Been wondering whether the city will replace the signs on southbound Highway 99 that marked the neighboring exits for the westbound high bridge and Harbor Island? You’re not alone. Several people asked us about it earlier this month, including DJ, who provided the image you see above. He got an answer from SDOT before we did, and shared it with us. Elliot Helmbrecht, Levy Outreach & Accountability Manager in the SDOT director’s office, told DJ that this has been in the works for months:
After work order #551160 was created for a new sign in October and SDOT previously corresponded with you, we realized that this was an irregular sign that would have to be ordered and produced by an outside company, rather than in-house. Because this raises the cost significantly, SDOT staff made the prudent decision to package it with a larger sign order, somewhat delaying the procurement of this particular sign. In the meantime, a windstorm further damaged the sign and the additional sign next to it. Due to the damage from the windstorm, SDOT crews removed both signs. These events have led to some confusion, and for that we do apologize.
Going forward, SDOT has placed the order for the two new signs you mentioned on the West Seattle Bridge and they will be installed as soon as they arrive. Based on information we received from the sign company, we believe we can have the signs installed in the next few weeks.
A few outstanding issues that may delay installation from happening on the timeline mentioned above include a delay with the sign manufacturer or work that the crews will have to do to rebuild the cross-beams to match the new types of signs (the original were wood and the new ones will be metal). Also, we may not know about additional damage until the crews are in the air.