WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Councilmember Herbold’s update, with SDOT answers

(West Seattle Bridge cracks, from sdotblog.seattle.gov)

As reported here last week, West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold had questions for SDOT after the sudden bridge closure was announced – a surprise to the council as well as to everyone who uses the bridge. Tonight she has published an update including answers from SDOT. You can read her update in its entirety here (including a recap of Monday’s briefing, which we covered here). Below, the questions (in bold) and SDOT answers that are part of her update:

SDOT Answers to Council Questions

SDOT has answered some of the questions sent by my office and the City Council. Here’s a link to responses from SDOT so far. Below are highlights:

Has SDOT received word from the Coast Guard about flexibility re: times the bridge can remain open w/o or with limited closures?

The Coast Guard has broadcasted a notice to non-commercial vessels with a request to time transit and requests for openings during non-peak commute times. We are making a deviation request for am/pm peak close periods that, if they are not objected to by local mariners, can last for 180 days. Additionally, we can request an official rule change for a close period, but that is a 6-month process and subject to any objection from the local maritime community.

Can SDOT allow vehicle traffic on the lower bridge overnight? I have heard from more than one person whose work shift begins at 3 a.m., when traffic is lighter.

We understand the inconvenience the closure of the High Bridge poses to the West Seattle community. In light of the current public health emergency, our top priority is emergency access to hospitals and protecting the supply chain, so we are reserving access to emergency vehicles, freight, and transit, and working with our partners at SPD, SFD, the Port, and Metro to determine the extent of the access limitations. Detour signs are posted and SPD officers are stationed at either end of the Low Bridge to direct GP traffic away from the bridge. We are monitoring traffic on the Low Bridge 24-hours a day from our Transportation Operations Center. As new traffic patterns develop, we may be able to adjust access.

I have heard from several COVID-19 first responders (firefighter, ER nurse) who must leave the peninsula for work, and from an immunology researcher at UW working on COVID-19. Could the lower bridge be opened for them?

We acknowledge it is critical for doctors, nurses, researchers and first responders to get to their jobs. At the same time, we must reserve access to the Low Bridge to emergency vehicle transporting critically ill patients. Many people who live and work in West Seattle serve many kinds of essential functions – we need to maintain equity for all of them. The Low Bridge is currently open to essential workers who get to work by taking transit, walking, and biking. It’s also open to essential workers who need access to Harbor Island and T-5 and people using emergency vehicles and transporting freight as part of their jobs. For essential workers who are driving private vehicles, they are directed to the 1st Ave S Bridge.

Please explain SDOT’s procedures for providing information the Council regarding ongoing inspections for potential significant problems that could lead to closure of major roadways or structures.

SDOT regularly conducts inspections of bridges in keeping with Federal requirements. These inspections are programmatic in nature, and generally identify preventative maintenance and repair actions, while also tracking the evolution of the bridge structure over time. The load rating project for the West Seattle High-Pass Bridge started in 2019 indicated that the cracking problem was more serious than originally reported in the consultant study we commissioned in 2014 after cracking at post-tensioning anchorage points was first discovered in 2013. We performed an in-depth analysis through the consultant doing the load rating work. As part of this analysis we needed more accurate mapping of the cracked bridge sections near the anchorage points so we inspected the bridge via Under Bridge Inspection Truck (UBIT), interior inspections of the box girders at the anchorage points and additional exterior inspections in October and December of 2019 and again in March of 2020. As the analysis was coming to a conclusion in March 2020 it indicated that there was a serious load carrying capacity issue with the bridge, we simultaneously noticed that the rate of cracking was increasing at a concerning rate just within the month of March 2020. This rate of increase was unexpected compared to previous months and gave us reason to close the bridge for safety.

The closure of the bridge, while abrupt, followed SDOT’s commitment to transparency and timely communication with the Mayor, City Council and the public on all issues that will or are quite likely to negatively impact their constituents. What led to the short window of time between alerting the Council and the public and the closure of the bridge on March 23 was the rapid acceleration of cracking within an extremely short period of time.

Please provide a timeline of SDOT’s inspections of the West Seattle Bridge that lead to this decision.

We regularly inspect our bridges. The events of the past few days is a notable example of why those efforts are critical and why we take this responsibility so seriously. During a 2013 routine inspection of the West Seattle Bridge, our bridge inspectors discovered four sets of cracks in the bridge support structure. We’ve inspected the bridge every year since then; twice as frequently as required by federal guidelines. Since then, we’ve closely monitored and managed the cracks. In 2014, we installed real-time data collection equipment to aid in these efforts, which allowed us to remotely monitor the width of existing cracks on the bridge. At this time, we also began conducting more frequent inspections and implementing best-practice maintenance and repairs. Those annual inspections did not indicate a need for repairs that would significantly disrupt standard use of the bridge. During a 2019 assessment of the bridge’s ability to carry heavy loads, our structural engineering consultant mapped the cracks in the bridge and discovered that they had grown since the previous year’s inspection. We and our engineering consultant continued to closely monitor these cracks and carry out critical maintenance by injecting epoxy into them to protect the steel reinforcements. In late February 2020, our engineering consultant recommended that the rate of deterioration made it necessary to consider traffic restrictions to ensure public safety. As we came to the same conclusion late last week, while we were drafting a lane-reduction plan and preparing to initiate conversations with City leaders and the community, our structural engineering consultant notified us that they had conducted new analysis raising larger concerns. We conducted several observations over the next few days and on Monday, March 23, we found significant new cracking. This confirmed that cracking had rapidly accelerated to the point where there was no other option but to immediately close the bridge.

(in response to a question about 2013, 2016 and 2019 changes to federal bridge load rating standards):

Federal guidelines require that bridges in the National Highway System be inspected every two years (see National Bridge Inspection Standards in 23 CFR 650C). During a 2013 routine inspection of the West Seattle Bridge, our structural engineers discovered four sets of cracks in the bridge support structure. We have been closely monitoring these cracks since then, installing real-time data collection equipment in 2014 allowing us to remotely monitor the bridge condition, and began conducting more frequent follow up inspections in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

In an unrelated process, the FHWA issued new requirements in 2013 that DOTs reevaluate all bridge load ratings by 2022 due to the growing use of heavier trucks for specific kinds of emergency response and construction vehicles. This required SDOT to re-evaluate the maximum vehicle weight that 69 bridges could safely support. We began these load rating revaluations in 2015 and started the West Seattle Bridge reevaluation in mid-2019, according to our planned schedule.

Please provide the most recent list of SDOT’s assessment of Seattle’s bridges (including ratings).

Each year Roadway Structures updates their Project Rating Criteria List based on the previous years’ bridge condition data and rating factors that prioritize local concerns including equity and transportation system impact. The 2019 Project Rating Criteria for SDOT’s bridge inventory is being updated and will be ready the week of 3/30.

Can traffic signals at the 5-way intersection at West Marginal Way, Spokane Street, Delridge Way be adjusted to better serve new traffic patterns? One constituent said they had to wait through 5 light cycles to get to Spokane Street from West Marginal during the afternoon with relatively light traffic.

We know the 5-way intersection has been a challenge even prior to the High Bridge closure. The current intersection design is intended to maintain all potential movements and separates each leg to remove potential conflicts. With increased demand on the intersection as a result of the High Bridge closure, SDOT will re-evaluate the intersection to see whether any design or operational changes can help address congestion while maintaining safe operations.

This signal is on our high priority emergency list to be upgraded so that the signal system is interconnected to our central system. This will allow for us to adjust signal timing actively based on new traffic patterns. These upgrades also include improved detection to better facilitate new priority movements. This work will be prioritized after our work on Highland Park Way & Holden and our target is to complete it within the next 2-3 weeks.

What was the original design vehicle and what would we use today?

The bridge was originally designed for a design live load commercial vehicle designated as HS-20 (like a large commercial tractor-trailer truck but slightly less axel load than an articulated bus). Since the bridge was brought online in 1984, the size and loading of commercial vehicles have continued to increase as indicated by the much larger HL-93 design loading that is used to design new bridges today. Note that HL-93 loading is not a specific commercial vehicle type, but rather a requirement to choose the worst load combination presented by combining either an HS-20 or Heavy Tandem Trailer with a distributed lane load. The ‘93’ refers to the year that this loading type was adopted as the governing load combination for bridge load rating calculations. This load combination captures the loading of the larger articulated buses that are in use today.

Looking at the full Q&A document linked above, this one is of particular note:

The November 2018 Move Levy Workplan (i.e. levy “re-set”) noted 16 bridges scheduled for seismic improvements from 2019 to 2024; the 2020-2025 SDOT CIP “Bridge Seismic – Phase III” item noted the 16 bridges. Why was the West Seattle Bridge not included in the 16 bridges?

There is a very significant need for seismic retrofit throughout SDOT’s bridge inventory. The list of 16 bridges chosen for the current levy was based on bridge assets with the most significant seismic vulnerability and highest degree of impact if a failure under seismic loading were to occur for each region around the city. The live load capacity issues we are seeing with the WSHB are distinct from potential seismic vulnerabilities that were intended to be addressed with the Move Seattle Levy. Note that the repairs that we will need to make to return vertical live load capacity to the bridge will not necessarily address other components in the bridge that are vulnerable to lateral seismic loading.

As part of the City of Seattle’s efforts to invest in transportation infrastructure and public safety, the Move Seattle Levy is funding the replacement of the Fairview Ave N Bridge and the seismic reinforcement of 16 other bridges. The Levy is also funding replacement planning studies for 10 additional bridges to help us better understand the size of Seattle’s maintenance backlog, assess and manage roadway structure maintenance needs, and maximize future investments (for example, this includes the recently completed the Magnolia Bridge Planning Study and Ballard Bridge Planning Study currently underway).

Here are a few examples of upcoming / ongoing bridge projects funded by the Move Seattle Levy:
• Fairview Ave N Bridge Replacement Project: This South Lake Union bridge was built over 65 years ago and is the last wood-supported bridge on a major road in Seattle. The timber piles which hold up the western half of the bridge are decaying and the concrete girders which stabilize the street on the eastern half of the bridge were cracked. While safe for travel, the bridge was structurally unstable and vulnerable to earthquakes needed to be replaced. We closed this bridge in late September and construction is expected to last approximately 19 months.
• Cowen Park Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project: This Ravenna bridge was built in 1936, prior to the modernization of the seismic design code. Seismic improvements are needed to reduce the bridge’s vulnerability to earthquakes. Construction on the Cowen Park Bridge began in fall 2019 2019 and will last approximately 6 months.
• W Howe St Bridge Project – Seismic Retrofit: The bridge over 32nd Ave W in the southern portion of Magnolia was constructed in 1946 to provide access across a steep ravine. The all steel structure is tall and slender and was identified as seismically deficient. Construction began on this project in late 2019.

Our bridge-closure coverage so far is archived here.

55 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Councilmember Herbold's update, with SDOT answers"

  • bolo March 31, 2020 (8:43 pm)

    Thank you Councilmember Herbold, this was a good start.

    As for the lower bridge accessibility, this statement:

    “For essential workers who are driving private vehicles, they are directed to the 1st Ave S Bridge.”

    Is not going to be very popular in the current timeframe.

    • Rachel March 31, 2020 (9:01 pm)

      Yes. All doctors nurses and medical professionals need access to the city without unnecessary delay or hardship put upon their shoulders. They should be allowed to use the lower bridge. 

      • Linda March 31, 2020 (9:14 pm)

        AGREE !YES YES YES COMMON SENSE HERE PLEASE Doctors nurses anybody medical professionals lower bridge !!!! They are so stretched come on please lower bridge for medical professionals and everybody that is in the hospitals at work right now think of janitors cleaning rooms etc etc etc

        • WR March 31, 2020 (11:53 pm)

          How on earth can sdot not understand this!?  Speechless. 

      • West Seattle Lurker March 31, 2020 (9:34 pm)

        Does the support staff for the hospital need access? Or just the doctors, and nurses? Are we basing access on job title? Location of employment? What’s exactly the criteria? Is there going to be a checkpoint where you show your credentials? 

      • Juergen March 31, 2020 (10:15 pm)

        What about truck drivers, grocery store workers, manufacturers of ppe, etc? 

      • B.W. April 1, 2020 (10:20 am)

        I disagree.  We need to remain equitable. No specific group should have privileges not afforded to others. Remember,  we live in a wonderful city that teaches equality. We cannot pick and chose on when that applies. 

        • run_dmc April 1, 2020 (1:17 pm)

          But, SDOT is alredy picking and choosing.  They don’t even seem to understand the irony in saying they have to remain equitable, all the while deciding that people who need to access T5 (what for?) and transporting freight is more important than getting to medical jobs.

          “At the same time, we must reserve access to the Low Bridge to emergency vehicle transporting critically ill patients.  …  It’s also open to essential workers who need access to Harbor Island and T-5 and people using emergency vehicles and transporting freight as part of their jobs.

    • Tom April 1, 2020 (8:28 pm)

      Would like them to start the fix ASAP instead of the whys right now.

      • WSB April 1, 2020 (8:34 pm)

        They can’t fix it until they understand what went wrong, they said in the Monday briefing.

  • Seaglass March 31, 2020 (9:03 pm)

    Asking questions after the fact shows you’re not tuned in.  Focus on what’s important to the majority of your constituents, not your personal injustices and you might’ve been aware of what’s happening to your neighborhood.

    • Nolan March 31, 2020 (11:02 pm)

      What do those words even mean?

      What specific actions would you have done differently if you were in Herbold’s position?

  • Seabruce March 31, 2020 (9:18 pm)

    SDOT opened up parking in Seattle for hospital staff because they can’t be expected to take transit due to social distancing, etc, but can’t open up the lower bridge for them? Incompetence not seen since the Nichols snowstorm response! Why was traffic allowed on the viaduct for all those years when it was one earthquake away from pancaking? Because it was WSDOT instead of SDOT in charge?

  • Jort March 31, 2020 (9:22 pm)

    The bridge closure is likely to force  — not request — a dramatic and overwhelming change to the way West Seattle transports it’s citizens to downtown. There is no scenario — none — where the high bridge automobile traffic can be transferred to the lower bridge. If the closure is more than 3 months, we will need dramatic changes, such as high-frequency buses within a 5 minute walk of every house in West Seattle, or a free e-bike for every citizen. But make no mistake: as long as the high bridge is closed, the very nature of personal automobile transportation will be fundamentally upended in the most serious ways imaginable, and the citizens of this fine peninsula better get on board the “adaptation” train, and fast. You will not be driving 20 minutes to downtown. Nobody will, because the geometric limitations of the roadway will make it impossible. 

    • cp April 1, 2020 (9:38 am)

      According to google maps, trip from the junction to city center is 22 minutes.  Sounds reasonable to me.

      • Cjs April 1, 2020 (12:40 pm)

        Surely you’re not serious?   22 mins will turn into hours after stay-at-home is lifted.

      • whenitrainsitpours April 1, 2020 (1:33 pm)

        Yes but imagine how long the ETA will be once the majority of WS is no longer WFH?  The stay at home order is currently hiding how major of a disruption this will be for a majority of us.  Personally, I’m hoping for more reliable buses to the Water Taxi and a reduce fare on the Water Taxi for all of us until there is a fix in place.  

  • dsa March 31, 2020 (9:41 pm)

    I think they are worried about the (swing) lower bridge too but are not saying so in so many words except to say private vehicles are directed to the 1st Ave S Bridge.  Otherwise it could at least be opened up to all in evening off peak hours.

    • Trickycoolj April 1, 2020 (8:42 am)

      Bingo. And hey 1st ave is WSDOTs problem isn’t it? 

  • Mark Schletty March 31, 2020 (10:00 pm)

    What the hell does”equity” have to do with lower-bridge access for medical professionals. These people are working their rears off and risking their lives to try and save others.  There is no need to add to their travails by forcing unnecessary longer driving times. This is a case  when preferential treatment is absolutely  warranted. I sure hope whichever SDOT employee who came up with this lame “equity” requirement during an emergency doesn’t end up with a loved one needing care from a Dr. stuck driving way down south to get downtown.

    • Jon Wright March 31, 2020 (11:10 pm)

      It’s easy to say “medical professionals” should get preferential use of the low bridge but difficult to codify it. If people realize that private cars driving across the low bridge aren’t being checked to verify whether or not they are driven by medical professionals, some unauthorized folks will start driving across, too. So now you have to figure out how to enforce that. And where do you draw the line? Does the custodian who works at a north-end dermatology clinic get to use the bridge? A barista at the Starbucks inside Swedish Hospital? A driver for LabCorp? Are credentials for authorized low bridge users going to be issued or will gatekeepers have to rely upon existing employer- or facility-issued identification? If there specific low-bridge paases do get used, who is going to issue and manage that effort? Should other public safety workers be allowed? What about grocery store workers and people working other essential jobs? I am not arguing against preferential treatment for “medical professionals.” Rather I am just pointing out that it is never as simple as a catchy slogan suggests because the devil is in the details, sometimes to the point that the thing cannot realistically be implemented.

      • Rumbles April 1, 2020 (9:06 am)

        Agree with Jon Wright.  And you have the exposure risk to the individuals (likely police officers) who have to handle and check all the “credentials”.  Is not a single point of inspecting credentials not a high risk of infecting the medical professionals?  You are handling things back in forth to people.

         This has nothing to do with not being appreciative of all the medical professionals, but the problem/solution isn’t that simple.  

    • AMD April 1, 2020 (9:00 am)

      Equity means using the same criteria for everyone to decide who does/doesn’t need the limited space on the low bridge.  For example, health care workers keep getting brought up as workers who are essential so they need an easier commute.  I think we can all agree that police and firefighters are equally essential every day of every year, and now during the pandemic.  So we use the criteria “essential” rather than “health care workers”.  But due to the governor’s orders, that covers literally everyone going to work.  And now the bridge is overloaded.  Instead, they chose criteria that includes emergency vehicles because they need to get where they’re going ASAP, freight and people who work on Harbor Island because access is limited to the island, so they kind of have to, and transit to avoid massive rerouting of buses, schedule changes and a whole lot of other logistical headaches (as well as giving people incentive to use the bus and reduce traffic on the 1st Ave bridge).  That’s what equity is.  It’s using consistent criteria for everyone, no matter how much it would make you feel warm and fuzzy inside to do otherwise.

  • Azimuth March 31, 2020 (10:34 pm)

    I hope they can vastly improve the 5-way intersection lights timing. The current setup is quite inefficient.

  • Your Mother March 31, 2020 (10:37 pm)

    Equity is not the same as equality. It would NOT be equal but it WOULD be equitable for healthcare workers to use the lower bridge. They are risking their lives for the rest of us. The least we can do is get them to their terrifying, grueling, and dangerous jobs quickly. To say it is equitable for them to spend their time sitting in traffic like the rest of us is insulting to the highest degree. And the excuse that it would be too hard to create a pass for them exhibits a lack of leadership and ingenuity. Figure it out. (Btw – I am not a healthcare worker). 

    • D March 31, 2020 (11:02 pm)

      Here here.

    • Elton March 31, 2020 (11:42 pm)

      Huge +1 for this. The whole thing is silly because they’re not actively enforcing violations and so the cheaters are using the lower bridge instead of the people who deserve to use it. 

    • Fooo April 1, 2020 (7:43 am)

      “sitting in traffic with the rest of us”First off, a first Ave detour from anywhere in WS isn’t more than 10 minutes driving time.Second, if people are so worried about traffic. Stop driving. If your function isn’t essential, and you’re going to the store or the park, or getting food, use that same logic ‘they should be unimpeded’ and live with more patience, understand that the traffic at first Ave and other areas that build up are likely full of people doing more important work then you. Then relax and get over the fact that you can wait. Let someone in trying to merge. Be a good person. Also. Stay home.

      • Your Mother April 1, 2020 (12:07 pm)

        10 minutes from anywhere in WS? Just to get to the 1st ave bridge with zero traffic at all takes minimum 20 minutes from my house. And we know there’s traffic… and there will be more in the future. That aside, I agree – people who don’t need to drive, shouldn’t. Those who do, and who are on the front lines working to save lives should get priority. 

    • run_dmc April 1, 2020 (1:21 pm)

      Thank you.  So many people don’t actually know what equity means.  It doesn’t mean all things are equal.

  • Mark March 31, 2020 (11:04 pm)

    maybe i missed it, but the only question that seems to matter is “when are repairs scheduled to start and an estimate of duration, including 24×7 work if possible, even a ballpark guess”.  the past questions really don’t help much except looking for blame.

    • WSB March 31, 2020 (11:30 pm)

      The answers to those were in yesterday’s meeting: They don’t know but hope to know within a month. Why that long, is among our pending questions.

      • WR April 1, 2020 (12:02 am)

        I think to a lot of us, a week to get a vague briefing and a month to have any initial answers just seems like sdot doesn’t fully get how much this is an emergency. I know CC tried during the briefing to point it out, but I think they need to make it absolutely crystal clear that this is beyond urgent.  I think a month to have initial ideas is way too long. 

        • tsurly April 1, 2020 (10:12 am)

          I think “alot of us” have no idea what they are talking about and become West Seattle Blog armchair experts everytime something comes up. One month to design a remedy, plan the construction, and develop a project schedule for something this size  is aggressive.  But keep talking like you know more that those who do this for a living.

          • Whenitrainsitpours April 1, 2020 (1:44 pm)

            Your calculations don’t seem to be taking into account that this has been a known issue which has been on SDOT’s radar.  This didn’t just pop up because of a truck or boat ran into the bridge.  The bridge itself has been failing and they’ve been monitoring for years.  Why not proactively design a fix that they could have implemented right away instead of taking the next 30+ days just let us all know what a fix may look like and how long that may take.  It sure would have been nice if they could fix this issue while the majority of us are WFH.

          • tsurly April 1, 2020 (5:08 pm)

            We (engineers) rely on data to drive our decisions. If you actually read the what SDOT stated above, they implemented best-practice maintenance and repairs based on the data and observed conditions at that time. A recent (2019/2020) and significantly changed condition (widening of existing cracks and occurrence new cracks) has resulted in a different and more extensive repair approach. Its just not feasible for the City burn tax dollars studying remedies to any possible non-existent problems in they event they happen to arise. That would be silly, and I can’t imagine (no wait I could, this is the WSB comment section) the vitriol that  would be spewed by folks on here about wasted money on endless studies.

  • Calires April 1, 2020 (12:41 am)

    With all the scaled back and eliminated bus routes, I would assume Metro has a lot of dormant buses at the moment.  Why couldn’t some of those be repurposed as shuttles exclusively for health care workers going to and from hospitals and clinics?  Seems like that would solve several issues.

    • Anne April 1, 2020 (6:58 am)

      That’s a great idea!!

    • David April 1, 2020 (7:45 am)

      Because it is not particularly safe to be on a bus right now. The safest means of transportation for these front line folks that are the heroes of this whole disaster (pandemic, not the bridge issue) is for them to drive themselves north, south, east, wherever. Public transportation is still operating now because for many it is the only form of transportation to get from A to B; but make no mistake, sitting on a bus with others is not social distancing even if you think you are sitting 6 feet apart. The virus has thrown everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, on its head.

      • Elton April 1, 2020 (12:01 pm)

        A HUGE +1 on this. The fact that they would recommend that health care workers take the bus to use the bridge rather than just letting them on in their own personal cars shows that they’re out of touch with the realities of this disease. I don’t know where people are getting “10 minutes” from but my wife works in health care and it’s doubled her commute time.

  • Aseret April 1, 2020 (12:43 am)

    The Spokane St bridge (lower bridge) is constantly breaking.  And it is my understanding (from city workers) the Spokane bridge has been holding on by a thread for some time now. Bandaids have been keeping it somewhat functional.    Hopefully the bandaids keep working but if they don’t  we will need another plan of action. 

    • WSB April 1, 2020 (1:29 am)

      The low bridge was addressed in Monday’s briefing, including the slide deck, which we first showed here on Friday. In this story, click thrugh to the full Herbold post and you’ll see the deck there too.

      • Aseret April 1, 2020 (9:11 am)

        WSB, thank you!  ❤️

  • Plf April 1, 2020 (1:29 am)

    Why does it take a month to be able to articulate a planwith all the financial issues we are facing, be prepared for renters to flee west Seattle and those who own homes the value will plummet if I was the mayor I would demand within 2 weeks a plan with alternatives and rational and funding optionsthis is now  the city leaders responsibility and accountability to get a plan and start moving  allowing this to linger to not have options presented is squarely in their lap

  • Fred April 1, 2020 (3:21 am)

    People paid to sit on both ends -check credentials for essential and allow passage or just close the damn thing altogether. Everybody go around. Either its safe or its not. If safe, allow essential. How is this not obvious? 

    • KM April 1, 2020 (8:21 am)

      It’s not obvious, it would add an insane amount of congestion to the issue to establish checkpoints and have people present proof. If they are going to establish some sort of management system for private vehicles, it would need a level of automation to keep roadways flowing, especially for emergency vehicles and transit.

      • Steven Lorenza April 1, 2020 (12:11 pm)

        Um, it’s really obvious.This thread is full of bad ideas from armchair QBs.  West Seattle. 

        • KM April 1, 2020 (1:45 pm)

          Well, that changes my mind. We should absolutely stop every car that goes over the bridge and ask them to produce “credentials” showing why they should use the bridge. I see no problem with this whatsoever.

  • ScottAmick April 1, 2020 (7:49 am)

    I haven’t read all of the coverage, comments and slide decks but is the cracking worse on the south side of the bridge where the lane was added compared to the north side of the bridge with the 3-lane original lane configuration?

  • Bryan April 1, 2020 (9:30 am)

    Maybe they should hire the team that fixed the Skagit bridge in record time? Seems like there is little urgency.  Looking forward to the civil engineers getting their little study time on.

    • Jon Wright April 1, 2020 (11:14 am)

      “I don’t understand what is involved with ensuring a big structure like The West Seattle Bridge is safe so instead I will mock the engineers.”

    • Steven Lorenza April 1, 2020 (12:13 pm)

      I5 isn’t a local city road.

  • Wallace Grommet April 1, 2020 (10:04 am)

    The bridge design failed to specifically account for the incredibly heavy trucks crossing daily loaded with rebar from the Nucor foundry. I am not blaming Nucor, it is the professional duty of the bridge designers to engineer for all anticipated vehicle traffic.

  • lara April 1, 2020 (1:00 pm)

    Question not about the lower bridge. Is there any chance that with all of this going on, they could remove the toll on 99 for us essential workers?

  • JP April 2, 2020 (6:17 pm)

    As soon as the stay at home order lifts heads will start rolling over this.  It sounds like in 3-4 weeks they will have a plan to make a plan. 

Sorry, comment time is over.