This fall, the Seattle Department of Transportation might finally close a funding gap of nearly $4 million that has prevented the agency from building a long-delayed pedestrian and bicycle overpass over West Thomas St. This week, the Puget Sound Regional Council recommended giving the Seattle Department of Transportation a $3.96 million "Congestion and Air Quality Mitigation" grant, subject to public comment and approval by the PSRC's executive board.

Identified as part of the Bicycle Master Plan bike network, the West Thomas St bridge would span Elliott Ave. West and the railroad tracks connecting lower Queen Anne to the Elliott Bay bike trail and Myrtle Edwards Park. The project proposal calls for a 12-foot bridge with a 10-foot wide area for pedestrian and bicycle travel, the federal minimum standard for multi-use paths. The project will cost an estimated $10 million.

If the PSRC provides funding, SDOT spokesman Rick Sheridan says, construction could begin in the first quarter of 2011. If it doesn't, the project will stay on hold, as "SDOT continues to seek other funding sources to close the $4 million gap."