West Seattle Bridge Program Weekly Update: Friday, December 17, 2021

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West Seattle Bridge Weekly Update

News about the week ahead for the West Seattle Bridge Program

Due to the upcoming holidays, we don't expect to send a program update next week unless there is time-sensitive news to share. We’ll share an email update the week of December 27 and start the weekly Friday email again on Friday, January 7. Happy holidays!

Hydro-blasting wraps up; next steps: work platforms and core drilling

Graphic of the high bridge repairs

Graphic of the high bridge repairs

This week, we’re getting close to wrapping up hydro-blasting work on the bridge. The hydro-blasting allows us to create access sites and prepare the bridge for work platforms. We are using high-powered water jets to cut through concrete instead of other more invasive methods because the water allows us to protect the steel inside the bridge’s concrete surface.

Crews using high-powered water streams to create access points in the bridge.

Crews using high-powered water streams to create access points in the bridge.

We’re also beginning to assemble work platforms under the east side of the bridge. These are materials recycled from the same work platforms used for initial stabilization of the bridge, which we completed in late 2020. After the holidays, we’ll hoist the work platforms up in the air and hang them from the bottom of the bridge. These platforms create a work space to complete epoxy injections and carbon-fiber wrapping on the outside of the bridge.

Crews will use these steel beams to build work platforms.

Crews will use these steel beams to build work platforms. The platforms will be assembled under the bridge and then hoisted up and adjacent to the bridge for safe work access for crews.

Epoxy injections and carbon-fiber wrapping are currently planned to begin inside the bridge in January, followed by epoxy injections and carbon-fiber wrapping on the outside of the bridge later next month. Stay tuned for more details. 

Low bridge short-term closures to traffic for five Sundays starting December 19

This Sunday, and in January 2022, we will briefly close the Spokane St Swing Bridge (low bridge) for three times a day to people driving, taking transit, walking, and biking. These closures could last up to 30 minutes each, which is about twice as long as the bridge is closed to traffic when it swings open for a vessel.  

In 2022, we are performing important rehabilitation upgrades to the low bridge to ensure that it remains in safe and usable condition. We will use these short-term closures to measure important deflection data for the low bridge to ensure that future construction scaffolding will be safe to use while we complete this rehabilitation work.  

We are aligning these short closures to happen during off-peak periods and when there are lulls in traffic to minimize impacts to the community, including transit, freight, and other approved low bridge users.  

The scheduled closure times are the same each day: during lulls in traffic around 9 AM, around 1 PM, and around 5 PM. The planned dates for these closures are:   

  • Sunday, December 19 
  • Sunday, January 9 
  • Sunday, January 16 
  • Sunday, January 23 
  • Sunday, January 30

People driving who are authorized to use the low bridge will need to take the signed detour routes during these closures, take the trip at a different time, or wait up to 30 minutes when the bridge will reopen.

People biking, walking, or rolling on the low bridge path can wait up to 30 minutes for the bridge path to reopen or they can continue south to use the 1st Ave S Bridge path.

To see what traffic looks like in real-time, visit our SDOT Traveler’s page and select the camera icon near the low bridge.

Other news to know

  • Flip Your Trip offers support and free rides to those who live or work in West Seattle. Sign up today at FlipYourTrip.org to receive a special welcome bonus worth $25 in FREE trips you can use on transit, water taxi, and bike/scooter-share (using the Transit GO Ticket app)—as well as the first month free on Metro vanpools, personalized trip planning, informational events, and more.

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