City Council to consider West Seattle Bridge name proposal

Almost half a year ago, we brought you first word (January report here) of a campaign to name the West Seattle Bridge in honor of the late former City Councilmember Jeanette Williams, whose efforts helped make it reality. williams1.jpgA version of this proposal is finally coming before the City Council next Monday (2 pm), according to the office of West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who worked for and with Ms. Williams for many years. Here’s the resolution he is sponsoring to give it the secondary name “Jeanette Williams Memorial Bridge.” Rasmussen staffer Brian Hawksford tells WSB, “The resolution requests SDOT to install signage at all approaches to the bridge. It will be similar to the signage on SR-520 that honors former Governor Rosellini. The secondary naming will mean that no maps or freeway signage will need to be changed and the costs will be minimal. The official name of the bridge will remain the West Seattle Bridge. We expect that there will be a dedication in a few months after SDOT completes its work.” He says there’s no exact cost estimate yet, and also notes that there will be a proclamation next week noting the 25th anniversary next Tuesday of the dedication of The Bridge (July 14, 1984).

16 Replies to "City Council to consider West Seattle Bridge name proposal"

  • old timer July 9, 2009 (12:13 pm)

    I hope this naming resolution is approved.

  • Barb July 9, 2009 (1:06 pm)

    In the world of architecure and planning the West Seattle bridge is universally thought of as a missed opportunity because it does nothing to enhance the visual environment. It is certainly no Golden Gate bridge or anything even close. It’s basically functional but it ain’t fancy. I hope people would not see it as an insult to Jeantte Williams to have such an ugly bridge named after her.

  • wseye July 9, 2009 (1:33 pm)

    It is an ugly bridge, no question.

  • OP July 9, 2009 (1:49 pm)

    Meh. It’s a bridge. What the CC should do is waste more time on naming a bridge that nobody will ever call it. Don’t they have something better to do….

  • old timer July 9, 2009 (1:55 pm)

    Someone’s missed opportunity is
    someone else’s opening way.
    It was a heck of a lot uglier when there was NO bridge.
    The energies required to get it built as quickly as it was are
    unimaginable in today’s environment of delicate feelings.
    You really had to be there to understand.
    And yes, the CC could be doing something else, but they aren’t.
    Complain to them.

  • WSB July 9, 2009 (2:03 pm)

    Feedback links for anything you want to tell the council, good, bad, suggestions, whatever, can be reached from the city website (as well as agendas and all sorts of other stuff):

  • Mike D. July 9, 2009 (2:31 pm)

    old timer – I love your viewpoint on things. I should like to buy you a drink someday!

  • Smitty July 9, 2009 (3:25 pm)

    When it comes to roads and bridges, I will take function over form any day.

  • charlabob July 9, 2009 (3:31 pm)

    Since we thrive on indecision, let me propose instead the Charlie Chong bridge — people might even remember to call it that. :-)

  • OP July 9, 2009 (4:13 pm)

    Complain to them. Oh, I do, and often. And I have to say that I really feel like an important citizen when I receieve a formatted email reply. *sigh*

  • miws July 9, 2009 (5:38 pm)

    As much as I like your idea, charlabob, I’m afraid I gotta disagree. ;) Jeanette was so instrumental in getting the High-Rise, and later the Swing Bridge Built. I never heard of Charlie, until around ten years after the Bridge opened. :P


    That being said, I had a great deal of respect for Charlie, and miss terribly that he’s no longer with us. He’s one of those people that I wish could have lived to age 100 or so.


    Now, we just need to come up with something significant in WS to name after Charlie!


    Also, I like what old timer, and Smitty had to say on this matter.



  • Eddie July 9, 2009 (7:42 pm)

    I hope that the city, county, state, feds, etc. aren’t spending one cent of taxpayer money on this subject. Not one sign, not one meeting, not one hearing, nothing. There are so many more places that NEED the limited public funds and debating the name of a 20 year old bridge isn’t one of them.

  • JBL July 9, 2009 (9:15 pm)

    Wasn’t the name already changed years and years ago when the “West Seattle Freeway
    became the “West Seattle Bridge”? THey spent money changing the signs then for ONE word!

  • WSB July 9, 2009 (10:19 pm)

    That was the straightaway stretch that’s also known as the Spokane Street Viaduct. This is the high rise – TR

  • Aa July 10, 2009 (8:09 am)

    Money wasting opportunity. The span is simply the “West Seattle Bridge” and will always be. It makes sense.
    The worst idea ever is to spend money for signs that some long-lost family members might take a snapshot of for memory’s sake, but will be overlooked entirely by real commuters and tourists who need only see the “WSB” sign to know where the exit will take them.

  • Tom Rasmussen July 10, 2009 (1:41 pm)

    Quick response to a few of the comments.

    I worked for Councilmember Williams at that time. The design of the bridge was due to the desire of Councilmember Williams and Senator Magnuson to get the bridge built within budget and as quickly as possible and due to a number of engineering challenges. The disruption to the West Seattle community was monumental when the drawbridge was out of service, Williams and Magnuson wanted to get the new one built asap.

    To OP who said he or she writes but only gets form letters, I invite him/her to contact me now or at any time. I do my best to respond to all letters and phone calls. If you would write or e-mail me at, I would be glad to help. If you prefer to call please call me at 206-684-8808.


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