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Weekly Update: West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Stabilization

West Seattle Bridge at sunset. Photo Credit: Madison Linkenmeyer

On the past two Fridays, we have shared updates about the work we are doing on the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge. 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.

Now, we will post these updates each Monday. Our next update will come on Monday, September 21. These updates are sent via email each Friday. (Sign up for those emails here.)

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 0.3mm 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:

  • Finish the carbon fiber wrapping associated with the first phase of the stabilization work
  • Continue installing the post-tensioning system
  • Prepare for releasing Pier 18 in the coming weeks
  • Continue to inspect cracks

During this work, you will see:

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

There is additional work taking place inside the bridge – including monitoring cracks and preparing for the installation of the 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 move work platforms along the bottom of the bridge, installing the carbon fiber wrap – the black bands – as they go.
Crews move work platforms along the bottom of the bridge, installing the carbon fiber wrap – the black bands – as they go.

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

The contractor will continue the 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 most 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. Additionally, our teams are coordinating closely with the Port of Seattle to mitigate traffic impacts.

This fall, we will make the final determination as to whether we will move forward with repairing the current bridge or replacing it with a new structure. With our replacement consultant HNTB on board, we are 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:

These heavy duty brackets will be used to secure the post-tensioning strands to strengthen the bridge during stabilization work.
These heavy duty brackets will be used to secure the post-tensioning strands that will strengthen the bridge during stabilization work.

Other News & Updates 

Last week, we finished a bike lane refresh on East Marginal Way S as part of Reconnect West Seattle. The refresh is making it safer for people biking and more predictable for people driving along East Marginal Way S between Spokane St and S Atlantic St.

The changes included:

  • Refreshing bike lanes and driveway markings
  • Replacing the white posts in the buffer area between the bike lane and driving lane

The new Scooter Share Program was authorized by Seattle City Council earlier this week, soon providing another resource to ease crowding on transit, encourage physically distant travel, and promote driving less. 

LINK, Wheels, and Lime scooters shown outdoors left to right. LINK scooter is shown in front of Easy Street Records in West Seattle. Wheels scooter is shown in front of a sculpture; downtown Seattle and the Space Needle can be seen in the distance.
We’ve notified the three highest ranking companies that they’re the first in line to receive a permit. LINK, Wheels, and Lime scooters are pictured from left to right. Photo Credit: LINKWheels, and Lime.

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.