Two Three notes related to the West Seattle “low bridge” closure that’s expected to last at least a week:
WARNING SIGNS: As mentioned in our morning traffic coverage, the long-broken, reported-but-not-fixed “use high-level bridge” sign on Delridge suddenly became a crisis with the bridge closure. One reader escalated it to Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who in turn escalated it to SDOT, saying the sign needs to be fixed immediately. Herbold staffer Newell Aldrich just forwarded this update from SDOT:
Crews have fixed two flashers for the “When flashing use high level bridge” signs on Delridge Way SW. They are working to fix the others on Admiral Way SW and SW Spokane St.
BIKES ON THE WATER TAXI: Since the bridge closure has taken out the main route for bicycles, some are using the West Seattle Water Taxi. We asked spokesperson Brent Champaco if there was an uptick this morning. He replied, “Although we don’t officially count bikes boarding the West Seattle route, our crew reported a surge in bikes onboard this morning.” He added: “As a side note related to this, we actually had plans to pull the Doc Maynard out of service next Monday through Wednesday for some maintenance work, which would have placed the Spirit of Kingston in service. However, due to the emergency closure, we decided to postpone that maintenance until later in July to provide additional passenger and bike capacity (the Doc Maynard holds ten more bikes than the Spirit of Kingston).” The bike rack on Doc Maynard, which became the main WS vessel two years ago, has an official capacity of 26 bicycles. (3:34 PM UPDATE: Regarding ridership rise today, Champaco tells WSB, “Ridership for the morning commute was up 12.5 percent over yesterday’s ridership.:
ADDED 12:57 PM – BICYCLE SHUTTLE EXTENDED: Just in from SDOT:
Inspections are underway following last night’s emergency low-level West Seattle Bridge “closure” – essentially a forced extended opening to enable inspection and repairs. With bicyclists impacted significantly, to reach alternative routes over the Duwamish River, we will continue van service for bicycle commuters and evaluate use throughout the week.
·Shuttles for bicyclists operating during heavy commute hours: 6 to 10 AM and 3 to 7PM .
More details to come, on bridge damage associated with hydraulic fluid leakage. The leak is inside a machine room that holds the huge cylinders which turn the bridge sections in for roadway traffic and out for marine traffic.