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Ahead of the September 18 reopening, crews are finishing up major maintenance work on the West Seattle Bridge

Using a crane, crews install a new overhead sign structure on the bridge. Photo: SDOT

Construction crews on the West Seattle Bridge are finishing several key maintenance activities. While crews were hard at work on final bridge repairs – including epoxy crack injection, carbon-fiber wrapping, and a new post-tensioning system – we also completed various maintenance activities to prepare the bridge for reopening.

By completing these activities at the same time as final bridge repairs, we’re getting a few steps ahead on the regular bridge maintenance schedule while there’s been no public traffic on the bridge.

Major maintenance work completed over the past 9 months:

  • Replaced 47 expansion joints, which allow the bridge to expand and contract with changes in temperature
  • Poured and grooved 106,200 square feet of new concrete on the Fauntleroy Expressway
  • Replaced 11,000 square feet of concrete paneling on the bridge’s western approach
  • Replaced 11 sign structures and added new signs
As the seasons change, varying temperatures cause bridges to expand and contract. This photo shows an expansion joint on the bridge, including large pieces of wood on top.
As the seasons change, varying temperatures cause bridges to expand and contract. By replacing the 47 bridge expansion joints, we help ensure that the structure can safely adapt to varying conditions in the years to come. Photo: SDOT

Final steps before reopening

With repair work complete and the work platforms removed from the bridge, crews will be demobilizing the construction site and preparing the road surface for vehicles to return. This work involves closing all the bridge access holes that we made in order to get inside the bridge’s girders and support the temporary work platforms. It also includes restriping travel lanes, replacing permanent barriers, and removing the site office and work equipment.

We will also conduct final testing on the bridge, which involves driving heavy trucks over it and measuring how the bridge responds using live monitoring sensors.

The live monitoring sensors have already been in use during the repair of the bridge and provide data to help confirm that it is responding as expected.

Numerous construction workers on the Fauntleroy Expressway, as part of a concrete overlay effort. Large construction equipment and machinery is in the center of the photo, with a large building in the background.
We began the concrete overlay process by grinding away the top half-inch of existing concrete and then pouring a new layer. Crews replaced nearly 4 acres of the Fauntleroy Expressway with new concrete overlay. Photo: SDOT

We will continue to provide ongoing updates and keep you posted as we approach the bridge reopening this Sunday, September 18.