TRAFFIC/TRANSIT: Friday watch, day 4 of West Seattle Bridge closure

5:35 AM: For the fourth day, the high-level West Seattle Bridge is closed – here’s our latest report.

No timetable for repairs yet:

The low bridge is off-limits unless you’re transit, freight, emergency response, or working on Harbor Island. (SDOT requests voluntary compliance.)

A primary alternative across the Duwamish River is the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) – that’s also how to get to I-5.

Or, the South Park Bridge (map).

Metro routes are affected, too – check yours here (and remember the new Reduced Schedule also applies). Taking the Water Taxi? Here’s the schedule (the WT, like Metro, is currently free). Let us know what you’re seeing on your alternate commute – comment, or text (not while at the wheel!) 206-293-6302.

23 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT: Friday watch, day 4 of West Seattle Bridge closure"

  • AlexC March 27, 2020 (7:37 am)

    Slow going on the low bridge today. I counted 7 personal vehicle/cars in between my bus and the bus in front of us and another half dozen in between that bus and the bus in front of it.Hopefully when people start going back to work in the future the 2 cop cars parked under the bridge will start enforcing the new rules better.

    • Anne March 27, 2020 (8:21 am)


    • Alkiguy March 27, 2020 (8:31 am)

      You think it’s slow now, wait til they have to start enforcing this when traffic is back to normal. Imagine all those cars being pulled over just on the other side of the bridge backing up traffic due to there not being many places to pull over.

      • Anne March 27, 2020 (9:40 am)

        My thought too-just can’t figure a way to enforce this-without making traffic there worse.

        • Tsurly March 27, 2020 (10:08 am)

          Because it’s too much to ask for people to do the right thing and follow directives. We haven’t seen any of that in our community recently……

      • Richard Maloney March 27, 2020 (9:43 am)

        What is your thought re: when traffic will be back to normal? 

      • KM March 27, 2020 (10:15 am)

        I keep wondering how enforcement could work (as in theory, it seems many would like enforcement). Eastbound, I’m trying to imagine officers at the intersection of the W Marginal Way overpass to T5 and SW Spokane street, flagging personal vehicles to turn left onto the overpass rather than proceeding forward on the bridge, those that proceed through can be pulled over and ticketed on the other side of the bridge. Westbound, I can’t picture it. Obviously, this is a simple scenario, maybe someone who has some experience directing traffic can chime in. Anne’s got a great point, don’t want to make traffic worse, but I imagine after some consistent days of enforcement, drivers might not attempt it anymore–imagine driving all that way to use the low bridge to only have to find a way to turn around on T5, then heading back south 15-20 minutes out of your way.

        • Person March 27, 2020 (11:19 am)

          They could just automatically photograph all the cars going over and then send out tickets, those that are legit could go online with their ticket number to upload proof that they can cross. Easy to pay for because of all the ticket money.

          • KM March 27, 2020 (12:57 pm)

            I’m a huge fan of automatic ticketing–wonder if it’s possible to put something together quickly. And, is it legally possible if it’s not covered under the new “block the box” legislation, or a school-zone camera?

          • WSB March 27, 2020 (1:24 pm)

            I don’t believe it’s covered under existing law, even the new one. And even if it were, installation proceeds at a snail’s pace … hasn’t been a new school-zone camera in several years, for example. Then imagine the chore of trying to find out whether the ticketed personal-car driver was a Harbor Island worker or not …

  • Jamie March 27, 2020 (7:56 am)

    any chance WSB can find out what the ridership on the WS water taxi is looking like these days with the bridge now closed?  thx in advance!

    • WSB March 27, 2020 (11:33 am)

      There was early info a week-plus ago but that was pre-cloure. I’ll check today .

  • Jenkins March 27, 2020 (9:12 am)

    And you verified that they were not carrying harbor island workers or medical responders how?

  • Joe March 27, 2020 (10:42 am)

    You might consider including the cameras (I think there are some) at the intersection of Marginal Way South at 99 (where the transfer station is). I’m guessing this will be a big disaster area as people going north on 99 will be camped out here (it is backed up already at times) and people going to south park bridge will be there.

    • WSB March 27, 2020 (11:31 am)


  • sekai rider March 27, 2020 (10:47 am)

    Are the rules relaxed on weekends?  sorry if I missed that post.Thanks for the maps of alternate routes.

  • Rawr March 27, 2020 (11:26 am)

    I went over the lower bridge last night around 8pm, there is no signage at all indicating that it is not open to personal vehicles so not sure how you expect everyone to know this.

    • TWST March 27, 2020 (12:37 pm)

      They might be working on having signage made.

  • Maria M. March 27, 2020 (12:49 pm)

    Control illegal use of the lower bridge? Easy: Use drones to take photos of the license plates, contract furloughed workers to email $1,000 traffic tickets payable within 7 days; third time offenders have their vehicle impounded and pay half the value of their vehicles to get them back.  If nothing else, this will add some much needed revenue to the city coffers and the law-abiding drivers can count the thousands of dollars in extra tax revenue that’ll be coming in from the illegal drivers on the lower bridge. ;-)

  • 22blades March 27, 2020 (1:24 pm)

    The photo of the Low Span is very telling. A full stream of vehicles with only ONE authorized truck. This is how enforcement gets ratcheted up & wastes much needed city resources. 

  • C-Mac March 27, 2020 (4:04 pm)

    I’d like to see time restrictions. The bridge could be open during off-peak hours, say 7 PM to 6 AM, then restricted (and enforced) as planned during the day. 

    • bolo March 27, 2020 (5:39 pm)

      That makes sense.

  • Buttercup March 28, 2020 (6:16 am)

    If they start ticketing wouldn’t people take this serious. Making traffic worse wold encourage people to follow the rule so that when life stats returning back to regular traffic issues this one will be a step ahead. If it enforced now the future will be much worse. I do favor the idea of open to everyone one weekends. When things are made more difficult people will look to alternatives automatically. 

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