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Montlake's 'Hop In' a possible casualty of Seattle construction

The Montlake Blvd Market, known as the Hop In, would be torn down to complete construction on 520.
The Montlake Blvd Market, known as the Hop In, would be torn down to complete construction on 520.

Seattle's Montlake neighborhood faces 11 more years of construction related to the 520 floating bridge, even with the bridge up and running. Transportation officials updated the city this week on plans to replace the western segment of the highway.

Neighbors are concerned they could lose their largest grocery store in the process.

The state transportation department's main focus is rebuilding parts of 520 that connect I-5 to Lake Washington. They call the project the "Rest of the West." It's expected to be done by 2027.

To do it, WSDOT wants to tear down the MontlakeBlvd Market by the Montlake exit on 520. The market is known locally as the Hop In. WSDOT says crews need it for construction staging space.

Montlake resident Lionel Job says that's outrageous. He's involved with Montlake Community Club.

Job: "My youngest kid walks to the market almost daily to buy milk for us, or buy candy or whatever. It's one place that is actually safe that he can walk to. Montlake actually has a pretty bad walking score, this would definitely make it worse ... There will be additional traffic there because of traffic going back and forth."

He also worries about how noise pollution and dust pollution could affect the neighborhood over the next decade.

But the transportation department insists it needs the land under Montlake Blvd Market and is in negotiations to acquire it.

To ease some concerns, Julie Meredith at WSDOT says they will do public outreach starting next month.

Meredith: "And we'll be talking to them about how to make us a better partner, a better neighbor, while we're doing this construction, so that will include discussing the concerns that we've heard [like] noise, dust, visual blight."

City Council members want more; they requested public updates on what happens with the market.

The Rest of the West project has three phases, which includes replacing SR 520 over Portage Bay, a new nature path in Montlake that goes over 520, and a new draw bridge over the Montlake cut.