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Seattle restricts parking along aging Northlake retaining wall

Repairs on the Northlake retaining wall west of Stone Way will temporarily restrict 42 parking spaces in June. (SDOT)

The retaining wall along Seattle’s Northlake Way is all that separates the Wallingford neighborhood from Lake Union. And it’s looking worse for the wear. To ease concerns around the aging wall, parking is going to suffer.

RELATED: Seattle council approves massive parking changes

Constructed in 1951, the 68-year-old Northlake retaining wall just west of Stone Way has the Seattle Department of Transportation concerned. It was originally constructed with concrete anchors and creosote timber piles. While the anchors are holding up just fine, the timber is not aging well and is deteriorating. This is prompting SDOT to decrease the strain on the wall as much as possible while it attempts to reinforce the wall.

SDOT is reducing the load on the wall (so it stays a wall and doesn’t become a pile). That means restricting parking up top. A total of 42 parking spaces are being temporarily restricted in the area along the north side of Lake Union throughout the month of June. Work is expected to be finished by early July. The endless circling for parking will make this obvious, but it will also be apparent due to the fencing and signs surrounded the once prized spots.

The city isn’t taking away all the parking spots, however. It is leaving 14 spaces open for use.

City engineers noticed the damage during a routine safety inspection. They are determining whether to replace it or make structural repairs. One can only imagine how many spots will be temporarily restricted if the entire wall is replaced. SDOT is working with nearby building owners to collect information about how the parking is commonly used. It will use this info to minimize the impact and inform how it proceeds with repairs.

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