4:34 PM: With SPD enforcement starting on the low bridge this week, there’s been some confusion over who’s allowed to use that bridge and who isn’t. SDOT had said right after the March 23 high-bridge closure that the low bridge was available for “Harbor Island access.” But that has changed, with one exception. We asked SDOT today to spell out the current official policy; spokesperson Ethan Bergerson responded with this:
At this time, the Low Bridge remains closed to people driving general purpose vehicles to keep essential and life-safety services moving. Considering 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 the Seattle Police Department, the Seattle Fire Department, the Port of Seattle, and Metro to determine the extent of the access limitations.
There is one exception for freight community employees. Longshore Workers Union employees who are driving westbound from the Union hall at the start of their shift to Terminal 5 may use the Low Bridge. This is for westbound trips only.
We understand the inconvenience the closure of the High Bridge poses to the community. SDOT did not make this decision lightly, but ultimately, we prioritize safety above all else. We are monitoring traffic on the Low Bridge and as new traffic patterns develop, we may be able to adjust access.
Our next report on what’s up with the high bridge, meantime, is coming up this evening.
6:51 PM: We checked out the eastbound approach to the low bridge around 5 pm. Overhead signage has now been altered:
And two officers were in the lanes directing/monitoring traffic: