How a floating walkway saved open space

View of the new bridge and floating walkway March 24, 2022

For several decades Eastlake activists have had an eye on an unusual and rare open space that they feared might be lost to development.

What and where is this open space? It’s called the submerged parcels. Submerged because they’re land under water, parcels because they’re platted to be buildable. They currently form the open water space adjacent to the new Fairview Bridge.

The floating walkway that paralleled the old bridge is back and that has helped to save this open space. At first the floating walkway was going to be demolished with the old bridge. Afterall the new bridge would have three lookout points; did we really need the floating walkway too? As it turns out we did, do.

People love the unique walkway and getting away from the road and practically walking on water. It’s one of the remarkable features of the Cheshiahud Loop trail that encircles Lake Union. Public pressure ensured its return and with that we have an informal open space, a de facto park

More history on the submerged parcels and the mechanisms in place to keep the area open space can be found in this article The Submerged Parcels are Safe! penned by Jules James in December 2020, six months before the opening of the new Fairview Bridge.

(Of course, it could be said that the three lookout points on the new bridge were also the city’s nod to preserving the open space of the submerged parcels. If that’s the case, we have belt and suspenders.)

An open water view from the floating walkway March 24, 2022.

Written by The Eastlake Eye

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