TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: West Seattle Bridge closure and resulting changes

5 AM: As announced Monday – the high-rise West Seattle Bridge is closed indefinitely.

Here’s the proof:

The low bridge is NOT an alternative – SDOT says it’s reserved for buses, emergency responders, and freight.

You can use the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) instead – that’s also how to get to I-5.

Or, you can cross the Duwamish River via the South Park Bridge (map).

We expect to hear more from SDOT later today, but meantime, it’s Day 1. Metro routes are affected, too – check yours here (and note the new Reduced Schedule also applies). Taking the Water Taxi? Here’s the schedule (and it, like Metro, is currently free). Let us know if there’s different info that would help you navigate – text or voice 206-293-6302.

8:14 AM: We went out to look at a few things. A few notes, as we tweeted them:

122 Replies to "TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: West Seattle Bridge closure and resulting changes"

  • Chris March 24, 2020 (6:29 am)

    I’m glad we’re hearing from SDOT later. We have a few questions in west Seattle.1. How frequently is the bridge inspected?2. How long did they know that it was exceeding its original load capacity?3. Why can’t the bridge remain in use during the repairs with limited use? Like the Aurora Bridge?4. What is to prevent the same thing from happening to the first Street bridge?

    • m March 24, 2020 (8:12 am)

      This new bridge project should be worked on day and night 24/7 until fixed, anything less than that is an affront to this community.   

      • James in West Seattle March 24, 2020 (9:35 am)

        Looking like a year or two out. WSDOT takes long plus coronavirus. They have to demo the cracked portion, put reinforcements up on the older bridge, then reconstruct about 4 lane width bridge over a 700 feet stretch. This isn’t a “few months” this will take well over a year and I’m certain longer. 

        • WSB March 24, 2020 (10:24 am)

          This is an SDOT (city) structure, NOT a WSDOT (state) structure.

        • Felix Grounds March 24, 2020 (11:19 am)

          Got a source for that?

      • wscommuter March 24, 2020 (4:30 pm)

        Can’t agree more.  W. Seattle residents have to loudly demand treating this as a critical, time-sensitive project.  Yes – take the time to figure it out properly and get the right solution (but even that work should have a public urgency to it).  But once we know what has to be done, execute the design and get a contractor working … and fund it for 24/7 work to get the bridge open again ASAP.  The congestion nightmare this is going to create for W. Seattle, and especially the poor residents of White Center and Highland Park, makes this a moral imperative as much as a logistical imperative.  I have called Herbold and Gonzalez’ offices … am drafting a letter to the mayor’s office.  I urge others to do  the same.   We need to bury our electeds in demands for prioritizing this.  

    • jim March 24, 2020 (1:16 pm)

      Question 4: 1st south Bridge… It is a Bascule Bridge, using steel construction. the road deck on the older south bridge is steel grate, The newer bridge is concrete on a simple light weight steel deck. Same on the 14th South Bridge.The old 14th South bridge itself never failed mechanically. But the foundations in the river had simply worn out after 80 years, and couldn’t support the bridge anymore. My opinion is that the Bascule bridge designs are proven designs that have a huge safety factor built in to it. The earlier failures of the new 14th South bridge were some small mistakes made during commissioning by local contractors. I know, because I made the repairs. 

  • Jimmy-Steve March 24, 2020 (6:34 am)

    Just watching the live cam of the low bridge. Lots of passenger cars going across. How will this be enforced?

    • Matt March 24, 2020 (8:28 am)

      It won’t be.  

      • West Seattle Hipster March 24, 2020 (9:35 am)

        Hopefully it won’t be.

      • JeffK March 24, 2020 (9:53 am)

        It will be as soon as delivery trucks for the supermarkets are stuck and shelves aren’t getting stocked at all.

        • Beau A Kraus March 24, 2020 (4:56 pm)

          They can’t keep cars out of the Bus Only lanes… what makes you think they’ll enforce this in any manner? 

          • Noah J Marx March 24, 2020 (9:46 pm)

            It’s one choke point. They’ll put a few traffic cops at the low-bridge to ward off passenger cars and that’ll be that. They have to for the sake of emergency vehicles at least.

  • LyndaB March 24, 2020 (6:44 am)

    Low traffic (as of now) as we went down Highland Park Way but heavy traffic from the Marginal Way on their way to wherevers-ville.  Hoping there will be traffic control and SDOT to observe traffic at Holden.

    • Mike March 24, 2020 (8:11 am)

      A lot of us would be able to walk across the low bridge and hop on a bus, if buses were handy.

    • Jeanelle March 24, 2020 (11:58 am)

      Can we not drive under the bridge?

  • Z. March 24, 2020 (6:48 am)

    People not following SDOT order. Numerous cars going on lower level bridge creating backup.

  • LyndaB March 24, 2020 (6:53 am)

    Three lanes of Northbound I-5 are blocked.  Looks like service van blew its front right tire.  Three other cars present with police on site.  Right before I-90.  

  • Smittytheclown March 24, 2020 (6:53 am)

    Curious if all the extra weight/wait created by the 99N merge played a part?  Probably not, but those additional hours of backups probably didn’t help.  Can’t wait for the report. 

    • Pilsner March 24, 2020 (9:48 am)

      Prolly not. That back up had been there for ever. And i would assume the bridge is designed to accomidate a load factor way beyond its intended use. 

  • Andrew March 24, 2020 (7:27 am)

    Why did the city allow the bridge to get to this condition? If they knew of the cracks, why didn’t they fix it before it got to this point? This is the same damn issue with the all potholes on the bridge as well. The city need to act now and fix this before we all head back to work. This is an example why we can’t have the leaders we currently have on the council and mayor office. We need someone who has a business and logical mindset. We have thrown millions of dollars on projects that hasn’t shown any improvements. 

    • wscommuter March 24, 2020 (11:28 am)

      @Andrew  – NO, the cracks on the bridge are  NOT the same thing as potholes.  The problem with the bridge is within the structure involving the post-tensioned members.  The cracks are not themselves the problem – the cracks are the visible manifestation of an internal structural issue.  Filling in cracks like filling in a pot hole would not have solved this problem.  If you don’t know what you’re talking about, you might want to ease up on the ad hominem ignorance.  

  • Brian Piper March 24, 2020 (7:46 am)

    Any word on if the bike lane on the lower bridge will be open?  For those who haven’t tried it yet – it’s a great way to get into town!

  • Traffic March 24, 2020 (7:52 am)

    lots of noisy traffic for people who live on:holdenfauntleroybartondelridgehenderson16ththistleTrenton

  • Kat March 24, 2020 (7:59 am)

    7:50am and the traffic is double the time to get out of West Seattle via Marginal to I-5. 45min from West Seattle to Ballard. 

    • WSB March 24, 2020 (8:12 am)

      We’ve just been out checking on a couple spots – I’m adding above.

    • CAM March 24, 2020 (9:21 am)

      If nothing else, this photo makes clear why we need an order telling us to stay home. 

      • nonni March 24, 2020 (9:41 am)

        Because the world has been turned on its ear

  • DrM March 24, 2020 (8:28 am)

    Once we get out of quarantine, the city needs to EXTENSIVELY increase the frequency and hours of the West Seattle Water Taxi.

    • WSB March 24, 2020 (8:59 am)

      The Water Taxi is operated by King County DOT.

  • West Seattle Lurker March 24, 2020 (8:51 am)

    What would’ve played the largest role is traffic exceeding the speed limit on the high bridge. It was posted as 45mph but I see cars and even larger trucks traveling far faster that that. If you want to reduce the stress on the bridge, slow down! 

    • Jethro Marx March 24, 2020 (9:35 am)

      That’s not how stress works, unless you mean you get stressed out when people drive fast. It’s not even clear right now that the loading is a factor in the deterioration.

    • Jeff Brauns March 24, 2020 (9:42 am)

      Vehicle speeds do not have any meaningful effect on bridge loading.  

    • Dan March 24, 2020 (11:29 am)

      If anything, higher speeds would lower load, not increase. Faster traffic is generally further  spaced apart so there is less weight overall placed on supports. The slower the traffic, more weight as vehicles bunch together.

  • Lola March 24, 2020 (9:02 am)

    Glad I went my route, sorry cannot disclose or you may all start taking it.  Good luck everyone on getting out of WS. 

    • Michael March 24, 2020 (11:23 am)

      Then why post at all?

    • Dan March 24, 2020 (11:31 am)

      There’s like a dozen ways to get out of west seattle.. it’s not a secret lol

  • Aaron March 24, 2020 (9:03 am)

    I take Admiral to get to the bridge and was prepared to have to go way south on Marginal but all of the signs indicated the lower bridge was the detour. No signage I could see about restrictions on vehicle traffic. 🤷🏻‍♂️Hopefully more clarity/signage is posted soon. 

  • Catey March 24, 2020 (9:06 am)

    Is anyone planning on emailing the mayor about this completely slipshod approach to city planning?They seriously have no plan for how tens of thousands of people are going to move around the city?

    • nonni March 24, 2020 (9:45 am)

      Most of those tens of thousands will be staying home/staying healthy. At least for the coming two weeks.

      • NoLongerPatsFanPNW March 24, 2020 (2:26 pm)

        But then what happens for the rest of the 12 months it takes to complete this?  Let’s remember the streetcar debacle, as well as the fact that each of the fire station retrofits were – on average – about 100% over budget and timelines.  The city doesn’t do construction well.

    • quiz March 24, 2020 (9:56 am)

      You should. We all should.

  • KM March 24, 2020 (9:08 am)

    TR, any word from SPD if they’ll have traffic enforcement at Holden and HPW or at the low bridge entrances to help manage bottlenecks/enforce restrictions?

    • WSB March 24, 2020 (9:17 am)

      One of MANY MANY QUESTIONS I am pursuing with multiple departments and officials. To date, everything we know is published here. As you see above in what we’ve added, there wasn’t even a restriction in place on the low bridge when we went over to look.

      • KM March 24, 2020 (10:44 am)

        Thanks for looking into it!    

  • tsurly March 24, 2020 (9:12 am)

    People need to get a GD grip.Think of this virus/bridge combo as a soft scenario of if/when we have a major earthquake. Think of wide spread structure damage, no utilities (water, gas , electric, sewer), and possible loss of communications (cell service). Take this as a glass half full learning moment to see how woefully under prepared you may be for if/when things REALLY get bad. Stop frothing at the mouth/shaking your fist with you curse SDOT, relax, and look at the practical solutions available to work around a closed bridge. We all choose to live on a peninsula and should know this has always been a risk of that.If anyone is interested in starting a bike commute, reach out to West Seattle Bike Connections. 

  • Eric Nordlund March 24, 2020 (9:22 am)

    Seems like a great time to create a Fauntleroy to downtown passenger ferry. The Fauntleroy terminal already has great bus service, and it would better utilize 2-way traffic for the C line, instead of everyone in west Seattle going north on it in the morning and south on it in the evening. 

    • James March 24, 2020 (9:58 am)

      I think West seattle needs trump those of a tiny island…. you will have to adjust like all of us, unfortunately. Leave earlier!

      • WS REZ March 24, 2020 (1:27 pm)

        James, I think Eric’s idea was that this passenger ferry leaves FROM Fauntleroy. which is in west seattle, and I am sure lots of residents would love to use instead.

    • Mnw March 24, 2020 (10:15 am)

      Great idea Eric! We will need ferries to move commuters directly from WS to downtown. The alternate vehicle routes are not capable of handling the volume of traffic we have during rush hour times. 

    • HS March 24, 2020 (11:00 am)

      Great idea!!!

    • WS March 24, 2020 (12:32 pm)

      Actually, that is perfect! I’d rather take a ferry than a bus any way.

  • West Seattle Lurker March 24, 2020 (9:23 am)

    Construction continues at a private location on 42nd st SW. This is considered non essential from my understanding. Is there someone we can report this to and get it stopped? I’m going over to speak with the now and make a video of them working. Do you have any point of contact for this situation? Thanks. 

    • WSB March 24, 2020 (9:28 am)

      Non-essential businesses have until Wednesday, per the governor’s order, so no one is breaking any rules by working today.

      • West Seattle Lurker March 24, 2020 (9:32 am)

        Thanks for the reply! I had read 48 hours originally also. The workers love me as much as I love their nail guns!!

    • West Seattle Hipster March 24, 2020 (9:40 am)

      You can’t be serious.  Hopefully these challenging new times don’t create a slew of   people ratting out their neighbors.  

    • Jeff Brauns March 24, 2020 (9:41 am)

      Residential construction is listed as critical infrastructure work .“Construction workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction) for all essential facilities, services and projects included in this document, and for residential construction related to emergency repairs and projects that ensure structural integrity.”

      • WSB March 24, 2020 (10:06 am)

        I have read that and it’s an interesting interpretation – even just the part you excerpt doesn’t seem to say that “routine” residential construction is necessarily included, but here’s hoping an industry group is on the case and getting the official word for our many construction companies.

    • Friend O'Dinghus March 24, 2020 (10:15 am)

      My interpretation of what is considered ‘essential services’ includes construction and related activities if the effort is to mitigate structural degradation. I am guessing that having a contractor build you a new deck is therefore not essential, while putting a roof on a home which has an active leak would be considered essential. The same logic would apply across all types of contracted construction/demo/repair and any of the associated tradespersons needed to complete such work.

      • Gatewood March 24, 2020 (11:28 am)

        Our construction attorneys drafted an analysis.  The Gov is shutting down new and remodel residential and commercial construction except where the construction supports essential industry.  Construction that maintains or repairs a dwelling or essential industry is allowed.  Construction required to make safe and secure existing construction sites is allowed.  Construction workers required to process payroll / perform office functions critical to ongoing work /  secure construction tools and facilities and prevent their degradation is allowed. That puts most construction on hold.  Your electrician and plumber will still fix your house, and anyone working on infrastructure / medical facilities etc. is allowed.

    • alki_2008 March 24, 2020 (6:50 pm)

      If it’s a construction project that’s “currently underway” then they are allowed to finish it.  Homeowners shouldn’t have a project unfinished that was already started before the stay at home order.

  • David March 24, 2020 (9:33 am)

    As usual, a complete mess. And this is when most folks shouldn’t be leaving their houses anyways unless deemed “essential”. When should I expect to pay more taxes, or can I get in line for a “bailout”? Boeing, American Airlines and Carnival Cruise Lines don’t have to save for a rainy day (even in Seattle); why do I?

  • Brian Feusagach March 24, 2020 (9:40 am)

    IMHO, pointing out cars coming over the lower bridge may give the appearance of non-compliance but there may be a very good reason why the particular vehicles(s) are on the road. Per an employee at Thriftway this morning:  employees of essential businesses are being issued government passes so they can get around. This could be why there are POVs using the lower bridge.

    • WSB March 24, 2020 (9:45 am)

      No, the government is NOT issuing passes to “essential” workers and there will not be checkpoints. (There is a letter template circulating and I’m trying to find out the source.) Furthermore, regarding the bridge, what was announced yesterday did not include an exception for “essential” workers. It was very clearly announced as:
      -freight
      -transit
      -emergency
      No signage or enforcement when we were there so either it’s voluntary, delayed, changed … I am attempting to find out.

      • CAM March 24, 2020 (11:16 am)

        The state has sent letters to essential employees and told them to carry the letter with them while they are conducting their jobs. 

        • WSB March 24, 2020 (11:32 am)

          I have heard suggestions along these lines that some companies are drafting letters for workers, though a letter is not a government “pass.” But you say the state itself? What state agency specifically and when? Have you seen this letter from the state? What was the verbiage? This is really important to be accurate about and specifically attributive – if the state itself is suggesting there will be checkpoints/demands to show ID that is not at all what the governor talked about yesterday and that is a problem. Thanks for any actual firsthand info you can share – I have the question out to the state Commerce Dept. but getting answers is tougher these days. Thank you. – TR

          • WSB March 24, 2020 (11:46 am)

            And I just did get a call back from the Dept. of Commerce spokesperson. NO LETTERS/PASSES NEEDED. I am writing something separate ASAP.

          • alki_2008 March 24, 2020 (6:54 pm)

            I’ve seen on social media that employees of “essential” industries, such as railways, have received letters from their employers so they can show law enforcement or anyone else that might question them. Not something sent to them by the government. Seems to be something that employers are trying to be proactive about, especially as they were sent before Inslee’s order. Probably based on what the employers saw happening in other states and wanting to make sure their employees didn’t get hassled on their way to work.

        • mark47n March 24, 2020 (1:10 pm)

          Bollocks!The State doesn’t know who works where. How could they send a “pass” As to the concept of a pass AND checkpoints, who’s manning those? WE don’t have enough cops on a good day to hand;e all of the petty complaints that are constantly harped about here let alone to man checkpoints.This isn’t 1938 Germany of Soviet era Russia (it’s weird to write that still) where some jackbooted thug is going to want to inspect your papers and you all know it so grow already and stop being a great lot of bloody pillocks!

          • CAM March 24, 2020 (1:40 pm)

            Just to make it clear, I did not say anything about passes or checkpoints or anything of the sort. A question was posed and I answered it. I don’t see anything in my response indicating any of what the “rumors” are suggesting. 

      • Brian Feusagach March 24, 2020 (11:32 am)

        My apologies for putting this out without sending to you first. I do appreciate the clarification and corrections.  :)

  • quiz March 24, 2020 (9:41 am)

    I’m shocked to hear that our main connection to the rest of the city has been completely closed.

    -Has the city considered getting a second opinion about the bridge’s ability to service car traffic (not freight or busses) until it’s repaired?

    -Should this not be considered emergency repair work that needs to be worked on 24/7. The idea of this taking months should seem completely unacceptable to everyone.

    -How was the structure neglected to the extent that it got like this? Issues like this don’t arise over night.

    • CAM March 24, 2020 (11:20 am)

      I’m very happy they closed the bridge to all traffic if it isn’t safe. And I really hope they take as much time as they need to fix it. I would prefer they investigate thoroughly and not rush so that this period of closure achieves optimal results and delays future needs for closure. The inconvenience of having to sit in your car for longer does not outweigh the hundreds of lives that would be lost if it failed. 

      • Quiz March 24, 2020 (12:18 pm)

        @ CAM , based on your response you’d think I was promoting the idea of opening an unsafe bridge regardless of how many people it will kill and do a inadequate repair job in the name of expediency.

        Pressing city leadership for options and speed are not mutually exclusive from safety and quality.

  • Nicole March 24, 2020 (9:53 am)

    Is the water taxi crazy?  I want to maintain distance but need to get a supply downtown. 

    • Janelle March 24, 2020 (10:51 am)

      One benefit of the water taxi is the opportunity for fresh air, since there is an upper outdoor deck.  I would opt for the water taxi over a bus right now, if it’s an essential trip. It’s also pretty quick, I think it takes about 10 minutes… Not sure how busy they are today, hopefully someone can share this. 

      I imagine they might adjust the water taxi schedule to accommodate an increase in upcoming demand. What do you think WSB?

      • WSB March 24, 2020 (10:14 pm)

        The county reps say they’ll be working on buses and the WT. However, first we have to have an idea of how long this is going to last…

    • Kalo March 24, 2020 (3:18 pm)

      The water taxi has had l0 or less passengers per sailing, and not because of limiting. Ridership is WAY, WAY down + it’s fare free for the time being.
      Also, the free shuttle buses seem to be just as empty.

  • Pilsner March 24, 2020 (10:24 am)

    Question for all the keyboard engineer’s: What is the net weight of the actual bridge vs the weight of all the cars and rebar trucks it carries at any given time?

  • Eliz March 24, 2020 (10:25 am)

    Anyone going from admiral to the u district?   How long did it take and around what time of the day.  I have to get my husband from the drs and am trying to figure out when I should schedule things

  • TJ March 24, 2020 (10:37 am)

    There will be some moral police do-gooders who will think it’s their duty to call out people they feel aren’t hiding indoors. I would recommend they be prepared for and not complain about nasty responses, considering the tensions that will be building in people. I’m giving it my best for these 2 weeks, but that is all I have  

  • Sharon March 24, 2020 (10:53 am)

    As a healthcare worker, saving lives everyday….

    1. PLEASE email/ text/ call Dow Constantine and Mayor Jenny Durkan to allow essential healthcare workers to use the lower bridge with a show of our badge. And enforcement by police.

    If we can’t get to work, it affects lives!

    2. All others please use an alternative route to save lives..   Thank you, West Seattle. You are the best! We are here for you.

  • Mom Shuttle March 24, 2020 (11:14 am)

    If traffic is this bad during a shelter in place order I can’t even fathom how difficult it will be when we return to work and normal activity.  Not everyone can take transit. I take my middle school aged son to Capitol Hill for school everyday and this could make it nearly impossible to get him there and back in any kind of reasonable time.  Taking transit would mean 2-3 buses and he is still too young to go on his own so I would have to take him.  Nope!  

  • James March 24, 2020 (11:23 am)

    Did Admiral to Belltown. Had to go down around Georgetown back up 99. Took 45 minutes. Big “LOL” when things resume back to normal in a month. West Seattle commutes are SCREWED for the next year or two. 

  • AS March 24, 2020 (11:26 am)

    My husband works at Vigor on Harbor Island and he was given a piece of paper to keep in his car incase he gets pulled over for taking the low bridge. Hoping this is a long term thing for them. Seems like more incompetence being they didn’t seem to address last night for people who work on the island.

  • AS March 24, 2020 (11:27 am)

    Forgot to add, so please remember people work there too if you are complaining about seeing cars.

    • WSCommuter2 March 24, 2020 (1:12 pm)

      AS, that’s correct as of this morning with what I’ve heard – Police and Port of Seattle both indicated something similar.  So, not sure why we are quoting a Federal Level, US Dept of Commerce in this thread?  I’m not worried about USDOC pulling me over.  Local SPD and DHS- Port of Seattle on the other hand, possibly and they indicated a letter from “essential” company. that had gotten the green light from Governor’s office  Anyways, WS has a serious problem with this latest SDOT fiasco.

    • AndrewB March 24, 2020 (6:53 pm)

      I also work at Vigor and live in West Seattle I take  Delridge every day and use the lower Bridgethey should definitely make an exception for people who work on Harbor Island

      • WSB March 24, 2020 (7:13 pm)

        The bit of new info just out includes that the low bridge exceptions now include Harbor Island workers.

  • Lauryn March 24, 2020 (12:28 pm)

    It sucks that the bridge is closed but it’s good they did it before something bad happened. I was 1/4 mile from the I-5 bridge in Mt Vernon when it collapsed 6 or so years ago and it was awful for the drivers that fell into the river and many hours spent in traffic for the cars behind it as it happened 

  • Carolyn March 24, 2020 (12:34 pm)

    I think the City  should let hospital workers who live in West Seattle use the lower bridge including everyone who keeps the hospital open from cleaning folks to cafeteria folks to patient care folks….basically if you have a hospital work badge you should be allowed to use bridge during this outbreak.

    • Diane March 24, 2020 (5:45 pm)

      I agree 100% 

    • alki_2008 March 24, 2020 (7:00 pm)

      Agreed.  Maybe something like a hangtag on the mirror, like the handicap parking tag.  Just so it’s more visible and could prevent hospital employees from being hassled by do-gooders that think they need to police who uses the low bridge. Considering how difficult their jobs already are and how delays on their commute can cascade to delays in patient care, then they should get some type of priority.

  • Mj March 24, 2020 (12:38 pm)

    Hoping the weather gets nicer making biking a good option for more people.  

  • MMM March 24, 2020 (1:18 pm)

    Well, this could be awful. Some of us have no choice but to leave the peninsula for work.  I’ve been in the ICU nearly constantly since this outbreak occurred and expect to have to continue working extra until this passes – which will not be soon.  To add substantial time to our already long and unpredictable commute, indefinitely, may be enough to force me to move from this lovely community.  I’ve been able to do this only because I already work long enough hours that I commute well before and after traffic clears.

    • Diane March 24, 2020 (5:43 pm)

      thank you for your service; I am very concerned about you and all of our critically needed hospital workers; imo all hospital workers should have access to lower bridge 

  • 1994 March 24, 2020 (2:24 pm)

    Time to patch up Roxbury and undo the road diet to make 4 lanes again.

  • NoLongerPatsFanPNW March 24, 2020 (2:32 pm)

    I’m still finding it unfathomable to get 4-hours notice on what is likely a months-long closure.  It’s hard to argue against the motherhood of closing the bridge for safety, but the operational incompetence of SDOT and the city council is stunning, particularly considering the attention paid to the social engineering.  Basics count.  And still, other than an innocuous generic tweet from Herbold…nothing.

    • WSB March 24, 2020 (2:40 pm)

      Her office has sent the reply they’re sending everyone. So far, it’s a list of questions. I have lots of questions. You all have lots of questions. So far, I’m sorry to report, no additional answers. We’re trying!

      • alki_2008 March 24, 2020 (7:04 pm)

        Could you add motorcycles to your list of questions?  For using the low bridge.  They are small enough that if an ambulance needs to get by then a motorcycle or scooter (like a Vespa not Lime) can get out of their way easily.

        • WSB March 24, 2020 (7:10 pm)

          OK. SDOT says they’re working on getting me an interview with someone … maybe tomorrpw. Meaatime a bit of new info shortly.

  • Dr M March 24, 2020 (2:42 pm)

    Things to consider.
    1) King County needs to increase the frequency and hours of the Water Taxi.

    2) Add a ferry route   ( ?? Number) from Fauntleroy to Down town.

    3) ReRoute a number of the Vashon – Fauntleroy  ferries to Vashon – Down Town.

    • Morgan March 24, 2020 (8:16 pm)

      I second all three points. If this is 12 + months a ferry run actually does make financial and even environmental sense.it may even make widening Fauntleroy dock and its impacts worth it.

  • Jenny March 24, 2020 (3:38 pm)

    Can they reroute the Vashon / Southworth ferries directly to the Coleman dock downtown, so those commuters don’t all have to drive through West Seattle?

    • James March 24, 2020 (4:04 pm)

      lol….how about fixing West Seattle first…then we worry about tiny Vashon. 

      • alien March 24, 2020 (5:48 pm)

        That would help fix West Seattle by lowering the amount of people trying to get through to downtown.

  • Myles Youngren March 24, 2020 (4:11 pm)

    Not to sound like a crank, but this is completely ridiculous.  The fact that they knew these cracks were forming without developing a coherent action plan of what to do is a complete failure.  The further insult of only allowing transit and freight onto the lower bridge re-enforces the view that the Seattle DOT is actively trying to increase commute times to increase transit.I believe that we should start a SuperPac fund to donate to any political candidate to whomever fires the SDOT head.

    • run_dmc March 24, 2020 (5:24 pm)

      I don’t disagree with you, but speaking of things that were foreseeable – our fellow citizens voted back into city council people who were NOT paying attention to the basics of civic life prior to the last election:  infrastructure, public safety, jobs, etc.  Not sure what they did vote for cause it wasn’t competent leadership, but there you have it.  So, who’s fault is it that we are in this situation?  After all we get the leaders we deserve or vote for.  

    • CAM March 24, 2020 (5:37 pm)

      Everything I’ve read says they did attempt to mitigate this and had a plan but the plan did not work because the damage continued to get worse and the recourse was to close it for safety and to make repairs. Why do people keep saying that SDOT wasn’t aware of this or doing anything about it? 

  • Brandon March 24, 2020 (5:45 pm)

    OMG.  All these first world problems. smh

  • Drew March 24, 2020 (5:50 pm)

    My question: how did the city allow developers to build at such a ferocious rate, increasing population density and cars to a degree that the infrastructure in and out of the west Seattle neighborhood could literally not support the weight of the growth? This is unfathomable. The bridge has been in place for years. The city knows the weight  limits that it could accommodate. All you would have to do is the math to gauge how many cars at the bridge reasonably carry and compare it to the growth and the willingness of the city to let greedy developers rip everything down, replace with hideous unaffordable buildings, fill them with people, invite more cars, transit and traffic onto the roads. Not to mention all of the construction, with heavy duty construction trucks, hauling heavy duty materials over the bridge ripping up roads that they are not responsible to repair.Excuse my French but it’s all so f#*%ng depressing and these are all things that could have and should have been reasonably addressed and prevented. 

    • nonni March 25, 2020 (9:13 am)

      Because all of the futuristic Urban Village dwellers were supposed to arrive sans automobiles.They were supposed to walk, bike, use the nearby public transit, or telecommute.

  • Ray Bro March 24, 2020 (8:08 pm)

    RUN_DMC – You are so correct.  Maybe this will open peoples eyes and they will stop re-electing these world class failures.

  • Midi March 24, 2020 (8:15 pm)

    Thank you, WSB, for you diligent reporting and always digging for more facts!Now I’m going to research all the people I need to email. This is going to be a mess for a long time.

  • HowDoWeGetInvolved? March 24, 2020 (8:57 pm)

    WSB: thank you for your detailed coverage of this.Questions:

    1. Will there be future meetings that we can attend (when it is safe to gather in larger groups) on status on the bridge and to give input (e.g. we want 24/7 work done on the bridge). Hopefully it won’t be run like the 35th  Avenue SW repairs and paving – still not done!

    2. Can we get a list of the reasons why the bridge is structurally unsafe? Is it merely too much traffic? Where are the numbers showing number of cars/weight etc for each year since the bridge was completed in 1984? Was the maintenance done properly and on the right schedule? One comment indicated the bridge had a 70 year lifespan and I suspect that the engineers over-designed the bridge some what to guarantee they met specifications,  so it still hard to understand why the bridge is now unsafe, some 36 years later.

    3. In the posted half-hour video, Zimbabwe mentioned too much traffic on the bridge resulted in this fiasco.  How come there were not mitigating steps put in place before we got to this point to limit the number of more cars in this area, such as limiting construction of all the multiple floor apartments and condos in West Seattle  to limit the people driving over the bridge? (They are not taking the bus).  And perhaps routing ferry traffic that only passes thru West Seattle (so West Seattle is not the destination) directly  to downtown – if this is even possible?

    4. . Can we get a timeline of inspections made by SDOT engineers and by outside consultants? I can’t help wondering if the shutdown announcement was made during the time when we were asked to stay home because the mayor and SDOT thought there would be less backlash from West Seattle residents because we were not going to be stuck in a huge traffic jam trying to go to work the  morning after the bridge was closed.

    Thank you!

  • WiseWoman March 24, 2020 (11:06 pm)

    This is Bologny. This bridge like the viadoom is a source of federal tax dollars to use on the bridge and spare elsewhere they cannot get approved. The viaduct is going to fall down! Now its the WS bridge. We’ve all been duped before. Don’t believe the hype but please do gripe to you Lisa Herbold and Lurkin Durkin!

  • Yea March 25, 2020 (9:54 am)

    The buildup in West Seattle is only part of the problem, the main problem is the continuing and very large increase in ferry traffic that has literally taken over West Seattle. As long as that continues we are screwed. Not missing that traffic or the motorbikes bombing thru the neighbourhoods at 50 or 60 at 4amish,5amish,6amish etc.

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