The West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force has met twice recently – once with Mayor Durkan – as we get closer to a decision to repair or replace the bridge.


Watch the 10th West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force Meeting on YouTube.

(This week’s meeting will be available soon!)

A screenshot from the beginning of our 10th West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting, where Mayor Durkan stressed equity, safety, urgency and efficiency as top priorities for the decision to repair or replace the bridge. 

At this week’s meeting, which was an informal gathering organized by the Task Force Co-Chairs, Task Force members discussed needs moving forward which will help ensure they provide the best, most informed feedback to the Mayor about the pros and cons for both repairing or replacing the bridge.  

Summary

  • At our 10th West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting last week, Mayor Durkan continued to express how important it is for her to prioritize equity, protect lives and preserve public safety. During the Q&A with Mayor Durkan, the Task Force raised a few important points.  
  • At this week’s meeting, which was very informal, Task Force members discussed needs moving forward which will help ensure they provide the best, most informed recommendation to the Mayor about the options for repairing or replacing the bridge. 
  • In next week’s meeting on October 21 at 12 PM, we will share the full cost-benefit analysis and information about HNTB’s early-stage design of a replacement option with the Community Task Force.  
  • You can expect to know more about the decision to repair or replace in the coming weeks. 
  • There are many opportunities to stay up to speed on West Seattle Bridge developments, including signing up for weekly emails, reading our blogs, and watching our Community Task Force meetings and other highlights on our YouTube channel.  

At our 10th West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting, we heard from Mayor Jenny Durkan, who is preparing to determine the best path forward for the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge in the coming weeks. 

Image of West Seattle Bridges (mid span) from Pigeon Pt above W Marginal Way.
The West Seattle Bridge. Photo Credit: Chun Kwan.

Mayor Durkan will use many different factors to inform her decision. These include: input from SDOT; the Technical Advisory Panel; the Community Task Force; the cost-benefit analysis; funding; uncertainties and risks; and external factors in the city, state, and country. Mayor Durkan last joined our Community Task Force meeting in August

Mayor Durkan continued to express how important it is for her to prioritize equity in this decision-making process.  

This is especially paramount as communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the closure of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge have also been affected by COVID-19 and ongoing systemic inequity affecting health and life outcomes, the environment, and much more. 

We want to be minimizing the impacts that the closures will have on communities, particularly our BIPOC communities. – Mayor Jenny Durkan

Like SDOT, Mayor Durkan’s primary goal is to protect lives and preserve public safety.  

At the same time, she recognizes that reconnecting West Seattle as efficiently as possible and with great urgency by restoring travel across the Duwamish is the only true solution. 

As I move forward, the number one goal is to protect lives and to preserve public safety. Also know that overall public health and equity that we need as a city is reliant on us restoring the connectivity between West Seattle and the rest of the city.– Mayor Jenny Durkan

Mayor Durkan’s visit was timely as the Task Force learned more about the ongoing Cost-Benefit-Analysis.

Mayor Durkan shared what’s running through her mind as she thinks through the various alternatives. 

We want to make sure we provide stability and confidence. If we are going to be making a significant investment […] we want to make it in a way that has the longest term benefits and minimizes those impacts, and supports the other investments that are coming to the region […] We want to make sure that our investments work hand in glove with those other investments of public and private dollars. – Mayor Jenny Durkan

During the Q&A with Mayor Durkan, the Task Force raised a few important points. 

A street festival in Georgetown during pre-pandemic days. A primary focus of Reconnect West Seattle is to support those communities, like Georgetown, which are deeply impacted by the bridge closure and related detour routes.
A street festival in Georgetown during pre-pandemic days. A primary focus of Reconnect West Seattle is to support those communities, like Georgetown, which are deeply impacted by the bridge closure and related detour routes. Photo Credit: SDOT Flickr. 
  • Keeping Georgetown, a community often not recognized as underserved, in mind in Reconnect West Seattle plans. 

What we saw happen with Boeing tells us that our maritime industry is more important. The Maritime industry is critical to the future of Seattle and our region.– Mayor Jenny Durkan

  • Understanding that because our mode-shift goals involve people working from home, quality internet access needs to be a priority for many low-income families in affected neighborhoods.  

“We will continue to work with Seattle Housing [Authority] and all those partners. Internet is equity and we’ve got to do better as a city and as a region,” Mayor Durkan agreed.

We also discussed options for repairing or replacing the bridge, and shared some of what the cost-benefit-analysis has showed us so far. We intend to share the cost-benefit analysis and an early-stage design for replacement at our next Community Task Force meeting on October 21 at 12 PM (watch the live stream here). 

As a reminder – designing a replacement for the existing bridge will be necessary even if we decide to repair the bridge first and reopen it for some time. That’s why we’re happy to have our design consultant, HNTB, on board already to design the replacement. 

We know that the decision to repair or replace and the associated timeline is very important to you and your neighbors. We will ensure you are in the know about important developments in this decision-making process. This is one part of our continued commitment to providing the public with the best and latest information available. 

To learn more: