VIDEO: West Seattle Bridge may not be fixable, says SDOT. Even if it is, closure will last at least until 2022.

3:30 PM: That slide is the headline from a briefing the mayor and transportation leaders are about to begin.

A short time ago, we and other reporters got a pre-briefing presentation with SDOT leadership so we can present the key points concurrent with the announcement.

The key points: The high-rise West Seattle Bridge, closed for safety concerns 23 days ago, may not be fixable – SDOT “does not yet know” if it is feasible “technically or financially.” If they can fix it, it might last another 10 years, but that still means replacement would be needed a lot sooner than the original 75-year projection. Even if it’s fixable, it won’t be back in use any sooner than 2022.

And here’s the current timeline:

Just to get the bridge shored up so it would be able to be repaired will cost up to $33 million. Where that money will come from, they don’t know yet. Here’s a breakout.

Those are three key slides – here’s the full slide deck from the pre-briefing:

(Added: You can view it in PDF here.)

The first thing they have to do is stabilize a problem separate from, but worsening, the cracking: The locked bearing on Pier 18. We mentioned this in our coverage of Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Alex Pedersen getting an under-the-bridge briefing yesterday. So that has to be fixed first because “the bearings are compressed and bulging, creating additional strain on the whole bridge.”

Could the bridge fail even now, with traffic having been removed? Possibly. They are installing real-time monitoring and developing scenarios for what would be done if that seemed imminent.

Then, the shoring/stabilization of the cracked area. Then – figuring out if it could be fixed so that traffic would be able to use the bridge. Again: “It may not be possible – could be state of the bridge, could be what it would take to fix it.”

A Technical Advisory Panel will be established with experts “in bridge design, construction, working in the water, geotechnical engineering for bridge structures, and marine/maritime expertise” to help inform this work.

And yes, they are working on traffic plans, including having the signal at the Chelan/Spokane/Delridge/West Marginal 5-way “connected to citywide system for remote monitoring adjustment.” The intersection will be repaved. SDOT also will “Stripe, sign, and smooth alternative routes.” They promise they are trying to think about “every creative solution we can.” Says director Sam Zimbabwe, a West Seattle resident: “We want to thank the West Seattle community… this is a big deal and we’re working hard …this is going to be a community conversation.”

From here, we will add notes from the official news conference (which we are also recording so we can add the video afterward).

3:45 PM: We’re still waiting for the news conference to start so here are a few more notes from the pre-briefing:

*As mentioned a few weeks ago, the low bridge needs some work. Some of that will happen soon, including replacement of the pedestrian gate. Look for info shortly on how that will affect traffic.

*Speaking of traffic, SDOT expects the restrictions on the low bridge will last for the entire duration of the high bridge’s closure.

*We asked if they have a system set up for keeping the low bridge from opening for marine traffic if a medical emergency vehicle is headed that way. Nothing automated, but the bridge tender watches for approaching emergency vehicles.

*The scenarios – can it be fixed, what if it can’t be – are “happening in parallel.”

3:48 PM: The news conference is starting, with Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Alex Pedersen as well as reps from other agencies including Metro.

The mayor starts by acknowledging an “enormously frustrating experience for the West Seattle community” and thanking everyone “for their patience.” She says, “I will not allow any car to go over the bridge until it is safe.” The mayor reiterates that they still don’t know the cause of the cracking but the newly disclosed Pier 18 problem has to be addressed first. “We know in the long term this bridge has to be replaced,” she acknowledges. “We’re going to be looking very closely with Metro at ncreasing transit, park-n-rides, water taxi service.” She says she talked with County Executive Dow Constantine today to talk about it. She says the police and fire departments are looking at possible “additional public safety needs” while the bridge is closed. She reiterates that the low bridge will continue to be restricted and urges people not to violate those restrictions; otherwise, “you will get a ticket.”

Speaking next is SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe. He’s going through some of what was presented at the pre-briefing, including the installation of monitoring and the modeling for possible bridge-failure scenarios, though he re-states that failure is not expected. … “We know people living and working in West Seattle need reliable access across the Duwamish (River),” he repeats, recapping some of the changes they’ve made already, including the new Highland Park Way/Holden signal. “We’re working hard to get you where you need to go.”

4:05 PM: Now Councilmember Herbold speaks, calling this a “very difficult turn of events.” She also acknowledges that the disclosure that the bridge will be out of service until at least 2022 moves the conversation into a new phase, for businesses as well as residents. She notes that the Seattle Squeeze lasted 8 months, while this will be longer. She mentions the bridge visit that she and Pedersen made yesterday (which we covered). He’s speaking next (his major role in this is as Transportation Committee chair).

Pedersen calls this a “massive infrastructure project” and notes the Council will have “an important role in oversight.”

In Q&A, the mayor is asked about whether federal funding will be sought. She says she hopes so, and has already spoken to both of our area’s U.S. Senators, especially if infrastructure funding is part of coronavirus-crisis relief.

Why not just proceed to replacement planning if it’s going to take $33 million just to stabilize the bridge? Zimbabwe didn’t entirely answer that.

We asked how the “community conversation” about traffic solutions can be had, in this meeting-less time? The mayor said they’ll work with the council on “virtual town halls … We know this is critical to the community, we need to hear from you. … The ground truth is being felt by the community.” Herbold adds that her office is working in fact on a “virtual town hall” focused on bridge impacts and planning ahead.

We also asked about inter-agency discussions such as whether ferries could be rerouted downtown. Zimbabwe says that while Colman Dock has capacity, now that they know this is going to be a long closure, everything needs to be on the table.

And we asked about whether they are talking with Sound Transit, given that West Seattle light rail was going to need its own new bridge across the Duwamish River anyway. “Yes,” said the mayor, that’s one thing they’d have to look at, though they don’t want to “lose time.”

Last question – a followup on the mayor’s mention of park-and-rides, which the city has frowned on in recent years. “We’re going to have to do more of everything,” said the mayor.

4:27 PM: The event is over. We recorded video and will add that when it’s ready. Also, as we reported earlier this week, note that a briefing for the entire City Council is scheduled for next Monday (9:30 am, should be on Seattle Channel, cable 21 or online).

ADDED 7:23 PM: The city’s video is now available, so we’ve added that above. Also, here’s the SDOT Blog version of today’s news; here’s a statement from Councilmembers Herbold and Pedersen.

730 Replies to "VIDEO: West Seattle Bridge may not be fixable, says SDOT. Even if it is, closure will last at least until 2022."

  • Bryan April 15, 2020 (3:37 pm)

    Oh snap!!

    • Rumbles April 15, 2020 (4:44 pm)

      Oh, dear.. let the meltdown begin!  Pretty sure this thread will be in the “all time commented article” awards!  Putting my money at number 1!

      • AMD April 15, 2020 (5:16 pm)

        I mean, I was really sure coronavirus was going to take that crown for 2020, and then here’s the Bridge, all” “hold my beer.”  With all the extra traffic being diverted south, maybe we can start a discussion about repaving Roxbury between 15th and 25th?

        • chemist April 15, 2020 (5:48 pm)

          Considering SDOT can’t seem to do a repaving project without reducing car lanes to squeeze in more bike lanes, not the best time for that.  With at least 1.5 years of this, maybe some roads that were dieted to 3 lanes via a two way left turn lane like 35th SW should temporarily go back to 4 lanes, considering how much more non-turning traffic needs to be accommodated.

          • Tsurly April 15, 2020 (6:54 pm)

            With one lane in each direction being a dedicated bus lane, right?

          • 35thSteve April 16, 2020 (4:25 am)

            Nope. No 4 lanes. Not now. Nor ever 

          • AMD April 16, 2020 (5:32 pm)

            If any travel lanes are added to existing roads (and I hope they’re not), they need to be HOV lanes.  And not the 2-person HOV lanes like everywhere else here, real 3+ person HOV lanes like they have back east (because honestly, 2 people in a car is medium-occupancy at best).  Adding a lane to 35th isn’t going to change the capacity of the 1st Avenue Bridge.   Getting vehicles off the road is the only way to alleviate the congestion at bottlenecks like the bridge.

          • Doris Bartel April 26, 2020 (12:21 pm)


        • Kathleen May 4, 2020 (4:05 pm)

          I agree that 35th has been a nightmare with all the construction but Delridge has never had any real work other refilling the pot holes on a regular basis. It is the worst road that I know of in West Seattle. Coming home is an obstacle coarse to avoid the pot holes

      • Julia April 15, 2020 (5:58 pm)

        It’s already at 250, only a couple hours after posting. Impressive! (And more than I’m going to read.)

      • Trish April 15, 2020 (11:32 pm)

        OMG. That was my first thought earlier today. I just got off work and there are only 498 comments. This is definitely going to take a couple of cocktails to read all this “armchair quarterbacking”. Cheers!

      • Rumbles April 17, 2020 (2:21 am)

        Not that I’m glad about the bridge’s problems, but it’s amazing to see nearly 700 comments and a new record for the WSB!

        • WSB April 17, 2020 (9:48 am)

          One of my goals this weekend if it’s relatively quiet is to write a story with highlights of the thread. While there’s a lot of just plain ventng, understandably, there are also some recurring suggestions, etc. I wish now I had taken notes as they came in – to go back through 700, even as a quick reader, will take some time! – TR

    • Seaweed April 15, 2020 (6:34 pm)

      I was expecting a few more scenarios still to come on my list, but now just going all in for the sky is falling.

    • Your Mother April 15, 2020 (7:29 pm)

      Bryan. Seriously dude. You should be so stoked that your comment is first(!) in what will undoubtably be the most commented on article ever. And that it’s “Oh Snap”?!?! Props!!!!On another note: I predict that there will be More. Than. 10. Comments. That. Use. Periods. After. Their. Words. To. Virtually. Point. Their. Finger. In. Someone’s. Face.  Be nice, people! It’s harder than being douche bag, but is surprisingly worth it! Peace out.

    • tracey April 15, 2020 (8:55 pm)

      And a gosh, darn it, to you too Bryan!  Poor Tracy of WSB.  We now have nothing else to do than read and comment on the blog! 

      • WSB April 15, 2020 (9:09 pm)

        That was better than the first (or one of the first) reactions when I tweeted this link immediately. Twitter has no profanity filter…

        • Go gull April 15, 2020 (10:07 pm)

          ;) Thanks for your reporting WSB!

          Btw, any word on whereabouts of TWST?

          • WSB April 15, 2020 (10:23 pm)

            Boulevard Park. So it’s still (at least temporarily) The Burien Turkey.

    • Cade April 16, 2020 (7:03 am)

      This is what happens when a nation neglects its infrastructure.

    • Chris April 16, 2020 (9:05 am)

      What emergency room services are available? How will this impact the time it takes an ambulance to provide service in a life-and-death situation?

      • JJ April 16, 2020 (2:30 pm)

        I believe Highline Medical Center in Burien is the closest ER to WS (20 min drive from @ junction)

  • SM April 15, 2020 (3:40 pm)

    No words. I can’t believe the sh-t West Seattle has had to deal with. First the viaduct, now this. 

    • Rumbles April 15, 2020 (5:56 pm)

      The viaduct will be a blip compared to this!

    • GlenBikes April 16, 2020 (12:11 pm)

      Totally agree!  First they build WS a $4B tunnel, and now what will likely be a very expensive bridge repair. WS homeowners should totes get a decade of no property taxes for this.

  • lilbuttahcup April 15, 2020 (3:40 pm)

    Looks like us West Seattleites will be working from home much longer than we thought…THANKS SDOT

  • Glenda April 15, 2020 (3:41 pm)

    Closed 2 years minimum? That won’t do. I’m looking forward to the flood of sensible solutions offered by the many local amateur bridge engineers and transit system designers. A passionate plea ensures your recommendation here will be utilized. 

    • Smittytheclown April 15, 2020 (4:44 pm)

      If I had a time machine I’d tell them that the NB99 bus only lane would cause this by creating all day backups adding weight throughout the day.  Idiots. 

      • Jethro Marx April 15, 2020 (5:16 pm)

        Use your time machine to go back in time and take some basic engineering courses before you share your nonsensical predictions and bad math from days of future past. The locked bearing has far more potential to affect the load picture than “backups.”

        • Ernie April 15, 2020 (6:47 pm)

          Well said

        • Greg April 16, 2020 (12:30 am)

          The crack growth accelerated during the 99 bus lane fiasco. How many fully load articulated busses were appropriate to park at midspan during that period?

          • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (1:09 am)

            As any good scientist knows, correlation = causation.

      • Anandakos April 15, 2020 (5:54 pm)

        Smitty, I’m impressed that your Clown degree included a minor in civil engineering.  Is that to ensure that the little cars are safe?  

      • Scott April 15, 2020 (6:20 pm)

        exactly. Those C line double buses have destroyed the streets in West Seattle and now the bridge.

        • Scott April 16, 2020 (5:03 am)

          Are you kidding me? You think one  c line bus averaging 30 people per trip did more damage than 30 urban assault vehicles? Where are you getting that information….

    • Eric April 15, 2020 (8:31 pm)

      They built the Empire State building in one year and 45 days. They need to get to work fast!

      • EV April 15, 2020 (9:48 pm)

        Seattle, we are not undergoing a project like rebuilding the Causeways of Florida.  This project should be ready by the end of 2020.  

        • EV April 15, 2020 (9:51 pm)

          Use some leftover tunnel or something. 

      • Mark47n April 16, 2020 (4:31 am)

        And had a mortality rate of 1 per story. I don’t have the full casualty rate but at that time in history that was the average.So, how many lives are you ready to spend (of course, not yours) to ease your way downtown or to points north? How many grievous injuries? Other serious incidents?

    • JA April 16, 2020 (9:57 am)

      Here is a case for band-aiding the bridge with numbers….We should absolutely spend $33M for 10 years of use. The bridge will become a toll bridge in any case at this point, but think of the numbers financially. 100k+ cars a day used that bridge. Even at $1 toll per car, per day, that means in ONE YEAR, we will have accrued $36.5M in toll revenue….that already covers the $33M shoring. 10 years of use means that we will be able to pay for the shoring, pay for the band-aid, and start a healthy fund for the in-parallel design and construction of the new bridge.Point is that there will easily be funding available for a toll bridge…and the 10 years buys us some time to properly design and build the new bridge/LIGHT RAIL!In the grand scheme of things, if you commute by bus, like the C-line…your life won’t be much changed for the next year and a half…and after that, everything should return to normal for everyone.

  • Jort April 15, 2020 (3:41 pm)

    Ho-lee crap. This is a pretty big wake-up call. No bridge until at least 2022? And only 10 years of life (maybe) after that? It is time for the city of Seattle to get dramatically creative with how it chooses to move people in and out of West Seattle. Here is an important thing for city leaders and every person reading this post to understand: there will not be a way for everyone to drive like they used to, period. Those days are now gone. Like, GONE, gone. This means you when you drive your car. We’re all going to be biking and taking the bus a LOT more, and we will all have no choice in that fact. Every single person in West Seattle better start learning, really soon, that this will be a new reality and there is literally nothing they’re going to be able to do to change this, no matter how angry you get or how much your feelings are hurt. I’m not trying to be intentionally cruel here, but there is no reality on this planet that looks anything like the one we were all used to, pre-closure. Begin your personal mental adaptations now and start advocating for free e-bikes for all of West Seattle and frequent public transportation links to every block in the peninsula.

    • Anandakos April 15, 2020 (5:58 pm)

      If the City is unable to get a handle on the lane restriction and move the buses through, Metro and KC should extend a couple of local connector buses from the Junction to the Water Taxi pier and run a lot more Taxi sailings.  Of course it would be lots cheaper to keep cars off the bridge so the buses can get through, but there’s nothing like that good old American Exceptionalism to gum up traffic.  

    • Morgan April 15, 2020 (6:39 pm)

      I will need more ferries and more trains if I’m going to be asked to abandon my car…what will get built first? A bridge a dock or a subway tunnel? Oh And a vaccine to be in a crowd if I spare a thought for my underlying health condition.

    • 5generationWS April 15, 2020 (6:51 pm)

      Take the bus to where?  The bus people act like we all go downtown.  I never go downtown.  How about Costco.  What are going to do strap the boxes on our back and bike from there.  Public subways and trams like you see in Europe and elsewhere are great.  These clowns would make it cost 100 times more to do that and Sawant would demand we give everyone $75k a year as part of it – just because.  You are right we have to get used to it but I won’t be on the bus unless they run buses every 5 minutes to a massive parking lot on the other side of the river so I can get my car.

      • David Partikian April 15, 2020 (7:43 pm)

        Just shop in West Seattle or Burien …

      • Go gull April 15, 2020 (9:11 pm)

        ‘Take the bus to where?’  

        To just about anywhere.  If you take a bus downtown, you can connect to other buses, light rail, sounder train, Jump bikes…

        As for Costco, drive there at lower traffic times and stock up and limit your frequency of trips. Or, get a cargo bike, and go more frequently, and get in great shape in the process.

        Everyone should contemplate for a moment, how do people in other places in the world make it work, without being so dependent on personal cars.  Yes, it is a nice convenience and privilege for people to be able to drive so much, but it’s not a necessity, and in fact can become a major inconvenience and community crisis, to have so many dependent on their car.

        In some European cities, many households may have a car but will either bike or take public transit for daily needs, and reserve their car for occasional travel, or needs like going to Ikea, or other trips out of the city.  We are so far behind here…

        I know Jort’s comments are hard for some to swallow, but their encouragement towards a new perspective and acceptance isn’t wrong.  It would be great if more people would open their minds to utilizing transit options and biking more (for those who can), instead of solely relying on their car.

        • Eliwal77 April 15, 2020 (11:06 pm)

          Would you like to bike 40 miles round trip a day and work a 10-12 hour day where you’re on your feet all day? The reality is the cost of living in the greater  Seattle area is out of line with what many, many people make causing them to live further and further away from their jobs.  Public transportation here has always been a travesty which is an issue people seem happy to ignore.  While many people would still drive,asyoull never be able to make everyone happy, many mor people would use public transportation if there was a system in place thays functional.  I don’t feel like asking  people to bike or spend 2 to three hours on a bus, still stuck in traffic ,still stops over 2 miles away from a job anyone is lucky enough to still have after this pandemic has to work banking hours to make a connection is A. Realistic B. Fair or C. Helpful.I’m sure everyone wishes there was a public transportation situation that they could utilize during the closure.  You say it’s a privilege to drive, while for many it is a necessity.  

          • Go gull April 16, 2020 (12:09 am)

            There are many people who commute by car who do not have a 40 mile round trip commute and and who also do not work on their feet for 10-12 hours a day.  That’s a dramatic example, and not who I am thinking of. There are many others with less challenging commutes/work days, who might be able to look into utilizing transit options and biking more.
            You make taking the bus sound awful, but some people enjoy a long bus commute to clear their mind, or to read a book, and to not have to deal with driving in traffic.

            Please re-read my comment, especially the last sentence… “ It would be great if more people would open their minds to utilizing transit options and biking more (for those who can), instead of solely relying on their car.

            Also, fyi, I am speaking as someone who in the past has bike commuted long miles, while also working hard on my feet, while not being in optimal health, and I did this out of necessity.  I wouldn’t recommend that for most people, it’s not easy, but it’s also not as impossible as some make it out to be. 

            Also, I will add, the autonomy, freedom from sitting in car traffic, exercise, and fresh air is wonderful. I wouldn’t recommend transit and bike commuting if I didn’t believe it would be of benefit to some in the community. I hope some will be able to explore these options and find an alternative out of sitting in the upcoming grid-lock.

          • WSBike! April 17, 2020 (7:56 am)

            Not sure how relevant the 40 mile commute is to the West Seattle bridge. 

        • K. Davis April 16, 2020 (3:22 pm)

          I don’t much care what the anti-car zealots like Jort say … folks are entitled to their opinions; even the silly ones  … and right now,  the anti-car people are having their moment.  So allow them their fleeting glory in the sun celebrating this; it won’t last.  The anti-car crowd don’t have a grasp of reality re transportation and more to the point, none of these commentators hold sway over policy.  So let them rant their anti-car silliness.  No big.  Meanwhile, one way or another, the bridge will be repaired/replaced and we’ll all survive and get back to normal.  Life goes on.  

          • Go gull April 16, 2020 (6:23 pm)

            Not anti-car. Just pro-transportation-solutions, during a major bridge closure.  

            I drove a car, and I rode a bike today.  

            Real nice for you to insult people who are just trying to offer ideas and encouragement, for people to make smart and empowered choices, that contribute to the solution.

            It’s going to be a mess if more people aren’t open to adjustments and alternatives during this time.

    • David April 15, 2020 (7:40 pm)

      Keep dreaming Jort. Cars are here to stay.

      • Jort April 16, 2020 (8:01 am)

        Yeah, I mean, sure, but, you’re going to have the choice between a 20 minute bike ride and a 3-4 hour commute. People can be stubborn about this, or they can start to think differently. It’s not a dream, David, it’s reality: West Seattle is no longer capable of handling the car traffic we’re used to, and that is not going to change, dream or not, whether you’re angry at me or not, whether you think buses are gross or not, whether you hate spandex cyclists or not. How you feel about those things does not change the fact that driving for every person in West Seattle is now fundamentally reprioritized by the basic facts of geometry. 

        • wetone April 16, 2020 (10:41 am)

          I’ll have a good laugh for ya Jort when lower swing bridge goes down ;) …….. It won’t be long with it’s history lately and problems it’s having……….. 

    • ARPigeonPoint April 15, 2020 (11:09 pm)

      Until there’s a vaccine, I’m not setting foot on the sardine cans that pass for public transportation here. We were royally screwed. 

    • JA April 16, 2020 (9:58 am)

      The key here is tolling….We should absolutely spend $33M for 10 years of use. The bridge will become a toll bridge in any case at this point, but think of the numbers financially. 100k+ cars a day used that bridge. Even at $1 toll per car, per day, that means in ONE YEAR, we will have accrued $36.5M in toll revenue….that already covers the $33M shoring. 10 years of use means that we will be able to pay for the shoring, pay for the band-aid, and start a healthy fund for the in-parallel design and construction of the new bridge.Point is that there will easily be funding available for a toll bridge…and the 10 years buys us some time to properly design and build the new bridge/LIGHT RAIL!

      • WSB April 16, 2020 (10:01 am)

        Important point here: $33 million is NOT the full price tag for repairs that would get 10 more years out of the bridge. It’s the price tag for stabilization/shoring (and the other misc costs shown above in the slide) to get to that point. Cost and timeline of repairs, if they are determined possible, is a question mark. – TR

  • ACG April 15, 2020 (3:42 pm)

    Ugh…  well, that wasn’t what I REALLY said, but I don’t think what I really said would be approved for publication. 

  • Jeff April 15, 2020 (3:42 pm)

    Sad news but not unexpected :-(

  • Carrie April 15, 2020 (3:42 pm)

    I am just staggered by this. What an utter disaster. 

  • Smittytheclown April 15, 2020 (3:42 pm)

    My god.  What a nightmare.  Good luck selling.  Heads should roll. 

  • jed April 15, 2020 (3:42 pm)

    OMG we just got a lot farther away from everything WOW

  • thanks sdot April 15, 2020 (3:43 pm)

    Better inconvenienced than dead. I appreciate SDOT taking reality into consideration and preventing a nightmare for our city and peninsula.

    • Carrie April 15, 2020 (3:48 pm)

      I would have preferred them to do their jobs such that it wasn’t a choice between death and dangerous gridlock. 

      • Graham April 15, 2020 (3:56 pm)

        Our property taxes better be reduced to reflect our housing values sinking like a rock

        • SM April 15, 2020 (4:09 pm)


        • Also John April 15, 2020 (4:50 pm)

          I was thinking the same thing.  Our values will definately go down.  Lets see how long it take the City to reflect this on our property taxes.

          • WSB April 15, 2020 (4:52 pm)

            Property tax assessments are a county function, not city. What we’re paying this year is what last year’s evaluation reflected. It’s an interesting question, though, and one I will be taking to the Assessor’s Office, how/whether something like this would factor into assessments.

          • Graham April 15, 2020 (6:34 pm)

            Thank you WSB. Looking forward to what you find out

        • West seattle resident April 15, 2020 (5:32 pm)

          You mean heavily increased because that is what is going to happen. They are going to push for something really stupid, expensive and impractical to replace to bridge rather then repair it. And like usual people will reject there terrible options and they will pick the worse one regardless. It will cost you 10s of thousands over the next 40 years just like the tunnel and just like st3. 

        • Jordan April 15, 2020 (5:44 pm)

          With 35th and Roxbury being the new main arterial in and out of West Seattle, they need to go back to two lanes each way and retime rye lights to prioritize that traffic for everyone but the Admiral District, that is the way in and out. Losing the slip lane at Highland Park and Holden is going to make that an absolute nightmare as well. 

          • Tom April 15, 2020 (6:10 pm)

            100%. 35th needs to be 2 lanes again asap.

          • 35thSteve April 16, 2020 (4:34 am)

            Nope. No four lanes on 35th. Not now. Not ever

          • 35th Works April 17, 2020 (8:05 am)

            I don’t see how widening 35th helps. 35th has a 30MPH speed limit and 45MPH speed minimum. In the stretch with a middle turn lane, you’ll get run off the road if you do less than 15 over the speed limit. I don’t see where the logic is. Traffic moves fine (and fast). 

      • can't fool me April 15, 2020 (4:02 pm)

        Do their jobs, defying physics? What could be done to a cracking bridge besides watch it crack more or fix it (which is what they’re now doing)? If they closed it two years ago for repairs, you’d be complaining about the same thing. Can’t fool me lady.

        • Carrie April 15, 2020 (6:35 pm)

          So it hasn’t occurred to you that, if they started repairing it two years ago they wouldn’t need to close it the whole time?  The whole “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is a new concept to you?

        • David April 15, 2020 (7:46 pm)

          Wrong…but keep telling yourself that. Remember how this was shut down on 4 hours notice…during a pandemic? Closing this two years ago to begin repairs would mean they started this two years earlier. Planning, routing, getting something figured out.

          • Armchair Engineer April 16, 2020 (9:57 am)

            And here come the armchair engineers!  We appreciate your contributions to this conversation.  Not sure how we’d get educated on such complicated matters without your insight.  Don’t know how to thank you enough.

    • glendafrench April 15, 2020 (3:49 pm)

      Thank you! I feel the same way.  We would be fixing this for years if the bridge collapsed too so I’m glad it was caught before that!  I’m just going to pretend I live on an island now. 

    • Dakota April 15, 2020 (4:04 pm)

      I’m sorry – I have to disagree – these people are totally incompetent…  They knew for years that this was coming, and instead of prioritizing a link connection into W. Sea – which would have helped immensely, they thought it more important to get to the mall.

      • WR April 15, 2020 (6:22 pm)

        Exactly Dakota. Exactly. 

      • Angry April 15, 2020 (6:50 pm)

        Don’t be sorry  Dakota.   You are exactly right.   Instead of bridge maintenance, our tax dollars have been going to fund a $200M streetcar to nowhere.   It’s stunning how stupid our elected leaders are.

    • Alki April 15, 2020 (8:16 pm)

      Let’s be honest here.  so you want the city to invest in a new bridge but you want to reduce your property taxes? That is the opposite of what we’ve voted into the city council. Your property taxes will go up not down. And valuations on our property values are below market value anyway I’m not sure what people are complaining about.

      • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (1:15 am)

        And also they want to keep their low density single-family homes and street parking, yet demand light rail now. Sometimes I feel like West Seattle looks at Mercer Island and thinks “You call that being entitled? I’ll show you!”

    • Dfrog April 15, 2020 (11:14 pm)

      Wa state did have a surplus of funds? This is priority and should be at the top of the list. Replace this bridge. China can build hospitals in days, while America takes years to evaluate the situation 😑

  • tsurly April 15, 2020 (3:44 pm)

    Single most important way to reduce the impacts of this, change your habits and drive less.

    • Jenn April 15, 2020 (4:13 pm)

      Sorry but some of us that have to work on the East side DON’T HAVE THAT OPTION!!!!  OBVIOUSLY YOU DON’T WORK OR DON’T HAVE TO COMMUTE FOR A JOB.

      • Enji April 15, 2020 (5:44 pm)

        It’s not a perfect solution, but there are transit options from Westwood Village to consider if you work over in Bellevue. Example: ST-560: .

      • Anandakos April 15, 2020 (6:03 pm)

        Why do you live in West Seattle and work on the East Side?  That seems a poor choice.  Now perhaps your partner works in downtown Seattle and you are the person with the unpleasant commute.  Since East Side to Downtown Seattle transit is still pretty good (not as good as it was pre-reversible lane closure, but generally OK-ish) maybe you could rent out your house and rent something on the East Side.  Your partner would have the raunchy commute, but it’s at least reliable.  Something “outside the box” to consider.  

        • TZ April 15, 2020 (9:31 pm)

          Why are you commenting on a WSB post when you clearly live in a more perfect world? Poor choice? I know of ~15,000 Amazon employees moving from Seattle offices to Bellevue with no choice. I think the poor choice would be moving to West Seattle as the bridge crumbles. Is it really gonna be that easy to catfish someone into renting a house out here at this point? Good luck. 

      • Tsurly April 15, 2020 (6:28 pm)

        I rode a bike to Bellevue everyday for the six years I worked there. It’s hard, but doable. And, like others are pointing out, there are public transit options.

      • David Partikian April 15, 2020 (7:46 pm)

        Well then, move to the Eastside! Why would anyone live in West Seattle and work in the Eastside …

        • Eliwal77 April 15, 2020 (11:56 pm)

          Jesus… are we really questioning the why would you work/live situation?!?!  Here’s a reason. I like my job. I love West Seattle as it’s been my home for 20+ years. I work in an industry where I’m lucky to be able to afford to live ANYWHERE in the greater Seattle area on a single income.  Have you looked at rent in Bellevue/Issaquah? Where  I have to commute to in order to have said income shouldn’t be up for debate/ ridicule.  People commute NorthBend to Bellevue, Tacoma to Seattle, Everett to Bellevue.  The problem isn’t my commute, it’s the absolute lack of reliable public transportation in King County. This isn’t news, I use to be able to catch the 56 bus anytime of the day when I was lucky enough to work downtown.  The 56 hours got cut YEARS ago, now we have a public transportation system that is operating with significantly reduced routes, many of which may not come back for months.   Really hoping people learn to be kind to one another, think before the speak and appreciate their blessings. If you DON’T have a significant commute to figure out a simple acknowledgment of the hassle this will be for many would be a great way to commit an act of kindness.  Who knows. Maybe you’ll change someone’s whole day.

      • Steven Lorenza April 15, 2020 (8:07 pm)

        Working on the Eastside? That’s a rough setup on good days. More telecommuting, transit, and podcasts/reading is my recommendation. 

    • Also John April 15, 2020 (4:51 pm)

      I’m thinking you ride a Surly bike?!   😏

      • Vicki April 15, 2020 (6:27 pm)

        I drink Surly beer! Thank you Minnesota!

      • Tsurly April 15, 2020 (6:31 pm)

        I may have a few, but I’m most just I’ll tempered.

    • me April 15, 2020 (5:02 pm)

      I know not everyone can do this but I gave up my car years ago and never looked back, it’s freeing in every way, it costs less, you get more exercise, and you can drink as much as you want no matter where you are.Plus if you take the bus you can still use the lower bridge.

      • William April 15, 2020 (6:45 pm)

        Social distancing + bus rides don’t go together. 

        • ARPigeonPoint April 15, 2020 (11:14 pm)

          William, EXACTLY. And what is the vaccine – 15 months out? 

  • DC April 15, 2020 (3:44 pm)

    I vote for new bus routes with service to the water taxi! 

    • Wes C. Addle April 15, 2020 (3:55 pm)

      Maybe we’ll get Water Taxi Service to Ballard now.

      • Kara April 15, 2020 (4:40 pm)

        Yes please!!

      • Anandakos April 15, 2020 (6:05 pm)

        From West Seattle to Ballard?  Why?  Or are you IN Ballard and want to go Downtown?  

        • Wes C. Addle April 15, 2020 (9:40 pm)

          Why? Because we should expand the Water Taxi and there’s no easy way to get there. Now with the bridge out of commission, we should connect to other parts of town. 

          • Go gull April 15, 2020 (10:37 pm)

            I like the idea of this, connecting Ballard and WS with a water taxi… I would utilize this, just for visiting Ballard and would be a nice bike ride back (once the stay home order is lifted).  

            Might also be an option for some to take this and then bike commute to anywhere along the canal (Fremont, UW) or even out around SLU. There are bike trails to those areas.

            This could be a great transportation connection… nice idea!

      • deo April 15, 2020 (8:47 pm)

        I would take it quite often, even if it does not go through the locks. And this would be a big win for Alki businesses.

        • Wes C. Addle April 15, 2020 (9:46 pm)

          100%.  The more ways in and out the better. I think even a dock between Belltown & Interbay would be great as well.  Additional Water Taxis downtown on the same run is kind of pointless in this scenario.  A lot of people work in Bellevue & Redmond and that’s who is going to struggle the most.  More runs downtown won’t help those folks. 

      • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (1:24 am)

        The major issue with expanding water taxi service is that King Country
        only has enough boats to run the two existing routes with a single boat
        in reserve. An additional route is out of the question without expanding the fleet.

        • Chuck April 16, 2020 (1:26 pm)

          We have time to wait… I think they can buy a boat quicker than build a bridge! 

    • EM April 15, 2020 (3:56 pm)


      • YYinWestwood April 15, 2020 (5:03 pm)

        Perhaps can give us Westies a special deal?!!! 

  • WS Guy April 15, 2020 (3:48 pm)

    Oh no!  Jort, what shall we do?  We need your calm and levelheaded leadership at a time like this.

    • Jort April 15, 2020 (3:57 pm)

      Hi WS Guy, I’ll tell you what we can do: buy an e-bike and learn to take the bus. I can tell you want we’re NOT going to be doing, and that’s driving like everybody used to. You can be mad at me about this, or you can start looking for solutions, and I will tell you right now that there will. not. be a solution that involves the citizens of West Seattle driving like they did two months ago. That is a reality that everyone should start adapting to really, really quick. Again, whether you like it or not: our lives are fundamentally different now and there is literally nothing you can do to go back to the way it was. 

      • Glenda April 15, 2020 (4:11 pm)

        Jorp- I’m not taking mass transit no way- some of these people are germy and unpredictable. Besides, I’m like a lone wolf, and I’ve got to roam the open road- USA!

        • Anandakos April 15, 2020 (6:09 pm)

          The vast majority people who ride commuter buses between downtown Seattle and West Seattle are not “germy and unpredictable”.  Like you, they’re closet white-bread Republicans.  You can safely share a space with them.  

          • CandrewB April 15, 2020 (6:45 pm)

            In the mornings it’s that way. In the afternoons it’s a crap shoot.

          • TearItDownNow April 16, 2020 (10:57 am)

            Am pretty sure Covid doesn’t care about political party or economic strata.  The point is, until testing is widely available and a  vaccine is available, people will be reluctant to be forced into options that can’t maintain safe distancing.  All the high and mighty’s here on bikes and public transport have to factor in that many of us have households with high risk loved ones.  Stop lecturing us.

        • Alki April 15, 2020 (8:19 pm)

          You mean unlike those commuters with road rage? There are no germs on the bus that aren’t in your workplace or that other people around you don’t have that’s it really poor argument and reflects on you as a person.

      • HTB April 15, 2020 (4:22 pm)

        Jort – I’m responsible for getting 2 kids to school and then commuting to SLU. With the times for school starting and bus schedules, transit is not an option. What should I do?

        • Jort April 15, 2020 (7:15 pm)

          Have they invented buses for children yet? Ones that could take them to and from a school? Perhaps they might call it a “school bus” or something like that? Seems like an interesting concept, maybe Seattle can invent it!

          • Anne April 15, 2020 (9:31 pm)

            Snarky -as usual Jort 

          • Joyce April 15, 2020 (10:37 pm)

            The majority of public school kids do not qualify for yellow bus transportation. The school bus is not an option for most families, not to mention how unpredictable and terrible the situation with First Student is…

        • West Seattle since 1979 April 15, 2020 (11:13 pm)

          HTB—Are there schools in West Seattle that your kids could go to? That way you could drive them to school, then take a bus to your job.

      • D Del Rio April 15, 2020 (4:25 pm)

        Before the quarantine I took the bus everyday to work. My ass would never ride a bike. For the vast majority of us it will not happen. I also wouldn’t drive a motorcycle either. The one thing I do hope that changes are those who still feel the need to drive downtown for work to finally take the bus instead. That’s one thing most of us should be able to agree on. 

        • Jort April 15, 2020 (5:00 pm)

          I know that bike riding is tough for some folks, but you know what’s going to be tougher, for the next several years? Driving. If anybody thinks that “signal retiming” and “lane re-striping” are going to solve the issue of adding 100,000 cars to the 1st Ave S. Bridge, which is already operating over capacity at rush hour, well … you can choose to sit in traffic for 3 hours a day, or you can take a 20 minute bike or bus ride. Those literally will be the choices, no amount of anger or frustration will change that. Again: I’m not trying to be mean or vindictive. But this is a new reality for all of us.

          • Notoveryet April 15, 2020 (5:49 pm)

            To all of you people talking about buses, you do realize nobody will be taking a bus with social distancing going on for 6 months or more…right?

          • Alki April 15, 2020 (8:21 pm)

            Where are you driving to? If it’s to an office to work with people or to a grocery store to work or anywhere else to work your no more likely to get it on the bus then at your office or place of employment what a horrible argument.

          • RayWest April 15, 2020 (6:55 pm)

            Bike riding and transit is fine for some people–mostly those who are single and/or do not have children that they have to ferry around, pick up from school or childcare, take them to activities etc. and simply cannot add an additional two hours or more to their commute due to family obligations. If you are single, then fine, use a bike or take a bus, but don’t think that everyone can easily adapt to your particular lifestyle. More realistic ideas would be added transit, increased van pools, ride shares, and businesses willing to stagger days when employees can work at home. I liked the idea about having  an additional water taxi to Ballard.

          • Tsurly April 15, 2020 (8:51 pm)

            I have a demanding career, as does my wife, and two kids; we both bike or take the bus to work everyday, and it’s not hard.

          • Jenn April 15, 2020 (7:42 pm)


          • kram April 15, 2020 (9:01 pm)

            I know you’re  not being mean Jort you just seem detached and you clearly do not have kids. 4 year olds can’t take the bus. Many people drive for work. Traffic will be terrible and people will complain but in October you can wave to them from your bike and shake your head at all of us the just don’t get it like you do.

          • Tsurly April 15, 2020 (9:35 pm)

            What are you talking about? There are plenty of small children that ride the bus with their parents.

          • kram April 16, 2020 (7:45 am)

            Tsurly, they can’t ride alone. The point many are making is that you need to drop off kids at one place and then go another for work. This is not practical or even possible timing wise with our bus system for many parents.

          • 1994 April 15, 2020 (9:16 pm)

            Lane re-striping and removing the road diets is needed. Not all driver’s will be going north for the bridges – some may simply want to travel south! And SDOT should connect with WashDOT about making the 1st Ave S bridge function like an express lane – all lanes north in the AM and all lanes south in the PM. Freight needs to come into West Seattle via the 509 Burien corridor and not use the 1st Ave or 16th Ave S bridges. The ferries need to be re-routed to downtown. Everyone must participate in alternative routes. As Durkan said, everything is on the table. 

          • Go gull April 15, 2020 (9:47 pm)

            For those worried about taking the bus with covid-19, I totally understand the concern, and I am grateful for the option to bike.  Yes there is risk with being on a bus, just as there is risk going into work, going to the grocery store, or picking up take out, etc.  If you need to take the bus, please follow the CDC’s and the medical professional advice to wear a face covering when out in public and near other people. Also, maybe crack a window or two to help with ventilation, bring sanitizer, and don’t touch your face.  Wash your hands well when you arrive somewhere.

            On another note… you do not need to be single, or a non-parent, to be a cyclist.  There are plenty of couples and parents who have a bike commuting lifestyle, and they might be able to argue there are some benefits to this.  Would be great to hear more from them here about what it’s like and how they make it work.

          • Joyce April 15, 2020 (10:43 pm)

            I don’t know many who bike commute and take transit who don’t have before/after school childcare. It’s pretty hard to fit in a work day and still drop your kids off at school and/or pick them up. Many people don’t have the flexibility and privilege of adding time to their commutes.

      • Also John April 15, 2020 (4:54 pm)

        @WS Guy…..  Well said.  I completely agree.

      • Anne April 15, 2020 (4:57 pm)

        Lots to consider going forward -not  just how to get around -how to get around & live in the age of Corona -that will be a new reality as well. As for our household-riding a crowded bus-will not be an option-nor will riding a bike of any kind.Guessing all the younger healthier folks will jump right on those options-thumbs up to them.

        • Go gull April 15, 2020 (9:56 pm)

          ‘live in the age of corona’…. sounds like a fleetwood mac lyric.

          It’s too bad transit and biking do not work for your household but understandable these options do not work for everyone. The good news is, it can work for many others, which should help free up some traffic so you can keep driving.

    • RME April 15, 2020 (4:10 pm)


    • Anne April 15, 2020 (4:44 pm)

      No we don’t.

  • dona April 15, 2020 (3:49 pm)

    Got to flee West Seattle, they trapped us here like mice and filled up their pockets from giving building permits.  Whoever has property in WS, stop paying taxes and ask for your money back. 

    • Anandakos April 15, 2020 (6:12 pm)

      If you “stop paying taxes”, Dona, you’re going to be the one asking for something back.  The overage, that is, after your property is auctioned off.  

  • Joe Bob April 15, 2020 (3:49 pm)

    No matter what they do, they would be smart to drastically move the lightrail schedule up. Make this an opportunity rather than an issue.

    • Al April 15, 2020 (4:04 pm)

      hahahahahaha, hahaha, thanks Joe Bob, we all need humor at a time like this! 

    • KDub April 15, 2020 (4:04 pm)

      Not really possible since it’s aligned with the bridge position.

    • Josh April 15, 2020 (4:07 pm)

      I agree….if we’re redoing the bridge, can we move up the lightrail schedule. Seems like the least we can do and make an opportunity out of necessary repairs. Can you add the line to the new bridge they build for example?

    • Kristin April 15, 2020 (4:32 pm)

      The problem is that’s two different agencies – SDOT and Sound Transit. And Sound Transit’s funding is a little shaky (thanks Tim Eyman!). But I sure hope there’s a cross-agency taskforce (SDOT, KCM, ST) to address the needs of this very large community!

      • KM April 15, 2020 (5:01 pm)

        I know it took a lot of political will, but light rail across the I90 bridge is finishing up construction soon. Obviously theses are extremely different structures, but that took a lot of interagency work, so here hoping if it’s structurally feasible, it happens.

        • Jort April 16, 2020 (1:46 pm)

          On the plus side, this probably means we won’t have to take the “tunnel or NOTHING” crowd very seriously any more. We’re going to get elevated Light Rail to the Junction and everyone is going to deal with it regardless of their feelings, because we sure as hell are not going to have enough money for a new automobile bridge and a vanity tunnel because people think concrete towers are “icky icky icky.” 

      • microknit April 15, 2020 (6:34 pm)

        True, but Sound Transit is (or should be) already planning to build a new fixed-span bridge across the Duwamish River to serve WS with light rail as part of ST4 by 2030. So if SDOT and ST could work together to accelerate that project and adjust its scope to be both a rail bridge and a general traffic replacement for the high bridge, then that solves the problem of the high bridge’s long term viability because then there’s a direct replacement ready by 2030. And if they choose to also repair the high bridge, then we’d (eventually) end up with two fixed-span bridges connecting WS to the city instead of just one. And if there’s any infrastructure lesson to be learned from this whole ordeal, it’s that the city can’t rely on having just one dependable (i.e. fixed-span) bridge to serve the entire West Seattle region.

    • jsm April 15, 2020 (4:34 pm)

      You still have to get the rail cars over the river. hmm. bridge?

    • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (1:35 am)

      Given the unfounded aversion to mass transit that a number of people in this comment section seem to have, I don’t think light rail would be any sort of silver bullet. Plus, the West Seattle Link extension doesn’t even have a finalized design or EIS yet. ST could dump infinite money into the project and it still wouldn’t come any sooner than a fix for the bridge.

  • flimflam April 15, 2020 (3:49 pm)

    looking through the briefing, did i miss where the reason for the damage was listed? i thought there couldn’t be any movement forward until it was determined why this is happening? i apologize if i missed it.

  • HTB April 15, 2020 (3:50 pm)

    This is unacceptable. I can’t put my whole life on hold

    • mm April 15, 2020 (3:57 pm)

      uhhhhh..ok buy a flotation device for your car, and/or a parachute and keep driving over it anyway?

      • waikikigirl April 15, 2020 (4:09 pm)

        ha ha ha ha….. every once in awhile someone says something on here that makes me laugh out loud and you are it today MM!!!!

    • Alki resident April 15, 2020 (4:03 pm)

      Thanks for making this about you. 

    • Mr J April 15, 2020 (4:31 pm)

      Best privileged comment ever! 

    • Also John April 15, 2020 (5:10 pm)

      Your life will not be put on hold unless you elect for that to happen.  There are still many ways out of WS.  It simply means driving/biking a little further.

    • Boop April 15, 2020 (5:27 pm)

      Um, if putting your life on hold is your choice… so be it.  

    • CSB April 15, 2020 (6:54 pm)

      Uh… I’m pretty sure the entire country has put their lives on hold. 

    • spaceagepolymer April 16, 2020 (6:34 am)

      Unacceptable? So you’re moving? 

  • Curtis April 15, 2020 (3:51 pm)

    Tear it down ASAP. Build a new bridge (or section) ASAP. All of the rest of this nonsense is just nonsense. 

    • Ada April 15, 2020 (4:12 pm)

      Agree 100%. They are just delaying the inevitable. 

    • Rick April 15, 2020 (4:36 pm)

      Cost and amount of time to replace?   Hope our Senators can add a little to an infrastructure bill.  Isn’t it always infrastructure week?

    • Anandakos April 15, 2020 (6:15 pm)

      I have to agree.  A ten year bandage followed by replacing it after the light rail bridge has been built right next to it to the south doesn’t sound like a plan worth choosing.  

      I would build the light rail bridge immediately and send buses over it to free up the low bridge for a little more traffic. But that’s at least a two year process itself, so things are going to be snarled for AT LEAST that long.

    • Tom April 15, 2020 (6:16 pm)

      Yup, already wasting time. 2 years for a temporary solution and then dealing with this in another 10 years is unacceptable. Build light rail on it at the same time.

  • Mj April 15, 2020 (3:51 pm)

    This is terrible news.  Clearly they need to enhance alternative routes, eliminating LT’ s at some intersections, restriping 35th to 5 lanes, adding capacity to Roxbury and significantly adding bus service especially to areas that do not have midday or weekend service will be needed when people start going back to work.  

    • Kevin April 15, 2020 (4:43 pm)

      Because the already ongoing work on 35th didn’t take long enough….

  • David April 15, 2020 (3:51 pm)

    This is insanity. Complete failure by everyone involved.

  • Zmmr April 15, 2020 (3:52 pm)

    Yes my dream of making west seattle a paradise island is coming true. Rows of coconut and palm trees.

    • JeffK April 15, 2020 (4:01 pm)

      Now we just need to dig a moat on the south edge of WS to be fully independent.

    • me April 15, 2020 (5:04 pm)

      Mine too! I wish the whole island was car free, it is so quiet right now,  I love it

      • LG April 15, 2020 (7:08 pm)

        Me, not sure what area you live but I would hardly call it quiet over here. Seems like traffic has seriously picked up. 

    • FunDog April 15, 2020 (5:59 pm)

      Ha! Lemonade stands too!

  • The Rog April 15, 2020 (3:53 pm)

    Please take notice of the wildlife (especially waterfowl this time of year) on our new route into the city. Add in a comment about how much littering and illegal dumping there is along the way if you’re going to be typing any letters to counsel members or SDOT. Littering-1-866-LITTER or Illegal Dumping-(206)684-7587. 
    Thank you WSB. I’m glad to be isolated anywhere with you. Xoxo

    • Michelle April 15, 2020 (7:42 pm)

      Yes, in the 10 years I’ve lived here the green-belts heading down Highland Park Way and wetlands near the highway entrances have become more and more polluted with litter, unauthorized camping and vandalism. Sure it’s close to our industrial part of town but that doesn’t mean it should be a landfill. More traffic to the area will not help matters unless measures are taken.

  • Bob Loblaw April 15, 2020 (3:53 pm)

    And the Ghost of Rolf Neslund is heard cackling in the depths of the concrete fissures…………….. 

    • Rolfs Wife April 15, 2020 (4:00 pm)

      Can it, Bob! Or else. 

    • Rumbles April 15, 2020 (4:57 pm)


    • aRF April 15, 2020 (4:59 pm)

      You’ve hit it! The Rolf Neslund curse! It only goes away if we name the next bridge after him.

    • Bob Admirer April 15, 2020 (5:16 pm)

      Best comment of the thread goes to *drumroll* Bob

    • Wayne April 15, 2020 (6:16 pm)

      Sometimes I wish there were “Like” buttons on here.  Nice job Bob.

      • neighbor April 15, 2020 (10:11 pm)

        God it felt good to laugh. Thank you for this thread.

  • Jethro Marx April 15, 2020 (3:53 pm)

    If it’s really a community conversation, I say go ahead and tear it down and build something new. This is like putting a new transmission in your 1995 Dodge Neon. Also I know we’ve debated who ought to be allowed on the low bridge endlessly but I think y’all ought to prepare for the possibility that it will close completely. Or, I suppose that’s open full-time, if you’re a boat.

    • whenitrainsitpours April 15, 2020 (4:02 pm)

      I unfortunately agree with this assessment – rebuild the high bridge with mass transit in mind and please advance the deadline for having light rail to the Junction to be before 2030.  On top of that I don’t have any faith the 1st Ave bridge will be able to handle the increase in traffic.  I had to take the detour the other day and saw an accident due to the 1st Ave bridge being open for phantom boat traffic.  

  • John April 15, 2020 (3:54 pm)

    How does it take them 18 months to BEGIN shoring construction?! This is completely ridiculous. 

    • Also John April 15, 2020 (5:15 pm)

      I’ve had shoreline design projects that required permits approved through The Corp of Engineers.  Some of my projects took 2 years of permitting.

    • John April 15, 2020 (5:56 pm)

      Probably how long it takes for the unions to negotiate the unreasonable price

    • CAM April 15, 2020 (6:53 pm)

      There is nothing above that indicates shoring will take 18 months to “begin” or complete. They estimate shoring will be complete by next spring based on the timeline they’ve offered so far. 

  • ACE April 15, 2020 (3:55 pm)

    Tear it down and start over (fast). Not worth repairing. 

    • WSCommuter2 April 15, 2020 (4:00 pm)

      Agree.  What a hellish scenario.  Now, is the time for action – no more docile, passive-aggressive Seattle “analysis.”  

      • Patrick April 15, 2020 (6:02 pm)

        Maybe the existing bridge could have used a little more analysis before they began construction.

        • 1000amys April 16, 2020 (10:24 am)

          Point taken, although it did take six years after the old bridge broke to finish the new one….

    • Stuart April 17, 2020 (5:26 pm)

      I doubt that it can be repaired.  Here is a video on the carbon fiber wrap technique that has been mentioned:   I doubt this would work on the large post-tensioned hollow beams used on our bridge. I don’t think  I’d drive on it with this repair anyway.

  • Charles April 15, 2020 (3:55 pm)

    I think I am going to open up an E-Bike shop at the Junction. 

    • WET April 15, 2020 (4:06 pm)

      Please do, I will be in line to buy one when you open.This is so unacceptable, 100,000 residents trying to get off our peninsula on neighborhood streets at 8am. Plus kids getting to school. Nightmare in the making. Make building a new bridge and adding lightrail ASAP  a priority

    • sgs April 15, 2020 (5:27 pm)

      I’ll be in line too.  Just please no price gouging.  

    • Lanna April 15, 2020 (8:50 pm)

      While we’re at it, how about a complete stop to any further permitting of construction of outrageous multi unit housing structures?  Building permits have been issued with minimal restraint for years, allowing the population to explode in West Seattle, degrading our quality of life on so many levels.  We don’t need more housing for more people to strain this overburdened area!  The bridge failure is no surprise to anyone who has spent time  on it backed up in a solid gridlock.  If it’s not safe, why waste 30 million and 2 years or more to find out it needs replacing after all??  Headache, anyone?  Our property taxes went up this year too….make that a migraine…

  • Stuck on Avalon April 15, 2020 (3:56 pm)

    Zimbabwe has to go. His tenure has been nothing but a disaster for West Seattle residents.

    • Jort April 15, 2020 (3:58 pm)

      Sam Zimbabwe was 5 years old when the bridge was built. I know there’s an instinct to get mad at “somebody” for this, but that doesn’t change the fact that our driving habits in West Seattle are now permanently changed. 

      • bill April 15, 2020 (4:36 pm)

        And what was Zimbabwe doing in kindergarten? Playing on the swings? Digging in the sandbox? How utterly irresponsible. No wonder we are in such a pickle with leaders with such lack of foresight.

      • Rumbles April 15, 2020 (4:58 pm)

        And Jort is 2 for 2!

    • WS Guy April 15, 2020 (3:59 pm)


    • Um, No! April 15, 2020 (4:04 pm)

      Has to go?  Heck,  he’ll get a promotion out of this.   Because that’s what the city has become.  Sad. 

    • djw April 15, 2020 (4:49 pm)

      I agree. How irresponsible of him, damaging this important infrastructure, then cleverly covering his tracks by a) disguising his sabotage as the kind of damage you’d expect to see from decades of neglect, caused by a state legislature far more interested in funding shiny new road projects than boring infrastructure maintenance spending, and b) buying a house in West Seattle. Sneaky, that Zimbabwe character.        

      • Little One April 16, 2020 (6:55 pm)

        Does Zimbabwe really live in WS? Cause that actually makes me feel better, and I could use feeling better…

        • WSB April 16, 2020 (7:42 pm)

          Yes, he does, with his wife and their kids. As does Heather Marx, who has a key role in the project. He is the first SDOT director to live over here since Grace Crunican in the ’00s.

    • sna April 15, 2020 (11:53 pm)

      I don’t know how you blame Sam Z for this.  He’s been on this job for a year.  The cracking showed up 7 years ago. 

  • WS Renter April 15, 2020 (3:56 pm)

    Great time to buy in West Seattle. It’s still a fantastic community, just a little more logistically challenged. SDOT, Metro, and WSDOT need to come together to figure out how to alleviate our transportation burden. The 5-way intersection and 1st Ave bridge chokepoints are not going to cut it. Expanded public transit for folks that don’t have to drive is a bare minimum requirement. We need a Fauntleroy water taxi, increased shuttles and/or metro buses to ferry docks, and more frequent schedules. Expanded metro bus service and restricted weekday lower bridge access is going to have to continue to be a priority to funnel folks efficiently to and from downtown and SoDo light rail. Big corporations like Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft will need to think through expanded shuttle services for employees to reduce the burden on buses on the peninsula. Additionally, I’d like to see an ease on lower bridge access on weekends to allow for outflow from the peninsula to reduce the 1st Ave bridge bottleneck. Folks will need to drive on Saturdays and Sundays to go shopping or travel throughout the region, and that bottleneck will be a nightmare. We can get through this, and I’m glad that SDOT is coming to terms with the long term dilemma here (even if their mismanagement and auditing of the bridge’s health was awful at best). 

    • BW April 15, 2020 (5:28 pm)

      I agree that West Seattle is a fantastic community and that’s why I moved here.  I’m curious about the ratio of business spending (shops, restaurants, entertainment) from West Seattle residents vs. non-WS residents.  E.g, I love my favorite restaurants, shops, ArtsWest, Admiral Theater, etc., but people are not going to come from outside West Seattle to eat and play for a long time.  So how fantastic will West Seattle be if a majority of our restaurants and shops are shuttered because they lose 50% of their business?  Maybe our grocery stores survive on West Seattle dollars, but I can’t imagine this is a healthy outlook for many of the businesses that make West Seattle a fun place to live.

      • WS Renter April 15, 2020 (7:05 pm)

        Anecdotes aren’t data, but speaking from my perspective as a latter 20s renter/transplant who has been on the peninsula for three years – it’s a pain in the ass to get my friends out here. The only time they’re out here is to visit me. I am sure the amount of leisure visits to West Seattle (Alki being the exception) is much lower compared to the rest of the city. Businesses on California in the main junctions (Morgan, Alaska, and North Admiral) I suspect will be fine, as the percentage of their revenue contributed by community residents is much, much higher than say Fremont, Ballard, Capitol Hill, etc (at least for the 20-something and early 30s crowd). We’re a pretty insular bunch out here to begin with. That being said, Alki will definitely need our help. I know I plan on spending a lot of time up there this year, as I feel we will be able to get out and enjoy amongst ourselves for once :)

        • WS_were April 15, 2020 (9:26 pm)

          WS Renter, thank you. All practical solutions to this issue. We are writing Lisa Herbold and others with these recommendations. We got through the Spokane Street Viaduct and Viaduct rebuilds and we’ll get through this too. 

      • ColesMom April 15, 2020 (11:54 pm)

        BW great question – I am a long time resident as well as a small business owner here in West Seattle.  My line of work requires one on one interaction with people & cannot be done virtually or remotely.  At least 50% of my patients come from outside of West Seattle,  This will drastically affect my ability to work and earn an income.  I will likely have to sublease an office somewhere off the peninsula a few days a week to accommodate my “Non-West Seattle” patients.  With rents as high as they are I’m not sure that I can afford to pay for 2 office spaces?  Not to mention figuring in the added commute.   Yes, this will definitely affect many of our local businesses!

  • Dan April 15, 2020 (3:57 pm)


  • Dinger April 15, 2020 (3:57 pm)

    I’m curious why they have to spend nearly a year shoring up the bridge before they can figure out if it can even be fixed. Are there any engineers who can explain that in the simple language I can understand? 

    • CAM April 15, 2020 (4:12 pm)

      (not an engineer) I assume it would be very bad if it fell down and took out the surrounding structures and would also need to be supported (a la scaffolding) before it could be torn down if the decision is to replace it. It’s going to have to be supported either way. 

    • casey April 15, 2020 (5:51 pm)

      The answer is partially political sdot is hopelessly inefficient. That being said there is alot if permitting, and a lot of calculation that has to be done in order to begin work. Unfortunately it’s also built on poor soil that isnt known to be very good for building on. This is more than a decade long project to repair, and replace. It’s going to cost hundreds of millions when all said and done. It will require a lot of people and time. 

  • Rocky Raccoon April 15, 2020 (3:57 pm)

    Really should have bought the extended warranty.

  • Joe Z April 15, 2020 (3:57 pm)

    One thing is for sure–the replacement bridge needs to be combined car+light rail. 

    • Glenda April 15, 2020 (4:20 pm)

      @joez- yes, that new bridge/rail configuration should only a decade to the design process. 

    • Dakota Andover April 15, 2020 (4:39 pm)

      That was my initial thought too and understand the financial benefit of having the two systems combined in one structure, but seeing the impact of having our one major route shut down, would it be better to have two separate systems so there’s some redundancy in the future so you could maintain access with one if the other went out of service like this?  If a combined vehicle-light rail bridge failed in the future, what would that look like for disruption?  Sorry, I guess I answered my own question….a lot like this current mess.

    • Jenny April 15, 2020 (4:52 pm)

      I 100% agree–optimizing for light rail is a huge opportunity that shouldn’t be ignored. That said, I don’t necessarily trust Durkan to spend the extra $$$ while running for re-election. (Not as sexy as a shopping shuttle.)

    • sna April 15, 2020 (5:43 pm)

      We have zero idea that a bridge with light rail capacity would be any cheaper and almost definitely not faster. In fact it could be much more expensive considering all the impacts to the bridge approaches.  

  • mark April 15, 2020 (3:58 pm)

    Prepare for multiple major lawsuits.  The city is responsible to provide basic infrastructure through our tax dollars ( property taxes included in this) and professional maintenance of our streets, roads and bridges.  Yes it was our choice to live here, but we  did not expect the city to completely let us down by not maintaining KEY basic infrastructure.  Who’s to blame / be held responsible will be up to the courts to decide.  Living in West Seattle and working / traveling into the city for ANY reason will be a challenge to say the least.  Add a minimum of 1 1/2 hours each way to any commute.  The water taxi is wonderful, but the bus service from the ferry / water taxi terminal is a joke.   Please do not tell me the bus system can handle the additional amount of people.  It is already overcrowded and somewhat undependable.   Thanks SDOT!!!

    • NorthAdmiral April 15, 2020 (4:07 pm)

      …and why do the bridges to Bellevue and Mercer Island never break?  But Ballard and WS can’t get decent infrastructure?

      • WSJ April 15, 2020 (7:16 pm)

        Federal $

      • Bill April 15, 2020 (11:12 pm)

        Uh. The bridge between Seattle and MI literally sank once. 

        • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (1:42 am)

          This is the response I’ve been waiting my entire life for.

        • dsa April 19, 2020 (8:53 pm)

           Bill, The original Lacey V Murrow bridge between Seattle and Mercer Island did sink.  But it was the responsibility of the contractor at the time.  The WSDOT sued them in court and won that case.  I know one fact about it.  The contractor had been dragging his feet to install new porthole coverings, leaving gaping holes in the sides of the pontoons.  I saw them stacked on deck.  The other is that they were messing around with the bilge pumps just before the storm.  I was supposed to work on the bridge that night, but got a call a few hours earlier that the contractor had called it off for the night.  Another WSDOT employee friend escaped with his life as the pontoons dropped behind him.

    • tsurly April 15, 2020 (4:22 pm)

      You are speaking as if there will not be a considerable reconfiguration of the bus system as result of this, basing your tantrum on the existing setup. Relax.

    • Jethro Marx April 15, 2020 (4:55 pm)

      You’re hilarious. Aside from the patent ridiculousness of these lawsuits you foresee, how would I “prepare” for them? Popcorn? A legal pad and a bomb shelter? Also Seattle’s money is our money; will we file a class-action suit and demand they raise our taxes to pay us with our own money? 

  • Sickandtired April 15, 2020 (3:58 pm)

    And yet.. The lower bridge is STILL closed to commuters. The “Detour” literally adds 3.6 miles to any commute. Great way to add to the CO2 pollution SDOT. 

    • bill April 15, 2020 (4:38 pm)

      I guarantee if every commuter tries to use the lower bridge it will be essentially closed. What don’t you understand about that?

    • Rumbles April 15, 2020 (5:01 pm)

      If you are concerned about CO2, perhaps you should take the bus across the low bridge.  

    • Julia April 15, 2020 (6:12 pm)

      With no emergency medical facility in West Seattle, it is essential that the lower bridge be kept clear for access to Harborview and other hospitals. Who knows, you might be needing that someday.

      • JJ April 16, 2020 (2:48 pm)

        There is highline medical center in Burien, it is only 20 min drive from around WS junction, even with WS bridge getting to harborview would likely take longer than that.

  • WSCommuter2 April 15, 2020 (3:58 pm)

    Has the Army Corps of Engineers arranged for pontoon bridges across Elliott Bay or the Duwamish yet?We need a Federal Response and with $2T sloshing around I’m sure some could be carved out for bridge infrastructure.  Our local “leaders” aren’t up to this big of a job.  Time for them to kiss the ring.NIGHTMARE.

    • Salt Chick April 15, 2020 (4:51 pm)

      Surface bridges would impede shipping. Container ships to Harbor Island and freight to the Duwamish River.  The floating bridges would have to be able to move sections to allow the ships through, and the time to move the sections could take hours, and back up vehicle traffic.  That’s why the lower bridge has to be able to open during vehicle rush hour. The ships are tide dependent, unlike on the Ballard and Montlake cuts.

      • JetCityGirl April 15, 2020 (7:16 pm)

        What are the businesses who use tall container ships service or tall barges with tugs on the lower Duamish? Hasn’t this type of ship traffic slowed in the last ten years ?

    • Rumbles April 15, 2020 (5:03 pm)

      Pontoon bridges?  Seriously?  Have you not seen that there is boat traffic on the Duwamish?

  • Jim April 15, 2020 (3:58 pm)

    Better be seeing our property taxes drop a lot for that period too.

  • Pilsner April 15, 2020 (3:59 pm)

    Hello night shift, we meet again.

  • whenitrainsitpours April 15, 2020 (4:00 pm)

    For those of you praising SDOT you must not be in the very north end of the peninsula or have to commute for work.  SDOT should provide all of us in West Seattle free ORCA cards, more reliable busing into evenings on all days to get on and off of the peninsula, and they should add as many runs on the water taxi as possible (even add more water taxi’s all the way to Fauntleroy for those from Vashon.)  This is beyond an inconvenience.  Once social distancing requirements are lifted the true nature of this nightmare will be firmly grasped by all.  I also am concerned for those businesses located in West Seattle who previously relied on out of community clients. 

    • sam-c April 15, 2020 (8:09 pm)

      Or West Seattle-based business that need to be able to get around the entire city in order to do their work.

  • Doug April 15, 2020 (4:00 pm)

    I knew they’d have to rebuild the bridge the day they announced the closure. SDOT watched this slow motion train wreck for 7 years and did almost next to nothing. It’s beyond shameful.

  • WS Realtor April 15, 2020 (4:00 pm)

    How soon can they get the light rail to WS?  Seems like the city should make West Seattle the new first priority on light rail…. still not a fast enough solution.

  • WS Guy April 15, 2020 (4:01 pm)

    Might as well knock it down and dip into ST3 funding to replace it with one that can carry rail.  It wasn’t feasible to build a second bridge for rail there anyway.

    Also, the City must freeze multifamily development on the peninsula until it is replaced.

    • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (1:53 am)

      I have a feeling that raiding ST’s coffers to fund a city vehicle bridge is not going to go over well and might just violate the state constitution. Also, a combined vehicle/light rail bridge would likely take longer to construct than just building the two separately, as it would be more complex than a simple replacement vehicle bridge and would require tossing out and redoing a good portion of the planning that ST has already done.

  • Andy April 15, 2020 (4:02 pm)

    At this point they might as well rip the bandaid off and tear it down. Why spend 1-2 years spending lots of money for a (maybe) 10 year patch when it’s clear the thing needs to be rebuilt. Don’t waste the time and money on a temporary fix that will have to be tore down soon enough anyway.

    • JA April 16, 2020 (10:06 am)

      The key is in tolling. The old bridge and the new bridge will become tolling bridges regardless. 100k cars a day means that with a $2 toll, we would bring in $73M per year….over 10 years this would bring in $730M, which would pay for the bandaid and start soem funds for the simultaneous planning and designing of the new bridge/light-rail.

  • Chad April 15, 2020 (4:02 pm)

    Can we get on building a parking garage at the water taxi location?  The shuttle isn’t a viable option for the volume of people that will be needing to use it.  Perhaps an additional water taxi leaving from the Fauntleroy Ferry terminal?

    • JJ April 16, 2020 (2:54 pm)

      a parking garage and a secured BIKE BARN (like the bainbridge ferry has) would both be excellent things to add for our future here in WS.  The water taxi is a great option for commuting downtown, but truth be told there is just not going to be sufficient street parking for the pickup in volume for water taxi commuters.  and additional regularly scheduled shuttle buses going to water taxi would be helpful also, for ALL areas of greater WS area (ie one running down delridge and 35th non stop would be a good starting point, not everyone using water taxi lives in junction or walking distance to the current shuttles).

  • sna April 15, 2020 (4:02 pm)

    Honestly, why not just demolish it and just rebuild as fast as they can rather than wasting a year on shoring and another year on fixing it for a 10 year life

  • JohnBob April 15, 2020 (4:03 pm)

    “SDOT expects the restrictions on the low bridge will last for the entire duration of the high bridge’s closure.”COME ON SDOT! We can do better than this. For instance: The US Army Corps of Engineers/Military could construct a temporary bridge or two on the low route to at least allow some traffic as a release valve from the oncoming unbelievable gridlock that looms ahead.  They have this technology for use in one of our many ongoing wartime regions.Free advice, and worth every penny!

    • drM April 15, 2020 (7:08 pm)

      The US Army Corps of Engineers/Military could construct a temporary That would be my thinking too.

    • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (1:56 am)

      Yes, the Army Corps of Engineers probably could create a temporary bridge. Temporary as in maybe being good for a couple months, not years. And the Coast Guard wouldn’t sign off on it anyways without a moveable span.

      • Scott April 17, 2020 (5:37 am)

        the Coast Guard wouldn’t sign off on it anyways without a moveable span.This can be changed. There must be a way for the coast guard to re-evaluate the short and long term necessity of boat access to the Duwamish. There’s a giant empty pad the Port of Seattle has abandoned on the other side of the bridge. It would be much cheaper to repurpose that area as a boat launch / small freight transfer center. Those businesses that currently rely on the waterway would need to adjust to moving their boats to that Port area and trucking freight the few miles to/from.

  • James April 15, 2020 (4:03 pm)

    How why what???Zillow home values just tanned 100k probably from the news. TWO YEARS??????

    • John C. April 15, 2020 (6:15 pm)

      So a little 3 bedroom bungalow might cost me 650k now? Sweeeet

  • NorthAdmiral April 15, 2020 (4:05 pm)

    SDOT needs to revamp it’s safety policies.  This should not have ever been allowed to escalate into a do or die (literally) scenario.  What happens to all the infrastructure when the 100,000 vehicle trips per day that the WSB are rerouted down surface streets to get to two other bridges?  Who will redo those roads and bridges.I am inclined to say, don’t spend 33MM trying to fix it for 10 years, build a new bridge so light rail can be incorporated. 

  • John April 15, 2020 (4:06 pm)

    If it takes 2 years to maaaybe buy 10, why is the conversation repair at all? They could build a new bridge in that time. 

    • Angie April 15, 2020 (5:34 pm)

      Totally agree

  • WTF April 15, 2020 (4:07 pm)

    Absolutely inexcusable this happened! It was also a pathetic display of self absorption to listen to SDOT at this briefing, pat themselves on the back. Unbelievable. 🤬

    • Wendell April 15, 2020 (7:53 pm)

      I don’t suppose this has anything to do with this bridge design  being built on a mudflat?

  • Jack Loblaw April 15, 2020 (4:07 pm)

    Hey Bob – that friendship still on hold?

  • WS Guy April 15, 2020 (4:07 pm)

    May I propose some massive park and ride facilities on BOTH sides of the lower bridge?  Shuttles carry people across to buses and cars/taxis on the other side.  

    You might just want to leave your car on the other side overnight, weekdays, if you need your car for work.

    • Ice April 15, 2020 (6:43 pm)

      Park and Rides are not cheap and they are certainly not quick to construct. Parking garages can cost up to 100k per parking space. Building two giant concrete structures that cost nearly the same as a 10 year bridge repair seems like a colossal waste of resources to me.

      • WS Guy April 15, 2020 (9:39 pm)

        I was thinking of open lots, not a garage.

        • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (1:58 am)

          Are we just going to conjure these lots out of thin air or something?

          • Craig April 16, 2020 (8:33 am)

            How about Boeing Field?I was thinking the same,  WS Guy.   Copious free bus shuttles and a secure open lot or three.  It’s going to be expensive however this pans out.    Everything should be on the table. 

  • sw April 15, 2020 (4:07 pm)

    I really regret not making popcorn before reading this thread.

  • UrbanVillager April 15, 2020 (4:08 pm)

    Bring back Bertha!Bet we could get a good deal on her. Once you drive those things off the lot, the value goes down a ton. 

    • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (1:59 am)

      Bertha was scrapped in place after completing the tunnel.

  • Jim April 15, 2020 (4:08 pm)

    On the bright side, we’ll always have Burien to go to.

    • aa April 15, 2020 (8:50 pm)

      Burien is a really nice place to live with affordable housing, easy access to light rail, highways, a hospital, lovely wooded parks, beachfront  seahurst park, our own PCC,..what’s your problem Jim?

      • Vic April 15, 2020 (9:40 pm)

        Don’t assume sarcasm. Burien is cool :)

        • KM April 16, 2020 (8:56 am)

          Agreed! I read Jim’s comment as earnest. I really like Burien–it’s so nice having a cool neighboring city.

  • Kaya April 15, 2020 (4:09 pm)

    I’m sad to say that we discovered today, too, that Google Maps is still trying to direct people over the lower bridge aggressively. We were coming back from a doctor’s appointment today, and it wouldn’t stop telling us to U-turn for miles.If you get those kinds of directions, please report them as feedback in Maps. It might be worth putting a note on the blog, too, that you should ignore any directions telling you to go over the lower bridge.

  • Bob Lang April 15, 2020 (4:09 pm)

    I really hope there is a plan that comes together quickly.  And NO TOLL options welcome.  There is no reason we should pay for sdot failure to maintain the bridge.  All the money they have spent on other projects could have been used to maintain the bridge.  

    • Jethro Marx April 15, 2020 (5:27 pm)

      It is not likely at all that this is maintenance-related. This is an unusual problem and that’s why they don’t have quick easy answers.

  • JayDee April 15, 2020 (4:11 pm)

    SDOT has not prevented anything besides closing the bridge. It could still fall and crush whatever is below including the low bridge or structures underneath. Anytime according to my read of this dismaying news. I love West Seattle which is good. I used to work downtown Pre-COVID-19, pre-lay off. This closure is another symptom of the City’s disrespect of West Seattle. 

  • WS Guy April 15, 2020 (4:11 pm)

    This is also a great time to do that Fauntleroy Way redesign that was deferred.  Traffic was going to suck for that year.

    • microknit April 15, 2020 (6:22 pm)

      That’s actually a really good idea – might be a good suggestion to make in one of the eventual community meetings on this project. SDOT might as well take advantage of that whole stretch being deserted for the foreseeable future to make the long overdue improvements.

    • KM April 15, 2020 (7:17 pm)

      I love it!

  • Lisa April 15, 2020 (4:14 pm)

    I still think the idea of a water taxi from Fauntleroy to downtown would help alleviate some of the burden on our roads plus it is a great connection to C Line buses as well.

    • Emerson April 15, 2020 (5:46 pm)

      This would be extremely helpful; I would ride a Fauntleroy water taxi daily. Is there anyone specific at the city who we can email to make sure this idea is examined? Whose decision would this be?

    • Fauntleroy Resident April 15, 2020 (5:47 pm)

      I agree. I have written to WSDOT inquiring about possible additional public transport options during this closure (especially across the water). I hope many people take this approach so then those who truely don’t have other options than driving, aren’t stuck in completely insufferable traffic.

  • m April 15, 2020 (4:15 pm)

    I do appreciate Lisa Herbold’s advocacy for our community with this; and I’m usually not a fan of hers at all. I’m, however, worried about the lack of leadership or even empathy from the rest of the council. This bridge has such an impact on our community/city that we shouldn’t even be talking about “tax amazon” until we address this crisis. Beyond repairing/replacing the bridge what is the plan to get us through this? I’m sure as heck not going to get on a city bus anytime soon until a vaccine is here. Also, I know Jay Inslee is tied up with Covid crisis, but this really needs state involvement and priority. 

    • chemist April 15, 2020 (4:24 pm)

      Beyond Herbold, both of the at-large councilmembers are West Seattle homeowners.  They live even closer to the high bridge than Herbold.  Dow Constantine lives out here too and I’m sure I’m missing others.

      • Diane April 15, 2020 (11:57 pm)

        true; Dow lives in Admiral; KC councilmember Joe McDermott lives in north part of WS; our State Senator Joe Nguyen lives in north part of WS; our US Rep Pramila Jayapal lives in WS; and I’m sure glad to learn our new SDOT director lives in WS 

    • Jaf April 15, 2020 (4:40 pm)

      Maybe the city council should stop wasting our time and money on the useless trolley and pay some attention to our crumbling infrastructure

    • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (2:06 am)

      This may be a wacky idea, but maybe we could tax multi-billion-dollar companies like Amazon to help pay for the infrastructure that they take advantage of. Maybe address the systematic issues rather than just treating the symptoms…

  • CandrewB April 15, 2020 (4:16 pm)

    Keep voting for the feel-goods.

  • David April 15, 2020 (4:20 pm)

    Any estimates on the cost to build something new? I’d say between 3-5 billion.

    • WSB April 15, 2020 (5:09 pm)

      No, they were asked,and would not guess. Your guess would seem a little on the high side given what it cost to tunnel for two miles under downtown.

    • Jethro Marx April 15, 2020 (5:30 pm)

      I could do it for as little as 208 million. I would want to paint it extremely bright green, though, and that’s not negotiable.

      • Wayne April 15, 2020 (6:27 pm)


  • JJ April 15, 2020 (4:21 pm)

    I super hope they will be adding a lot more water taxi runs and adding many more neighborhood shuttles (not that ride2go app used during viaduct mess, but actual shuttles that say run down delridge, 35th etc every few minutes) to get there as well as having secure bike lockers at water taxi (like bainbridge ferry has). There is no way street parking at water taxi will cut it at all for the increased crowds coming their way.  Heck they could build a parking garage down there faster than any thoughts of a new bridge or light rail coming  our way on “west Seattle island”!!!

  • Steve April 15, 2020 (4:22 pm)

    Totally agree with those that are saying to start NOW on the design of a NEW bridge and tear this  puppy down.  How about retaining the existing piers and simply (yeah, I know…probably a poor choice of words) replace the damaged mid-span?  Maybe that will only take 2-3 years?  I hope it’s an option being explored.  

  • SM April 15, 2020 (4:22 pm)

    The WS bridge was built (and paid for by taxpayers) in 1983ish and was supposed to last 70 years. Who is going to be held accountable for it failing after only 37 years?

    • Vic April 15, 2020 (9:44 pm)

      They’re likely all retired. Should we dock their SSI?!

    • Kntjmv April 16, 2020 (12:42 am)

      Sorry, the warranty was only for 30 years. We didn’t buy the extended warranty.

  • Admiral April 15, 2020 (4:23 pm)

    Sounds like I’m pulling the rip cord then! It was nice for the 3 years I could afford to live here.  Still boggles my mind that you can’t comfortably rent a small home here with a 6 figure salary. This is just the last nail in the coffin. I love this neighborhood but I can’t handle the thought of commuting to Bellevue once the rush hour traffic returns. Maybe if I’m lucky the property values will drop enough that I could someday afford to own a home here. Wishful thinking!

  • James Clark April 15, 2020 (4:23 pm)

    I smell a big tax increase coming!

  • WTF April 15, 2020 (4:23 pm)

    Who designed this bridge?!? Uh lawsuit much? Is this a design issue or like bad materials? Or too much traffic? Ugh

    • wscommuter April 15, 2020 (7:08 pm)

      The design and construction of the bridge are waaaaaay target gone by for a lawsuit.  The statute of limitations expired 30 years ago.  There’s no one to sue at this point.  

  • wsguy April 15, 2020 (4:23 pm)

    This literally leaves West Seattle in a worse position than before the high bridge. At least we had the old low bridge. Now  – – Nothing? How did we end up worse of than we have been for 60-80 years….

    • Jort April 15, 2020 (4:38 pm)

      Because we developed our entire society around the mindset of unlimited growth of the most unsustainable method of personal transportation? This is a scenario that will be playing out all around our country as the astronomically expensive infrastructure of the Automobile Age crumbles and falls apart. 

      • David Partikian April 15, 2020 (8:03 pm)


      • Haile April 19, 2020 (12:14 pm)

        Winning comment, right here.    Can’t have F-35s,  a dozen aircraft carrier groups, et al., and maintain all the infrastructure built when the country actually had a future.

  • Meyer April 15, 2020 (4:23 pm)

    If the bridge has to be replaced I wonder if we can dip into the ST funds to build a brand new bridge with light rail tracks plus car lanes. If there is a silver lining it could be that light rail could arrive in West Seattle faster than the original 2030 date.

  • Carole A April 15, 2020 (4:25 pm)

    Time for a moratorium on new housing units.

    • adam April 15, 2020 (5:07 pm)

      Oh trust me, the market will take care of that. 

  • HP April 15, 2020 (4:25 pm)

    Unfortunate, but it better not result in any new lanes on any more roads. Instead, WAY MORE water taxi service, an incentivized bus system for West Seattleites. Make it cheaper and faster to take the bus!

  • Trickycoolj April 15, 2020 (4:26 pm)

    Here’s some ideas:– real bus routes serving the water taxi from all neighborhoods especially to the south like High Point not just along the RR-C corridor — all WSF re routed from Fauntleroy to Coleman Dock. Passenger/bicycle only water taxi at Fauntleroy — Express Metro Service from WS to other employment centers: Sodo, Georgetown, Boeing Field, Tukwila, Renton, Bellevue, UW– Mosquito Fleet water taxis to other hubs along the water: Interbay, Ballard, Montlake— Harbor Island Shuttle for folks that actually work on Harbor Island  and can’t bike in- do we need a helipad for medical emergencies during rush hour? Every second counts for heart attack and stroke! As a project manager I can’t say I’m remotely surprised. This was inevitable given the engineering reports so far. They need to approach this with the safety of any engineering or construction crews in mind and ensure that those that work along Spokane St are safe from potential bridge failure. We need to put our heads together and demand  creative solutions to get through this. We should not settle for anything less than a rebuild at this point.  

    • K8 April 15, 2020 (5:15 pm)

      Yes! Great ideas 

    • BettytheYeti April 15, 2020 (6:35 pm)

      I agree . . .  Good ideas!

    • Diane April 16, 2020 (12:03 am)

      excellent ideas; thank you 

    • ErsatzMossback April 16, 2020 (10:14 am)

      Also get a dang protected bike lane done on Alaskan between Spokane and Atlantic past the Port. 

    • TearItDownNow April 16, 2020 (11:18 am)

      Great ideas; I’d really take a couple things a step further – a field hospital built in WS open 24×7.  Incentivize the major medical providers to build new clinics in WS to lessen the need to go to Pill Hill.   Moratorium on building for new residential units and suspension of any Urban Village related up zonings, dense construction or related activities until traffic flows are restored to previous levels when legislation was approved.  Supplemental lots/looser parking restrictions at Water Taxi terminals.  Partner with Costco for a “Costco light” built in West Seattle or perhaps an order/drop off scheme (doesn’t have to be Costco, but reality is many of us travel into town for reasonable prices on groceries.  Eliminate “cruising and car shows” on Alki.  Exclusive lot in SODO for WS residents to park’n’ride.  Water Taxi drop off at the Clipper terminal (to facilitate SLU, Seattle Center – hello NHL Seattle).

  • Citizen Sane April 15, 2020 (4:28 pm)

    What we need now is leadership that is big on pragmatic problem-solving and not ideology. I know there are a lot of folks in City Hall who are hoping this will break us of our ‘car habit’, but I’m sorry, Seattle is not Amsterdam. We’re not going to go for bicycles, and Metro has to do a better job of keeping the buses safe. We no longer have the luxury of tilting at SJW windmills. Now we need adults in the room.

    • WSforever April 15, 2020 (4:38 pm)

      Nicely put! I love the narrative of “they are keeping us safe.”  Bridge’s don’t just become dangerous overnight.  YEARS of gross incompetence.

    • WS Renter April 15, 2020 (4:40 pm)

      Sounds like you’re pretty big on ideology yourself, Citizen Sane, considering you have added absolutely nothing pragmatic to the discussion. Pot, meet kettle. 

    • Jort April 15, 2020 (4:40 pm)

      There is literally absolutely no feasible way for 100,000 automobiles to be re-routed to alternative locations. This will break us of our car habit, because there literally will be no other choice, period. This is an issue of the fundamentals of geometry: the space simply does not exist, period.

      • Anne April 15, 2020 (5:25 pm)


      • sgs April 15, 2020 (11:01 pm)

        Once the new bridge is built, the cars will be back.  Electric cars, maybe, but cars all the same.  

        • Jort April 16, 2020 (8:02 am)

          *If the new bridge is built. Don’t be so sure. Even if it is, it may not be built to accommodate as many cars as it did in the past. 

    • Get Over It April 15, 2020 (4:41 pm)


  • Baffled April 15, 2020 (4:30 pm)

    Two years of repair to gain ten years of additional life makes zero sense.  Tear the sucker down and build a new bridge with rail capacity.  With a little bit of luck our congressional delegation can secure federal funds for a portion of the cost.  And I agree with other posters – a temporary adjustment to assessed property values would only be fair under the circumstances.

    • chemist April 15, 2020 (5:14 pm)

      I think the issue is that the structure has enough cracks that shoring is needed to make it safe to demolish or repair.  The cracks aren’t near the apex of the arch/where the closure of the building bridge happened even before the bridge roadway weight was added.  The low bridge and other traffic being so close makes it hazardous to have the bridge fall down or be pyrotechnic demolished into the waterway below, so you have to repair it to where you can put heavy machinery on the bridge to remove road decking even if you want to repair or replace.  This high bridge cost $150 million back in 1980, which is now close to $470 million using CPI inflation .  To answer Erica Barnett’s question about $33 million being a wise investment in stabilization, we’ll have to do it anyway because we can’t let the bridge fall down into the waterway.  Stabilization isn’t repair.

      • Allen Bentley April 15, 2020 (7:57 pm)

        This is a pretty thoughtful comment.  “Just tear it down and build anew” overlooks the difficulty of getting it down.  What would the difference in cost be, between outfitting the bridge for dismantling and,  on the other hand, buttressing it for another few years of use? I’m a bike commuter and have looked up and seen the cracks, which have been painted with epoxy or something.  Pretty scary, as is the thought of having the bridge go into an uncontrolled self-demolition.

  • AMK April 15, 2020 (4:32 pm)

    this may be dumb, but any chance of a Fauntleroy car ferry to downtown? not sure if that would save any time for anyone, plus I’m sure the residences around the ferry dock would not appreciate it. This seriously sucks and will make it very difficult to get in and out of WS  :(  

    • WSB April 15, 2020 (4:37 pm)

      I asked that and the answer was that nothing’s off the table now that they know this will be a very long closure.

      • BB April 15, 2020 (5:00 pm)

        Fauntleroy resident here.  A water taxi route from Fauntleroy to downtown might make sense.  The rapid ride C bus stops at the ferry dock so there are good connections. 

    • Meyer April 16, 2020 (9:40 am)

      I was contemplating the same thing. However I was doing some napkin math and am not sure a car ferry would work. It would take a fair amount of time to load the ferry, then the ferry has to get to Colman dock and unload and then the cars need to get to a major artery (e.g. I5 or 99) to get to their final destination. At that point the bridge near Georgetown might actually be faster despite the increased traffic.A fast foot ferry like Bremerton’s might work there but I’m not sure if the Fauntleroy dock is setup for that.

    • TearItDownNow April 16, 2020 (11:22 am)

      What we don’t need is Vashon traffic adding to our problem, so rerouting their cars to Coleman would be priority 1 in my book.  Not sure you’re going to save a lot of time with a Fauntleroy ferry run to downtown, but perhaps when things ramp to normal it will look attractive.

  • Cindy Lou Who April 15, 2020 (4:32 pm)

    During construction of high bridge was the old Spokane St bridge the route in/out of WS?  Two lanes each direction.  I didn’t live here at that time but was here when the ship hit the span.

    • David April 15, 2020 (5:40 pm)

      Yes – 2 green bridges – one stuck in the up position – all traffic diverted to the other one both directions 

  • DiverLaura April 15, 2020 (4:33 pm)

    They should really consider letting  ‘regular folks’ use the lower bridge ‘after hours’ (say starting at ..9pm and ending at 5am?). That would be a huge help to those of us who care for elder relatives in Seattle proper.   Then at least on my way home i could use the lower bridge.  It is not like its gonna be swamped during those hours.    WHY WHY WHY lock it off 24/7?  That makes zero sense. 

    • whenitrainsitpours April 15, 2020 (4:45 pm)

      I suspect part of the limit of travel over the low bridge is concerns directly related to the low bridge’s ability to handle an increase in traffic.  Rather than make those concerns know to us (like they didn’t inform us about the concerns about the high bridge until the day before emergency closure) this is more politically palatable.  I also agree that the restriction on travel to the low bridge should be removed for off peak hours.

    • Rumbles April 15, 2020 (5:06 pm)

      This has been covered.  SDOT said it will remain restricted through the closure of the high bridge.

      • DiverLaura April 15, 2020 (6:06 pm)

        @Rumbles,  Just because ‘it’s been covered’ doesn’t mean its right or should be a done deal.  After 9 or 10pm there will be less transit for the most part than the rest of the day put together i would imagine, even if we open it up to ‘regular traffic’.   if the low bridge can’t handle late night traffic then it can’t handle daytime restricted traffic  with all those big trucks and busses.   Who do we talk to and how many folks do we need to sign a petition to met them to listen?  

        • m April 15, 2020 (9:24 pm)

          Agreed.  Aurora avenue has bus lane restrictions that are lifted during certain off peak hours, low bridge should be given the same treatment.  Would also like to point out that emergency vehicles do come equipped with flashing lights and a very loud siren.  

    • M April 15, 2020 (6:33 pm)

      And we could call it the gangster express so that all the bad actors can visit Alki for some late night banging in the summer. No thanks. 

    • hawkmoose April 16, 2020 (5:04 am)

      Couldn’t agree more. I leave WS at 5am and driving past an empty lower bridge every morning therefore adding 20 minutes to my commute is pretty frustrating.

  • M&M April 15, 2020 (4:34 pm)

    What a disaster. I agree with other commenters on not understanding why they are spending 33 million and a year to shore it, when they might not be able to fix it anyways.  Especially, if it’s in danger of collapsing? Collapsing on many BUSINESSES and THE LOW BRIDGE? So, then you will have two bridges out? Just for safety, it might be time to tear it down and start again. Use the 33 mil towards that. I feel your pain everyone, this is a total suck fest. Don’t forget about the WS businesses who won’t get much business from non WS residents for two years(!)

    • Bronson April 15, 2020 (4:57 pm)

      This actually might be great for our local beleaguered restaurant business. No one is going to want to go anywhere, so maybe in a weird way this helps resurrect them after COVID-19.

      • M&M April 15, 2020 (5:00 pm)

        That’s probably true! Thanks for the silver lining! :) 

    • Wayne April 15, 2020 (6:55 pm)

      It has to be shored up in order to do anything at all, including demolition.  It can’t just be blown up obviously, so it needs to be made strong enough to handle all the heavy equipment it would need to take the road decks apart among other things.  I’m afraid the $33 million is a sunk cost either way it goes.

      • M&M April 15, 2020 (7:20 pm)

        Yes, thank you for this clarification! I missed that point, and that makes sense. My initially comment was a bit off the rails, I’m starting to settle down now. 

  • Get Over It April 15, 2020 (4:35 pm)

    Let’s get smart (pretty optimistic, I know). Totally forego spending another dime on that thing, it sounds like we would just be throwing good money after bad if we shore and design just to discover that it can’t be repaired. A TUNNEL  is the only sensible and responsible answer to the failed bridge. If we build another bridge, it will fail as well, just a matter of time. We have to bite the bullet no matter what, so we might as well put all available money towards a real solution…and quit wasting time.

    • drM April 15, 2020 (7:14 pm)

      Tunnel? If you could dig an 8 lane tunnel. Not going to happen.

    • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (2:16 am)

      It has to be shored up, period, whether or not they decided to repair it or replace it. Otherwise you risk a catastrophic collapse onto the low bridge.

  • Blake April 15, 2020 (4:35 pm)

    The only solution is a fleet of boats, and starting demo/construction efforts tomorrow.

  • Andrew Taylor April 15, 2020 (4:37 pm) The prototype is sitting at the Museum of Flight, waiting for you.

  • Alki resident 415 April 15, 2020 (4:40 pm)

    I second the Fauntleroy to Downtown water taxi request.  I’m also wondering if they can lower the price of the water taxi as it is prohibitive if you don’t have a subsidized Orca card.

    • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (2:19 am)

      King County does not have the boats to add additional routes, and acquiring more boats is not particularly conducive to lowering fares.

  • bill April 15, 2020 (4:42 pm)

    Take the bridge down, don’t replace it. Spend the money accelerating light rail to West Seattle.

    • Greg April 15, 2020 (8:36 pm)

      You seem to be suggesting that light rail stops at the Duwamish… because there’s no replacement bridge. 

  • JDP April 15, 2020 (4:42 pm)

    It seems like it would make sense to provide all West Seattle residents with a free transit pass while the bridge is closed.  This would incentivize residents to take mass transit when possible.  This could be extended to buses, water taxi, and other public options as they become available.

    • Junctionite April 15, 2020 (5:45 pm)

      Except for the fact that you could pay me to take public transit during a pandemic.

  • skeeter April 15, 2020 (4:43 pm)

    Everyone keeps saying how we need more water taxi service but I’m confused how that would help.  With the lower bridge open to only freight and transit, bus service is faster to downtown than the water taxi, right?  Unless you happen to live right next to the water taxi, that is.

    • R April 15, 2020 (5:41 pm)

      I think a major concern with buses is how crowded they already are. If you live near the lower bridge, it could be hard to get on a bus once it gets to you. I use to live at 35th and Avalon, and it was common in the morning for 2-3 C Lines to pass  without stopping because they were so full. They may increase frequency, but I’m not sure they could increase it enough to handle the influx of people who will now be commuting via public transit 

  • R April 15, 2020 (4:43 pm)

    Why put a $33,000,000 band-aid on a bridge that will need to be replaced within ten years of reopening? Seems the effort and funding should be put towards immediate replacement, not potential repairs (if further analysis even deems it possible)

    • Wayne April 15, 2020 (6:57 pm)

      It has to be shored up in order to do anything at all, including
      demolition.  It can’t just be blown up obviously, so it needs to be made
      strong enough to handle all the heavy equipment it would need to take
      the road decks apart among other things.  I’m afraid the $33 million is a
      sunk cost either way it goes.

  • Vector Victor April 15, 2020 (4:43 pm)

    Now’s a good time to try out that new flying car I bought on Amazon the other day.

    • TearItDownNow April 16, 2020 (11:25 am)

      You know, we were promised jetpacks by 2020. 

  • flimflam April 15, 2020 (4:44 pm)

    looking through the briefing, did i miss where the reason for the damage was listed? i thought there couldn’t be any movement forward until it was determined why this is happening? i apologize if i missed it.

  • Derek April 15, 2020 (4:45 pm)

    Anyone else think this a GOOD thing? Alki will be less crowded. Our neighborhoods quieter………I like it. 

    • Wes C. Addle April 15, 2020 (4:58 pm)

      Except for the loud cars at Alki like to take West Marginal, it’s a good racing road. 

    • Bronson April 15, 2020 (4:59 pm)

      Agreed…one of my first thoughts was a quieter Alki for the next 2 summers and hopefully less violent crime and loud cars. Seems like all the violent incidents and loud cars are never from here. 

      • Hank L. April 15, 2020 (7:25 pm)

        I have some bad news for you Bronson, the majority of violent crime doers and loud car havers that come from outside of our community enter and leave via Ambaum way from parts south, they won’t be impacted by the loss of the bridge at all.

    • Go gull April 15, 2020 (6:28 pm)

      It isn’t a good thing that so many will be stressed and inconvenienced, as their regular routines are challenged.

      However, I think many positive things, including a quieter Alki, can come out of this adversity, and look forward to seeing those transformations.

  • BC April 15, 2020 (4:45 pm)

    Free bus service for all West Seattle residents until a new bridge has opened to traffic.  Car ferry service from Southworth and Vashon direct to Colman Dock downtown.  Free car ferry service for West Seattleites from Fauntleroy Ferry Dock to Colman Dock downtown.  Free car ferry service for West Seattleites from Fauntleroy Ferry Dock to Mukilteo Ferry Dock.  A moratorium on property taxes for all West Seattle residents until a new bridge has opened to traffic.  Replace Sam Zimbabwe.

    • Ken April 15, 2020 (6:48 pm)

      All of those  suggestions make perfect sense to any reasonably competent individual.  Therefore you can be pretty well sure not one of them would ever be given a moments thought for any serious consideration by those in the power to make them happen.

    • Wayne April 15, 2020 (7:00 pm)

      You should probably start looking around somewhere for more ferries then.And thanks for the laugh about the tax moratorium, unless you don’t want anything else your taxes are paying for, like schools or anything else they cover.  Reduction, maybe, but even that is far-fetched.

    • Vincent April 15, 2020 (8:32 pm)

      no pony?

  • Joe April 15, 2020 (4:45 pm)

    And thanks to I-986, WA’s transportation funding is MASSIVELY depleted.Tim Eyman has made the problems worse and the solutions harder to reach. 

    • Greener Somewhere April 16, 2020 (6:26 am)

      Seriously?  Somehow I think the WSB failure is not at all related to Tim Eyman since it was built 36 years ago.  The people who have been in charge for the last 40 years own all of this.  Perhaps we should have been spending money on real infrastructure of instead of wasting our now gone cash on the frivolous.  

      • Joe April 16, 2020 (11:21 am)

        Repair to roads and infrastructure are constantly needed. I did not say that I-976 is responsible for the damage to the WS bridge. But reducing the state’s transportation funds will make problems like this more common as maintenance slips. Fixing these problems will also be a much greater challenge with the reduced budget. Roads will continue to fall apart and fixing them will be harder. This is the reality of Eyman’s vision. This is why we can’t have nice things.

  • WSJ April 15, 2020 (4:45 pm)

    Some other have said similiar but here goes.  Are we seriously in a place where are expectations of Seattle govt are so low that we praise them for not getting us killed?  Is the bar for successful govt “you made the correct decision to not allow the bridge to collapse.”  Where is the accountability?  This is the most traveled roadway in Seattle and SDOT leadership made teh decision to withhold key information from the public and city council.  They’ve already shown terrible judgement (avoiding collapse = obvious).  We need some professionals with real crisis management experience.  And quick pragmatic solutions.  We need to hold them accountable and quickly.  Lastly, I love how they bring an update on the problem with virtually no solutions, acknowledge that they need community involvement/voice but have no real plan to do so.  Super action oriented group of people.

    • KT April 15, 2020 (5:58 pm)


    • WS Guy April 15, 2020 (7:02 pm)

      Nailed it.

  • RJ April 15, 2020 (4:46 pm)

    And the hits just keep on coming.

  • mark April 15, 2020 (4:46 pm)

    Wait until the first person dies on the way to the hospital with a heart attack or stroke because they can not get across the lower bridge because it up for marine traffic.  No way they could go around on 1st if the traffic is grid locked – and it will be anytime during the day.  As I mentioned in my earlier post – Seattle, prepare for major lawsuits!

    • Wayne April 15, 2020 (7:01 pm)

      Another good reason not to allow general traffic on the lower bridge.  One big accident blocking traffic when an emergency vehicle needs to get through…

    • Ice April 15, 2020 (7:07 pm)

      People will likely just go to Burien. That was often faster even when the bridge was there.

  • T April 15, 2020 (4:46 pm)

    @HTB There is access off our peninsula so your “whole life” is not on hold…it will simply take longer to go farther. “unacceptable” is simply untrue since you do not have an alternative.  I absolutely empathize with you and all of us that are now having to reconfigure how to go about our lives.  Corona virus, the West Seattle bridge, a new or chronic illness, an accident, any of these scenarios throw us unwillingly into a new reality.  I realize that this is a great place to release some frustration which I am also doing and your comment is simply the one I chose to respond to. I also know that nothing will be simply  fixed or accepted. I look forward to working through these problems with my fellow West Seattlites, thank you for all of your input thus far!

  • 120rider April 15, 2020 (4:47 pm)

    The GOOD/FAST/CHEAP triangle will definitely apply here.

  • Will B. Anon April 15, 2020 (4:49 pm)

    It’s going to be a GREAT summer at Alki… Unless you’re a business owner…

    • Anne April 15, 2020 (5:12 pm)

      I think all of us in WS will need to step up big time to help support our local restaurants & businesses. Eat local, buy local, stay local.

    • West Seattle Lurker April 15, 2020 (5:14 pm)

      Unless you’re a heart attack patient……

  • Tracey April 15, 2020 (4:49 pm)

    Hmm that mammogram in Capitol hill with Kaiser is going to take an entire day to get there.  Rushing my pet to the emergency vet on Madison, not likely.  We have lost access to a lot of essential services that we should expect living in a major US city with a pretty heavy tax burden.  Makes me really angry.

    • Boop April 15, 2020 (5:10 pm)

      There are lots of vets in West Seattle, you could try one of them until the bridge is opened again.  

      • Tracey April 15, 2020 (5:32 pm)

        Thanks Boop.  I’m talking about ER vets after hours.  West Seattle doesn’t have one.  Closest is SVS on Madison or an awful clinic that I won’t mention the name of down south.  Most local vets recommend SVS.

      • Earlybird April 15, 2020 (5:49 pm)

        Not when your dog is in heart failure at 4am on a Sunday you can’t 

        • KM April 15, 2020 (7:23 pm)

          Use the low bridge. If you are stopped, you’ll get assistance or a “go-ahead” from SPD. Same goes for human medical emergencies. I also would rather do this than deal with bad clinic Tracey is referring to.

    • Max April 15, 2020 (5:42 pm)

      theres a emergency vet in Renton

      • Joan April 15, 2020 (8:15 pm)

        yes, its Blue Pearl, the same company that owns SVS

    • Vic April 15, 2020 (10:09 pm)

      Tracy, there is an emergency 24 hour vet bordering White Center called South Seattle Veterinary Hospital. Have used it myself before. Takes 15 minutes to get there from the Junction. I didn’t love the vet’s personality/bed side service (you call them awful, to each their own. I myself am extremely picky about my pets care) but when my dachshund got attacked and bitten by my foster dog they fixed her up which was ultimately all I cared about. In an emergency if that’s all you have it’s still a place to go.

  • Che Dawson April 15, 2020 (4:50 pm)

    I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist, but I can’t help but think how conveniently coincidental the closure of the bridge was with the COVID shutdown. 

    • Gary Z. April 16, 2020 (11:43 am)

      Well, it is not a conspiracy theory to look at the amount of fear that was built up during this completely overblown pandemic. I think it was an overabundance of fear that closed the bridge in a heartbeat. They probably figured it was now or never. 

  • Andy April 15, 2020 (4:50 pm)

    At this point they might as well rip the bandaid off and tear it down. Why spend 1-2 years spending a lot of money for a (maybe) 10 year patch when it’s clear the thing needs to be rebuilt. I don’t think it makes much sense to waste the time and money on a temporary fix that will have to be brought down soon enough anyway.

    • Marty2 April 15, 2020 (5:14 pm)

      I agree with Andy, just build a new one.  Don’t waste anymore time.  Maybe they can still use the approach sections if they are still structurally sound.

  • Alki resident 1892 April 15, 2020 (4:51 pm)

    Bring back the Mosquito fleet.At one point there was talk about expanding the water taxi fleet.  Could Shilshole or Magnolia be possible dock sites for the folks that need to go north? 

    • Go gull April 15, 2020 (6:42 pm)

      I also keep envisioning expanded water taxi options…

      As expanded options on the waterway are considered, leaders should also keep in mind impacts on the environment and endangered wildlife (orcas).

    • Richard Maloney April 16, 2020 (4:37 am)

      I’m considering offering rides across the bay in my 12 foot Sorensen. Due to the craft’s somewhat small size and social distancing needs, just one passenger at a time.

      Crossing time just four minutes. No service during high winds. What will you pay to be the first (and only) person at work?

  • dsa April 15, 2020 (4:51 pm)

    I am not surprised.  This report goes along with what I have been saying, failed bridge.  What does interest me is the frozen bridge bearing and how long it has been that way.  One expert opinion was that the Nisqually quake is the original cause.  I can believe that from my witnessing the breaking of concrete test cylinders for compressive strength.  The “vice” squeezes and the dial gauge increases until the cylinder fractures. The gauge then crashes back to zero and the vice retreats.   But there is no  visible damage to the concrete cylinder.  The bridge could have been stressed during the quake as stated and the cracks shown up after active use.  The other comment I wonder about is about the demo cost.  I can’t imagine just dropping it intentionally, and piece by piece will be slow, dangerous and costly.

  • jsm April 15, 2020 (4:52 pm)

    Hey Maybe I’ll be able to afford to move back to WS where I grew up again. In the mean time, please avoid clogging up WC. Traffic pre pandemic was bad enough through rat city.  As some of you probably already know, once this quarantine is over, you’ll find driving all the way round to get to the 1st ave south bridge is going to be awful, particularly from the admiral district. The bridge itself was a parking lot during rush hour as it was. And it goes up alot for water traffic.  Its going to have to the water taxi, bus, bike for quite some time. I hope they can ramp up water and bus transport real quick. I’ll have to get stricter on the bike from WC/Burien as the buses will be even worse than now, they have to cross too. Fun Fun!

  • FailedSeattle April 15, 2020 (4:52 pm)

    Once my lease is up, I’m done. Fantastic community here in WS but the DOT and city are incompetent.

  • BW April 15, 2020 (4:54 pm)

    Governor Inslee, Executive Constantine, Mayor Durkan and CM Herbold, I‘m rational enough to appreciate that the Bridge is a safety hazard and must be closed.  However, the initial communication about the closure is unacceptable.  Following are the messages that I need to hear from you – over and over and over – until the Bridge is reopened or rebuilt:

    • City, County, State and Federal officials will support you through this closure – we are in this WITH YOU and we are committed to working together to find fast and effective solutions
    1. We will find the financial resources (City, County, State, Federal) to mitigate as much of the disruption as we can for West Seattle residents – we will reach beyond our normal powers and implement creative ways to make this easier – if we need to declare a state of emergency to keep West Seattle residents moving for the duration of the closure, we will
    2. We will be nimble and make changes immediately as new challenges and frustrations arise
    3. We are actively working on solutions that will include:
              • Work 24 hours/day to finish existing construction projects (Avalon/Alaska/35th) – we will finish existing project and reopen all major intersections before shelter in place is over
              • Increase the frequency of buses all over West Seattle, including adding many new weekend and evening trips
              • Monitor traffic flows and create bus priority lanes as soon as need arises
              • Staff traffic police at all critical intersections in West Seattle/South Seattle, as much as 24 hours/day to keep all traffic moving – this may include smaller neighborhood intersections where cars take shortcuts
              • Re-stripe West Marginal where it narrows to one lane and bring back full second lane
              • Increase Water Taxi frequency – run multiple boats 7 days/week and add evening sailings for commuters and events
              • Run Water Taxi shuttles 7 days/week – increase frequency and provide multiple new shuttles all over West Seattle
              • Create park and ride lots for Water Taxi and bus parking in multiple places in West Seattle

          If we are unable to provide any of these solutions, we’ll alert you immediately and explain why

          • We are committed to keeping you informed daily – we will create one place where you can go for updates every day
          • We will create ways for you to give us specific feedback about pain points – we will listen to your feedback and answer your questions within 48 hours
          • Please know that we will not stop working until every possible solution is attempted to ease this disruption

          Elected officials – are you able to commit to this? Like many West Seattle residents, I commuted by bus (2 buses each way every day) through the years of delayed tunnel construction, viaduct changes and closures, temporary routes, etc.  I was inconvenienced countless times over the years, but I endured it because I believe in public transit and I had confidence that construction would end.  I have NO SUCH CONFIDENCE today.  Asking West Seattle residents to endure this type of closure without full support and creative solutions from our government is abhorrent.

        • Findlay April 15, 2020 (5:01 pm)

          What me worry!  I know that our wonderful politicians great relationship with Washington D.C. will easily secure the funding needed to replace the West Seattle Bridge.   SDOT’s proven track record of good stewardship with $$ should also help… :) Looking forward to new toll roads and many years of lawsuits arguing over funding.  It is apparent that SDOT does not really understand how the WS Bridge was designed and did not take seriously basic maintenance until it was too late.   Another major Seattle construction project that ending in an embarrassing failure.   But maybe Alki Beach won’t be so crowded now…

        • Mazzy April 15, 2020 (5:01 pm)

          A repair that only lasts ten years? Uh No! Start designing a parallel replacement bridge immediately and build it like they did with the SF Oakland Bay Bridge, but don’t wait 25 years to do to.   And do the light rail at the same time pithing the new bridge.. Cheaper all around if dine together

        • KJ April 15, 2020 (5:01 pm)

          I’m hoping we see improved transit service from WS to downtown with this closure. We should add more express bus options once everyone is no longer working from home and speed up the opening of the Pioneer Square stops on Alaskan Way. 

        • West Seattle Lurker April 15, 2020 (5:02 pm)

          Life turns on a dime. 

        • bryan April 15, 2020 (5:04 pm)

          Bring back the Ducks!

          (too soon?)

        • Brad April 15, 2020 (5:04 pm)

          I don’t understand why it would take two years.  In Minneapolis, when the I35W bridge collapsed, they rebuilt and opened it in 14 months.

          • Ken April 15, 2020 (6:35 pm)

            It will take two years (and most likely, far more) because we’re living in Seattle. Virtually any other city in the country would have something designed, constructed and usable in as short of time as necessary to reduce the burden to their citizens. But, unfortunately, we live in Seattle – where nothing is done within the basic norms of civilized societies. On the contrary, most decisions made around here usually reflect the complete opposite of rational thought processes.

            And if people here are interested in placing blame, a good place to look would be the bathroom mirror. For it’s those faces that have continually elected the most inept, thoughtless, irrational local leaders imaginable.

            West Seattle should have seceded long ago. A real shame there can’t be people around like Charlie Chong. He was one of the greatest advocates for West Seattle.

          • dsa April 15, 2020 (8:09 pm)

            The West Seattle Bridge has not collapsed, that is why reconstruction cannot start.  And during Charlie Chong’s days we learned West Seattle cannot secede without a vote of the entire city, meaning the rest of the city has to let us out.  Charlie’s joked we would have to  be so obnoxious that they would be glad to vote to let us out.

        • Loretta April 15, 2020 (5:05 pm)

          When can we start talking about extending water taxi hours to early morning/late evenings.

        • WS Forever April 15, 2020 (5:05 pm)

          I get being upset by this but at the same time we keep voting in these politicians who make it pretty clear by their campaign messaging they will be horrible inept leaders.  Stop voting for them!

        • aRF April 15, 2020 (5:06 pm)

          Wait for it… wait for it… there’s going to be a voter initiative to turn the bridge into an elevated park.

        • Ugh April 15, 2020 (5:08 pm)

          Can we get boatpools and return our vanpools?

        • WaterTaxiGuy April 15, 2020 (5:09 pm)

          Can we get a water taxi from Fauntleroy to DT for commuters? 

        • Jeff April 15, 2020 (5:12 pm)

          Today we can put a brand new 777 jet airline with six million parts into the sky in three months, the Empire State Building took just over a year to build almost a hundred years ago, but this critical bridge is going to be out of service for 2 years.  With all due respect to the incredible engineering required to get bridges built right, it’s still a f***ing bridge.  I mean, it’s not like humans haven’t done this before.  100% unacceptable. 

          • Jort April 15, 2020 (6:16 pm)

            You should totally send your tips to SDOT, they’ll totally love them. 

            • Rumbles April 15, 2020 (7:56 pm)

              LOL!  So true!

          • Jon Wright April 15, 2020 (6:36 pm)

            And how many years did it take to design the 777?

          • Greg April 15, 2020 (9:18 pm)

            Final assembly of the 777 takes 3 months. The constitute parts take much longer to assemble on their own.

        • Brittany Hunt April 15, 2020 (5:14 pm)

          What about building a bridge connecting Marginal Way across Duwamish (about where Dawson is)? this could connect to 99N/S and also connect to the spokane viaduct for easy access to I-5. There would be much less bridge to build!

        • Dede chinlund April 15, 2020 (5:14 pm)

          My quality of life depends on getting to North Bend and beyond by 0800.  Guess I simply exist for the next few years.  Clearly no idiot would buy my house now so 2 years of sitting on my butt not doing anything I find rewarding.  Thanks   

        • Jayk April 15, 2020 (5:14 pm)

          Just bought a new house in WS in Jan.  If there was a whiff of this in the public discourse, which there should have been, I would have held off….and likely bought on BI, which is now (ironically) easier to get on/off than WS and faster to downtown.  I ask this seriously can you bring a class action lawsuit against the city for their mishandling of this? 

          • Will S. April 15, 2020 (7:07 pm)

            Seriously, no. Even if you were to prove that the city negligently mishandled this and caused a loss, the public duty doctrine bars recovery.

        • Michael April 15, 2020 (5:20 pm)

          I’m a civil engineer although I am not a structural engineer or work for SDOT. I am not surprised by this announcement as from the start I have heard rumors from my friends who work for the gov that the bridge will be closed until 2023 as the problem was much more serious than was first anticipated. Those same friends who work for the Seattle Gov are now telling me they expect for the bridge to be torn down. Apparently there were major issues in the construction of the bridge especially toward the end that will come out. Blame Zimbabwe, City Council all you want but the bottom line is this bridge was not built properly. They were kids when the decision was made to go with the lowest bidder. Brace yourselfs folks this next decade will be interesting to say the least.

          • run_dmc April 15, 2020 (11:02 pm)

            To the civil engineers on this thread, I need to ask a serious question, though.  Why would it take 3 years to build a connection between West Seattle and 99/I-5/downtown when other communities are able to build major arteries in much less time?  Fine, I understand not blaming current leadership for the original decisions on building the bridge, but I certainly can and will blame them for not treating this as an absolute priority 1 emergency and coming up with a solution asap.  This, literally, isn’t rocket science. And, if other communities can fix their infrastructure issues rapidly, we should be able to as well.  (And, this is coming from someone who lived in the Bay Area in CA when the Lomo Prieta earthquake struck in 1989.  A big portion of the Bay Bridge fell and part of I-880.  Both of which were rebuilt/repaired in much less than 3 years.  Shouldn’t we be able to do as well or better 20 years later?  Maybe we can 3-D print a bridge….?)

            • Mike T April 16, 2020 (6:53 am)

              Think about the situation in front of you for two seconds:- You have an elevated structure crossing an active freight corridor, connected to and spanning across other bridges. – You need to remove the bridge in sections, without endangering the flow of goods and people below. Also, you can’t reach the bridge from the bottom, so standard equipment won’t due. – Where are you going to put the debris? How will this be routed to that spot? – Once the bridge is removed, you need to consider all the same issues to rebuild  I think it’s easy for people to blame others when the builders of the world are stuck solving the problem. 

        • Mike April 15, 2020 (5:23 pm)

          They can put in pontoon bridges, using barges.  One north of the bridge and another one south of it.  They could open them for ship traffic at night. They could make them ready before the Covid restrictions are over for a relatively small expenditure compared to repairing a bridge that will need to be replaced     

          • WSJ April 15, 2020 (6:08 pm)

            Ok, THIS is the worst idea yet. 

            • Bryan April 15, 2020 (7:21 pm)

              It will sound like a wonderful idea in less than a few months.

            • Ice April 15, 2020 (8:17 pm)

              I vote for a giant publicly-funded cannon that shoots commuters where they need to go. The city could pay for the necessary parachutes too. Pennies in the dollar compared to any other solutions, but those incompetent fools who run SDOT would never listen to an idea based on common sense like this one.

            • Grego April 15, 2020 (9:17 pm)

              I like the idea- creative and worth submitting to the pool.

          • Rumbles April 15, 2020 (7:59 pm)

            Yeah, you should send that idea to the Coast Guard.  I’m sure they will love it.  

        • BC April 15, 2020 (5:23 pm)

          What BW said.

        • 22blades April 15, 2020 (5:31 pm)

          Back to the Mosquito Fleet maybe? Peak: Fauntleroy, Alki, Ferry Terminal, Myrtle Edwards Park. Off Peak: Vashon, Fauntleroy, Alki, Ferry Terminal, Myrtle Edwards Park. Either that or Uber Boats. When reality sinks in, West Seattle will not be the place to flip a house (fine by me) or rent (bad for economic diversity).

          • Wes C. Addle April 16, 2020 (5:07 pm)

            Funny thing is I just started house shopping out here and there is nothing for sale (rented for the last 10 in various WS locales) I might have to pause my search for a few months.  It’ll be interesting to see what happens with the market and to see if properties are indeed selling for much less than they are now.

        • HS April 15, 2020 (5:32 pm)

          Not at all surprised. And very thankful it didn’t crash down while in use. We are all very lucky, inconvenienced, but very lucky. Still have my fingers crossed for some kind of light rail project there with a lower capacity bridge. For now, to temper the disappointment, may I recommend the desserts at Bakery Nouveau. This little slice of awesomeness is pistachio cassis. Pretty delicious and right here in WS. 

        • Tim McGuire April 15, 2020 (5:35 pm)

          Seems dumb not to replace it.  Are we dumb? We were dumb to only have one real way in and out of this peninsula. Mosquito fleet come back?? We should demand super awesome bike lanes to downtown ASAP.

        • Noway April 15, 2020 (5:39 pm)


        • Joe April 15, 2020 (5:40 pm)

          I hope that WSDOT is smart enough to reroute several daily Vashon and Southworth ferries to the downtown terminal.

        • Junctionite April 15, 2020 (5:40 pm)

          Public transit is now unsafe because of the pandemic and driving downtown will be next to impossible. What a disaster of mismanagement. 

        • Sean April 15, 2020 (5:43 pm)

          Jeeze.  Sounds like we’re going to be getting a new bridge….even if they can patch it up for a short while….

        • East Coast Cynic April 15, 2020 (5:46 pm)

          I wouldn’t mind if they repaired it to last 10 years and it opened in 2023:  It could potentially serve as a short term transportation “bridge” of sorts to light rail circa 2030 or thereabouts.  A light rail option, in and out of West Seattle to other parts of the sound will make a tough transportation situation easier when the short term bridge fix ceases to be functional. A big key, I believe, will be to decide on and get cracking on a light rail alignment as soon as possible, with minimal political in-fighting, so we that option available in the absence of a long term bridge fix.

        • Tracey April 15, 2020 (5:48 pm)

          I see a lot of comments about mass transit being the solution.  Am I the only one who isn’t interested in getting on an overcrowded city bus anytime soon?  Agreed it is probably the only  option but they better not require me to be face to face with other commuters.  The days of packing us in like sardines should be over.  

          • Local April 15, 2020 (6:13 pm)

            The solution is not allowing anything other then single family homes be built in West Seattle. That has always been the solution whether people like it or not. 

            • WS Guy April 15, 2020 (7:08 pm)

              Yes the peninsula has been allowed to get way too dense considering this single point of failure… which has now failed.

              • Elle Nell April 15, 2020 (8:32 pm)

                And now it’s time people move…. 

                • Tracey April 15, 2020 (11:36 pm)

                   2 home owners with plans to move.  Will our houses really sell and let us flee to the peninsula? I would think that any smart buyer would wait until 2022-2023 to buy here.  Home value will remain elevated with zero transactions to support a decline.   Any realtors out there with comments?  Is West Seattle’s real estate market dead until this resolves.

        • Highland Park neighbor April 15, 2020 (5:52 pm)

          This is terrible news. I suspect the damage is the result of the increase in traffic due to new people moving here plus the stupid decision to make a bus only lane on the bridge, which meant effectively increasing the weight load on every other lane due to sitting traffic. This could have been foreseen by city engineers! And planned for!I see some good ideas here but we need more. Yes, add ferries from Fauntleroy to downtown, and then to Ballard. Yes, add non-emergency vehicles on the lower bridge outside of commuting hours. But we need another temporary bridge/ferry shuttle across the Duwamish too, and we need it to prioritize traffic over boats. We need better traffic control for Highland Park Way, West Marginal Way SW, and Roxbury/Meyers Way. We need a stoplight with a left hand turn light on 16th Ave SW and Holden Ave SW. We may even need a helicopter based in West Seattle to shuttle emergency patients via air instead of relying on the roads.I also think we should just commit to tearing the bridge down now and rebuilding instead of throwing millions at a bridge that would only last 10 years anyway. And build in the capacity and space for the light rail/metro line immediately. And plan the load bearing to match the amount of predicted traffic on a gridlocked bridge because the population is not going to decrease.

        • Stranded April 15, 2020 (5:53 pm)

          The plans for the current bridge are laying around somewhere. Pull them out, redesign the faults. At the same time demo the bridge. Then rebuild. I have no idea what I’m talking about though so I’m sure I am missing something. In any case with proper priority ($$$) it shouldn’t take as long as we are being told. There should be a large number of folks working around the clock until this is resolved.

          • Jort April 15, 2020 (6:20 pm)

            Yes, let’s reuse the plans for the bridge that is falling down. It’s probably just a quick tweak. Nothing could have changed in design standards in 40 years. 

            • sna April 15, 2020 (6:53 pm)

              A big advancement is the precast girders that are brought in and locked together like is done for light rail.  These girders were cast in place (by the lowest bidder during major recession).

        • OuttaWS April 15, 2020 (5:54 pm)

          Well, did anyone expect any different from the absolute worst and most incompetent department in Seattle: SDOT? Thankfully, we had already planned a move north of the city over summer – I’m outta this mess!

        • Gregory M Pontecorvo April 15, 2020 (6:02 pm)

          Here’s the new bumper sticker I predict (copyright 2020 Greg Pontecorvo all rites observed)It’s not a Freeway or a Bridge, it’s a TUNNEL!!!!

          • drew April 15, 2020 (9:41 pm)

            More tunneling, we are turning into hamsters

        • sdfsdf April 15, 2020 (6:10 pm)

          Sorry, everyone. I said “How could things get any worse, specifically for West Seattle?” three times in front of a candlelit mirror.

        • sf April 15, 2020 (6:11 pm)

          40 years from now…..
          Remember that global pandemic that infected millions of people and killed hundred of thousands and took the entire world into the 2nd great depression.  Nods and affirmations, thankfulness to be alive and well.
          Remember when one of our bridges had to be shut down and our commutes to work and Costco changed and added tens of minutes and then they built a new one.Silence

          • Alki resident April 15, 2020 (7:53 pm)

            Your pandemic numbers are way off, why so dramatic?

            • KBear April 15, 2020 (9:12 pm)

              The pandemic isn’t done yet, Alki Resident. By the time it is, those numbers won’t be far off. 

            • Greg April 15, 2020 (9:23 pm)

              The numbers are accurate. As of the moment:Confirmed cases: 2,060,927Deaths: 134,354

            • Sf April 15, 2020 (9:36 pm)

              World numbers as of today:Over 2M infected, over 137k deaths.

              • run_dmc April 15, 2020 (10:52 pm)

                Those numbers are worldwide.  They aren’t even the in realm of the ballpark of other infectious diseases that are killing people every day and will continue to do so .  As another point of reference, there are over 150,000 people who die in the US (just the US) every single month.  Every month.  I doubt that anyone a year from now will remember what the covid numbers in the US were at all.  People in this community though will be dealing with catastrophic traffic still and will certainly remember it for years to come.

                • J242 April 17, 2020 (5:36 pm)

                  Take the  hint from your handle and RUN dmc. No disrespect to Simmons, Mizell, and McDaniels here. “They aren’t even the in realm of the ballpark of other infectious diseases that are killing people every day and will continue to do so .”BECAUSE people are TRYING TO CONTAIN IT!!!Wow, how dense are you? Sure, previous flu seasons may have been worse, WHY THE F=CK do you want to challenge that? You’re basically looking at H1N1, beating your chest saying “Come at me bro!!!”. Not a good look for you or any representative of humanity. I’m just going to go ahead and add your name to the Darwin Award contestants list now.

          • AM April 15, 2020 (10:48 pm)

            You know, it’s possible to have two separate struggles at once. The pandemic is beyond terrible and the bridge closing is having a huge negative impact on many of our lives. There doesn’t need to be a comparison and one big terrible thing doesn’t make the less terrible but still a disaster thing any less of a disaster. This will have huge impacts on many people and families, including mine. The bridge closing is not comparable to the line at Costco, my goodness. Had I not lost my job due to the pandemic, I’d have to quit because of the bridge as my childcare schedule doesn’t have room for a 2 hour commute. My commute went from 16 minutes to 40 during a stay at home order, it’s going to be so bad when everyone goes back to work.  

        • TJ April 15, 2020 (6:16 pm)

          The city didn’t build the bridge, a private company did. The bridge is only 37 years old, so there is some serious liability that should cover a good chunk of this. As stated by others, there are some national treasured structures that were built in less than 2 years a hundred years ago. The people you all elected here and the people they hired at SDOT are not capable of handling this challenge. The typical Seattle process of studying and debating and where starting building a new bridge would be a year from now is not remotely a option. This is a major emergency that needs to be treated like the mission to the moon. These progressive politicians like to throw around “bold plans” for their puppy projects, so how about using that for making a new bridge opening in 2 years a goal? It can be done. Start next week. AND, they were debating the future of cars in the late 1970’s, so do not act like now is a time to talk about the future of cars again and not building capacity. No tolls. No higher taxes. Go ahead and beg the federal government for money, but don’t expect much after continuously thumbing your noses at them. The city has hosed us, so make the budget work. Shuffle money from the mickey mouse social programs and make this right. And lastly, everyone needs to get some thick skin as horns and angry drivers will be the norm now 

          • David April 15, 2020 (6:35 pm)

            Didn’t Kiewit build the bridge? They are certainly still around.

          • wscommuter April 15, 2020 (7:21 pm)

            You are mistaken about liability.  Too  much time has passed.  There is no lawsuit to file against the original engineer or contractor.  Zero dollars to be had.  

            • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (2:37 am)

              TJ is mistaken about a lot of things in that post; liability was just the first one.

            • Richard Maloney April 16, 2020 (4:44 am)

              Agree. We bought it. We used it. We own it.Tear it down now.

              Plan and build a new bridge as though our livlihoods depended on it. Less process, more action.

          • Jort April 16, 2020 (8:37 am)

            I continue to be astounded that you have nothing but criticism for how Seattle manages its finances, when you openly and frequently admit that you evade paying your taxes here, illegally. 

        • Bridge this April 15, 2020 (6:20 pm)

          How many years did it take to build the first time?how about scrap the high bridge idea, and instead build #5 lower bridges connecting multiple parts of WS?

        • AT April 15, 2020 (6:25 pm)

          That’s it, let’s secede.

        • WSJ April 15, 2020 (6:26 pm)

          Not covered in the SDOT presentation was whether this extreme collapse condition could have been avoided if they had done something about cracking back in 2017…or 2015…years ago when the problem was first noticed.  If the solution chosen by our city Transportation workers had not been caulking and epoxy for the cracks, I am willing to bet the bridge would never be in this bad a condition now.And yes, I am expecting that our SDOT Director and others to be fired for this gross incompetence.  Also the Mayor is at fault for not insisting on being provided with meaningful, annual briefings on the city’s critical infrastructure.  This situation is inexcusable and should have been prevented with competent leadership.

          • JD April 16, 2020 (2:27 pm)

                  WSJ,       All of your inputs are spot on!!

        • Bertha 2 April 15, 2020 (6:32 pm)

          They should just build a HUGE tunnel under the Duwamish….YUGE!

        • Bob Lang April 15, 2020 (6:34 pm)

          Question?  Who had access to all these bridge inspections?  We’re they available to the general public?

          • WSB April 15, 2020 (7:16 pm)

            They weren’t even presented to the council, a point with which they have taken issue.

        • BY April 15, 2020 (6:41 pm)

          I would hope that with a problem of this magnitude,  that a world class bridge engineer will be called in for a 2nd opinion. I would also hope that after we get that 2nd opinion,  that Seattle doesn’t spend an  ungodly amount of time funding studies before making a decision on how to proceed.   The last round of studies that occurred when this bridge was built don’t seem to have paid off very well!  No analysis paralysis on this one please.

          • WSB April 15, 2020 (7:10 pm)

            They are calling in multiple experts, as noted in the story.

            • run_dmc April 15, 2020 (10:43 pm)

              Garbage in, garbage out.  I don’t trust the people in charge of this, so I don’t particularly trust the experts they call in either.  If they got the experts who were in charge of fixing some of the other bridges who have collapsed in recent years and been rebuilt in a year or less – then I would begin to trust them.  But, how do we know the bona fides of the “experts” SDOT has called in. 

        • Eric April 15, 2020 (6:42 pm)

          I’m thinking of buying an e-bike to get to downtown, but that idea only works if the lower bridge is/will be open to bike traffic – ignorant question time – does anyone know for sure if it is open to bike traffic right now?  Any idea if that decision might change?  

          • WSB April 15, 2020 (7:08 pm)

            yes, the bike/ped lane on the low bridge remains open.

          • 1994 April 15, 2020 (10:08 pm)

            Maybe a special bridge could be built only for bikes and walkers? 

        • M April 15, 2020 (6:43 pm)

          At least we have our own Target. 

        • Patrick angry now April 15, 2020 (6:44 pm)

          Missing Charlie Chong right now.  Who will take the torch and be an advocate for “the marginalized”  West Seattle citizens?  Probably not CM Herbold.  West Seattle has not been this cut off from mainland Seattle since (about) Oct 8th. 1902. …… That was 118 years ago and West Seattle was independent from Seattle. In 1911, we built “temporary bridges across the Duwamish. When they straightened out the Duwamish, they moved bridges and built new bridges.  We also had (a version of) “light rail” crossing the Duwamish in 1907. How much has the population increased since then? Even when the North bridge was taken out in 1978, we still had 4 lanes of access.  Is the Vashon ferry going to start docking downtown?  As population in West Seattle increases, we have less and less access to the mainland.  I’m going to loose my $#!t if there is a single new construction permit that increases density on West Seattle island. I get it, it sounds great; everyone riding their bikes and wonderful clean public transit  everywhere, but a lot of us have children, and jobs that are not down town. Seattle still thinks everyone works downtown after they forced all physical industry out. Washington state law prohibits children from being in daycare for more than 10 hours  day; that law in itself, removes the ability of an hourly worker to take most public transit routs.  We need our cars/motorcycles, and we need our bridge. It’s not that it is an “inconvenience”, It’s just the latest insult to West Seattle. Face it, Seattle does not give 2 whatevers about West Seattle, and history shows, they never have. We had to fight for the bridge that is falling apart now. We are going to have to fight for the replacement.  It’s a never ending cycle for West Seattle. Can you hear us spirit of Charlie Chong? We need you.Rant over. 

          • KT April 15, 2020 (10:52 pm)

            Well said.

        • SM April 15, 2020 (6:51 pm)

          Wow….. 2020 has been an absolute humdinger for folks in W.Sea. I wonder what’s coming next….. :-/

        • Greener Somewhere April 15, 2020 (6:51 pm)

          Don’t bother saving the old bridge.  Too expensive to build one high enough given we know how to tunnel around here now.  Also, you should all be screaming for removal of the prevailing wage act so whatever new infrastructure is built doesn’t bankrupt you all and our great-grandchildren.  The economy has crashed and won’t be coming back the way it was for a long time, if ever.

        • Fiz April 15, 2020 (6:53 pm)

          Is your $900,000 house now $600,000?   

        • NicoleJanine April 15, 2020 (7:00 pm)

          There goes our home values, work life balance and our hopes for a light rail link.  I hope the city is suing the builder. If not, we the residents should consider a class action lawsuit. A bridge that was supposed to last 80 years becoming dangerous after 36. Such a waste of money and natural resources.

          • East Coast Cynic April 15, 2020 (9:45 pm)

            Why would the possibilities for link decline with the possible long term closure of the bridge.  If anything, I would think it strengthens the argument to put WS link on a fast track, so to speak. They can’t simply leave us with nothing but a draw bridge given our increase in population in the past 20 or so years.

        • Grant April 15, 2020 (7:05 pm)

          So where exactly are the advocates for West Seattle residents? Upside: Mercer Island light rail is up and running though.

        • Old friend April 15, 2020 (7:05 pm)

          Basically we’re going to tip West Seattle in its head., White center Real Estate just got a whole lot more interesting. City officials should work with WSF to divert Vashon ferry boats directly to Colman dock or some other state port to reduce the sheer # of cars we’re re going to be jamming through south end arterial streets that were never designed to carry 100k cars a day- 

        • Annie April 15, 2020 (7:13 pm)

          Let’s get creative people- can’t we buy out whatever business is on the other side of the low bridge so it doesn’t need to be a draw bridge, and then make it bigger? Why did we have to build it so high in the first place? Or, maybe we should just leave it open, let us take our chances. I was happy to drive the rickety viaduct for years. Hold on… need to replenish cocktail…more ideas coming! Gondola? 

          • Ken April 15, 2020 (9:11 pm)

            I was sort of thinking the same thing. What about some temporary structure situated near the old Fisher Flour Mill that could lead directly to Terminal 5? Get the semis off the Spokane Street bridge and open it up for more traffic. Utilize the Army Corps of Engineers to fabricate something that would support the trucks and still be able to open for water traffic.

            Alternatively, build a temporary cargo facility, transfer the truck cargo to the trains and use those trains to transfer the goods to the terminals on the west side. They already use their own dedicated bridge anyway. That would free up traffic as well on the Spokane Street bridge. Use it for 3+ person car pools, van pools, bike shuttles, etc.

        • Rjlaird April 15, 2020 (7:18 pm)

          Take a look at what WS has paid to ST in taxes in the last decade. What did we get?  To quote a certain man who was a great President. “Government matters. Good government matters more.  Facts matter.”  See you all on the other side of the bridge in 3 years. 🙂 WS Strong!

        • LyndaB April 15, 2020 (7:18 pm)

          Charlie Chong, RIP.  Blast from the past! I wanted to add my comment and be part of the community thread.I’m glad I have my health. 😊Interesting times indeed.  I like the ferry ideas.Breathe in, breathe out.Roses are red, healthcare workers are blue.West Seattle is great.  We can get through this, too.

        • Mj April 15, 2020 (7:19 pm)

          And Mayor Durkin threatening fines to motorists using the low level bridge tonight on the news.  Please make sure to provide viable alternatives especially in areas of WS that do not have midday or weekend bus service.  How is a WS person to get to Seattle for a 1100 meeting with no bus service for example.  

          • WSB April 15, 2020 (7:35 pm)

            She was only repeating what’s been going on for a week and a half, and has been reported here since a week ago Monday: SPD is there at various times of day enforcing the restrictions. They gave everyone two whole weeks of grace period, and then the enforcement began.

          • Beach Teach April 16, 2020 (1:41 am)

            … or get back to Alki point after working late at night downtown?!?…. there is no 24 hour bus service to my neighborhood… I think it’s unfair to allow freight on the lower bridge, but not residents…… the lower bridge should be open to ALL, and have restricted hours for freight. People before freight!

        • Joe April 15, 2020 (7:36 pm)

          They’re going to have one hell of a time renting out those newly built apartments near the bridge.

          • Go gull April 15, 2020 (7:49 pm)

            Market to cyclists

        • Time to upgrade April 15, 2020 (7:38 pm)

          Long Beach, CA got this spanking new beauty.  Six lanes and it only carries 68,000 vehicles per day compared to over 100,000 vehicles per day on the West Seattle bridge.

        • vlado April 15, 2020 (7:42 pm)

          Where can I buy a water bicycle?

          • Go gull April 15, 2020 (8:33 pm)


          • Jethro Marx April 15, 2020 (9:00 pm)

            If you grow a sweet mullet such as is pictured, a waterbike will show up in your life somehow, along with ferrets, the shoes with individual toe portals, and whatever the current version of Zima is. Oh and Croakies for your Oakley blades, obviously.

        • Bill April 15, 2020 (7:43 pm)

          Too bad the Mayor at the time and City Council killed the Monorail thirteen years ago. It would be done and ready to address this upcoming commute pandemic… Sigh…

          • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (2:42 am)

            And we’ve come full circle back to thinking the monorail expansion was a good idea. Now I’ve seen everything.

          • Jon Wright April 16, 2020 (1:19 pm)

            That’s all find an good but where was the monorail going to be routed? Down the middle of the high bridge.

        • Wsresident April 15, 2020 (7:44 pm)

          I’ll just leave this here…

        • Grant April 15, 2020 (7:48 pm)

 all 8 lanes fell in the drink – 9/22/2008 new bridge with 10 lanes. Get half a clue SDOT.

        • sna April 15, 2020 (7:50 pm)

          Here’s my community input. Tear down the box girder bridge.  Keep the existing approaches.  Replace with a cable stayed bridge since they are cheaper and faster to build.  And look cool. 

          • Rumbles April 15, 2020 (8:04 pm)

            Those are pretty tall supports for the cables.  You do realize that the approach to Boeing Field is right over your tall supports, right?

            • Leelee April 15, 2020 (9:42 pm)

              Honest question, what is the elevation of the hills of west Seattle?

            • sna April 15, 2020 (10:00 pm)

              This is just a picture of a random bridge.  The height of the towers would need to be 120 – 150 feet above the bridge deck to support the 590 foot span based on what I’ve read. 

          • dsa April 15, 2020 (8:57 pm)

            I didn’t know there was enough length available to achieve the height, 140 feet clearance for this type bridge.

          • JeffK April 16, 2020 (9:19 am)

            Is the 140 foot clearance under a real necessity?  Is this for some sort of once-a-decade sort of boat traffic?  Was there some anticipation Boeing would be barging in large airplane parts?  Some navigation standard that is not needed here?Does lower bridge = cheaper/faster/add light rail at a small penalty in navigation height?

        • Chris Randall April 15, 2020 (7:52 pm)

          Bring over the Chinese engineers. They can build a hospital in 24 hours. Lots of other technically difficult projects built in China rather quickly. They replaced a bridge in 43 hours! 

          • ataribear April 15, 2020 (8:55 pm)

            I wonder how long it would last then…

          • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (2:45 am)

            A yes, a temporary hospital constructed from a bunch of prefabricated boxes on flat ground. Exactly the same as a long-term replacement bridge…

        • Mj April 15, 2020 (7:54 pm)

          The point is the Mayor should be discussing plans for alternative routing to provide alternatives, not spouting out what is already known regarding fines for motorists using the low level bridge.  This is a huge disaster, the last time the remaning bridge provided two lanes in each direction with no restrictions.  Now a two lane bridge with restrictions that use only a fraction, 10%, of its capacity.  Allowing motorcycles and mopeds to use it should be easy to facilitate.  And I believe late night till early AM it should be open to all, hours to be determined.

        • bender April 15, 2020 (7:57 pm)

          here is the answer folks, raise the taxes!

        • Alki resident April 15, 2020 (8:02 pm)

          The lower bridge would have to be closed for months in order to take the higher bridge down. What a mess. 

        • GWG April 15, 2020 (8:02 pm)

          Looks like I retired in time to avoid this mess! What’s up with SDOT engineers? They couldn’t or wouldn’t see this coming? I think West Seattleites should receive property tax relief of some sort. Our fuel prices and mileage will both increase due to City’s late response to this problem.

        • GWG April 15, 2020 (8:03 pm)

          SNA has a good idea for a permanent fix.,a cable stayed bridge!

          • PDX April 15, 2020 (8:36 pm)

            Most likely since it’s considered transit

        • EF April 15, 2020 (8:04 pm)

          Are private buses like the Microsoft Connector able to use the low bridge?  

        • Cam April 15, 2020 (8:26 pm)

          I think we should do 2 things  1) tear down the bridge ASAP 2) build a temporary bridge as seen in the picture below  

          • Cam April 15, 2020 (8:53 pm)

            This looks to be another option  

            • Will S. April 15, 2020 (9:40 pm)

              We have to think three-dimensionally about this. The bridge needs 140 feet of vertical clearance over the water, or must be a drawbridge, to satisfy the Coast Guard that navigable waterways will remain navigable.

              • Scott April 16, 2020 (6:45 am)

                @Will S – Genuinely curious, what’s the Coast Guard’s requirement that the waterway remain navigable? What goes into changing that? I just don’t see the value in spending billions to rebuild a huge bridge, as opposed to simply widening the lower bridge and removing the drawbridge entirely. Why does the Duwamish need to remain accessible to boats? Instead, repurpose the abandoned area of the Port on the other side as a boat launch / small freight transfer area. 

                • JeffK April 16, 2020 (9:30 am)

                  +1There must be an ability to get a Coast Guard waiver.  Short of Boeing needing to move 100′ diameter fuselages I don’t see much need for the height.

            • Adam April 15, 2020 (9:46 pm)

              My proposal: 

              • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (2:48 am)

                I know this is a joke but I’m fairly certain that alignment goes through a superfund site. ST looked at a similar alignment for light rail at one point and passed on it because of the difficulties.

          • Rumbles April 15, 2020 (9:12 pm)

            Really?  What deep research did you use to come up with that?

        • Graciano April 15, 2020 (8:27 pm)

          After sitting at home for 3 months do to the Covid-19…, bicycling to work is no longer a bad idea.

          • Also John April 16, 2020 (8:44 am)

            Biking is the only way to go.  I rode year round for 19 years before retiring.  I don’t understand why more don’t.  Just lazy people I believe.      I rode to downtown Seattle for my first 9 years.  Our office was moved to Kirkland.  I’d ride to downtown and take the bus the rest of the way.   When the 520 bridge got the new pedestrian path I started riding the whole way…..piece of cake.   I’m gray haired and old.  No excuse.

        • WScommuter April 15, 2020 (8:27 pm)

          Lightrail – reroute and expedite!  NOW

          • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (2:51 am)

            Hard pass. No need to hamstring a light rail line that will be around for decades just to slightly ease commuting to and from West Seattle for a few years.

        • Munder Difflin April 15, 2020 (8:33 pm)

          Now we’ll never get a Dicks.

        • Leelee April 15, 2020 (8:34 pm)

          ALKI IS OURS AGAIN!!!*cackle*

        • Hank L. April 15, 2020 (8:34 pm)

          Let me be the first to propose the formation of a new city, comprised of West Seattle, White Center and Burien.

          • run_dmc April 15, 2020 (10:32 pm)

            Here here.  I really do think we’d be better off with our own city at this point.

            • wscommuter April 16, 2020 (9:56 am)

              To what end?  Do you think you’d have a sufficient tax base to fund city services?  And who then pays for the our new bridge?  If we were to secede (and I realize it will never happen – this is a stupid idea), Seattle would have no reason to build us a bridge. So are you willing to pay for the new bridge as a citizen of our new city?  I didn’t think so.  

        • Klaptain April 15, 2020 (8:38 pm)

          Start tearing it down tomorrow. New bridge with lite rail included. 1 billion dollars-toll it. Cap limit. We deserve that. 

          • Alki resident April 15, 2020 (9:30 pm)

            Toll it? Ya, nope.

            • RT April 16, 2020 (9:17 am)

              Tolls are not easy to swallow but neither is sitting in 3+ hrs of traffic per day to get to SODO or downtown and the extra fuel burn and wear. It would probably cost less to charge a toll compared to the traffic mess.

        • P April 15, 2020 (8:41 pm)

          Who wants to sell me their house for 30% 2019 Market Price??

          • Me April 15, 2020 (9:54 pm)

            Ha!  That’s almost what I said to my husband the day I realized the bridge was staying closed,(and after checking the calendar a few times to make sure it wasn’t April Fools Day).  “Here come the bargain hunters. All of WS is a steal now, if you’ve got the guts to wait out the repair years and if you can wait those years out in another part of town.”  I also said Other Seattle neighborhoods just jumped up in value because it will be “anywhere but West Seattle.”

            • Ice April 16, 2020 (12:17 am)

              If I hadn’t quit my goofy downtown job to go back to school, I’d be foaming at the mouth to buy a house here right now.

        • Kyle April 15, 2020 (8:48 pm)

          Wow. Just completely stunned. This is a huge blow to West Seattle. 

        • Chris April 15, 2020 (8:48 pm)

          We are where we are now.  The city is now going to have to enhance automobile traffic flow and get out of its mode of hindering it.   Others have said there were 100,000 daily trips over the bridge, those trips aren’t going to just stop, people will adjust, but it’s going to take some time.  Mass transit sounds good, but when the posted Bus schedule takes about 90 minutes on the 128 from Admiral to Southcenter – 12 miles – that’s why people drive, we don’t have that much time.  Some suggestions:   1.  Prioritize traffic flow at the 5-way “Chelan” intersection under the bridge to/from Admiral/Avalon and West Marginal, the current signal timing isn’t working even now for the reduced traffic we are experiencing (and really never was very efficient).  2. Restore 35th Ave SW to 4 lanes from Morgan Street to Roxbury.  3. Restore Roxbury to 4 lanes from 35th Ave SW to 17th Ave SW.  4. Adjust the signal timing at West Marginal and Highland Park Way.   5.  Adjust signals on those routes to take into account traffic flows at different times of the day.  6.  Start negotiations with the Port of Seattle to stop planning anything more than what they are already doing with the mainly idle port, we can’t handle the truck traffic if the container ships return.  Those suggestions should take what, 2 weeks to re-stripe lanes?   The signal timing could be adjusted starting anytime – but probably the city won’t even bother.   No time to plan, SDOT needs to get out of the office, observe the problems and start doing.

          • Jort April 16, 2020 (8:42 am)

            They can’t. You can make every single street in West Seattle a 6 lane highway, but that doesn’t change the fact that the 1st Ave. S Bridge is an unchangeable, fixed point of constriction.  I imagine many former High Bridge drivers have no idea just how overwhelmed that bridge is … already! There are traffic backups to BURIEN because of that bridge. And that’s BEFORE our bridge closed. You could turn every street in West Seattle into a friggin’ FREEWAY and every car still has to funnel through that one, tiny, restricted point. Expanding lanes in West Seattle will make no difference to the choke point. This is not complicated. People don’t want to hear this, but people will be forced to stop driving because of this.

            • 1994 April 16, 2020 (11:29 pm)

              Not all drivers are heading north on the 1st Ave S bridge. Plenty of drivers want to continue on south so adding lane capacity on 35th, Delridge, and Roxbury would help move those drivers south where they need to go.

        • Sassy_Girl April 15, 2020 (8:50 pm)

          Anyone still thinks they didn’t mess up with their monitoring since 2013 (that we know of) and not taking actions before? This is just ridiculus.

          • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (2:55 am)

            As far as I can see they didn’t mess anything up. The cracking was not a dire issue until rapid, unexplained deterioration was discovered in late March. At worst they knew beforehand that some lanes may have to be closed and hadn’t yet told the council, but they were in the process of writing the report to do just that.

        • ataribear April 15, 2020 (8:53 pm)

          I’m waiting for the televised dynamiting of the bridge like we had for the King dome…

        • Lisa April 15, 2020 (8:55 pm)

          Is this coincidence that this was announced exactly at the same time as the global pandemic and stay at home order was issued? Or was this the perfect opportunity to announce it to lessen the blow when people are focused on other issues and not as many are day impacted because of all the telecommuting?

          • High Point Guy April 18, 2020 (11:03 am)

            That was my first thought as well. But the more I read about it, I think is a coincidence. A nice little one-two punch for WS. The stay at home order may have made the decision to close the bridge a bit easier.

        • MM April 15, 2020 (8:59 pm)

          I would hate to live along the detour routes with traffic backed up in front of your house everyday for 2+ years. The water taxi is going to be full!Who should be held accountable?

        • Joan April 15, 2020 (9:20 pm)

          I’ll never forget the last day I drove over the bridge. It was a Sunday, right before the big “stay home” shutdown, and just days before the bridge news and closure came down. It brought to mind my last drive on the viaduct. But at least we now have a tunnel and have adjusted to that. This is so much worse. I’m glad I’m retired, but I feel for anyone who will need to get to work. The thought of trying to “run” down to SoDo or Beacon Hill for quick shopping is now out of the question for me. At least with the anticipated opening of the Lander overpass, I can consider taking the 21 there again. I grieve for our forever changed life here. 2020 is shaping up to be the year from hell… Virus, bridge, election… What other stress can we pile on, just for fun?

        • Ken April 15, 2020 (9:21 pm)

          Build this 😂

        • Lee April 15, 2020 (9:25 pm)

          Can’t wait to see what the new Toll Rates are to on the new Bridge.

          • sna April 15, 2020 (10:02 pm)

            Maybe I’m in the minority, but I’d rather pay a toll than sit around looking for funding for the next 5 years.

            • Vic April 15, 2020 (10:32 pm)

              I agree. People don’t seem to realize how few tolls we have in relation to other parts of the country. Maryland, Ohio, NY, Pennsylvania…why are their roads so much nicer? They toll all the turnpikes and interchanges. A big city like Seattle should expect more tolls.

              • winniegirl April 16, 2020 (2:22 pm)

                Except that the bridge is not a turnpike or an interchange.  It is our main connector to the city. That’s why there is always push back about tolling on the Brooklyn or Manhattan bridges.  Staten Island may as well be another city.

        • Take a deep breath... April 15, 2020 (9:27 pm)

          The water taxi service will expand. Yes, more park & rides will become available to accommodate parking around it. Sorry Jort, but your incubator Petri dish buses are going to be empty for the foreseeable future. Yes, commutes will be longer and more people will work from home for much more important reasons than the bridge damage. 

          • Dude April 15, 2020 (11:33 pm)

            Water taxi? WATER TAXI………..aghhhhhhhhhhhhhh 

          • Jort April 16, 2020 (8:44 am)

            The water taxi has a very fixed maximum capacity limit, both in terms of passengers and in terms of available dock space for boarding. It is in no way capable of absorbing the equivalent of 100,000 car drivers per day.  People will be taking the bus, whether they think the bus has cooties or not.

        • dcn April 15, 2020 (9:42 pm)

          I agree that 35th and Roxbury should be restored to 4 lanes. We are going to need the extra capacity on those streets now that all the bridge traffic will need to be rerouted south. Also, the 4 lanes that used to exist on Delridge at the intersections with Andover and Orchard should also be restored.  In particular, when they removed the 2 lanes going southbound on Delridge 8 or so years ago, it backed up Delridge badly during the evening commute. Now southbound will be the morning commute for everyone living in the northern half of West Seattle.

          • Jort April 16, 2020 (8:45 am)

            This will literally mean nothing once you reach the 1st Ave S. bridge, will is physically incapable of accommodating this traffic. Feel free to turn every West Seattle street into a freeway, but there will still be unbelievable traffic due to this unchangeable choke point. 35th will stay the way it is, sorry.

            • sam-c April 16, 2020 (9:56 am)

              Sorry Jort, we don’t all head downtown for a 9-5 and sit at a desk all day.

              • sam-c April 16, 2020 (5:31 pm)

                LOL, this comment was really supposed to go with Jort’s comment about buses and petri dishes. Don’t know why it ended up here.  So tired of Jort’s narrow minded comments though…..There’s more than one type of job, and many more location scenarios for a wide variety of jobs.  Jort seems to come from very privileged assumptions.

        • Mj April 15, 2020 (9:57 pm)

          Chris – I would restripe 35th to 5 lanes, the curb lane could be parking off peak.  The 5 way Chelan intersection needs to eliminate the EB to NB and WB to SB left turns (more green time EB and WB since they could run concurrent) and to the west can two lanes be created in lieu of one via relocating sidewalk space?  At HPW at WMW make the WB curb lane right turn only, and someone else mentioned restriping WMW to regain the 2nd SB lane that was taken and is used for parking and make ped crossing easier.  The traffic situation had changed sifnificantly making this a very legitimant request.

        • Steve April 15, 2020 (9:57 pm)

          Found a contractor to tear it down!  Start design of a new bridge asap!

        • YES2WS April 15, 2020 (10:00 pm)

          A must,,, Vashon  ferries routed directly to downtown. Another must,,, a new line of ferries to serve Fauntleroy to downtown. My first thought was to have Vashon ferries swing by to pick us up, but  that would still leave additional  cars from Vashon heading south through our clogged arteries. And yes,,, lanes restored (another must).

        • James April 15, 2020 (10:15 pm)

          New finish bridge in 2024 or 2025 thats the final verdict. In the meantime enjoy the traffic. 

        • run_dmc April 15, 2020 (10:27 pm)

          What I haven’t seen in the significantly long comment thread here or – more importantly – in SDOT’s presentation is any recognition that we could learn from other communities who have dealt with this kind of situation.  The bridge over I-5 to the north (north of Marysville) collapsed a few years ago and was rebuilt.  And, it certainly didn’t take 2 years.  Bridges in other parts of the country (Minnesota comes to mind as a relatively recent situation) have collapsed and been rebuilt as well.  Bridges on the east coast have been in operation for over 100 years with massively more traffic without collapsing at all!.  This is a situation where our city gov’t officials need to set aside their ego and learn from other municipalities (not from the SDOT hired consultants) about what’s worked and not to fix bridges/rebuild bridges/get people around while bridges are being fixed rather than do the Seattle thing and try to figure all of it out on our own as if we’re the only ones that have ever discovered or used bridges.  Seattle – this is a problem we’ve created through what sounds like poor decision-making for decades starting with the original construction of the bridge and then down to the last few years of not prioritizing the maintenance of this vital artery.  I don’t think we are the best suited to solve it; at least not on our own.

          • CAM April 15, 2020 (10:51 pm)

            I’m not an engineer and not going to pretend to be one but it seems to me that there are pretty good reasons it takes longer to repair/rebuild a bridge that is still standing vs one that has already collapsed. If the bridge has already fallen you don’t need to spend as much time trying to prevent it from falling on the things underneath it. By contrast, even if they were planning as of today to build a brand new bridge, they would still need to build structures around it to support it so that it doesn’t take out other vital infrastructure when they do start to demo it. They didn’t let traffic keep driving under the viaduct when they started tearing it down. They moved everything out of the way and then they still carefully dismantled it piece by piece. Can you imagine the feats necessary to take down the bridge without harming anything underneath it? Someone went to school for a long time and takes on a lot of responsibility to calculate those things. We should have a little respect for that. 

          • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (3:12 am)

            The Skagit River Bridge is a segmented truss design. Only a single 160′ segment collapsed and was replaced, and the bridge is only about 50 feet above the water with nothing around it. The West Seattle Bridge, on the other hand, is 2600′ feet long, 140′ above the water, is effectively a single monolithic structure, and is in danger of collapsing onto the low bridge. Replacing it would be a *much* more complicated task.

        • Mard April 15, 2020 (10:52 pm)

          Build a new low level bridge south of Harbor Island for light rail and traffic with west entry on West marginal and direct connect to 99. 

        • SMC April 15, 2020 (10:58 pm)

          So does this make us part of Vashon Island for the foreseeable future?  I’m starting to feel this way! How does East Vashon sound?

        • MarFaun April 15, 2020 (10:58 pm)

          Good time to build aerial transit — high speed gondolas from Junction to SODO at 80% less cost than light rail ($64M per mile vs. $500M per mile), operational in five years, vs. 10+ for light rail.  Then pass on savings to fund ST3 extensions & high bridge rebuild.  Funny how WS has talked seceding from Seattle for decades; now Seattle seems to have done the job for us.  And it may be an unexpected blessing for WS businesses; like the snowed-in winter many years back, when WS people discovered WS merchants and restaurants.

        • Ghost of Bridges Past April 15, 2020 (11:01 pm)

          The good news: property taxes are going down due to reduced valuations.The bad news: the LID required to finance the new bridge will more than make up the difference.

        • Krs April 15, 2020 (11:42 pm)

          From what I read that bridge was to last at least 75 years. How did it only last 36? Is there no possible legal recourse? Faulty building or materials seems like someone is to blame. And of course, like many are baffled by – how was this not caught earlier and repaired?!

        • VW April 15, 2020 (11:44 pm)

          Affordable housing now available in West Seatttle!

        • Ce April 15, 2020 (11:50 pm)

          Where’s Bertha?

          • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (3:13 am)

            Scrapped three years ago.

        • Alki Resident April 15, 2020 (11:59 pm)

          1. The government needs to realize not all WS residents work in Seattle downtown. Many of us work far from Seattle. All you folks talking about riding your bikes to work are nuts. My business is in Bellevue, not Seattle.2. People on this board need to realize many of us work real jobs; meaning jobs in which the concept of “Telecommuting” does not exist. We can’t stay home on a computer and make money. We need to be on site.3. Pre-bridge failure, a drive to Bellevue from Alki was often 75 minutes. Now, we are looking at 120 minutes one way. Thats 4 hours commute time per day. 4. The drive time commute to Bellevue used to be no big deal. 25-30 mins up until around 5-6 years ago when all the big box clone condos started popping up everywhere in West Seattle. 5. I agree, we need to prioritize bridge repair or replacement to happen in months, not years. We need the government working 24/7 to fix this as THE top priority in Seattle. 

          • Felix Grounds April 16, 2020 (10:08 am)

            You need to start your own country where only you can live.

        • Amy April 16, 2020 (12:25 am)

          It was nice knowing you all, i really liked visiting West Seattle and met many great people from there. Unfortunately we can’t afford a new bridge yet so you’re going to have to secede from Seattle for a few years. I don’t make the rules but that’s what they are. We’ll be waiting for your return and will obviously welcome you back with open arms. We wish you the best of luck and our prayers while you build a new one yourself.

        • Dick April 16, 2020 (12:35 am)

          No way,  a effing 2 year fix for $30M. $&@#%* Blow it up now and build a cable stayed suspension bridge with light rail capacity.  Toll it , if thats the only way to pay for it.

        • Charlie April 16, 2020 (12:41 am)

          Has there been any talk of running the water taxi downtown later at night?

        • Calires April 16, 2020 (1:13 am)

          A good portion of the commute nightmare could be resolved if the big tech companies would abandon the antiquated notion that all their employees need to be present in their offices at the same time each day.  We have the technology to work remotely and we’re in the midst of a worldwide test case at the moment.  I work in tech, have worked from my WS home office for over 10 years and communicate with my colleagues and customers all day, each day, with no problem.  When I worked at Amazon I found it supremely ironic that a company that made their fortune removing face-to-face interaction from much of our daily lives via online shopping insisted that we all be present in the office because the powers-that-be were convinced good work could only be fostered through face-to-face interaction.  I would bet that over 50% of people commuting from West Seattle have jobs that don’t require physical presence at the workplace.  Those people should be allowed to work remotely and this would go a lot easier for those who do have to be onsite.

          • Vic April 16, 2020 (11:46 am)

            My partner works for Microsoft and they are doing just that. Telling folks to continue wfh, even before this bridge business. Hopefully others will follow suit.

        • Beach Teach April 16, 2020 (1:20 am)

          Never thought I would say this, but Tim Eyman, if you’re listening, I’ll vote for those lower car tabs now in a heartbeat! I hope we see a new initiative that reflects our anger over this. SDOT no longer deserves as much money as we have willingly paid….. 

          • Kristin April 16, 2020 (8:17 am)

            But the lower car tabs don’t affect SDOT as much as they affect Sound Transit, who is the agency that can get us out of this mess!

            • Beach Teach April 16, 2020 (6:53 pm)

              Well, from what I understand, Sound Transit doesn’t do ANYTHING for West Seattle until the 2030’s….. if they alter their plans to help us NOW, sure…. I’ll continue to support them…. but as a senior who isn’t near a 24 hour bus line, or  able to “ride a bike” to the rest of humanity, my car tab fees are bringing me no value.

        • Ian Rathke April 16, 2020 (1:29 am)

          Make the repair and start digging at the same time. By the time the repair is obsolete the tunnel will be complete… 

        • HPDropOut April 16, 2020 (1:38 am)

          So I signed an agreement for a new house in WS in December that was suppose to be completed and ready for closing on 4/1. I reached out mid Feb for an update and the builder said that everything for the physical house would be done by 4/1, but due to them waiting on the city for sewage/plumbing hooks ups and side walks it would be pushed to 6/26. We decided to stay in it because we locked in a great price and the other new builds were going 70-80k more than the price we locked in at (yay equity)…. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit…. We reached out last week to see if closing would push back further than 6/26 and the builder said yes…. We immediately pulled the plug and was able to negotiate getting our full earnest money back… we literally just got our money back Monday and we’re able to find a new house in North Beacon Hill and now the news hit that the bridge would be shut down for 2-3 years today…. I have never ever in my whole life been so relieved that I dogged a bullet and that we never moved in by 4/1. My partner and I both work SLU/Capital Hill area and it would have been a disaster to make the commute…. 

          • thanksz April 16, 2020 (2:35 am)

            Rub it in.

          • Richard Maloney April 16, 2020 (4:55 am)

            Congrats!!! Finally, a positive story from our stunningly bad news.

          • Diane April 16, 2020 (7:58 am)

            Wow – congrats!  

          • SeaVieu April 16, 2020 (8:01 am)

            Uhhh…bully for you? You won “bridge failure lottery” and got to stick it to the poor suckers who already live here whose lives are profoundly affected by this.

          • PigeonRidgeBen April 16, 2020 (8:37 am)

            May you never comment on this blog again. I feel bad for your family and friends. You are, in this moment, a person who makes another’s misfortune about your good luck. 

            • NAdmiralST April 16, 2020 (7:13 pm)

              I hope you feel bad for your comment Pigeonridgeben, you should see Hpdropout’s response below. You don’t know the full situation and you more than crossed the line mentioning feeling bad for their family and friends because of their relief of getting out of a home in WS, when they had been waiting months for their new home. If you get coronavirus, I hope you are lucky to get treatment by their family member, who now lives closer to the hospital and are in a better location to now be able to take care of people in need and even rude people like you.

        • MacGyver April 16, 2020 (2:42 am)

          I am so glad that I moved to Capitol Hill. I can easily and quickly get to Downtown Seattle by walking, taking the Light Rail, taking the bus, or taking an Uber. My parents live in West Seattle on Harbor Avenue near Salty’s so I can visit them by taking the Water Taxi. My sister and her family live in North Admiral above the Hamilton View Park so the Water Taxi gets me to them as well. I love West Seattle but I am so happy and relieved that I moved to Capitol Hill because it is so much more convenient and so much less stressful than trying to get in and out of West Seattle. Living in West Seattle already felt like living in an island but with the West Seattle Bridge being closed, it will now feel much more like an island then it did before. I loved growing up in West Seattle during the 1980’s. It was a much better place back in those days.

        • Doomed April 16, 2020 (2:49 am)

          If SDOT even dares to attempt that silly repair idea they will be complete fools. Why throw millions away to fix what is certain to fail prematurely at best? Tear the damn thing down, hire some engineers (with better math skills than whoever engineered the existing failure) that can design an affordable bridge and lets make progress. Multi functionality would be ideal and allow SDOT and.Sound Transit to split the cost. The whole replacement project could be wrapped up in less time than the repair option. 35W in Minnesota opened to traffic 13 months after the previous bridge collapsed into the Mississippi. The new bridge included 10 traffic lanes and was light rail ready when it opened. Construction started 10 weeks after the deadly disaster. Lets make it happen

        • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (3:21 am)

          I feel like a lot of people in these comments have a lot of anger over this situation, but can’t quite connect the dots to see that the real issue is decades of neglecting infrastructure maintenance and transit (nationally, not just in Seattle). These issues were set in motion years before any of the people currently in positions of responsibility with the city were even out of high school.

        • Scott April 16, 2020 (5:46 am)

          This is insane. We need the cheapest, fastest option, which means we simply need to expand the lower bridge and turn it into a non-opening-bridge; no more boat traffic past the bridge, end of story. Why would we spend billions to subsidize the 2 companies that require boat access? Pay them to move to the empty, unused port of seattle area. Done. Any other companies moving small freight will simply need to use the Port of Seattle to transfer. 

        • MC April 16, 2020 (6:42 am)

          I live on Sylvan Way and the traffic volume has already exploded. I shudder to think what it will be like once the stay-at-home order is lifted. I reached out to Rep Herbold and SDOT with suggestions on improving the traffic flow on Morgan-Sylvan-Orchard. My suggestions are not unreasonable and should be done regardless ( speed sign, stripes on curve, maintain brush both sides, ect…. ). As expected, the response I received was a bunch of vague nonsense.

          • trickycoolj April 16, 2020 (11:17 am)

            I’m also a block off of Sylvan and we can hear cars all day long with the windows closed.  When I did have to venture out and turn left off my street onto Sylvan due to an unfortunate need to deal with something in person at work, it felt like the normal 8am rush hour at 11am during a pandemic.  Sylvan is going to be bumper to bumper and those of us on the south side of High Point and Sylvan Heights won’t be able to get out.   I’ve brainstormed some back ways to get to my work place on the Tukwila end of East Marginal but I have to be able to even exit High Point first!

        • Railroaded April 16, 2020 (7:40 am)

          The political leaders should get with BNSF Railroad and run commuter trains over their line across the Duwamish River from West Seattle to King Street Station. 

        • Emily April 16, 2020 (8:10 am)

          Does anyone have a recommended route to bike commute to Harborview? I’m considering buying an electric bike and am wondering 1) recommended bike routes 2) how safe does it feel as a bike commuter on East Marginal Way (when looking at the route, that is what seems the most dicey)? 

          • Ice April 16, 2020 (11:59 am)

            I commuted to Pill Hill and later Capitol Hill by bike and bike/bus for a couple of years. It’s very easy, especially if you have an e-bike. East Marginal overall it feels pretty safe to me and it’s also slated to have a huge upgrade for bikes as I understand, so if you don’t like it now, it should be a lot better in the next year or so. For directions, from East Marginal, I would do King->2nd->Yesler. That should get you to Harborview pretty fast. If you’ve never bike commuted before, I would try riding to work once or twice on your off-days so you can get the hang of it. Being time crunched on your first bike commmute is really not comfortable. Biking is pretty much the best way to get around this city in my opinion. It’s fast, fun and you don’t have to deal with parking and stressed out drivers.

            • Emily April 16, 2020 (5:24 pm)

              Thank you ICE. As upset I am about the bridge, I am looking forward to this new bike and commute. I realize that not everyone has the means to bike or a reasonable route, but this is hands down the best solution for me personally. Hopefully we’ll have a caravan of bike commuters, which will make the commute safer and more fun

          • Go gull April 16, 2020 (7:33 pm)

            Nice! In addition to biking via the low bridge trail and then along Marginal Way, you could also take the water taxi from Alki to the downtown waterfront and it would be a short ride up to First Hill from there.

            If you bike the low bridge trail, the trail and view is nice, and biking along marginal way is fine, I’ve never encountered an issue, although it’s industrial and might be different at first. It might take a couple rides to figure out the best way to navigate. Don’t be discouraged, you’ll figure it out.  There is a bike lane on the roadway and some also ride on the sidewalk.  There is a point where it’s not entirely intuitive to know where the bike lane connects.  I’d suggest checking out the bike map, and testing out the ride during a high commute time to  watch how others navigate and follow along. Don’t be afraid to ask other cyclists for advice along the way.

            If you’re new to bike commuting, make sure to look up some biking tips before heading out.Here are a couple of links that might be resources:





            Have fun, see you out there :)

        • DJ Allyn April 16, 2020 (8:10 am)

          There are at least THREE things that SDOT should do immediately to help mitigate this mess.

          1. Convert 35th Avenue SW back to four lanes.  People are just going to have to park their cars somewhere else for the time being.
          2. Convert Delridge back to four lanes.  Again, people are going to have to find somewhere else to park.
          3. SW Morgan East of 35th as it turns into Sylvan Way, should have its obstructions removed and the road temporarily widened to allow for four lanes down to Delridge.  The light at 35th and Morgan should be reprogrammed to allow for the cross traffic to move smoothly.

          I really don’t see very many people being eager to take public transportation coming off of this COVID-19 lock down.  It’s going to be quite some time — and no new infections — before people are going to want to get on an enclosed tube with people not in their ‘germ circle’.I suspect that there are going to be a lot of people wanting to move out of West Seattle.  Seattle should probably put a moratorium on new apartment construction for the next two years.

          • Jort April 16, 2020 (12:46 pm)

            I love how people are using this closure to promote their pro-car, anti-transit, anti-cyclist, anti-street safety gripe lists. “Undoing” road diets and adding more lanes will literally do nothing to alleviate the permanently unchangeable choke point of the 1st Ave S. Bridge. You could change every street in West Seattle into a freeway and they’ll still clog up with cars because of that bridge, which is already over capacity during normal, pre-closure operations. It’s important for everybody to understand that there is literally no method, whatsoever on this planet, to accommodate our old driving habits. This is an actual reality and adding all the lanes back in the world will. not. change. this.  The one thing that will change is everybody’s reliance on convenient personal driving. That’s gone, and you will all adapt, whether you want to or not. But I can guarantee with 100 quadrillion percent certainty that every single citizen is going to have to adapt to a reduction in the priority of their automobile in our transportation system. This is not a debate, it is happening, guaranteed, unless you get a flying car or a boat car. Begin your personal mental adaptations now, and it’ll be easier for you in the long run.

            • chemist April 16, 2020 (4:39 pm)

              So, how many folks can get across the low bridge on bike in an hour with transit, freight, and other traffic down there… especially if bus service increases?  It’s a drawbridge and traffic is largely in one direction.  The bikes still have to navigate some nasty interchanges and slopes. The 2nd Ave bike counter downtown measures about 4,000 bikes on a good day and the Spokane Street bike counter measures about 1,500 bikes on a good day. Even if a truly impressive 10,000 bicyclist-trips were able to use the lower bridge to get to work when work resumes, that’s less than 10% of the folks using the high bridge during “the before times.”  It’s help, but we’re still going to be hurting.

        • waikikigirl April 16, 2020 (8:46 am)

          OMG WSB has any other story had this many POSTS?     531 right now and I am sure there are some awaiting approval from you all.

          • WSB April 16, 2020 (11:25 am)

            Just broke the record, which had been 604 for a 2013 power outage. And those were far less interesting, mostly “we’re out here at x” (although we appreciate those too, the city map often lags).

        • ScubaFrog April 16, 2020 (8:54 am)

          Welp I feel a bit like using a curse.  I hope we get a lot more Seattle water taxis.  Moreover, I really hope we don’t spend $33M for just 10 years of use, and then spend $$$ on a whole new bridge.Let’s demolish it now, find out what went wrong, and build a good bridge that will last.   I don’t know why pier 33’s given precedence over the entirety of West Seattle Mayor Jenny, or why Zimbabwe wouldn’t answer why he was considering wasting $33M for 10 short years instead of building a new bridge.  It would be nice to get their answers, I don’t think we will.

          • JA April 16, 2020 (9:54 am)

            We should absolutely spend $33M for 10 years of use. The bridge will become a toll bridge in any case at this point, but think of the numbers financially. 100k+ cars a day used that bridge. Even at $1 toll per car, per day, that means in ONE YEAR, we will have accrued $36.5M in toll revenue….that already covers the $33M shoring. 10 years of use means that we will be able to pay for the shoring, pay for the band-aid, and start a healthy fund for the in-parallel design and construction of the new bridge.Point is that there will easily be funding available for a toll bridge…and the 10 years buys us some time to properly design and build the new bridge/LIGHT RAIL!

            • East Coast Cynic April 16, 2020 (2:03 pm)

              I like the rationale:  A short term bridge would hopefully last until light rail is constructed. A bridge funded by tolling that will relieve the transportation pressure of ingress and egress from the peninsula until the light rail option is available.  In the meantime, play the long term game of building political support for funding a bridge built with up to date technology and materials that will actually last maybe 40 years?

            • ScubaFrog April 17, 2020 (2:13 am)

              JA thanks for the clarification, that makes sense.  It should be shored-up STAT, tolling to begin as soon as it’s ready for cars then.And thank you too, ColombiaChris.  It will be interesting what engineers come up with, Jenny Durkan has proposed Light Rail today in lieu of repairs and the bridge.  I don’t know how West Seattleites would feel en masse about that (I’d welcome it).Peace and Love

          • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (10:22 am)

            You’ve misread the article, Scubafrog. The $33 million isn’t to extend the life of the bridge by 10 years, it’s to shore up the bridge to keep it from collapsing onto the low bridge. Extending the life of the bridge would cost additional money, but the $33 million has to be spent one way or the other, regardless of whether they ultimately decide to repair it or replace it outright.

        • Joey April 16, 2020 (9:08 am)

          I have a business idea I’m hoping someone (maybe even the city) can run with. I’ve already done some of the legwork. Here’s my pitch:Like a park’n ride, start a bike’n drive. There is a 75k SF paved lot on other side of the WS bridge. Set up a trailer with 24HR parking attendant. People bike/ebike over low bridge to the lot where a bike rack and their car is waiting for them. $150/month. You should be able to fit 200-300 cars on this lot…great option for those who require vehicle on the other side. *I want 10% for the idea :)

        • WSbiach April 16, 2020 (9:10 am)

          The bridge closure has a tremendous impact on WS. THANK YOU for keeping us updated WS Blog. 

          • WSB April 16, 2020 (9:24 am)

            Thanks. And thanks to everyone who’s commenting … I have a very long followup list already, although I think the most important question I asked yesterday was, how are elected leaders going to make creative opportunities for the COMMUNITY’S voices in this …

        • YES2WS April 16, 2020 (9:22 am)

          Am I the only person who read HPDROPOUT’s post and enjoyed a brief feel-good moment? I’m surprised to see the follow up attacks. No wonder bad news in general gets sensationalized. Edit to add… yay to Richard and Diane; I’m NOT the only one. :-)

          • KM April 16, 2020 (11:01 am)

            I thought it was nice! They should buy a powerball ticket…

            • HPDROPOUT April 16, 2020 (6:20 pm)

              I appreciate it! We moved here in December for my dream job and have been living out of 3 suitcases, all our stuff in storage, with our 5 pets in temporary housing, when we thought it would only be 2-3 months. My partner left their amazing job and started a new job as a ICU Nurse Manager in late Jan and was immediately thrown in to deal with a nursing strike. Then in early March was told that their floors would transition from ICU to being the hospitals COVID base camp. They have been working 70-80 hour weeks since the beginning of this and was exhausted with dealing with constant death and fear at work on top of not having a solidified home and a builder who couldn’t give us a solid date. We were in limbo. This new house will be a 7 min drive for them to get work and help people affected by COVID. I lost my grandpa to COVID a week and a half ago and my family couldn’t even have a funeral and his remains had to be fedex’d across the county to my mom. People can be salty all they want, but this was a positive my family needed. I up rooted my whole family here for my dream job and I put the person I love more than anyone else in a job that would cause them to be on the front lines of a pandemic and leading the charge to protect nursing staff and help patients. So yeah people can be rude to me on here all they want, won’t change how I needed something to go my way.

              • KM April 16, 2020 (6:57 pm)

                Sounds like EXACTLY the good news you needed. I’m sorry your move has been stressful and the lost of your grandfather, and thankful for the work your partner is doing. Enjoy the new place!

              • Go gull April 16, 2020 (8:14 pm)

                Wow, thanks for sharing, congrats on your luck with the house situation, and take good care.

              • Calires April 17, 2020 (1:18 am)

                I was really not on your side with your first post.  I own a home in West Seattle and have been wanting to move for years, but haven’t been able due to family obligations that were resolved right as the pandemic was starting.  Now, I don’t have that option.  It was sour grapes for me until I read your follow up post.  I’m glad this has worked out well for you and your partner, and thanks to them for doing an incredibly difficult and dangerous job.  I have a family member on the front lines in NYC and I know it is nerve wracking when someone you love is in danger.  Best of luck to you both.

        • Borges April 16, 2020 (9:26 am)

          Man, on a WS home value discussion between COVID, economic recession and now the bridge outage 1-2 years out…. yeah I’d like to see what the assessor says because home values out here are going to take a massive hit. Wouldn’t be surprised of people start looking to move as well…. so sad to see all of this hitting out community. ;-(

        • Joe JOhn April 16, 2020 (9:34 am)

          There were 100k cars a day on the West Seattle Bridge. That means, with a toll of $1 per car, per day, in a year that would bring in$36.5M in tolling revenue….in just one year we have covered the shoring.Putting a bandaid on the bridge makes perfect sense…band-aid and toll the bridge, this will bring in $365M in the time of the band-aided lifspan, which will pay for the band-aiding as well as the a base for funding the new bridge. This will also then buy time to properly design, plan, and build the new bridge/lightrail. The band-aiding and then new bridge have to be done in parallel.Funding should not be difficult for this project….think about the tolling alone, it will easily pay dividends over the life of it…

          • KM April 16, 2020 (10:10 am)

            As much as I would like more tolling on our roadways, including our future bridge, shoring doesn’t repair the bridge–it just would stabilize it. The band-aid is to prevent it from collapsing.  Any funds raised from tolling across the Duwamish wouldn’t start until our bridge is repaired or a new one is built, unless they would like to toll the Spokane St, 1st Ave S or South Park Bridge, all which are managed by different government entities (city, state, and county–respectively).

          • Me April 16, 2020 (12:04 pm)

            JoeJohn says a toll on the “shored” bridge to raise the money for both projects.  Maybe.  but $1 won’t raise 100k/day.1)Some of the 100k/day were exempt from tolls (transit, emergency, govt vehicles, etc). They are in bridge traffic, but pay zero toll.  Dk what percentage it is.  2)Some drivers avoid tolls; could be enticed by reasonable gain in speed but previous bridge traffic was already painfully slow and lanes may be more reduced on shored bridge, making it even slower than before- but now, with a toll?So how many toll payers would there be?  Depends on if toll was just high enough AND exempt vehicles stayed on lower bridge, there might be enough speed gained, money raised.  It will be a balancing act to prioritize and fill the bridge with toll-paying vehicles, and at the same time not become a perpetual traffic jam.

        • YES2WS April 16, 2020 (9:41 am)

          Emily, you should definitely get the e-bike if you’re able. I’ve added a yellow highlight to the attached photo to indicate the parts of the route that are made extra safe to bicyclists. I was just telling a friend I cycled with yesterday how glad I am to have gone with the e-bike over a scooter because I can still travel by throttle but am also able to take the low bridge and follow the bicycle trail to downtown without having to reroute way south to the 1st Ave bridge. Edit to add… when looking at Google map directions and the estimated time, with an e-bike, you’re looking more closely to the travel by car time and not traditional bicycle time.

          • Emily April 16, 2020 (10:56 am)

            Thank you so much YES2WS. I just ordered a bike. Seems hands down like the best option for me, at least for the next 5 months until the weather turns. I’m glad you feel safe on E Marginal way, that’s the part I’m concerned about. I’m hoping there will be an increase in bike commuting and subsequent increase in driver awareness as my biggest reservation is being hit by a car or, in this case, bus. 

            • Go gull April 16, 2020 (8:30 pm)

              Regarding your concern about cars… yes, make sure to always keep an eye out for cars, assume they might not be seeing you and ride defensively and safely. You will gain confidence over time. There are hazards but you will learn and can watch out.  There are also hazards with driving.  You got this. Congrats on the new bike! :)

            • tsurly April 17, 2020 (10:33 am)

              You can also ride on the sidewalk on the west side of East Marginal, which will keep you further away from traffic. I often do this in the winter when its raining hard and dark. There are a few driveways you need to be aware of when crossing, but they are mostly pretty quiet.

            • YES2WS April 17, 2020 (2:56 pm)

              @Emily… Yay!! I’m so happy for you! You’re going to be cycling with a big grin on your face. :-) Congrats!

        • bender April 16, 2020 (9:50 am)

          I have a goofy sounding option, route traffic down to the ports property and then have a temporary bridge/barge installed in the waterways  and funnel traffic under the viaduct to I-5.  we just need to access surface roads to the city and  I-5.  it would help more then it would hurt. we just have to think out of the box a little.

        • YES2WS April 16, 2020 (9:52 am)

          @Emily,, PS… that’s just one of many routes you could opt for. Once you get the bike, you’ll explore and play around with additional routes. Even roadways lacking a specific bike lane can sometimes be safe especially if you include the occasional sidewalk.

        • Garrett April 16, 2020 (10:04 am)

          Guess its time to move, my business requires many delivery trips between WS and downtown a day. Can only imagine what hell will break loose after the stay at home order

        • Sillygoose April 16, 2020 (10:09 am)

          And to think 16 years ago the Seattle Monorail Board was proposing the structure be built as elevated crossing over the West Seattle Bridge!! The liability when it came crashing down due to cracked concrete would have been horrendous. 

          • vlado April 16, 2020 (10:53 am)

            Yes, the Seattle Monorail Project did plan on crossing on the bridge on strengthened structure.  It may be worth finding the engineering study that SMP commisioned to see if there is anything helpful in it regarding reinforcing the existing structure.  It may be possible to build a support above, rather than below the bridge (as has been contemplated) to fix the structural problem.  I think that is a concept that is should be explored given the lack of any other viable alternatives.

          • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (2:55 pm)

            In defense of the Monorail Authority, they had no idea what they were doing. Like in general.

        • soarringcam April 16, 2020 (11:19 am)

          Build a new bridge as soon as possible.Should it include light rail.? I think it should.Close marina beneath bridge, and close business, in case of bridge collapse. Now reconsider the Light Rail Transit Center just south of Salty’ s.Service also to Admiral District.Funding is available now for lowest rates.

        • Richard Maloney April 16, 2020 (11:41 am)

          It took overnight to realize someone needs to acquire the Ride the Ducks amphibious landing vehicles and put them into emergency use. Passengers will sign waivers. The Coast Guard will look away. Hundreds could be transported daily.

        • Sue April 16, 2020 (11:49 am)

          How about adding another water taxi route over to pier 91 or in front of the Expedia HQ? Transit runs up 15th to Ballard or south to SLU from there.

        • soarringcam April 16, 2020 (12:13 pm)

          If West Sattle bridge was quickly rebuilt with Link Light Rail capabilities.West Seattle could have light rail quicker without waiting until 2030 as presently scheduled.Belleview and Redmond get Light Link is building Link Light Rail by 2023

          • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (3:01 pm)

            Making a hybrid traffic/light rail bridge would almost certainly take even longer to build. Not only would you be increasing the complexity of the project, but you’d be forcing ST to scrap and redo a lot of planning work that they’ve already done. Bellevue and Redmond are getting light rail in 2023 because construction on that segment started back in 2015.

        • PDiddy April 16, 2020 (12:14 pm)

          Well one positive if they do have to replace it is they have the opportunity to build in light rail and maybe fix the mess of the ramps to and from 99 etc. Also I would not mind seeing them fix that mess where delridge and spokane street meet up.

          • KM April 16, 2020 (1:36 pm)

            Don’t even tease me with a bus-only on-ramp to 99 north!

        • Shipwrecked_and_Comatose April 16, 2020 (12:40 pm)

          Emily: As a 30+ year every-day motorcycle commuter, 18 of those WS to Harborview, I would like to put in the back of your mind that there will be many, many cold and/or rainy days to come which will make your new e-bike commute unpleasant to say the least. We’re just starting the nice season, but September is coming. Buy quality waterproof gear head to toe for your shell layer. You will need varying numbers of layers under the shell depending on the temp. I swear by Helly Hansen gear, they’re pricey but you can stand in the shower in their stuff and not get wet.  Remember that wet roads are an extreme hazard to bikes/motorcycles, I ride like a granny in the rain or on wet roads. You will get colder as you progress on your trip on an e-bike/motorcycle, which is the exact opposite of what happens in your car. Lastly: pretend like every single motor vehicle you encounter is going to try to KILL YOU, and always be hyper-aware and ready to take evasive action. Good luck to you.

          • tsurly April 17, 2020 (10:40 am)

            There is a more simple solution, that I’m sure will be unpopular, and borderline hypocritical to my regular bicycle advocacy; don’t ride an Ebike. If you are physically able, ride a regular bike and stay warm by actively using your muscles.    

            • YES2WS April 18, 2020 (11:37 am)

              An e-bike is still a bicycle; it’s not a scooter. The rider can engage the throttle or not and however often he/she wants. Plus; an e-bike is heavier than a typical bicycle so if they opt to go non-throttle, they’re  opting to work  their muscles a heck of a lot more than had they purchased a standard bicycle. 

        • cjboffoli April 16, 2020 (12:53 pm)

          I don’t require any more politicians thanking me for my patience, nor any superfluous photo ops of officials walking around under the bridge inspecting cracks from afar. Nor do I require the usual slow Seattle process of a “community conversation.”  What we need for this problem is a bridge czar and a handful of very smart engineers who are empowered to make decisions and get things done expeditiously and for our elected officials to focus on getting funding in place quickly. 

          • quiz April 16, 2020 (1:59 pm)

            YES, this exactly. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. Take swift decisive action(s).

        • Larry S. April 16, 2020 (1:15 pm)

          I haven’t read through all 600+ comments, so apologies if someone already suggested this:  I think the city should delay leasing of Terminal 5 and convert it into a car-ferry dock for temporary service to parts of Seattle.  

        • Blbl April 16, 2020 (1:25 pm)

        • Alki resident 435 April 16, 2020 (1:38 pm)

          Is it safe to be under the bridge right now?Has SDOT confirmed that the bridge is now stable and won’t collapse in the near future?  I’m wondering if they need to clear cars and people from underneath the bridge until their analysis is complete.

          • WSB April 16, 2020 (1:53 pm)

            They have said repeatedly that they don’t believe it’s at imminent risk of collapse. They’re also installing real-time monitorin.

            • Lisa April 17, 2020 (2:17 pm)

              @WSB – I think Alki Resident 435 interpreted your April 7 report as imminent risk of collapse (as did I):“cracking near the quarter points of the main span could lead to collapse in the near future if strengthening is not implemented quickly.”

              • WSB April 17, 2020 (3:10 pm)

                SDOT’s descriptions have frankly been somewhat contradictory. They’ve said both.

        • McKMM April 16, 2020 (1:44 pm)

          I really, really hope that they consider adding some passenger ferry route options from the Fauntleroy ferry direct to downtown.  This will provide a great option for many in the more southern part of West Seattle without requiring that we commute all the way through West Seattle to the water taxi.  The Fauntleroy ferry is also right on the C line, which provides easy connection into other parts of West Seattle (vs. the water taxi which only has a tiny bus for connecting to other parts of West Seattle).  Overall, let’s get creative and use all available resources!

        • Lisa April 16, 2020 (1:46 pm)

          Maybe there are some comments here and I’ve missed them but I haven’t seen anyone talk about businesses based in West Seattle that rely on customers coming from other parts of town. Massage therapists, chiropractors, doctors, dentists, Airbnbs, not to mention restaurants, cafes and bakeries that attract people to our neighborhood and help keep them afloat. The virus is one thing, the bridge brings our neighborhood a longer-term disaster.

          • Me April 16, 2020 (2:11 pm)

            Exactly. Hair salons, the WS Nursery, gyms.  I have some non-WS friends who have come here for years for hair, workouts, dental, even shopping.  I presume a restaurant like Salty’s draws from DT and surrounds. when I worked just north of DT we used Saltys for plenty of company events.  Can’t see that happening now.  

            • WSB April 16, 2020 (3:29 pm)

              Let’s think optimistically. Works the other way too. People who have spent their dollars off-peninsula will be more motivated to spend local.

              • Lisa April 16, 2020 (5:04 pm)

                @WSB – I appreciate the sentiment but as an airbnb owner, I have just seen my income slashed with the bridge closure. My guess is that it will be by about 2/3 given the reasons for which most people book my place (easy access to ball games and concerts, for example). The airbnb income is used to offset my property taxes. And while we all may be frequenting our neighborhood haunts more, the reality is that there are some small business owners who have built their businesses on relationships outside of WS because of where they lived or worked previously.

                • KM April 16, 2020 (6:54 pm)

                  Were your bookings not slashed due to COVID? Seems like that’s the main issue with other AirBNB owners I know in Seattle, but not in West Seattle. They were having issues a couple weeks before the bridge closed.

                • WSB April 16, 2020 (7:40 pm)

                  The house across the street from ours used to have a lot of guests but we haven’t seen one since all this began in February. It’s an interesting perspective to hear, though, as co-publisher and I were trying to think of the local businesses that likely drew a significant clientele from off-peninsula.

                • Lisa April 16, 2020 (8:56 pm)

                  @KM and @WSB – My Airbnb has definitely been affected by the virus but I expect that to be short term. Losing income for months is quite different than years.

                • Go gull April 16, 2020 (8:40 pm)

                  There are a lot of people in need of affordable housing right now.  If Airbnb is no longer sustainable for you, you might consider renting to longer term tenants. Just an idea.

                • Lisa April 16, 2020 (8:52 pm)

                  @Go Gull – definitely considering that.

                • Diane April 17, 2020 (2:10 pm)

                  exactly; I hope COVID and bridge closure will bring all the Airbnb’s back to our local rental market, which has been critically needed for years; otoh, I expect many renters to move out of WS  (I was already seeing many renters talking about moving, even before this 2022 announcement) , because their work commutes have doubled; as a lifelong renter, the biggest advantage is ability to move if something bad happens  

        • Kathy April 16, 2020 (2:25 pm)

          P&R on Harbor Island or in SODO. People can walk or bike to and from their cars if they absolutely have to drive.

          • AB83 April 16, 2020 (5:14 pm)

            What are you talking about Park and ride on Harbor Island where are the people that work on Harbor Island supposed to park;That’s pretty inconsiderate of you to even suggest

        • Nick April 16, 2020 (2:43 pm)

          The only thing SDOT should be doing right now is doing a cost benefit analysis of a fix/replacement. If its replacement they want combine with Sound Transit. The potential savings in ROW (right of way) acquisition might provide enough funding for the tunnel. Funding this between 2 agencies should make the price more palpable.  

        • JD April 16, 2020 (2:49 pm)

                      Don’t count on Durkan, city council or SDOT to figure this out. They have proven their incompetence. We need the Army Corp. and world leading experts who will report to us. We need massive protests to get this going or nothing will get done. This has been proven over and over again!

          • WSB April 16, 2020 (2:55 pm)

            They’re already working with “world-leading experts” and are promising more. See the story, and past coverage.

        • Gidget April 16, 2020 (2:58 pm)

          While they are waiting to determine scope of work (shore up, tear it down) they need to start planning what they are going to do regarding reroutes, bus trips, increasing access off the peninsula (this has been a problem way before the crack situation). I like the idea of more foot ferries or even a car-ferry. However there are at LOT of logistics that need to happen before any of this can happen. Rather than spend a bunch of money on forming a task force I think that they need to have a contest open to the citizens to offer plans to deal with this very dire situation. They could offer a $1,000.00 for the best idea. This will probably yield better and more cost efficient results/solutions. 

        • Michelle April 16, 2020 (3:07 pm)

          Time for a chunnel😋

        • soarringcam April 16, 2020 (3:37 pm)

          A contest, good idea, maybe someone would donate their stimulus check.New bridge with Light Rail, scrap the old light rail design. Better to build one bridge with Light Rail then to build two bridges. Mini Transit Center just south of Salty’s Terminal 5 with relocated foot ferry.  With Parking.  Link to Admiral District too, Tunnel under the west Seattle freeway.Scrap Genesee stations.You can make that check out to Medic One.

        • ColumbiaChris April 16, 2020 (4:17 pm)

          I see a lot of people recommending a replacement bridge with light rail and that is a bad idea for numerous reasons. First, it would take longer to complete than separate bridges due to the added complexity. Second, the city and Sound Transit are entirely separate entities both in terms of governance and funding, and frequently have competing priorities (this also ties in to the complexity mentioned above). Thirdly, there’s no redundancy. Imagine if we had run the monorail over the West Seattle Bridge like the Monorail Authoity had planned over a decade ago. The current bridge issues would then have severed the primary mass transit link to West Seattle as well.

        • soarringcam April 16, 2020 (6:14 pm)

          It would not take longer, it would be more expensive.Less labor hours to build one bridge then two.  We could get light rail sooner.This all depends on “if” the bridge needs to be replaced. We should know that soon.But the additional cost would be offset from savings of building a separate bridge for light rail.Redundancy? Well that did not happen,Lets wait until the city makes the call on repair or replacement.In the mean while, Sound Transit should STOP and look at both alternatives.

        • Ella April 16, 2020 (6:25 pm)

          Even if a bridge to West Seattle is more complicated than
          the one listed here that took 14 days – it can’t be 52x more complicated.

          Maybe SDOT should check with their engineers –

          Or, what they are effectively saying is that it is more
          difficult to build a bridge than to find a vaccine for a pandemic – if they validate
          a vaccine before there is a solution to the bridge – what does that say
          about Seattle? 

          • Easy vs hard April 18, 2020 (12:00 pm)

            Cool project but that bridge is about 100’ long vs 2600’. So 26x longer. And it was about 20’ tall vs 140’. So 7x taller. Plus it had no road or water underneath it. That adds an order of magnitude at least. 

        • Bucket O' Beef April 16, 2020 (8:51 pm)

          Im pretty sure this is a grand plan to convert the West Seattle Bridge to bike lanes

        • admiral dude April 17, 2020 (9:48 am)

          Scrolling through the comments, one thing that I haven’t seen mentioned is the very likely gridlock of cars trying to legally access West Marginal Way, and the implications of that gridlock for emergency vehicles and buses trying to get to the low bridge. We all know the 5-way intersection is terrible and signal timing tweaks aren’t going to be enough when people go back to work. I am concerned that even if the low bridge itself is not crowded, ambulances won’t be able to get there during the rough parts of the day. 

          • TearItDownNow April 18, 2020 (11:54 am)

            Already seeing backup up Admiral hill trying to get through there, at very “light” times.  Shudder to think what will happen when things open up and – no – there’s no way for an emergency vehicle to get around.  Another alternative they ought to consider is whether the high bridge is at least able to accommodate the occasional emergency vehicle.  If I were having a heart attack I think I’d take that chance versus the extra 30 minutes if you’re lucky.    

        • Jaemsco April 17, 2020 (11:32 am)

          Hi all- just wanted to chime in about bikes.  Back when our family decided to save money and own only one car, I had never ridden a bike for transportation.  After trying it with a bike I had, I found it difficult, frustrating and it just took too much time. (I am a middle aged scrawny artist type, just for reference) I decided I would bolt on an electric assist motor, and try again.  Well, that changed everything- no more struggling or sweating and it was nearly as fast as driving.  That was 5 years ago, and I have commuted almost every day, winter be damned, since.  Its often a highlight of my day, just exhilarating and fun. (Not to mention the lack of stress from traffic, money savings, benefits to health, and environment) So I offer this as a real alternative to driving for regular people during this mad time and beyond. Morgan junction to downtown in 20 minutes. Bellevue square in 45.  E-bikes are a great choice, and are becoming better designed, less expensive, and more reliable.  Here is where I insert a plug for my ebike business. Wait, doh!

        • short final April 17, 2020 (11:35 am)

          The bureaucratic long game playbook re hot button issues reliably shows that most everyone punches theirselves out with great vigor early on and the human factor eventually believes the new playing field was always level. For those who’ve never drawn the short straw and had to live with it long term, now is your time, learn to be happy in your work. Many of us pensioners emphasize and observe to see if you can make a better tomorrow out of today.

        • CMK April 17, 2020 (2:39 pm)

          Here’s an idea (forgive me if it’s already been mentioned in a comment, I read a lot of them but not all): can the city quickly retrofit Terminal 5 to accept car/passenger ferries that can go from T5 to Coleman Dock, and/ or perhaps go to the Cruise ship docks north of downtown? Terminal 5 has a huge amount of open space where cars could wait and also be offloaded. Vehicles could easily get there without having to go up onto the bridge. There are a lot of people who need their vehicles for work. The idea of everyone just biking isn’t realistic. If cars could be brought to the waterfront they could get freeway access via this alternate route, as if WS is an island. We are equipped to deal with islands in this state. Perhaps that could be a workable yet temporary solution. 

        • WSBReader2 April 18, 2020 (12:10 pm)

          Another example of the “art of the possible” if government acts with urgency and partners with private sector.  Don’t discount the $’s as it is from the 90s, but the breadth of damage and impact to LA was probably even greater.  We have to stop taking the platitudes and delays.

        Sorry, comment time is over.