West Seattle Bridge passes strength test, confirming the bridge is safe and ready to open this weekend

Twelve trucks lined up in preparation for load testing on the West Seattle Bridge earlier this week. Photo: SDOT.

We have completed our analysis of strength tests conducted earlier this week on the West Seattle Bridge, and the bridge has passed its final safety test. This data confirms the bridge is strong, safe, and ready to reopen on Sunday, September 18, as planned.

Earlier this week, we conducted load testing on the bridge to confirm that it is structurally sound and able to reopen thanks to the repairs we’ve completed over the past 2 ½ years. This testing process involved driving up to a dozen 80,000-pound trucks on the bridge deck, then actively measuring the bridge’s response to the added weight using the new sensors.

The bridge is stronger and safer now that we have repaired cracking and added nearly 60 miles of steel cable “backbone” to the bridge, 100,000 square feet of carbon fiber wrapping, and 240 gallons of epoxy to fill cracks in the bridge’s concrete.

We are confident that the repaired bridge will stand strong for decades to come, fulfilling its original intended lifespan.

The bridge now includes our most extensive, sophisticated bridge monitoring system which allows us to detect subtle movements or any growth of existing cracks. The safety system runs 24/7 and automatically alerts engineers immediately of any issues that would require further inspection.

Check out our final progress video below to see the load testing in action and take a quick virtual tour of our bridge inspection and monitoring systems.

Graphic detailing safety as one of SDOT's core values and goals. A yellow heart icon and black and blue background, as well as the SDOT logo, are included.
Safety is one of our core values and goals that guides all of our work. Graphic: SDOT.