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Montlake ramps to nowhere set for demolition; land will go back to Arboretum

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SEATTLE — The 50-year-old ramps to nowhere in Montlake will be demolished this weekend.

The ramps were part of a canceled project called the R.H. Thomson Expressway.  The ramps cut through the Washington Park Arboretum.  Now the relics are coming down to make way for a new, 1.2-mile “west approach bridge north.”  It connects the 520 Bridge to Montlake.

The project is set to be completed in 2017; the approach bridge will carry three lanes of westbound traffic and will have bike and pedestrian paths.

As for the land where the old ramps sit, it will go back to the Arboretum.

This all part of the State Route 520 Bridge project but there is one stumbling block — money.

The Washington State Department of Transportation needs about $1.4 billion to finish the connection from Montlake to I-5.

Gov. Jay Inslee says it’s all up to the Legislature.

"We need action on this bridge, where we stand. I will continue to urge the Legislature to act; they can do it this next session [which begins in January] and we're going to hope that they act," Inslee said.

During demolition, the 520 bridge will be closed from Montlake to I-405.  The closure begins at 11 p.m. Friday and ends at 5 a.m. Monday.

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