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State removing Seattle's Montlake Market for 520 Bridge construction

Citing practicability, the Washington State Department of Transportation is buying and demolishing the Montlake Boulevard Market.

The Montlake Boulevard Market will be demolished after the state takes over ownership in June. 

State officials determined the "market cannot practicably be preserved" during bridge construction. The building and gas station will be demolished in early 2020, according to WSDOT's website. 

The purchase puts an end to a debate that dates back to 2016, when the state released its construction plan that neighbors feared meant the end to their local market. 

In September 2017, King County Superior Court ruled the property is needed for public use and the state was told it could acquire the property from market owners. In April 2018, the Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling. That ruling was appealed to the state Supreme Court. On Oct. 2, 2018, the state Supreme Court declined to hear the case, upholding the lower courts' decision. 

The 520 Bridge construction, referred to by the state as the "Rest of the West," is focused on improvements between Lake Washington and I-5. The state plans to use the site of the market as a staging area. 

Work being done in the area includes building a stronger west approach bridge south, constructing a lid and transit hub over Montlake Boulevard East, rebuilding the SR 520/Montlake Boulevard East interchange, and building a "land bridge" over SR 520, east of the lid, that connects the arboretum to areas to the north. 

Credit: WSDOT

Once construction is complete, the state will sell the property.