Weekly Update: West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Stabilization

West Seattle Bridge at sunset looking west
West Seattle Bridge at sunset. Photo Credit: Madison Linkenmeyer.

Last week, we shared our first weekly update about the work we’re doing on the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge. You can expect an update every week. Our goal is to keep you informed of our sustained progress to stabilize the bridge, efforts to address traffic, and other updates related to the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure.

Kraemer North America, our contractor for the stabilization work, is working Monday through Saturday from 6 AM to 4:30 PM to stabilize the bridge.

 The stabilization work, which includes carbon fiber wrapping weakened areas of the bridge, adding post-tensioning inside the girders, and epoxy injecting cracks wider than 0.3 mm is expected to continue for the next several months. The epoxy injections don’t stabilize the bridge, but help to prevent further deterioration by protecting the post-tensioning steel inside from corrosion. 

Next week, the contractor is planning to:

  • Complete the first phase of filling cracks with epoxy.
  • Begin the second phase of crack injection towards the middle of the bridge.
  • Continue to inspect cracks.
  • Place carbon fiber wrap around recently filled cracks.
  • Continue installing the post tensioning system.

During this work, you’ll see:

  • Some crews working on top of and under the bridge.
  • Scaffolding and crews working on platforms suspended under the bridge.

There’s additional work taking place inside the bridge – including monitoring cracks and preparing for the installation of additional post-tensioning strands – that you will not be able to see.

We do not anticipate any additional traffic impacts from the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge construction work over the next few weeks.  

Crews built additional scaffolding, which was used to reach the exterior sides of the girders to apply the carbon fiber wrap.
Crews use the work platforms already in place to build additional scaffolding. The scaffolding will be used to reach the exterior sides of the girders to apply the carbon fiber wrap.

There will also be continued work over the next few months:

Over the next few months, the contractor will continue stabilization work listed above and will also work to “release” the restrained bearing at Pier 18. Work will occur on weekends, from 6 AM to 6 PM, and could begin as soon as the weekend of September 19-20.

While the majority of the traveling public will see little to no traffic impacts with the Pier 18 work, there may be lane reductions on Klickitat Ave SW and SW Klickitat Way on the west and south sides of Harbor Island. Our teams are coordinating closely with the Port of Seattle to mitigate traffic impacts.

This fall, we’ll make the final determination as to whether we’ll move forward with repairing the current bridge or replacing it with a new structure. With our replacement consultant HNTB on board, we’re ready to pivot to designing the demolition and replacement structure, should it be determined that it’s in the public’s best interest to replace rather than repair. 

This complements the work that’s already been done. Crews have been working hard since SDOT closed the bridge. They’ve:

Crews work inside the High-Rise Bridge. In front, the post-tensioning brackets that will be used to reinforce the concrete.
Crews work inside the High-Rise Bridge. In front, the post-tensioning brackets that will be used to reinforce the concrete can be seen.

Stay connected!


Visit our West Seattle High-Rise Bridge website to stay up-to-date on the bridge, see frequently asked questions, view inspection reports, and find links to our West Seattle Bridge blogs.