Mayor Harrell, Sen. Cantwell, Rep. Jayapal, tribes, dignitaries commemorate successful West Seattle Bridge repair ahead of reopening

As we prepare to reopen the West Seattle Bridge on Sunday, elected officials and other dignitaries gathered at Terminal 18 Park on Harbor Island to commemorate the end of construction and return to service of the stronger, safer West Seattle Bridge.

Several attendees from all levels of government and the community were invited to reflect on the closure and repair process and give remarks before the bridge reopens this weekend.  

Video courtesy of the Seattle Channel
Elected officials, community leaders, City staff members, and other partners stand below the West Seattle Bridge following a press event held on Harbor Island. The high and low bridges are visible, as well as the Duwamish Waterway in the background.
Elected officials, community leaders, City staff members, and other partners stand below the West Seattle Bridge following a press event held on Harbor Island. Photo: SDOT.

“West Seattle is ready to reopen! On top of so many challenges over the past two and a half years, neighbors have demonstrated resilience and a commitment to their community – weathering difficulties posed by the bridge’s closure including tougher commutes, longer traffic lines, and the struggle of feeling disconnected from the rest of Seattle. We can’t be One Seattle without West Seattle, and we are overjoyed to be able to reunite West Seattle with the rest of the city.”

– Mayor Bruce Harrell

“The reopening of the West Seattle Bridge comes as a huge relief to tens of thousands of commuters who will be able to spend less time in traffic and more time on the things that matter most—whether that’s making it home in time for a kid’s soccer match, a happy hour with friends, or just a quiet evening with family. From connecting communities to supporting local economies, this bridge plays an absolutely critical role in so many peoples’ lives. That’s why I fought hard to secure the funding needed to upgrade the West Seattle Bridge, improve safety standards, and ensure the people of western Washington have solid infrastructure they can rely on to get them quickly, and safely, back home to their families every day.”

– U.S. Senator Patty Murray

“West Seattle is a key part of our city, both to live and to drive commerce. With the reopening of West Seattle Bridge, commuters will get to work quicker, freight will move more efficiently, and one of Seattle’s most vibrant communities will be connected to the city once again. This bridge is essential. That’s why we worked to cobble together $37 million dollars from federal funds to cover more than half of the repair costs. Now, this headache is almost over.”

– U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell

“This day has been a long time coming. The West Seattle Bridge is critical infrastructure for our Port, our businesses and our communities across Seattle. The extensive repairs that the bridge underwent will make it safe again for all of our communities to utilize as a much-needed connector across our city and region. As a West Seattle resident myself, I also know what a strain West Seattleites have been under without the bridge, and how eager so many of my constituents are at this reopening. I look forward to the bridge reopening this Sunday. It will be a day of great joy and relief for our city.”

U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal

“Reopening the West Seattle Bridge is a huge win for the greater Seattle community. Now, people from across the region will be able to more easily connect to West Seattle businesses, restaurants and attractions. This highly anticipated reopening was made possible by the collaboration between local, state, and federal partners in the Biden-Harris Administration and by collectively leveraging resources across all levels of government.”

U.S. Representative Adam Smith

“As a lifelong West Seattle resident, I have lived the mobility challenges we’ve faced since March 2020. I am glad that King County Metro could contribute to the solution, but I’m especially glad that my neighbors, my family and I will be reconnected to the city and region we love.”

– King County Executive Dow Constantine

“At long last, the day we’ve been eagerly awaiting is almost here: the bridge is on the verge of reopening. I want to extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the residents and businesses of West Seattle and Duwamish Valley communities who have shown such extended resilience and patience since the West Seattle Bridge closed.”

– Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold

“I share the relief of 100,000 neighbors that we are finally reopening this vital regional bridge that connects all of us. This long-awaited reopening is less of a celebration and more of an expression of gratitude to the engineers, SDOT staff, and construction workers who carefully repaired this vital regional bridge to make it strong and safe again. I look forward to new SDOT leadership prioritizing the proactive improvement of Seattle’s bridges, because the people and businesses of Seattle cannot afford another bridge closure.”

– Seattle Councilmember Alex Pedersen

“As a key part of the transportation network that supports international cargo movement, the West Seattle Bridge is an important asset to global trade. The Port of Seattle is glad to be investing $9 million toward continued bridge improvements that will strengthen the competitiveness of our gateway and grow family wage jobs across the state. We thank the many freight champions who ensured critical port access during repairs and appreciate the great partnership that has led to the bridge opening.”

Port of Seattle & The Northwest Seaport Alliance Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed

“The Duwamish Valley neighborhoods immediately experienced an increase in traffic when the bridge closed, and I saw the need for community representation. I’ve been working with SDOT since almost the very beginning. I appreciate their partnership and transparency over the past two years and am grateful for the meaningful opportunity to participate in the future of the bridge and our impacted communities of the Duwamish Valley and West Seattle.”

West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force Co-Chair Paulina Lopez

“Nine-hundred-ten days we have been without the West Seattle Bridge when it opens on Sunday. I am not here today to complain but rather to express my deep appreciation for the folks who acted to protect our safety, those who worked so hard to get these repairs done and to the folks of West Seattle who, for the most part, shared the sacrifice as good neighbors. We were all in this together. And especially to the 40 or so citizen members of our Bridge Task Force and my esteemed co-chair Paulina Lopez, who worked for 730 days to make this experience as ‘painless’ as humanly possible.”

Former Seattle Mayor and West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force Co-Chair Greg Nickels

“The Seattle Building Trades applauds the Mayor, City Council, City staff, community leaders, the construction team and all of the talented and tireless workers involved in this crucial public safety work on the West Seattle Bridge. It was important that the job was done right, and it is now a much stronger and safer bridge. Through our partnerships with the City, this project also provided Priority Hire and apprenticeship opportunities for community members, particularly from underserved populations. We are really excited—and we know the neighbors are excited – for this historic reopening!”

– Executive Secretary of the Seattle Building & Construction Trades Council Monty Anderson

“This is such an exciting day for the workers who did these bridge repairs and those who rely on the West Seattle Bridge to get to and from work every day. We did it! The West Seattle Bridge Repair Project is a result of the work by the hands and minds of union workers who labored through the pandemic and all the other challenges that have defined 2020, 2021 and 2022. Many unions came together to complete this project for Seattle. This included collaboration and cooperation from laborers, ironworkers, carpenters, cement masons, operating engineers, electricians, Protec17 members and Teamsters. We appreciate our partners at the City of Seattle and our region’s federal delegation, the Port of Seattle, and King County Executive Constantine and many others who prioritized and funded this project.”

Executive Secretary Treasurer for MLK Labor Katie Garrow

The West Seattle Bridge will reopen on Sunday, September 18. All restrictions will also be removed from the Spokane St Swing Bridge, known as the low bridge.