) analysis that compares the effects of the new Portage Bay Bridge and Roanoke Lid Project design on parks and recreational areas and historic resources with the findings of the Final EIS.

What properties were included in the updated Section 4(f) evaluation?

WSDOT analyzed project effects on parks and historical resources in the city of Seattle. Most of the properties listed below were included in the Final EIS. WSDOT also identified a few new park resources that will be affected by the refined project design.

Overhead map of the SR 520 corridor in Seattle between Montlake and Interstate 5. The map points our key historical and recreational sites in that area, including the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, the Montlake Historic District, the Roanoke Park Historic District, the Montlake Playfield, and the Bill Dawson Trail.
Below is a summary of the draft Section 4(f) evaluation
Property Type 2011 Final EIS evaluation 2020 evaluation
Bagley Viewpoint Public park The viewpoint will be acquired to accommodate the wider highway footprint. WSDOT has incorporated a new Bagley Viewpoint into the project design. No change in effects
Montlake Playfield Public park WSDOT will acquire 1.2 acres of submerged land and upland area. WSDOT will acquire temporary construction easements over 3.2 acres, 2.9 of which is submerged land. Adjustments in the bridge alignment and the addition of the SR 520 Trail connection have resulted in the need for additional acquisition. 
Bill Dawson Trail Recreational trail The trail is exempted from Section 4(f) due to being within WSDOT right of way and maintained by WSDOT. WSDOT outlined a mitigation plan to address the effects of the Bill Dawson Trail closure. No change in effects. Mitigation measures identified in 2011 FEIS will be implemented.
Interlaken Park Public park No effects identified Construction of an accessible nonmotorized connection from SR 520 Trail to Roanoke lid and Interlaken Park is consistent park activities. Impact is de minimis under Section 4(f) guidance.
Roanoke Park Public park No effects identified The connection point to a water line under SR 520 may have to be made within the park boundary. This is considered a temporary effect. Additionally, subsurface easements will extend into the park property. The easements will not affect use of the park. 
Fire Station #22 Historic property WSDOT identified potential effects on the historic Fire Station #22 building The historic building was replaced with a modern building since 2011. No effect.
NOAA Fisheries Science Center Historic property The NOAA campus, which includes a historic 1931 building, will be affected by a property transfer to complete an accessible connection from the Bill Dawson Trail to Montlake Boulevard. No change in effect. The property transfer outlined in the FEIS has been completed.
Montlake Historic District Historic district The Portage Bay Bridge and Roanoke Lid Project will require acquisition of portions of contributing properties, including the NOAA Fisheries campus the Montlake Playfield, both described above. As noted above, additional acquisition needs were identified in the Montlake Playfield to complete the SR 520 Trail connection. WSDOT determined that the design refinements do not adversely affect the historic district as a whole.
Roanoke Park Historic District Historic district WSDOT determined no adverse effect to the district in the 2011 evaluation. Effects on the historic district include the effects on Roanoke Park outlined above. 
Next steps

Section 4(f) regulations require a 45-day public comment and review period. This online open house is open during the 45-day comment period. Let us know if you have comments you’d like to offer about this document in the comment box below.

Read the full Section 4(f) evaluation here (PDF 8.4 MB)

Once the 45-day comment period is closed, WSDOT will review the comments and update the report as appropriate. We will then submit the final Section 4(f) evaluation, with public comments, to FHWA for review. We will also share the evaluation and all public comments with Seattle Parks and Recreation.

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