BRIDGE CLOSURES: Dates/times for Fauntleroy Expressway bearing-pad re-replacement work

(2012 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli, during original bearing-pad-replacement work)

Since January, we’ve been warning you that dozens of closures are ahead for the west end of the West Seattle Bridge, for the work to re-replace hundreds of earthquake-safety cushions, officially known as bearing pads. (Here’s the backstory.) SDOT announced earlier this month that the work would likely start in late April, and this morning the contractor has sent word of the specific dates and times, starting April 27th. Note that the announcement includes not only nighttime closures of the west end of the high bridge (formally called the Fauntleroy Expressway), but also lane closures on Spokane Street beneath it – daytime as well as nighttime. Here are full details:

C A Carey will be closing the Fauntleroy Expressway (West Seattle Bridge) from 9 pm to 5 am. The bridge will be closed westbound at Delridge Way and eastbound at 35th Ave SW.

In the evenings, under-bridge traffic (Spokane Street) will be reduced to one lane in both directions east- and westbound. C A Carey will be out flagging along with the closed lanes. Expect delays if traveling under the bridge. Carey will also be working during the day to reduce traffic under the bridge to one lane in both directions, and flagging as needed. Hours for the lanes are westbound Spokane St are 7 am to 6 pm and eastbound Spokane St are 9 am to 6 pm Monday thru Friday.

This work will start on April 27, 2016 and continue through July 15, 2016.

Daytime (Lane) Closures
Spokane St eastbound 9 am to 6 pm
Spokane St westbound 7 am to 6 pm
Mondays thru Fridays

Nighttime Closure
Spokane St (lane) eastbound 6 pm to 6 am
Spokane St (lane) westbound 6 pm to 6 am
Fauntleroy Expressway [bridge] 9 pm to 5 am
Sundays thru Fridays

Throughout the closures, we will include reminders (and any changes/updates) in our weekday morning traffic/transit watches and weekend previews, and will also add the overall information to the WSB Traffic page.

25 Replies to "BRIDGE CLOSURES: Dates/times for Fauntleroy Expressway bearing-pad re-replacement work"

  • Kevin April 15, 2016 (1:51 pm)

    So will these closures be at the same time the viaduct closes as well, when they are encouraging people to ride the water taxi.  What a traffic nightmare!

    • WSB April 15, 2016 (2:08 pm)

      The bridge closures are at night only, when the Water Taxi doesn’t run. The lane closures under the bridge would only affect Water Taxi-bound commuters who were headed west – if you were coming from Pigeon Point, maybe. We asked SDOT repeatedly about the likely coincidence of the closures and they said they were aware … TR

  • Iggy April 15, 2016 (3:42 pm)

    So, what are the “Daytime Lane Closures” on Spokane Street?  Won’t that make traffic worse when the Viaduct is closed.  Sorry if I’m asking dumb questions.  The traffic patterns and street names are so confusing, even during the best of times.

    • WSB April 15, 2016 (4:00 pm)

      Iggy – that’s the “underneath the bridge” closures mentioned higher up. Basically – this work is done under the west end of the high bridge. It has to be jacked up for the pads to be replaced. The jacking up happens during the nighttime closures; other work is done during the daytime lane closures. This is just the couple blocks under the west end of the bridge. I asked them repeatedly earlier in the year if they weren’t concerned about the possible overlap and no, they weren’t.

  • AdmiralDon April 15, 2016 (5:47 pm)

    does this mean the bike lanes remain open?  i should hope so.  Would really suck if the bike path to downtown along the north side of spokane street is closed.  Anyone know?


    • WSB April 15, 2016 (5:58 pm)

      Bike path is not supposed to be affected.

  • JanS April 18, 2016 (11:27 am)

    seems that the city planners ain’t planning so well…WTF are they thinking? They can’t coordinate with each other and maybe plan to not coincide?   Nightmare? Yes…Stoopid? YES! I work at home, so I’m lucky…I really, really feel for the commuters…

    • WSB April 18, 2016 (12:11 pm)

      I asked about it at the event we’re just back from. The SDOT rep’s first reply was that the bridge closures are at night so they didn’t think the overlap would cause much extra trouble. I pointed out that the daytime lane closures were likely the real problem as people try to find alternatives with the viaduct closed; he said he would “take that back” (to HQ) for consideration. – TR

  • jam April 18, 2016 (8:51 pm)

    OMGosh yes! Please take that back to HQ for consideration! Anyone reading this, please voice your concern about this planned “double whammy” that SDOT knowingly has in store for us! Just the viaduct closure all by itself will be hellish. But add the closures under the bridge between 9am and 6pm (both directions) and we in West Seattle are in major trouble. Getting to work is important, but what about emergency vehicles of any kind?? Let’s ask the city if they want to be held responsible or liable if aid/fire can’t make it to or from an emergency because of their planned rats nest of traffic.

    We will work around each of these individually – we understand this work must be done – but there can be no good reason to inflict both at the same time.

  • Bsktball20 April 18, 2016 (10:01 pm)

    Ok, so does this mean that there will always be at least one lane open at all times traveling east and west under the bridge? I drive that route to work (Admiral district) daily. I can’t really tell by the article if its closed during the day, and then they open one lane each way at night….or if it’s one lane open day AND night. Thanks!

    • WSB April 18, 2016 (10:09 pm)

      Yes, the contractor’s announcement above says one lane (at least) each way day and night. The SDOT manager who was part of today’s Viaduct closure countdown media briefing didn’t seem too plugged into that aspect of this project, so I’ll be following up with them tomorrow … TR

  • JanS April 19, 2016 (12:35 am)

    The contractors, etc. don’t live here. They have no idea how this will affect the actual people who reside on this peninsula.  Making them all move here for the interim might actually cause them to think seriously about it. “didn’t seem too plugged in”? really? what world do they live in?

    • WSB April 19, 2016 (1:03 am)

      The contractors are working with the city. They just happen to be the people who communicated directly with us when the dates/times were set. The person at the news conference *is* an SDOT manager, however.

  • Jim Borrow April 19, 2016 (6:21 am)

    Clarification please…”The bridge will be closed westbound at Delridge Way and eastbound at 35th Ave SW” and later in the article…”During the closures, westbound traffic will have to get off at the last pre-Fauntleroy exit.” 

    I assume westbound  traffic will exit at Delridge Way, but aren’t the Admiral Way & Alki exits the last pre-Fauntleroy exits?

    • WSB April 19, 2016 (7:32 am)

      I just checked back on the 2012 closures and the final westbound exit during the overnight closures was Delridge. Checking today on when SDOT plans to have a map ready.

  • BM April 19, 2016 (8:36 am)

    So for clarification, overnight will the entire bridge be closed east bound? That part is confusing..thanks.

    • WSB April 19, 2016 (8:42 am)

      No. The actual bridge closure involves “just” the western end, the actual “Fauntleroy Expressway” of the title (not that the name is in everyday use but that’s how it’s officially known). The only access point to the EB bridge that is closed overnight is 35th/Fauntleroy; the Avalon (etc.) onramp and Delridge onramp would remain open.

  • Kara April 19, 2016 (7:06 pm)

    Just checked transit alerts to see the updates for the C-Line and 21 during that time and there is nothing there…….ummmmm, what the heck?! Do I assume they won’t be affected? Or is Metro just behind in updating? I live in Tacoma now, but still work in West Seattle so I will be riding at night and morning and everything in between :/

    • WSB April 19, 2016 (7:19 pm)

      They’re apparently behind in updating. No updates as of this afternoon for the just-announced 26th SW work south of Westwood Village, and that starts a few days earlier.

      • Kara April 19, 2016 (7:26 pm)

        Ohhhhh completely forgot about that one too, and here I thought the 21 would help me through the Viaduct closure. Well, I’ll survive, but should be an interesting time to get through. 

  • Bruce April 20, 2016 (7:09 am)

    Any indication if parking under the bridge will still be allowed during this period?

  • Bruce April 20, 2016 (5:06 pm)

    Found this answer on SDOT website: 

    Parking and bus stop impacts

    The work will require the temporary closure of the parking underneath the sections of bridge being worked upon day and night, as well as a temporary closure of the Metro bus stop located at this location.  The first week of work will consist primarily of cleaning/pressure washing the underside of the bridge, which is likely to also require lane closures of surface Spokane Street in order to prevent passing vehicles from being dirtied in the process.”

    • WSB April 20, 2016 (5:13 pm)

      Bruce – that’s the info that’s been on the website for a couple months. Still awaiting confirmation and a followup on the question I asked at Monday’s briefing. With business hours for today (not ours) running out, looks like tomorrow I’m going to have to escalate …

  • Mary April 28, 2016 (7:31 am)

    Is this still on for this weekend? I tried to find a more recent update, but can’t find it. I am puzzled why they would do this with the horrific impact that will be felt with the viaduct closure. Since I haven’t seen those signs recently, have they postponed the closures? 

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