West Seattle Bridge’s 30th anniversary! Celebration starts rolling at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse during Thursday’s WS Art Walk

(Photos courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society)
Every West Seattle Art Walk has a multitude of reasons for you to visit local venues and see what – but tomorrow night, there’s an extra reason: The start of a summer-long celebration of the West Seattle Bridge’s 30th anniversary – a reason to talk about the bridge WITHOUT a discussion of traffic trouble! The photos accompanying this preview – and others – went up tonight at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), which will be showing them off as part of the June Art Walk (and beyond).

Hotwire and other local businesses are collaborating with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society for the multi-site, multi-date celebration. Stop by Hotwire Thursday night not only to see the photo exhibit but also to see the new “Bridging the Gap” T-shirt in honor of the anniversary and meet its artist (more info on the SWSHS website) and to check out the “Bridge Blend” coffee beans that Hotwire is launching. Part of the proceeds from T-shirt and coffee sales will benefit SWSHS.

(Added: As Mike points out in comments, today is the 36th anniversary of the ship-vs.-bridge collision that led to construction of the new bridge!)

Read on for other highlighted events celebrating the anniversary over the next month and a half or so:

— Friday, July 11, through Sunday, July 13, 2014, West Seattle Summer Fest booth, featuring interactive art in which visitors can color themselves atop the West Seattle Bridge. “Bridging the Gap” T-shirts and “Bridge Blend” coffee beans also will be available at the booth.

— Monday evening, July 14, 2014, “Bridging the Gap: The Full Story Told by Those Who Were There,” a free panel presentation in the Hotwire courtyard, including Charles Royer, former Seattle mayor and other city officials responsible for funding and building the bridge.

— Saturday evening, Aug. 2, 2014, “Sleepless in Seattle,” the 1993 PG-rated movie partially filmed in West Seattle, dusk in the Hotwire courtyard, part of West Seattle Outdoor Movies. Proceeds from refreshment sales will go to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

Meantime, see tomorrow night’s venue list and walking map for the entire Art Walk by going to wsartwalk.com.

11 Replies to "West Seattle Bridge's 30th anniversary! Celebration starts rolling at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse during Thursday's WS Art Walk"

  • miws June 11, 2014 (9:58 pm)

    So hard to believe it’s been 30 years! Those pics bring back memories…


    It was 36 years ago today/tonight, that the “Ship Hit the Span”, which finally got the ball rolling on a high bridge that West Seattle had long fought to get.



    • WSB June 11, 2014 (10:22 pm)

      Mike, thank you, I can’t believe I didn’t look that up while putting this together. … Will add to the narrative.

  • MSWS June 11, 2014 (11:06 pm)

    The ship that hit the span was captained by Capt. Rolf Neslund who was eventually shot to death by his wife Ruth. Her conviction is one of the few obtained in the U.S. without a victim’s body.
    More bridge info here:

  • Jordan June 12, 2014 (7:36 am)

    That is one stuck up bridge.

  • gina June 12, 2014 (7:44 am)

    36 years since my driver’s ed final. We thought the bridge was going to be fixed in a week or two! Each of the old bridges had four lanes. It was quite the squeeze with the reduction to two in each direction?. And wasn’t one lane reversible depending on the time of day? We ended up skipping the freeway portion of the driver’s ed final!

  • miws June 12, 2014 (7:44 am)

    You’re welcome, WSB, and thanks for the History Link link, and thanks to MSWS, for your link as well.


    The linked Articles provide a correction to my comment; that the incident happened in the early hours of June 11, 1978. My comment implies that it happened late night June 11/early morning June 12.


    I thought about that just after I posted, and thought about looking it up in either History Link, or in my copy of West Side Story that is right in front of me on my coffee table, but my next step was to log off the internet and go to bed. I was afraid if I visited either source, I’d end up staying up another half hour reminiscing, and I was really tired.


    Just the night before, as I was just about to log off, I got lost in Internetland for another half hour, after making “just one more quick visit” to Facebook. ;-)



  • wakeflood June 12, 2014 (11:36 am)

    Did it go without notice that the high bridge got significant funding from the feds? Ah, those heady days of matching funds and infrastructure investment as a national priority…

    Wonder if the investment paid off? Wonder how many folks who have never driven an inch of the bridge helped pay for it?

    Shared sacrifice for the good of the many. Crazy stuff, that.

    • WSB June 12, 2014 (11:40 am)

      “The feds” still fund things. RapidRide. Also, the two new Water Taxi vessels. Sorry I don’t have numbers handy but it’s been reported here before.

  • SGG June 12, 2014 (12:01 pm)

    Never too soon to think about it, but when is the estimated date that this bridge will need to be replaced? 30 more years? What will the cost be?

  • joel June 13, 2014 (12:32 am)

    fed money for south park bridge?

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