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Washington State Convention Center provides $10 million in funding for Jim Ellis Freeway Park improvements

Community invited to provide input on capital projects

The Washington State Convention Center, as part of the public benefit package associated with the Convention Center Addition project, is providing $10 million in funding to Seattle Parks and Recreation for Freeway Park improvements. Riisa Conklin and Tim Holt from Freeway Park Association, Christopher Williams and Katie Bang from Seattle Parks and Recreation, and Jeff Blosser from the Washington State Convention Center met on July 14, 2020, to celebrate this investment in the park and receipt of the final payment to achieve $10 million.

The funding will repair, restore and enhance Freeway Park. Of the $10 million, $750,000 is for activation within the park and $9,250,000 is dedicated to capital improvements which include actual construction (approximately $6 million), as well as design and project management, permitting, sales tax and contingencies.

The community is invited to provide input through the Freeway Park online Open House,, to help shape the future of Freeway Park. Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and Freeway Park Association encourage the community to participate.  Your input will help SPR and the design team prioritize the capital improvement projects in the park.

The initial scope of the capital improvements is based on the Finding Freeway Park concept plan, produced by the Freeway Park Association, and identifies infrastructure upgrades, lighting, wayfinding and possibly a new restroom. The design phase is expected to be complete with all necessary permits/approvals and construction bid documents by June 2021.

Designed by Lawrence Halprin and constructed in 1976, Freeway Park (700 Seneca St.) was the first park ever be built over an interstate highway. The park is a respite from the city’s urban environment and is a result of community activism, forethought and Seattle’s civic process. The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. SPR and the Freeway Park Association would like to thank everyone who has participated in the renovation project to date. If you missed the Open House panel discussion in October 2019 you can watch it on the Seattle Channel (

For additional questions about the project please contact Katie Bang, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at 206-684-9286 or or visit

In 2019, Freeway Park Association celebrated 25 years as community stewards of Freeway Park. To learn about all they do and to get involved please visit