SR 520 Online Open House – Roanoke lid

WSDOT is building a new Roanoke lid over SR 520 between 10th Avenue East on the west and Delmar Drive East to the east. The lid will reconnect the neighborhoods to the north and south of SR 520 with neighborhood open space and connections to the city of Seattle’s bicycle and pedestrian network. WSDOT developed the concept for the lid during the 2011-2012 Seattle Community Design Process.

The SR 520 design team has refined the previous design concept to provide new viewpoints and outlooks, improve trail connections, and create a safer north-south connection over SR 520.

Current design concept (2019)

Two graphics, one showing over overhead, plan view of a new lid over SR 520 in Seattle's Roanoke neighborhood, the other showing a cross-section profile of the lid, looking north.
Cross section view of the Roanoke lid, looking north.

Existing condition

Current overhead photo of SR 520 between 10th Avenue and Delmar Drive East
Overhead view of the existing highway in the Roanoke area.
A graphic showing a cross-section view of the current SR 520 highway lanes in the Roanoke area, looking west, with two general-purpose lanes and an off-ramp
Cross-section view of the existing highway in Roanoke area, looking west

Current design concept

An overhead graphic showing a planned, landscaped  lid over SR 520 between 10th Avenue and Delmar Drive East
Conceptual view of a completed Roanoke lid.
A graphic showing a cross-section view of reconstructed SR 520 highway lanes and a new lid over the highway in the Roanoke area, looking west. The new highway has two general-purpose lanes and a new transit and HOV lane in each direction, as well as an on-ramp and off-ramp, depending on the direction of travel.
Cross-section view of a reconstructed SR 520 and new lid in the Roanoke area, looking west.

Roanoke lid “look and feel”

Map of the State Route 520 corridor near its interchange with Interstate 5. The map shows the location of a planned lid over the highway in the Roanoke area of Seattle, between 10th Avenue East at the lid’s western end, and Delmar Drive East at the lid’s eastern end. The map shows four viewpoints on different sides of the lid. The map also shows a new, replacement Portage Bay Bridge to the right, or east, of the lid.

Key considerations

  • General size and footprint of the lid (approximately 3 acres of open space area)
  • The lid is planned to be a passive space for unprogrammed recreational activities, such as walking, biking and taking in scenic views. The lid is not desired as a space for facilities like playgrounds and tennis courts.

Discussion questions

  • How would you use the Roanoke lid?
    • Which of the park character example resonates most with you and why?
    • What is the importance of vegetation screening compared with a more open feel?
  • The Roanoke lid provides opportunities for excellent views outside (outlooks), as well as views looking into the lid (overlooks).
    • Which would you emphasize/prioritize? How would you use the viewpoints?
    • Would you prefer larger, hardscaped, structured viewpoints or smaller, unstructured, landscaped areas as viewpoints?

Roanoke lid viewpoints

The photo at left, looking east, shows traffic travelling east and west on SR 520, with a green and yellow highway sign extending above the two eastbound lanes. A tall, concrete wall is along the right side of the eastbound lanes, with leafless trees above the wall. In the distance is water, Portage Bay, and at the top of the photo are gray skies.

The illustration to the right of the photo shows four silhouetted people on a yellow platform – two seated and two standing. Just below the platform is a green area, with a wall running along its edge. Past the wall is a highway bridge running off into the distance, with blue water on both sides. On the right side of the bridge is a path or sidewalk, with a circular ramp in the foreground.
The photo at left, looking east, shows vehicles travelling on SR 520, with trees and shadows to the left and right of the highway, the Delmar Drive East overpass in the distance, and farther in the distance, a partial view of water, with blue sky above.

The illustration, to the right of the photo, is a conceptual view of a highway lid over SR 520, looking east from 10th Avenue East. Two silhouetted people are seated on benches, and two others stand below on a stair landing. Green, grasslike areas cover the lid, with a looping trail where three silhouetted people walk in the distance. In the far distance is water.
The photo at left, looking west, shows SR 520 as it approaches Interstate 5. At the far left are tall trees next to a shadowed highway ramp with a car moving toward the bottom of the photo. To the ramp’s right is a separate single highway lane, with a car exiting a tunnel inside a small hill. To the right of the tunnel lane are two more highway lanes that head into the distance, curving to the left. Farther right is another, separate traffic lane with two cars traveling into the distance. At the right is a city street, with the large white building next to it. In the far distance, above the horizon, is blue sky.
The illustration to the right of the photo shows four silhouetted people standing on a yellowish platform, with two benches and a low gray wall directly below them. Behind the low wall is a green area, with another low wall beyond the green area. In the distance is a divided highway curving to the upper-left, and highway ramp curving to the upper-right. In the far distance is gray sky.

Roanoke lid proposed planting area

The map at left shows an overhead view of a planned lid over SR 520 in Seattle’s Roanoke neighborhood, with gray-shaded highway lanes to the right and left of the lid. The Roanoke lid is shaded yellow to signify neighborhood open space. Streets that border the lid along the north, or top, the east, or right, and the west, or left, are shaded pink to signify boulevards or avenues. Blue-shaded areas to the west, or left, south, or bottom, and east, or right, of the lid signify neighborhood and open space transitions.

To the right of the map is an image containing five separate outdoor photos. At upper-left, beneath a blue banner that says neighborhood and open space transitions, is a black and white photo with a street or lawn area in the foreground, and behind it a low, stone wall , with two small trees to the left, and larger evergreen trees to the right. In the distance are gray skies. The photo at upper-right, also beneath the blue banner, shows a mix of leaf-bearing and evergreen trees. In the middle of this image, under a yellow banner that says neighborhood open space, is a photo of a green grass-covered area, with trees and shrubs at top and to the right.  At lower-left, beneath a dark-pink banner that says boulevards and avenues, is a photo of a two-lane street, with several bicyclists riding both away from and toward the camera. Large, leaf-bearing trees line both sides of the street. At the lower-right, also beneath the dark-pink banner, is a photo of a wide, paved path, with two bicyclists riding by. Leaf-bearing trees line both sides of the path, a grassy lawn is to the right of the path, and to the left is a large body of water.

Note: concepts and materials shown are draft ideas for discussion purposes only, and are subject to change.

Please share your feedback regarding the Roanoke Lid (e.g. urban design elements to support safe and usable neighborhood green spaces).