John Lewis Memorial Bridge 1
John Lewis Memorial Bridge 3
John Lewis Memorial Bridge 6
John Lewis Memorial Bridge 4
John Lewis Memorial Bridge 5
John Lewis Memorial Bridge 2

John Lewis Memorial Bridge

Seattle, WA

With a sweep of motion-activated light, pedestrians and cyclists are newly connected within a community long divided by the Interstate.

VIA was engaged to design a new pedestrian bridge in the Northgate neighborhood of Seattle, creating a cohesive connection through a community historically split by Interstate-5. The bridge, named for civil rights icon and late Congressman John Lewis, will link to the upcoming Northgate Link Light Rail Station on the eastern side to North Seattle College and surrounding residential areas to the west. The bridge is designed to maximize safety for all users, whether biking or walking. Pedestrians have good views to their grade connections across the straight alignment.

The bridge also provides graceful transitions, building from simple approach spans to the fluid signature truss span. This primary span is the topographical feature of the project—the mountain peak—engaging the southbound I-5 corridor by recalling the greater sectional profile of the region. This span in turn creates a memorable point of passage between neighborhoods.

A graceful open structure allows for views around corners to increase security and lookout areas, and offer an opportunity for users to engage their surrounding context. Linear LED handrail lighting compose the functional lighting of the project. The project artist is developing a strategy to use motion sensors tethered to the functional lighting, to create a wave of light as patrons move by foot and bicycle across the span.

This project was designed by VIA prior to becoming a Perkins Eastman Studio.