Freeway lid

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Washington State Convention Center and Freeway Park form lids over Interstate 5 in Seattle, Washington, United States.

A freeway lid (also known as a lidded freeway, freeway cap, highway cap or highway deck) is a type of deck bridge built on top of a controlled-access highway or other roadway. It is commonly used to create new parkland in urban areas, but can also be used to house buildings or other heavy structures like convention centers.[1][2][3] In some locations, the terms stitch or cap-and-stitch are used to describe overpasses containing widened bridges that accommodate wider sidewalks or small amenity space beside the roadway above the highway.[4]

Cities and highway departments who propose building freeway lids over highways often cite potential benefits including reconnecting street grids near highways, or providing increased access to neighborhoods harmed by displacement caused by past highway construction.[5] Freeway lids are often criticized by highway expansion opponents, who accuse highway departments of using freeway lids to "greenwash" their lane expansion projects to be more palatable to the public.[6]



  1. ^ Pyati, Archana (April 7, 2017). "Freeway Lids: Reconnecting Communities and Creating New Land for Development". Urban Land Institute. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  2. ^ Berger, Knute (July 16, 2017). "One simple idea to open up Downtown Seattle". Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  3. ^ "More Cities Are Banishing Highways Underground — And Building Parks on Top".
  4. ^ McAfee, Katy (September 13, 2022). "City of Austin seeks community input on I-35 Cap and Stitch program". Community Impact Newspaper. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  5. ^ Moore, Martha T. (April 2, 2018). "More Cities Are Banishing Highways Underground — And Building Parks on Top". Stateline. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  6. ^ Reader, Grace (September 28, 2022). "Austin City Council set to vote on federal I-35 'cap and stitch' funding". KXAN. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  7. ^ Kroman, David (May 9, 2023). "7 acres, 3 lids: Eastside cities want the state to mow the lawn". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 9, 2023.

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