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The West Seattle Bridge Weekly Update email is back!

West Seattle Bridge at sunset. Photo Credit: Madison Linkenmeyer

The West Seattle Bridge weekly Friday email is back in your inbox. If you have not already, sign up to receive email updates about the West Seattle Bridge here.

As we approach starting construction on the West Seattle High Rise Bridge again, we will send an email each Friday with the latest on the West Seattle Bridge Program. Moving forward, we will not post these updates on our blog and the information will be contained in the email only.

In this week’s update, read about: 

  • Weekend work at West Marginal Way and Highland Park Way intersection 
  • King County Metro work on 26th Ave SW 
  • SW Alaska St Red Bus Lane project update   
  • SW Andover St Pedestrian Bridge Closed until Seismic Retrofit is Complete
  • SDOT Crews Working through the Record-Setting Heat to Repair Road Damage 
  • Watch yesterday’s Community Task Force Meeting 
  • Read updates regarding the Delridge RapidRide H Line project and surrounding traffic impacts 

Weekend work at West Marginal Way and Highland Park Way intersection 

Map of work at the intersection of Highland Park Way SW and West Marginal Way SW.

We are continuing to build changes at the West Marginal Way and Highland Park Way intersection to make it more accessible, efficient, and safe. This work is taking place on Saturdays and Sundays from 3 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the next few weekends.  

We know that encountering construction and additional delays on the bridge detour routes can be frustrating. Please remember to be kind to each other and to the workers trying to makes these detours safer and more efficient for everyone. We try and schedule work when it impacts the fewest essential workers commutes, and have so much to do we’re on the job almost every day of the summer when weather is best for street construction. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

For more information on this work, see our blog

King County Metro work on 26th Ave SW 

King County Metro began street upgrades along 26th Ave SW as a part of their work to bring RapidRide H Line to White Center and Burien. For more information and to sign-up for their email updates, visit their website.  

26th Ave SW is currently closed to northbound traffic between SW Barton St and SW Roxbury St. Northbound drivers will be detoured off of 26th Avenue SW between SW Roxbury Street and SW Barton Street. The turn from SW Cambridge Street to 26th Avenue SW also will be closed during work. The northbound closure is expected to last two to three months. Once the northbound demolition and repaving are complete, crews will move to work on the southbound lanes, reopening northbound traffic on the improved northbound lanes and detouring southbound drivers. Transit will also be rerouted off of 26th Avenue SW to 35th Avenue SW and the northbound bus stop located at the intersection of 26th Avenue SW and SW Barton Street will also be temporarily relocated to SW Barton Street.    

To stay updated on Metro’s work, sign up for their RapidRide H Line email updates.  

SW Alaska St Red Bus Lane project update  

As part of Reconnect West Seattle and following our recent paving work on SW Alaska St, crews will be applying new pavement markings, including red lanes and “bus only” markings on the existing bus lanes. Red bus lanes help to improve compliance with bus-only restrictions and keep buses moving. Here is what is planned:  

  • On the weekend of August 21 and 22, SDOT crews will be updating the bus lane signs and remarking lane striping.  
  • The red bus lane material and the green cross bike markings will be installed starting the evening of the 24th and will last approximately 2-3 nights.  
  • Efforts will be in place to minimize traffic disruption. Most work will be happening at night.  Drivers might be asked to hold for a short time while staging equipment or directed to shift lanes around the work area. 

SW Andover St Pedestrian Bridge Closed until Seismic Retrofit is Complete  

Thanks to the Levy to Move Seattle, we’re  completing a seismic retrofit of the SW Andover St Pedestrian Bridge. The bridge was built in 1961, and this work will bring the bridge up to code and reduce its vulnerability in an earthquake. Construction is anticipated to begin in fall 2021 and last approximately 3 months. To stay up to date with the latest project information, sign up for our project email list. 

The bridge closed this week without widespread advanced notice. The closure was in response to complaints of illegal activities on the bridge and trespassing from the pedestrian bridge onto the closed West Seattle High-Rise Bridge. Safety is paramount. . 

We recognize that this is an inconvenience for some community members and thank you for your patience and understanding. Please see the pedestrian detour route below to navigate around the closure. 

Map of SW Andover St Ped Bridge detour route
Map of the detour route for the SW Andover St Pedestrian Bridge.

The proposed retrofits for the SW Andover Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge include: 

  • Installing new expansion joints over the main span  
  • Strengthening the east abutment (where the bridge connects to the ground) 

This project is an example of SDOT delivering on its commitments to voters and putting Levy to Move Seattle tax dollars to work. Upgrading this aging bridge to current earthquake safety standards was included as part of the Levy to Move Seattle package passed by voters in 2015.  

Seismic retrofit projects bring older bridges up to modern earthquake safety standards and go above and beyond the ongoing maintenance, inspections, preservation, and basic repairs which we perform continually to keep Seattle bridges safe and stable.  SDOT has completed 32 other bridge seismic retrofit projects over the past 30 years and plans to complete nine more projects by 2025.   

SDOT crews are working through the record-setting heat to repair road damage 

Extreme heat can damage our roads as expanding pavement gets pushed up creating “buckles” in the road. Our crews are ready to respond to more damage from this weekend’s heat wave, and will prioritize repairs based on public safety and impact to the traveling public. We can only fix a problem that we know about, so if you see road damage, please call 206-684-ROAD, email or use the Find It, Fix It app to report the issue.  

After the historic temperatures in late June, SDOT crews got to work immediately to repair road damage throughout the city including several West Seattle locations:  

  • West Marginal Way (north of Highland Park Way SW). Extreme heat over the June 26 weekend caused severe pavement damage on this critical route. Crews worked through the night on Sunday, June 27 and returned during the following week to complete emergency repairs.  
  • 36th Ave SW (Between SW Avalon Way & SW Oregon St). The June heat wave caused pavement to warp creating several hazardous holes in the road. Working around utility infrastructure to completely demolish, remove, and replace massive concrete panels is complex and challenging work. We initially predicted the street would be closed for three weeks, but hard working crews got the job done a week early and finished repairs on July 9.  
  • SW Holly St (between 40th Ave SW & 41st Ave SW). This was another street severely damaged by heat in June. These before and after photos show the work our crews did repair the damage.  

We are thankful for our workers who are braving the heat to support our transportation infrastructure challenging working conditions. If you encounter crews at work, please be kind and remember that this work is necessary to keep people moving safely.  

Watch yesterday’s Community Task Force Meeting 

The West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force met yesterday to discuss the South Park Drainage and Roadway Partnership project, West Seattle High and Low Bridge rehabilitation updates, and our ongoing work to Reconnect West Seattle. In case you missed it, watch the recording here

There are many ways we will continue to share information with you about this effort: