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Weekly Update: West Seattle Bridge

West Seattle Bridge at sunset. Photo Credit: Madison Linkenmeyer

If you need this information translated, please call (206) 900-8734.

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የዚህን መረጃ ትርጉም ከፈለጉ፣ በዚህ ስልክ ቁጥር ይደውሉ፡ (206) 900-8734.

Every Monday, we post a blog to keep you informed about our progress to stabilize the bridge, our efforts to address traffic and mobility, and other items related to the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure. We will not post a blog on December 28 or January 4 due to federal holidays. Other West Seattle Bridge-related SDOT blog posts will be sent to subscribers as they are posted. Stay safe, and we’ll see you in the new year!

In This Week’s Update:

West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Stabilization Update

Phase I Stabilization Almost Complete

We’re close to concluding the emergency measures that we’ve been implementing since the spring to stabilize the bridge and prevent further cracking. Crews have spent the past eight months working on or inside the bridge nearly every day to complete Phase I stabilization, which is a critical milestone and sets the stage for the upcoming repairs (Phase II) of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge.

Carbon Fiber Wrapping

The final layers of carbon fiber wrapping drying on the underside of the bridge.
The final layers of the last round of carbon fiber wrapping drying.

In the past week, we’ve finished installing carbon fiber wrapping and prepared to lower work platforms on both sides of the bridge. Carbon fiber wrapping, which is the last step in the stabilization project, will help support the now-stable and strengthened bridge.

Upcoming Work

Today, December 21 and Tuesday, December 22, we’ll lower all work platforms onto barges on the Duwamish Waterway. This will take place between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. each day. During this time, there will be a waterway channel closure – meaning there will be no waterway passage for maritime traffic. We don’t expect impacts to Low Bridge operations for people walking, biking, or for those who are pre-authorized to drive across. In other words, the Low Bridge will remain open to those who are allowed to use it. Read more on our blog.

Once the platform work is complete, starting on Wednesday, December 23, we will lift the height restrictions we’ve had in place for vessels passing under the bridge.

Last month, we finished the final stressing of the post-tensioning system, which will reinforce the strength of the bridge’s concrete superstructure. During the week of January 4, we’ll finish coating the post-tensioning ends to protect the new system.

We’ll continue 24/7 monitoring and regular visual inspections of the bridge after stabilization work is complete.

Construction Impacts

Kraemer North America, our contractor for the stabilization work, is working Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to stabilize the bridge. People driving may see lane reductions on Klickitat Ave SW and SW Klickitat Way (on the west and south sides of Harbor Island).

Past Work  

Check out our blog for information on the progress we’ve made since we closed the bridge in March.

Spokane St Viaduct Ramp Reopened Last Friday

The ramp connecting S Columbian Way to the Spokane Street Viaduct reopened on Friday, December 18. This was closed earlier this year after the emergency closure of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge on March 23. Closing this connection was a temporary traffic control to limit the traffic on the Low Bridge (Spokane St Bridge). 

We need to keep the Low Bridge clear for emergency vehicles, freight, and transit, and closing the S Columbian to Spokane St Viaduct connection helped reduce traffic on the Low Bridge, keeping it operating without causing severe traffic impacts in the corridor. After monitoring traffic around the West Seattle Bridge system, we are reopening this connection to offer a more direct connection between Beacon Hill and SODO.