South Park Bridge demolition update: Leaf removal under way

(Photo by Jason Grotelueschen)

Two months and one day after the shutdown of the old South Park Bridge (WSB video coverage here), the first major part of the demolition work has begun – King County Department of Transportation confirms that one of its “leaves” (the actual drawbridge sections) will “be detached and lowered onto a barge sometime this afternoon.” The KCDOT announcement continues:

Prior to removal, nine steel cuts will be required to separate the leaf from the remainder of the bridge. Once the cuts have been made, the leaf will slowly be lowered onto the barge. This work is extremely complicated and may take a few hours to complete.

This process will be repeated when the second leaf is removed over the next few days. Both leaves will then be barged to another site for salvage and recycling.

During this first demolition phase, crews have also been demolishing vacant structures on county-owned property adjacent to the bridge to accommodate future construction staging. The work will set the stage for future construction of a new South Park Bridge when a funding package is in place.

UPDATE 4:40 PM: As of this afternoon there is still not a whole lot of movement as work progresses slowly. Jason Grotelueschen staked out the bridge this afternoon, reporting only an occasional drizzle and a few showers of sparks, as workers continued to make cuts in the steel. Here’s one more photo from Jason, with a closer view of workers on aerial lifts:

6:30 AM (Wed) UPDATE: According to eyewitness reports and the YourSouthPark newsgroup, the “South Park side of the bridge” was finally dismantled and lowered safely onto a barge below, at around 7 pm last night (see photos from SeattlePI.com). The other side of the bridge should be removed by later this week.

1 Reply to "South Park Bridge demolition update: Leaf removal under way"

  • JAT August 31, 2010 (3:26 pm)

    funny, before I saw the photo I thought of leaf removal as something needing only a rake…

    last week I was puzzling how to get to Dunn Lumber at Boulevard Park from downtown on my bicycle and gave the Bike option in Google maps a whirl – the innertubes apparently don’t yet know the bridge isn’t there anymore.

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