Northgate Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge Project | John Lewis Memorial Bridge

Northgate Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge Project | John Lewis Memorial Bridge

A bridge to opportunities

A bridge to opportunities


Seattle, WA




  • Comprehensive public involvement in planning, design and construction phases

  • Equitable engagement planning and strategy

  • Briefings and presentations

  • Open houses, and other events

  • Email newsletters and updates

  • Special events and community celebrations

  • Outreach materials development

  • Display boards and event materials

  • Tabling at community events

  • Video development

  • Construction communications

  • Correspondence tracking and reporting

  • 24-hour phone line management

  • Interagency coordination

  • Grand opening event planning

“The S&A team demonstrated a deep understanding of the communication needs for this project. With a strategy that brought all stakeholders and community members together, we were able to gather feedback that had a meaningful impact upon the final design. The team continued their attention to detail throughout the work, providing timely updates during construction and support for a celebratory opening that marked a successful final project.”

– SDOT Outreach Lead

Project Description:

The Northgate neighborhood of Seattle is a major residential, employment, and education center, and with the Sound Transit light rail station now open, the neighborhood is quickly becoming one of the region’s most active transit hubs. To strengthen connections to the new light rail station, existing bus transit center, North Seattle College, and area businesses and residents, SDOT, in partnership with WSDOT, Sound Transit, and King County Metro, built a new pedestrian and bike bridge over I-5. The John Lewis Memorial Bridge helps reknit an area historically divided by I-5, giving people who walk, bike, and roll new, safe, affordable, and accessible way to travel.


S&A provided communications and outreach services from planning through construction for this multi-phase, multi-agency, award-winning bridge project. From 2014 to 2022, we worked with SDOT to raise awareness of the project among area residents, businesses, and institutions, and to support a community-centered design process. We heard from thousands of people in North Seattle neighborhoods through public meetings, in-person and online open houses, drop-in sessions and surveys, community briefings, and tabling events. During construction, we kept project neighbors, the local community and the travelling public apprised of progress and prepared them for construction impacts. We developed and distributed construction updates through multiple channels.

To commemorate the completion of the John Lewis Memorial Bridge and in partnership with Sound Transit’s Northgate Link Extension opening, our team planned a community-centered grand opening event that attracted more than 300 people for remarks from agency and community partners, and over 1,500 people walking the new bridge throughout opening day.

  • 10 community events 
  • 50+ online community briefings
  • 17 community tabling events
  • 9 design drop-in events attended by 500+ community members
  • Project email listserv of 1,000+ people
  • Mobile display at 12 community locations
  • Materials translated into 5 languages
  • 75+ public-facing documents
  • 1 successful project groundbreaking with former Mayor Jenny Durkan, Councilmember Juarez and other prominent leaders and elected officials
  • 3 construction drop-in sessions attended by 250+ people
  • 20+ construction updates via email
  • 1 successful grand opening and ribbon cutting featuring 10 speakers from agencies, partners, leaders, and community groups


TransitCenter Frequencies Award: “Best Transit Expansion” of 2021
The award recognized the regional coordination and infrastructure improvements that went into the Northgate Link light rail expansion, regional transit service updates, and the John Lewis Memorial Bridge.

2022 PRSA Puget Sound Chapter Summit Award: Bridge to Opportunities: John Lewis Memorial Bridge Grand Opening
PRSA’s Summit Awards recognize projects and programs that demonstrate excellence in public relations.

2022 MarCom GOLD Award – Communications/Public Relations: John Lewis Memorial Bridge: Celebrating a Bridge to Opportunity
The MarCom Awards honor projects that exhibit excellence in marketing and communications.

2022 Citation AIA/WA Civic Design Award

2022 ACEC Best in State GOLD Award – Social, Economic and Sustainable Design