West Seattle Bridge team lifted the first work platforms over the weekend to help advance final bridge repairs

View of the first work platform rising into place. Photo credit: SDOT

This past weekend we hoisted the first two of four hanging work platforms to the underside of the West Seattle Bridge so our team can work on the exterior of the bridge during the final phase of repairs this year. The lifts began on Saturday, January 8 at 8 AM and were completed at around 3 PM.

Check out our time-lapse video of the work platform lift

This short time-lapse video shows the lifting of the first two temporary work platforms that will provide access for repairs to the West Seattle Bridge. The video was taken on Saturday, January 8. Video credit: SDOT.

The work platforms are essential for our final phase of bridge rehabilitation because they provide temporary workspace for crews to use while they inject epoxy to seal cracks and wrap carbon-fiber for added strength on the underside of the bridge. The platforms are being positioned in four locations, approximately 120 feet above ground. They help provide safe access for crews to complete bridge repairs in advance of re-opening the bridge in mid-2022.

To lift the platforms, crews used industrial winches (devices used to adjust cable tension to support the lifting process) from the bridge deck to pull the platform into place from the ground. Workers used these winches to lift the platforms using metal cables that were fed through small openings on the bridge deck, which crews had previously created using high-pressure water jets. Crews then secured them to the bridge using rigging cables that were installed last month.

Rigging cables hang from the West Seattle Bridge. The work platforms are attached to these steel cables that will support the weight of the platforms as crews complete epoxy injections and carbon fiber wrapping on the exterior of the bridge.
Rigging cables hang from the West Seattle Bridge. The work platforms are attached to these steel cables that will support the weight of the platforms as crews complete epoxy injections and carbon fiber wrapping on the exterior of the bridge. Photo credit: SDOT
Two platform bed trucks await the first of two work platforms that were hoisted into place on Saturday, January 8. The platforms were lifted by cranes and forklifts onto the truck beds, then driven into position underneath the bridge in the hoisting area.
Two platform bed trucks await the first of two work platforms that were hoisted into place on Saturday, January 8. The platforms were lifted by cranes and forklifts onto the truck beds, then driven into position underneath the bridge in the hoisting area. Photo credit: SDOT
Cranes and forklifts work in tandem to bring a work platform onto truck beds.
Cranes and forklifts work in tandem to bring a work platform onto truck beds. Photo credit: SDOT
A work platform is loaded onto trucks and moved into position for hoisting.
A work platform is loaded onto trucks and moved into position for hoisting. Photo credit: SDOT
The hoist begins. The temporary work platform starts to be lifted upwards.
Liftoff – the hoist begins! Photo credit: SDOT
Views of the first platform rising into place.
Views of the first platform rising into place.
Views of the first platform rising into place.
Views of the first work platform rising into place. Photo credit: SDOT

The process for installing these work platforms began with the assembly of metal beams at the base of the high bridge. Each of the platforms requires 13 beams fastened together to create a strong and stable foundation. After assembling the metal beams, we installed decking where workers will stand while they repair the bridge. The work platforms also include railings to help keep crews safe while they work on the high bridge repairs.

Now that the first two work platforms have been hoisted into position on the west side of the bridge, the next two platforms will be hoisted later this month on the east side. Stay tuned to the West Seattle Bridge Program website for the latest updates.