Restaurants and retail struggling during pandemic, on-call medical workers, additional types of vans and shuttles can now apply for Spokane St Swing Bridge access

More people and businesses in West Seattle can now apply for access to drive on the Spokane St Swing Bridge (low bridge)! The low bridge is restricted to keep a clear path for emergency vehicles while the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge is under construction.  

PRESS RELEASE: EnglishEspañol繁體中文한국어Tiếng Việtភាសាខ្មែរ | af SoomaaliOromiffa 

FACT SHEET: EnglishEspañol繁體中文한국어Tiếng Việtភាសាខ្មែរ | af SoomaaliOromiffa 

People must meet eligibility requirements, apply, provide their license plate number, and be approved by SDOT before using the low bridge during restricted hours. Applications must be received by May 15 for access on June 1. 

The following user groups can now apply for access to drive on the low bridge: 

  • On-call medical workers (only for traveling to and from an on-call work shift; employer verification required) 
  • West Seattle-based restaurants and retail businesses (limited to urgent trips to pick-up equipment or supplies) 
  • Rideshare vehicles (vans, shuttles or official carpools with a state-issued rideshare license plate; This does not include Uber and Lyft) 
  • People traveling to and from lifesaving medical treatments (authorization from your medical provider required) via West Seattle; includes driving to treatments via the Fauntleroy Ferry.  

The low bridge access application is available at www.seattle.gov/transportation/lowbridge and in the following languages:  

English | Español |中國語文 | Tiếng Việt  | ភាសាខ្មែរ 

한국어 | Oromiffa | af-Soomaali  

If you need assistance in completing the application or have questions, you can call (206) 400-7511 and leave a voicemail or email WestSeattleBridge@seattle.gov. Provide your name, contact info and preferred language and someone will return your call or email.  

Applications are processed once per month. Applications must be received by the 15th of the month for access to be granted and begin on the 1st of the following month. Access does not begin immediately after receiving confirmation because license plate information must be processed into the photo enforcement system. 

The expanded low bridge access is on a temporary and limited basis.

Spokane St Swing Bridge. Photo Credit: Tim Durkan.
Spokane St Swing Bridge. Photo Credit: Tim Durkan.

We can restrict or revoke access at any time and will notify people in advance if this is the case. We will reduce or revoke access on the low bridge for many groups in late 2021 before the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 re-opens so that the bridge has capacity for increased freight traffic.  

The low bridge is currently restricted to certain vehicles and photo enforced on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Unauthorized vehicles will receive a $75 fine for every trip taken across the low bridge during the restricted hours.   

Our priority for the low bridge is to ensure reliable access for emergency vehicles, freight, and transit while the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge is being repaired. People driving these types of vehicles can use the bridge at all hours of the day and do not need to apply for access or provide a license plate to us. The high-rise bridge is anticipated to reopen in 2022. 

Additional information, including a full list of vehicles that may qualify for access, is available on the Spokane St Swing Bridge (Low Bridge) website