(January 2012 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
The re-replacement of more than 600 earthquake-safety cushions under the west end of the West Seattle Bridge could start as soon as late March.
That update today from a spokesperson for SDOT‘s Fauntleroy Expressway Bearing Pad Replacement Project.
We first reported last month that the re-replacement is finally about to get under way, a year later than first announced, and two years after the city revealed the new cushions installed in 2012 would need to be replaced because of a design-process problem.
Since this work is expected to require dozens of bridge closures – mostly late at night – we had asked last month how SDOT would take into account the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure for the tunneling project that at the time was also expected in March. Since the tunneling’s been on hold again for three weeks now, SDOT says today:
We have been hoping to get a firm (or relatively firm) range of dates for the likely AWV closure. However, the Governor’s directive to stop any additional drilling until he is satisfied with the answers provided to him about the sinkhole leaves the closure schedule very much in the air.
Given this situation, along with our belief that our project’s nighttime closures will generally add no more than a couple of minutes of travel time for detoured motorists, we are going to move ahead. We expect to begin construction sometime between late March and mid-April (and hope to have a firmer schedule in hand from the contractor by the end of February).
While we’d prefer to not have our weeknight closures of the Expressway overlap with the AWV closure, we don’t believe there is enough of a linkage between the two to cause us to delay the project.
A briefing is planned at next month’s Southwest District Council meeting (6:30 pm Wednesday, March 3rd, Sisson Building), and SDOT says it would be happy to meet with any other interested groups. The city has reiterated that the bridge is safe; tougher cushions extend its lifespan.