Denny Substation Work Begins April 4 with One-Block Closure of Pontius Avenue North

Architects’ depiction of the future Denny Substation.

Seattle City Light will permanently close Pontius Avenue N. between Denny Way and John Street on Monday, April 4. The one-block closure marks the start of construction for the Denny Substation, which City Light is building to help keep pace with Seattle’s growing energy needs.

City Light received approval to close this stretch of Pontius from the Seattle City Council after going through the required street vacation process. City Light also will close two adjacent city-owned parking lots.

For drivers traveling north into South Lake Union or the Cascade neighborhood from Denny Way, Fairview Avenue N. is an alternative to Pontius. For drivers traveling south from John Street to Denny Way, either Fairview or Yale Avenue N. offer alternate routes.

A key requirement of approval to close a city street is based on public benefits provided to offset the loss of any right-of-way. To satisfy this requirement, City Light worked with the South Lake Union, Cascade and Denny Triangle neighborhoods to get their input on the types of benefits they would like to see included in the project. City Light responded by incorporating more than $10 million in public benefits in the substation’s design.

When the substation is completed in 2018, it will include a pet off-leash area, open spaces, an Energy Inspiration Center, a community event space, a quarter-mile elevated walkway and improved streetscapes and pedestrian connections between neighborhoods.

The new substation is part of the Denny Substation Program, which also includes construction of a new underground distribution network. The Denny Substation and network will ensure reliable power for some of the city’s fastest growing communities, including South Lake Union, Cascade, Denny Triangle, Uptown, Belltown and First Hill, in addition to customers throughout City Light’s service area.

More information on the Denny Substation Project can be found at:

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.