Update: West Seattle ‘low bridge’ back in service

ORIGINAL REPORT: If you were heading downtown this evening you might want to be sure to take the high bridge. We’re just now hearing reports that the low bridge is stuck in the open position. SPD is barricading and cars have been turned away. We’re going to check it out and will post updates as we learn more.

7:26 PM UPDATE: The low bridge is back in service now.

6 Replies to "Update: West Seattle 'low bridge' back in service"

  • cathyw September 2, 2010 (8:16 pm)

    I was down there around 7pm – fifth in line on the east end of the bridge heading westbound trying to get back to West Seattle. The bridge was open for a long time while they let a container barge and crane go through. I had enough time to hop out of the car and watch the barge, eat a bag of trail mix and read part of “The Four Agreements.” That must be when the “Stuck Bridge” message went out. When the bridge finally closed (I mean opened?) and we were allowed to proceed, we found a police car at the other end of the bridge blocking the way down to the “Chelan Cafe intersection.” The four cars ahead of me were shunted off to Harbor Island! Poor things. Fortunately, the rest of us were allowed through.

    This topped off my rather bizarre attempt to attend the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square. After spending 20 minutes not finding parking downtown and fighting the traffic to get back to the High Bridge, I ended up stuck on the Low Bridge. Took me an hour and 15 minutes to make the loop from home to Pioneer Square and back home. Nice evening though! :)

  • voodoo September 2, 2010 (8:56 pm)

    Wow, cathyw! I had much the same experience as you, from the other side, trying to go from West Seattle to Pioneer Square for the Art walk.

    I saw the crane go through, seemed like the bridge was going to close. Just then a police car drove past us all and blocked the lane of traffic, gesturing for us to U-turn.

    I made my way over the high bridge and took 1st avenue. I noticed there must have been a game at one of the stadiums, because lots had their “event parking” signs out. Drove around trying to find parking near the venue I was aiming for, and went home after not finding any. I didn’t want to have to walk a long way back to my car in the dark alone later.

    I guess the stars aren’t in alignment tonight! I should be happy that my loop took less than 30 minutes.

    On a related note, I heard from a friend who lives in Pioneer Square that the police are cracking down on galleries serving wine after a West Seattle girl got a DUI last week following the Art Walk. No bueno!

  • nmb September 2, 2010 (11:31 pm)

    The bridge was stuck closed (to ship traffic) for about 45 minutes starting around 6:00p also. I was biking home from work and the gates were closed. There was a large boat and a barge waiting to pass throught, but the bridge never opened, and the gates opened back up to let cars, cyclists and pedestrians through.
    As we were waiting, a guy who worked at SDOT biked up (on his way home as well) and informed us cyclists (who numbered about 50 or more by this time) that a pedestrian or cyclist had jumped over the gate after it had closed (he had checked in with his office via cellphone from the bridge). This somehow put the bridge into “default” mode (his words) and that it would likely take an hour before it could be fixed, and that even though the bridge was not swung open, they would not let any traffic through. However, not 2 minutes after he said this, the gates opened up and let us all through. ‘Tis a good thing too, as I was just about to give up and bike down to the 1st Avenue Bridge to get across.
    Sounds like they opened the bridge for the barge soon thereafter and then got stuck open?

  • cathyw September 3, 2010 (7:26 am)

    Naw, I bet it is exactly as you said. I was speculating. But the police were still down there when I went through.

  • Byron September 3, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    Reminder that Tracy uses quote marks to denote the name of the bridge that is actually the Swing Bridge. Considering a new blog called The Swing Bridge Blog that insists we call it that and posts on stories like this with a webcam even.

  • ws September 3, 2010 (9:10 pm)

    That lower level WS Bridge sucks. It opens (closes to traffic) randomly and stays closed to traffic way too long. Don’t we have any rights as pedestrians, bikers, commuters? It should follow the rules of all other draw bridges in Seattle.

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