WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE NOW: New coalition launched ‘to convey urgency’

(WSB photo from earlier this month)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A new community “coalition to convey urgency” about the West Seattle Bridge closure has just launched.

We were invited to cover the first meeting last night of people participating in West Seattle Bridge Now.

The online meeting was coordinated by community advocate West Seattle Realty (WSB sponsor) co-owner Kevin Broveleit, who opened with the declaration of what the group says tens of thousands of people know here, but others around the city and region need to realize too: “Losing the bridge is a catastrophic event.” So far, he said, most of what’s been heard from SDOT is “it’s not our fault” and “trust us, we’re doing everything we can … and nether resonate with us.”

So in the spirit of community groups that pushed for action to get the now-compromised bridge built in the first place, this one is determined to turn up the pressure and push for “action, not blame” by creating “as broad a coalition as possible” and focusing on “creativity in potential solutions.”

Those already involved who were part of last night’s meeting included a who’s-who of local community and business advocates. While there was spirited discussion about all three major needs created by the sudden shutdown of the bridge March 23rd, two of them – traffic mitigation and accountability – are not the central purpose for West Seattle Bridge Now, according to Broveleit. “The sooner we have a soluton with any sort of certainty,” the less painful it will be. Right now, he observed, his industry and others are grappling with people wracked by fear of the unknown – will West Seattle be bridgeless for more than the near-two-year minimum of which SDOT has already warned?

Joining Broveleit in organizing West Seattle Bridge Now: Neighborhood advocates Amanda Kirk and Phil Tavel.

Tavel observed the bridge closure instantly became “the number 1 topic on everybody’s mind – ‘Oh my God, what are we gonna do?'” gave way to worry because “not a lot was done that we could see or hear about,” So the new group ca serve as “a megaphone, an amplifier, to give us the opportunity to say to the city, don’t forget us, this is impacting 100,000 lives.” They want urgency and “a good solution,” Tavel stressed. “It’s not about blame, it’s not about politics.”

After about a week of strategizing, Tavel continued, the West Seattle Bridge Now organizers realized they needed “to open this up to more people” – the more people involved, the more “downtown Seattle” will pay attention.

Also participating last night, community advocates who are active with the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, which is meeting to shape its role in bridge-related advocacy, said Pete Spalding, who noted that he had been in last week’s city-organized Town Hall about the bridge (WSB coverage here), followed by city reps guesting at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting (WSB coverage here), “and the thing I walked away with was a lack of a sense of urgency.”

Elaborating on the Chamber’s potential role was Government Affairs Committee co-chair and local restaurateur Dan Austin, who said they’ve been approached by “a political strategist” to work on getting federal infrastructure dollars. He and his co-chair, fellow restaurateur Dave Montoure, have “been asked to speak for the West Seattle business community.” Austin said they’re concerned about getting attention in D.C. without an independent effort, due to political acrimony that could limit what local elected officials are able to accomplish. Though traffic mitigation is not West Seattle Bridge Now’s stated goal at this point, Montoure also mentioned that “innovative solutions” for that part of the situation are vital too, saying he had spoken with Kitsap Transit about the logistics it would take to run a fleet of foot ferries, and learned a lot quickly. He also said that regarding an overall bridge solution Chamber leaders would be focusing on what’s possible and how to pay for it and then would be lobbying “to start asking for money.”

Several board members of the WS Transportation Coalition were in the meeting too. Its chair Michael Taylor-Judd suggested that the perception that “nothing’s happening, there’s no urgency” is not entirely accurate. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the city folks we want to get the urgency, GET the urgency” in no small part due to the preponderance of West Seattle residents in their ranks (including SDOT’s director and three City Councilmembers, along with county and state elected officials).

Broveleit countered that the focus has been too much on people who commute downtown. “There seems to be a huge disconnect” in that not everyone is downtown-bound. Tavel added, “Coming out of the town hall, I had the feeling the city said to me, this is a complex problem, we’ve got it covered, buy a bicycle.” He was also troubled by the lack of an answer from SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe when he was asked how long it would take to rebuild the bridge. He also wasn’t reassured by the fact various SDOT officials repeatedly answered questions by saying only that they were “talking with” various other agencies.

WSTC vice chair Marty Westerman noted that the WSTC already has a list of recommended actions (published here). He also mentioned the city’s 2015 West Seattle Bridge Transportation Corridor white paper, and the fact that the bridge’s condition was not part of it. And Westerman mentioned the gondola system he has long advocated.

Tavel interjected, “There are so many ideas out there and we’re not even seeing them coming out of the city, we’re seeing them come out of the neighborhood. … For now, we’ll focus on making sure that our voice is heard.” There was also a suggestion for a third-party review of the bridge.

Lindsay Wolpa from the Port of Seattle, also in attendance, said one reason that community members t large are not hearing a lot about the bridge’s future at the moment is that the current focus is on emergency contingency planning – the plan that’s being finalized regarding what needs to happen if the bridge s deemed in danger of collapse.

Nonetheless, in the big picture, Deb Barker from the WSTC and Morgan Community Association observed that the rest of the city might be seeing this as our problem, not theirs. “Until we get the entire city of Seattle – and everyone that passes through – on the same page, we’re going to be fighting against the rest of the city, which doesn’t feel great.” That point was expanded on by Chas Redmond, who observed that for West Seattle’s been dealing with transportation challenges for years even before the bridge closure – the Viaduct-to-tunnel project, the Fauntleroy Expressway seismic-cushion work, the Spokane Street Viaduct rebuild, etc.

Deb Barker noted that Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s staff is synthesizing all the comments (1,000+) from last week’s Town Hall to get them to SDOT. As for the latter agency, she said, “they’re willing to listen to anything at this point.”

Tavel reiterated, “This whole thing was born of frustration … people are looking for more about” what’s being done, but he was heartened to hear from Wolpa about a specific action that’s in progress.

Taylor-Judd reminded everyone that city workers “are kind of consumed by another crisis right now,” the COVID-19 response, and contended that traffic mitigation has to be the immediate priority because in a matter of weeks, people will be headed back to off-peninsula jobs.

So what’s next?

Tavel vowed to talk with the West Seattle neighborhood groups.

Cindi Barker suggested that a weekly update from the city would be helpful.

Victoria Nelson suggested that the city should appoint a “community information person” for such things; the Port’s Wolpa pointed out that the role given to SDOT’s Heather Marx includes that, but the agency is “110 percent focused on the emergency plan right now.”

More communication from the city is imperative, agreed Broveleit, while re-stating the mission of West Seattle Bridge Now: “To convey urgency about a bridge solution.”

If you want to get involved, the group has been coalescing so far around this page on Facebook. (added) You also can email bridgeactionnow@gmail.com

141 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE NOW: New coalition launched 'to convey urgency'"

  • AdmiralBridge April 30, 2020 (11:41 am)

    Great news to see this.  Timing is important.  As you’ll see, the SCC is “fund raising” on the backs of jobs through a tax to fund – amongst other things – green building upgrades.  Except for emergency services, this bridge should have the next priority on any additional funding sources derived by the city.  Sorry, but solar panels can wait.  If you share that concern please voice it to Lisa and others.

    • JDLR April 30, 2020 (12:08 pm)

      We totally don’t have the funding for this, but wouldn’t this be an interesting compromise?https://solarroadways.com/

      • Pdiddy April 30, 2020 (3:25 pm)

        I think i saw that years ago and it looked fabulous. No more striping and they could change the display for traffic etc on the fly and even the colors. it can often be hard to see lines in bad weather for the lanes etc. Imagine HOV lanes disappearing at 7pm etc? I like it.

      • Civil Engineer April 30, 2020 (6:20 pm)

        Not an economically viable option, but I support the premise. 

  • Mark Schletty April 30, 2020 (11:45 am)

    Great idea. Push, push, push. It is the only way to get anything done here. I get the Mayor’s weekly email re the important critical things she is working on. So far I have not seen a single reference to our bridge. It is critical and should be at, or near, the top of any City priorities. It clearly isn’t there yet.

    • Amanda April 30, 2020 (12:18 pm)

      How do I get on the newsletter from the mayor? 

    • Ann April 30, 2020 (1:23 pm)

      Thanks for sharing this bit of news, Mark.  It’s disheartening to hear the bridge hasn’t made it into her weekly email yet.  All the more reason for West Seattle Bridge NOW to have formed.  

    • dsa May 2, 2020 (3:18 pm)

      The mayor and governor should be discussing this urgency with our US congressional leaders often.  This is more than a West Seattle bridge.  All the non-interstate bridges in the state are community and regional bridges and need to be thought and talked about as such.

    • Thaddaeus Brophy May 3, 2020 (2:20 pm)

      Not there by April 30?  That is over a month since March 23.  Not good.

  • sna April 30, 2020 (12:04 pm)

    The best way to speed up the schedule if replacement is the preferred option is the figure out how to demolish the cracked spans without shoring.  

    • BBILL April 30, 2020 (1:36 pm)

      “figure out how to demolish the cracked spans without shoring.” That’s a major challenge, as how does one demolish a structure that’s not safe for demolition?

      • Carlo April 30, 2020 (3:42 pm)

        Citing unknowns for total inaction is why I believe this will be a 5-year debacle, not just 2-years. If the bridge is so unsafe that it’s too risky to start demolishing it, then they better get busy with preparations and controlled explosives NOW before the bridge demolishes itself in a catastrophically uncontrolled manner.

    • John April 30, 2020 (2:31 pm)

      Exactly, cut out the cracks\bad sections. Stop worrying about shoring and preventing the cracking growing, jut take the bad section out yesterday. They probably would be done by now if they did this already. Use cranes to lift the bad pieces outs. Use precision pouring and fabricate it as per the original construction method. There is definitely not a two-year window required to replace a few hundred feet of the bridge. 

      • West Seattle since 1979 April 30, 2020 (2:56 pm)

        Is cutting out the cracks feasible and safe? We do want to do this safely, right?

        • John April 30, 2020 (3:09 pm)

          They are using the same method to replace the stuck joint with precision pouring\cutting that out. That section apparently is carrying the load for everything so I struggle to see why it wouldn’t work to cut out the cracks or section – cut each subsection out and crane lift it(Id love someone to say why and Id rest easy). Also if you look at the original construction you can see it was built in sections online.. original construction for over a mile span took 3 years from the foundation up – how on earth does it take 2 years to do a few hundred feet. Also, look up the other story on the west Seattle blog about the genoa bridge reconstruction which collapsed and was rebuilt and fixed in 7 months.. 

          • BBILL April 30, 2020 (3:28 pm)

            The box girder construction requires tensioned steel cable tendons to keep it together, and there is no way to simply “cut” them out, and if a section is “cut out,” then the post tension is released. Simply put, one cannot simply take a saw and cut out the bad part and recast the concrete. The bridge sets on top of the bearing, and while the replacement of that is probably more complicated than the description suggested, the bearing is not holding the sections together. Put differently, it would likely be much easier to replace one of the piers than any one of the sections in the main span.

          • tsurly April 30, 2020 (3:48 pm)

            “They are using the same method to replace the stuck joint with precision pouring\cutting that out.”

            Wait, I thought SDOT was just sitting on their hands doing nothing; isn’t that what people on here are complaining about? Are you saying that work is actually being done to repair the stuck bearing? 

          • WSJ April 30, 2020 (4:34 pm)

            You can’t simply cut sections out of a box girder design and replace them. There are steel tendons that run the entire length of the bridge inside the concrete which hold it together. They can’t be simply removed and replaced. The cutting/removal at the joints works because it’s a joint, at the end, and they’re simply taking some out to replace a bearing. Imagine you have a deck with a thick center beam that needs fixed because a beaver are the middle. one end of the beam sits on top of a rubber plate that keeps it from rubbing on the foundation. You Jack the end up, trim down the end, put some new rubber in, and you’re done. But you can’t remove the center of the beam and put a new beam in place because 1) the beam would be too weak afterward and 2) you can’t support the deck while the beam is cut, it would all fall down. So you have to carefully plan a way to shore up the whole deck, and replace the beam in a way that doesn’t remove so much strength that it falls down. Oh, and do all of this while your wife and kids walk back and forth under the deck.

          • John April 30, 2020 (7:22 pm)

            One little tremor… 

  • Adam April 30, 2020 (12:05 pm)

    This is great. I too was disappointed with lack of urgency conveyed by SDOT. You have my support. 

  • Question Authority April 30, 2020 (12:08 pm)

    If any Federal funds are sought towards this project the political leadership from the Governor down might want to lessen their rhetoric towards the President.  Regardless of anyone’s personal opinion the constant bickering back and forth will ultimately lessen any chance of financial assistance.  Stranger things have happened and one should remember not to poop in one’s own nest.

    • mark47n April 30, 2020 (2:11 pm)

      Given your chosen moniker I’d say this is an interesting message since it suggests pandering to the head of the federal government AKA The Man. Money is allocated by Congress, by the way, not the President.

    • Adam April 30, 2020 (2:17 pm)

      So what you’re saying is to not “Question Authority”?

    • JB April 30, 2020 (2:27 pm)

      Yeah, come on Seattle… You need to plaaaaaaay ball! blech. 

    • BBILL April 30, 2020 (2:46 pm)

      Maybe Trump shouldn’t poop on Washington state. Beyond that, there is little chance that funding for bridge replacement/repairs will pass the Senate with McConnell as the majority leader.

    • Also John April 30, 2020 (4:33 pm)

      I agree….  We’ll need to praise, praise and praise to get anything out of the DC Administration.

  • Lagartija Nick April 30, 2020 (12:09 pm)

    The irony of a bunch of people complaining about the Seattle process – contributing to the Seattle process! There are times when not everyone’s voice needs to be heard.

    • newnative April 30, 2020 (2:02 pm)

      The voice of reason in the cacophony. 

    • T April 30, 2020 (3:52 pm)

      Thank you! I have been trying to think of a polite way to say that.

    • D April 30, 2020 (4:16 pm)

      Say it, LN! It does not pass the smell test to say this is not about blame and politics and at the same time make SDOT and the city the enemy and saying “nothing resonates with us.” Easy to sit on the sidelines, cast stones, ride in on a hero horse and say your participation is going to make everything better. You’re making it about you. If you really have to get involved and actually think your presence will unequivocally CONTRIBUTE, why don’t you collaborate with SDOT and parties that have decision-making authority and resources instead of making them defensive and turning this into an Us vs. Them? Otherwise, you’re just mucking the waters up and taking focus and resources away from where it should be: fixing the problem.

  • Bob Lang April 30, 2020 (12:20 pm)

    So excited to hear about this.  This is exactly what we need.   WE NEED A BRIDGE NOW.THIS IS A STATE OF EMERGENCY.  

    • Jovid19 April 30, 2020 (4:42 pm)

      I do like their approach. While they do this, let’s also add a coalition to “convey panic and doom”. Just to cover all angles. 

  • Steve April 30, 2020 (12:24 pm)

    I am confused…sense of urgency now? What about urgency since 2013? Is sense of urgency in Seattle a 7 year thing? Don’t worry Durkin’s priorities are library fines…not the bridge. Zimbabwe is not to blame for failure of the bridge…but failure to come up with an appropriate solution. $100k+ salary and no solution. 

    • BBILL April 30, 2020 (1:38 pm)

      I suggest reading all the inspection reports from 2013. The “urgency” was CTO (“Continue To Observe”).

      • Paul April 30, 2020 (3:49 pm)

        Read the report- turns out the bridge still cracked. How about them apples?! Its still cracked. 

  • East Coast Cynic April 30, 2020 (12:36 pm)

    I’m not surprised Zimbabwe and Durkan have prevaricated discussing when the bridge would be rebuilt or in Durkan’s case, not saying anything:  Ultimately, rebuilding the bridge will require a huge ask for federal funding and that may be dependent to a large extent on how the 2020 election turns out.  a Trump re-election won’t bode well for federal funding of city transit infrastructure since republicans believe that cities and states should fund their own transit infrastructure, particularly a blue city in a blue state.  Even a Biden election isn’t a guarantee of success with a republican majority congress.  Neither politician wants to put themselves out there with an answer where they don’t know how the very likely fractious politics will play out for a potentially very expensive project.

    • KM April 30, 2020 (1:35 pm)

      A fantastic point. In my own industry we generally hold our breath during the election year and strategize around changes in administration, good or bad. It’s an important point that many might not consider if their work isn’t affected by election year spending regarding grants or other revenue sources, or federal agencies that have leadership appointments from the White House.

    • TCADDLE April 30, 2020 (2:38 pm)

      Well put.  And, I believe you are absolutely correct.

    • mi May 3, 2020 (9:31 pm)

      Congress appropriates funds not the executive. Funding would either be in the next stimulus bill or FY21 appropriations. The hang up would likely be in the senate.

  • Commuter513 April 30, 2020 (12:38 pm)

    The best solution for most people is going to be to move out of West Seattle unfortunately. There is no way that the bridge issue will be fixed within 2 years. Its been over a month and they’re still planning to make plans to come up with ideas that might be used for a fix. It’ll be Fall before they have any solid plans at this rate. the two bridges they ARE offering people to use are not going to last that long either once the full volume of people begins. Commutes are going to triple. House owners may be stuck but renters can certainly relocate if possible. We already are. Its not worth the aggravation to deal with the commute. Buying a bike and riding transit won’t fix this for most people. I shouldn’t have to get up 2.5 hours before I need to be at work just to ride the bus when I used to be able to drive and get there in 30 mins. SDOT isn’t going to move any faster just because people complain. They won’t do anything unless one of the “important” people is directly impacted. 

    • john bocchetti April 30, 2020 (5:06 pm)

      We had the Cypress 880 freeway collapse during the San Francisco 1989 quake, which proved that concrete structure are brittle in nature and too heavy to span over water or soils near waterfronts and quake zones.  Like our all new concrete sinking millennium tower  in the city, built on bay fill and sinking. We tore down the embarcadero freeway leaving the Port of San Francisco redeveloped, similar to the Alaska Way Viaduct..

  • West Seattle Lurker April 30, 2020 (12:44 pm)

    My neighborhood is a lot quieter since the bridge closed. I’d be disinclined to vote for any sort of additional tax levy to fund the repair/replacement of the bridge. 

    • West Seattle Hipster April 30, 2020 (2:33 pm)

      Great logic.  I guess your need for peace & quiet outweighs the greater good of your fellow Seattleites.  

    • RME April 30, 2020 (2:59 pm)

      Kind of hard to distinguish if your neighborhood being quieter is due to the bridge or the literal STAY AT HOME order that was issued the same day…. SMH 

      • West Seattle Lurker April 30, 2020 (6:57 pm)

        The bridge being closed has improved air quality and reduced noise pollution. In the age of climate change, there’s no way I could advocate a replacement knowing the pollution that comes with it. I live north of the bridge and yes, the traffic has been reduced more so than it would’ve been through a stay at home order. I’m not certain the greater good of my fellow citizens involves the easiest form of transportation, they may think it does, but the pollution is not something that can be taken for granted at this point. 

  • anonyme April 30, 2020 (12:46 pm)

    To date, I’ve thought the comments expressing frustration over the lack of movement on the bridge issue were premature.  However, moments ago I heard the mayor on KUOW spouting exactly the same talking points as over a month ago, not a word of progress at any level, including the apparently straightforward debate over whether to repair or rebuild.  That decision could and should have been made by now.  I am henceforth joining the “they need a kick in the aSS” brigade.

  • Citizen Sane April 30, 2020 (12:54 pm)

    Great idea – we need a citizen’s group that is truly ready to hold City Hall’s feet to the fire on this one. West Seattle is Seattle’s single biggest neighborhood, and losing the WS bridge is a catastrophe for the whole City.Don’t think so? Please keep in mind that West Seattle is one of the City’s chief sources of (relatively) affordable housing. Think of the pressure the loss of ready access to the peninsula will have on the affordability of housing in the rest of the City. That place you thought you could afford on Beacon Hill? Fugheddaboutit! Hello Rainier Valley? Get ready for the Gentrification Steamroller!

    One thing for sure: we don’t have the luxury of approaching this in the usual ‘Seattle Way’. We don’t have time for endless rounds of public meetings where we solicit the input of every yoo-hoo from Rainier Beach to Shoreline. We don’t have time or money to waste in the name of Diversity/Equity/Inclusion ™. We don’t have time for EcoFantasies that we’re all going to give up our cars for transit and bicycles. Seattle isn’t Amsterdam.

    This is going to cost money, and a LOT of it. The halcyon days of being able to hurl buckets of money at projects without any accountability or expectation of quantifiable result (see: Seattle’s homeless programs) are over. The days of Seattle’s cozy inbred cronyism (see: SDOT, Scott Kubly, and the Pronto bikeshare fiasco) are over.The future is going to be lean. And mean. Those who can’t deliver anything beyond excuses and rhetoric need to be purged, and their places taken by people who are hired for their ability to solve problems and get results, and not just their ‘intersectionality’.

    • WS Neighbor April 30, 2020 (2:02 pm)

      West Seattle also has a community college that will be negatively impacted by this. This bridge closure is and will continue to affect the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of South Seattle College employees and students, particularly those who live outside of West Seattle. Enrollment is already down due to the quarantine and C-19 risks. It’s expected to be much worse soon due to the WS bridge debacle. 

      • WSB April 30, 2020 (2:53 pm)

        Access to SCC is actually easy via the detour route (1st Ave. S. Bridge, then to Highland Park Way, uphill to 16th.

        • Quiz May 1, 2020 (10:12 am)

          @WSB, yup, until traffic returns. It’ll be a slog.

  • Tcaddle April 30, 2020 (12:56 pm)

    What I find interesting is that while SDOT fiddles, studies, and procratinates, the failure mechanism of cracks continues to advance.  The bridge will fail and probably will take the lower bridge with it when it does.  No amount of study and a large tube of super magic glue will make it better.  So, SDOT engineers, time to make some decisions about how to shore up the failure so it may be orderly removed.  Then a steel center span replacement may be installed.

    • tsurly April 30, 2020 (1:53 pm)

      “So, SDOT engineers, time to make some decisions about how to shore up the failure so it may be orderly removed. ”

      What do you think their consultant WSP has been doing for the past month?

      • Dan April 30, 2020 (7:20 pm)

        Reasonable workable expedient solutions exist.  They just need to move to implement!

  • Seaviewer April 30, 2020 (1:01 pm)

    How much would it cost to buy out the right of all the Duwamish Waterway land owners to bring any boat taller than say 65 feet ever? You would still be able to bring barges and tugs and non-masted pleasure craft (anything that would pass under the Ballard or Montlake, or low West Seattle bridges without necessitating a bridge opening.The low bridge is already 46 feet above the water. Spokane street is probably another 20 above that. Just extend Spokane Street like it’s a freeway overpass and be done with it.There is so much infrastructure leading to both ends of this crumbling bridge. The Triangle, the new exits to 1st and 4th avenue, Admiral way, a repaved Avalon, etc. etc. that we obviously have to replace the bridge.It would be much much cheaper to just run Spokane Street flat and not have to build another 140 plus foot high span. 

    • WSJ April 30, 2020 (1:31 pm)

      This will never happen, for dozens of reasons that have been explained repeatedly here and elsewhere. Why won’t thins idea die already? We are not going to seal off the duwamish as a commercial waterway simply because your commute is longer now, or because you think (incorrectly) that low bridges are somehow cheaper and easier than high ones when we already have the approaches built for the high one.Replacing the broken span in place makes 1000x more sense than a radical redo of the entire road and maritime system. 

    • BBILL April 30, 2020 (1:33 pm)

      What you are suggesting would take an act of Congress, as there is practically no chance the Coast Guard would approve. What you’d need to show is that the waterway would *never* be used by *any* vessels that need the height in the future. Again, it’d probably be easier to just get Congress to act, and get the president to sign the act into law. Also even if you somehow knew that the Coast Guard would approve if you were able to buy all the property (READ: $$$$$$$), the approval would take a minimum of 3 to 5 years. Faster, cheaper and easier to design around the busy navigation channel.

    • JeffK May 1, 2020 (6:30 am)

      I support  this too Seaviewer, it would knock YEARS off the replacement bridge.  Get an act of Congress if necessary, high-masted schooners and liberty ships be damned!

  • Joe April 30, 2020 (1:04 pm)

    Good news. Most of what we’ve heard from SDOT are CYA excuses. That is not what we need now. This is a catastrophe for West Seattle. They need to sprint. Get the very best people working on this 24/7/365. 

  • Ben April 30, 2020 (1:10 pm)

    I’m surprised the Army Corps of Engineers are not providing solutions, being that they are right there on the duwamish river and this closure will affect them too.

    • Keith April 30, 2020 (2:03 pm)

      agreed!!! its not like you need to build something across the grand canyon.. its only a few hundred feet of the Duwamish. One temp structure in each direction. Restrict boat movements to certain hours off peak and build it so it can  be moved for marine traffic in those off peak hours. Once over the Dumwamish car can rejoin the WS Bridge as they do no on the undamaged piece. 

      • Unicorn April 30, 2020 (4:19 pm)

        Yeah ok, just build two temporarily bridges that you can quickly move for boats. And hook them up to existinf roads. How hard can that possibly be?! (Answer: extremely hard, extremely expensive, not at all realistic, and a bugger engineering project that simply replacing the existing span) 

  • BBILL April 30, 2020 (1:11 pm)

    Some geologist suggest that Mt. Rainier could erupt “soon.” Hopefully there will be some agreement on just how soon is. If people are thinking there is an option to open the bridge in a couple of weeks, then months will seem like an eternity, but if there is general agreement that no such option exists, that the quickest the bridge will open is 4 or 5 years, minimum, then soon is defined by a different amount of time. “During the past several thousand years large lahars have reached the Puget Sound lowland on average at least once every 500 to 1,000 years.” https://geology.com/usgs/rainier/

    • uncle loco April 30, 2020 (6:09 pm)

      Mt Rainier isn’t the source for the Duwamish/Green River. No lahars here, we’d just be buried in ash.

  • Wild Willy April 30, 2020 (1:18 pm)

    Good to see some positive action. Hi do I join the group? Just thinking that West Seattle should be prioritized by Sound Transit as to construction of light rail. The existing bridge, if it must be replaced, should include light rail and we should be first instead of last for light rail extension. A properly designed light rail would certainly change my mode of transportation to and from downtown, stadiums, airport etc. Transit system now is really not an option.

    • BBILL April 30, 2020 (1:24 pm)

      I-976 sponsored by Tim Eyman and passed by the voters has put Sound Transit funding into limbo. It is my guess that it would be near impossible for Sound Transit to prioritize such a project without securing the funding to support such prioritization.

      • Joe Z April 30, 2020 (2:11 pm)

        Sound Transit has a good case that I-976 does not apply to its MVET taxes. So the more likely scenario is that light rail money will be easier to come by than car/highway money.

      • Pdiddy April 30, 2020 (3:31 pm)

        Dont mix the reason that passed. ST3 was cheating and lying and way over valuing car taxes which I am guess you probably dont suffer from. It was the right thing to do. They need to be more fair with how they pay for things. A head tax for that which is not excessive would make it much more fair. Dont go on about expensive cars til we talk about taxing the msrp of al those carbon fiber and TI bikes I see the rich guys on.

        • BBILL May 1, 2020 (1:12 pm)

          There was no “lying” since the formula for car valuation was approved by the voters.

        • West Seattle Lurker May 1, 2020 (4:03 pm)

          I have a carbon fiber bike I bought used on Craigslist for a very reasonable price. Am I gettin taxed? 

    • Um, No! April 30, 2020 (1:45 pm)

      Light Rail will not be included in the fix/replacement.   Right now,  all that really needs to be replaced are the 3 spans in question.  While still a big job, nothing compared to what it would be to work light rail into the fix.  Trying to include light rail would require pretty much the entire elevated section on road between I5 and the approaches going in and out of WS near Nucor to be reworked and likely replaced. So instead of a 2 or 3 year fix,  you would likely be looking at a 5 to 7 year fix.  No thank you.  Fix the bridge,  that is the number one priority. 

    • Boop April 30, 2020 (2:03 pm)

      Can we also have a bike and walking path on the new bridge.  Maybe a place at the top to enjoy city views?

      • tsurly April 30, 2020 (3:38 pm)

        And take away a single inch for those put upon car drivers? I think not. 

      • Um, No! April 30, 2020 (3:43 pm)

        And a bungee jumping platform.   $40 bucks a jump.  Pay it off in no time!

  • smittytheclown April 30, 2020 (1:19 pm)


  • Craig April 30, 2020 (1:47 pm)

    Good news! I’m all for this approach. If the 520 or I90 bridge was shut down I’d expect it to be priority with government, but the WS bridge dies and nothing from leaders has happened other than agreeing that the bridge is not open for traffic. We need a plan now – even if it’s scope of ideas and estimations of cost. This new group will help that accountability and speed along. It’s what WS deserves. 

  • Krs April 30, 2020 (1:49 pm)

    Thank you, thank you to the group doing this! 

  • Keith April 30, 2020 (1:53 pm)

    In Genoa Italy the bridge completely collapsed. The whole thing was rebuilt and fixed in 7 MONTHS. We are dealing with a few hundred feet of cracks(It took 3 years to build the entire WS structure from nothing). Why not cut out\crane out the problem pieces and precision pour following the exact same original construction model used to build the bridge. Stop worrying about stopping it cracking and accept it. Worry about removing the bad pieces and fix.. 2 Years I dont think so to do this workRefer here:  https://westseattleblog.com/2020/04/extra-italian-bridges-rapid-rebuild-sparks-west-seattle-imagination/

    • WSJ April 30, 2020 (4:16 pm)

      “Stop worrying about the cracking”… how many dead bodies are you willing to accept for this to happen? How long are you ok with the lower bridge being closed because it fell down on it? Because that would be the result of just skipping the shoring work.

  • Ingolf Stern April 30, 2020 (2:07 pm)

    This bridge mess sucks for those with an interest in things as they were.
    That is true true true. And real. Like the virus though, here is an opportunity to make things better going forward, and not to simply try to remake what was there before. My neighborhood is a LOT nicer since all the traffic has been reduced by the virus. Seriously – there is an up side here, though it may be in the intermediate or long term time frame. How much better would WS be without easy access to downtown? Bedroom communities are always bad places to live because the cars take over.
    Take Kitsap County as an example. A bridge to Seattle would RUIN it. It is only its relative inaccessibility to Seattle and Tacoma that makes it a nice place to live. I know about this retort – “I bought my house so I could work in Seattle….” That is true and real. But the future can be BETTER.

    • East Coast Cynic April 30, 2020 (3:01 pm)

      Your vision of West Seattle as Bremerton 2.0 might work provided we have Washington State Ferry infrastructure installed and Ferries made available to our peninsula since those little water taxis won’t work with our larger population.  Maybe the future can be better, but there must be reasonable and timely transit access to the mainland Puget Sound cause some of us have jobs we gotta get to so we can pay the mortgages on our homes in our nice quiet neighborhoods.

    • RCS April 30, 2020 (3:17 pm)

      This comment is even more idiotic than people saying “buy a bike”. Make it hard for people to get here? Make it hard for people to leave? You mean make West Seattle exclusive to the privileged. Sit down. 

  • Lagartija Nick April 30, 2020 (2:14 pm)

    Judging from the comments the “build it now” crew are happy. I wonder if they’ll still be happy after this project is delayed because the principal’s involved (SDOT and mayor) wasted precious time responding to every comment, criticism, and request for information/updates?. You do understand that your incessant need for answers yesterday will big the whole process down, right?

    • Um, No! April 30, 2020 (4:45 pm)

       Give me a break.  People asking questions and wanting answers is not taking away from their efforts or abilities.  Incompetence? Well……..?  If anything the constant roar of the unhappy West Seattle community is kicking their butts into gear.  So sure, let’s sit back and be quiet and have confidence our silence will make this process go much faster.   Like it or not, in today’s world, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. 

    • Seattle Sucks May 1, 2020 (5:38 am)

      The “stop complaining” attitude is a major part of the reason Seattle leadership thinks they can ignore this crisis. Complain. Advocate. Never let up until Seattle ends their lazy lazy lazy practice of being the best in the country at getting NOTHING done. Durkan is failure every single day that bridge sits broken and empty. The people of West Seattle who sit at wait are equally lazy. Get to work Seattle!! Stop being so lazy and fix the bridge!!

  • Ingolf Stern April 30, 2020 (2:17 pm)

    This might be useful for folks to consider – perhaps the best model we have for a bridge replacement project is the Tacoma Narrows. That project took five years of construction. Also, the funding was hybrid public-private, and resulted in tolls.The replacement WS bridge is VERY likely to follow that same model.Just saying – it’s going to be a while.

    • Avalon Neighbor April 30, 2020 (4:17 pm)

      A much better model is the I-35W bridge replacement in Minneapolis after its collapse. That was replaced in just 14 months–because there was a sense of urgency related to it as a major commuter and truck route, just like the WS Bridge. Tacoma Narrows wasn’t a replacement, but an expansion. There the original bridge was in operation throughout construction of the new span, so there was no similar urgency.

      • WSJ April 30, 2020 (4:55 pm)

        Hate to break it to you, but the WSB is not a major commercial interstate, and the comparison to I35 is not really valid. Most major commercial traffic is over the lower bridge, and a bedroom community’s commute is not a justification for federal $. 

        • BBILL May 1, 2020 (1:13 pm)

          “a bedroom community’s commute is not a justification for federal $.” Interesting. The history I’ve read suggests federal dollars did pay for the bridge. Any source on no federal dollars being used?

  • Mj April 30, 2020 (2:46 pm)

    If the Coast Guards required clearance of 140′ can be refined it would open up a potentially quicker and cost effective options such say building an arched support structure under the existing bridge to add strength to the existing structure at the weak points. 

    This lowered clearance could also aid future Light Rail

    • sna April 30, 2020 (3:25 pm)

      The idea that a lower bridge (or adding light rail) can be done cheaper comes from a lack of understanding of what part of the bridge needs repair or replacement and which parts of the elevated structure is ok.  There are east  and west approaches to the high bridge which are about 120 feet above ground.  Those don’t need fixing.  You’re stuck with a high bridge unless you turn this into a much much larger project. 

    • BBILL April 30, 2020 (3:36 pm)

      To get the Coast Guard to approve a lower clearance would realistically take 3 to 5 years, and the lower clearance might not be approved, so all that time could be spent fixing the current bridge–“why did you waste all that time trying to get the Coast Guard to approve something everyone knew would not get approved?”

  • John April 30, 2020 (2:52 pm)

    Unfortunately and with a very sad heart, I have had to pull the trigger on moving out of West Seattle PURELY due to the closure of the bridge. As a essential employee, my normal 20 minute commute took 90 minutes (one way) the other day – and that was on a low-traffic day. Can’t even imagine the nightmare when even a small amount of traffic resumes. This IS a total disaster.

    • West Seattle since 1979 April 30, 2020 (3:05 pm)

      Sadly you probably won’t be the only one.  

    • Vic April 30, 2020 (5:40 pm)

      Sorry to hear you had to make a tough decision. Can I ask where you commute to? I’ve driven from Gatewood to Kirkland via the detour during “rush hour” times and it took max 45 min… surely it will be worse when traffic normalizes but I’m curious how far you travel that it takes 90 minutes one way?

    • Chelsea April 30, 2020 (9:03 pm)

      Where do you work? We are considering the same. We just bought a house in WS 6 months ago too. I am also an essential worker.

    • Bee May 1, 2020 (1:58 am)

      My s/o and I are both nurses at UW that rent in WS. We are now sadly looking at apts up north. A commute greater than 45min or more is not feasible when you work 12-16hr shifts. We can’t imagine a situation where it is better than that but are hopeful transit figures something out.

  • Jenkins April 30, 2020 (3:04 pm)

    The idea that action on the bridge isn’t moving forward as quickly as it could because people aren’t screaming at officials to “DO SOMETHING NOW” hard enough is asinine to the point of absurdity.

    • Me April 30, 2020 (8:33 pm)

      Not asinine, in the least.  Take a look at Magnolia’s bridge for a better idea of SDOT’s ability to drag things out to infinity. 

  • Jules James April 30, 2020 (3:15 pm)

    Need money?  Please take the $40M Move Seattle Levy money for the entirely unnecessary and unwanted RR-J (Roosevelt-Eastlake).   Seems kinda silly we spend money on “Rapid” road when a huge swath of Seattle doesn’t have a road at all.

    • D Del Rio April 30, 2020 (5:40 pm)

      I agree. Another thing is “Rapid Ride” is not very rapid. When the C Line took over the bus 54, my commute, my commute took just as long. If you include the extra time it took to get to the new bus stop, it actually took me 20 minutes longer coming home. I won’t even talk about when they took away the 21 Arbor Heights. Lucky for me I live on the very edge of that neighborhood.

  • Pdiddy April 30, 2020 (3:21 pm)

    I have thought a lot about this and if only ten years of life is what a repair gives you then start demoing the existing bridge now and get busy rebuilding. As a matter of fact demo all the way to at least 99 and fix that loop mess to get on that. Im tempted to say go all the way to I5 and just be done with it or expand that section. Might as well roll in the light rail tracks. I would not mind a bike path similar to what they have on the 520\I90 bridges that you could use to somehow connect to that. Maybe run a bike path through the other side of I5 til it picks up the trail that runs you to the sound to mountains path (not sure of that trail name)? I also question if the bridge really needs to be that high? But they need to get busy fast.

  • Mj April 30, 2020 (3:46 pm)

    Regarding Coast Guard standards at mouth of Duwamish 250′ horizontal and 140′ vertical, at 1st Ave to 14th they are 150′ and 135′, respectively.  It seams some refinement could be looked into such as simply establishing 150′ horizontal with 135′ clearance from the mouth of Duwamish to 14th.  This would allow a support structure to be installed under the existing bridge and utilizes the existing structures to the west and east.

  • mem April 30, 2020 (4:22 pm)

    On August 2, 2007 the I-35 bridge collapsed in Minneapolis during rush hour. “Within HOURS of the bridge’s demise, politicians pledged to rebuild the bridge at an accelerated pace.” (Found on link below.)  By August 6th, President Bush signed legislation to fund re-building of the bridge which was facilitated by efforts from Rep Jim Oberstar-R and Senators Amy Klobarchar-D and Norm Coleman-R. Governor Tim Pawlenty- R and Mayor R.T. Rybak-D worked in concert to ensure that the replacement bridge included bus rapid transit and future light-rail lines fulfilling the mass transit needs for future generations. The 10-lane bridge was re-opened September 8, 2008.  FUNDING IN FOUR DAYS AND BUILT IN FOURTEEN MONTHS!!!I purposely noted the city, state, and federal government officials and their parties to highlight not only the bi-partisan cooperation, but urgency that each level of government gave to this project. The similarities between this bridge and the West Seattle Bridge are striking. An estimated 141,000 vehicles for the I-35 and 125,000 for the WS Bridge. Both bridges were originally 4 lanes but were re-striped to accommodate increased traffic not anticipated at time of construction. Both had “load issues” that attributed to their failures. Obviously the I-35 bridge couldn’t be rebuilt but waiting TWO YEARS to determine the viability of the WS Bridge is an unrealistic “ask” from city officials and SDoT. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all the West Seattle community leaders mentioned in this article. We need swift, decisive action on this catastrophic development for all the residents of West Seattle. (My hope is that anyone reading this blog can see who to contact to get this bridge replacement started and what are realistic expectations.) PLEASE, PLEASE send an email to Mayor Durkan, the whole city council, Rep. Jayapal, and Senators Murray and Cantwell. The rapid response and efforts exhibited by all the MN politicians should be replicated by ours! The WSBlog keeps a running tally on how many weeks the bridge has been closed and we are no closer to a tenable, realistic solution. I have very little confidence in Director Zimbabwe or the current SDoT team.  Their response to the bridge closure and solutions have been underwhelming to say the least!! It is truly a travesty that we have wasted 6 weeks already.  Yes, we have been handed a one-two punch with both the bridge failure and Covid-19. And unfortunately,  we have to deal with them simultaneously.  But the reality is, we have to replace the bridge regardless of what else is happening.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-35W_Saint_Anthony_Falls_Bridgehttps://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/guides/guides?issue=bridges

    • WSJ April 30, 2020 (5:00 pm)

      Interstate routes and city roads. Apples and oranges. 

      • Quiz May 1, 2020 (10:21 am)

        @WSJ, Yes, in a sense. But also, not at all.

      • Michael Bailey May 1, 2020 (8:53 pm)

        does @wsj work for the city? They troll like their job is on the line.Also, it can be done if there is political will. This is not a significant engineering problem. The water gap is actually not that large. 

  • Ernie April 30, 2020 (4:37 pm)

    Apples and oranges to the Twin Cities bridge.The Minneapolis bridge as noted COLLAPSED.The West Seattle Bridge has NOT COLLAPSED.Maybe if all of us complaining about time frame could gather on our bridge and hasten its demise, those left could have a new bridge in record time!

  • Fluffylongshanks April 30, 2020 (4:39 pm)

    Another way to solve the trips problem is to stop being such a bedroom community. Easier than building a bridge – re-zone some areas for high rise mixed commercial, incentivize developers to build out the space, and incentivize employers to use it.

    And build a hospital over here already.

    • AJP May 1, 2020 (8:53 am)

      There’s a hospital in Burien, no bridges required to get there. 

  • Mark Schletty April 30, 2020 (5:09 pm)

    As I mentioned earlier, I get the Mayor’s weekly priority items. I also get most of the agendas for the City Council Committees and the full Council meetings. As of now (possible I might has missed one) I have not seen any report, or even mention, of our bridge in any of them.  Anyone thinking the City Council or the Mayor is acting with a sense of critical emergency needs to think again. If they were, there would be constant reports from staff on what is happening. I am very familiar with how  city governments work, here and in other cities, and this is not how they work in an emergency.

    • WSB April 30, 2020 (5:28 pm)

      The City Council has had two Monday briefing meetings about the bridge – we covered both of them, 3/30 and 4/20. The full meeting on 3/30 included action on adding a capital-improvement item for the bridge. Beyond that, because the governor’s rules have led to the suspension of committee meetings, don’t expect to see anything else unless a specific item needs council approval. (If committees were meeting, Councilmember Pedersen’s Transportation Committee would have certainly had a few discussions by now, at least. He meantime has called for a city audit of all bridges.)

      Councilmember Herbold has had weekly updates in her newsletters, which are also posted at http://herbold.seattle.gov.

      And SDOT Blog has had various posts, also crosslinked to the official bridge-project website. (Nothing new this week,though.)

      These may not be the type of update you’re looking for, but if you haven’t seen “any” report, that’s where you should be looking.

  • A Boy Named Sue April 30, 2020 (5:09 pm)

    How do we turn this into a West Seattle community funded lawsuit?  West Seattleites need to pool resources and hire the best lawyers to hold the city accountable. That is how Magnolia, Queen Anne, Laurelhurst, Madison Park, etc. always get what they want.  West Seattle needs to do the same or the city will just walk all over us.

    • GAM April 30, 2020 (5:49 pm)

      If they have website,  or a Patreon account set up,  or some other way to make donations,  I’d donate.    They’ll need a war chest.

    • uncle loco April 30, 2020 (6:20 pm)

      Magnolia has been waiting for a new bridge since I think before the WS high rise bridge was even built.

    • Ernie April 30, 2020 (6:44 pm)

      Whoops! Sue certainly didn’t do his homework regarding Magnolia Bridge which was damaged in Nisqually Quake 2001, was promised a replacement…Seattle Processed,,,and still has not been replaced.

      • A Boy Named Sue April 30, 2020 (7:59 pm)

        Hi Ernie!

        • Is the Magnolia bridge closed? (the answer is no)
        • How many ingress/egress options are available to Magnolia residents? (the answer is 4)
        • What is the population of Magnolia? (the answer is 22,000)
        • What is the population of West Seattle? (the answer is 80,000)
        • How much ferry traffic to/from Magnolia? ( the answer is zero)
        • How much ferry traffic to/from West Seattle? ( the answer is a lot)
        • Who didn’t do his homework? (the answer is Ernie)
        • Lawsuit? April 30, 2020 (8:36 pm)

          So tell me Sue, has Magnolia been successful in getting a new bridge? What lawsuits can you cite related to the bridge? I agree we absolutely deserve $ for ours before they do for theirs, but don’t pretend that they’re getting anything done via the courts.

        • Ernie May 1, 2020 (1:47 pm)

          SUE’s claim that Magnolia and other neighborhoods “ always get what they want” is what I am challenging.  Regardless of SUE’s impressive new research about Magnolia Bridge, none of it has anything to do with the false claim.  The Magnolia Bridge it is still waiting to be built and Magnolia has not got what they want.

    • West Seattle since 1979 April 30, 2020 (7:21 pm)

      At least until we get this fixed, which from a later post I can see is being worked on, do we really want the City’s time and money taken up with responding to lawsuits? 

  • Don Brubeck April 30, 2020 (6:46 pm)

    If you don’t think that forensic engineering investigation,  analysis, engineering design, managing the local, state and federal agencies and permits,  preparing coordinated construction documents, and bidding  are part of the work of repairing or replacing a structure, and take time, then you should expect the “quick fix” to be poorly analyzed, badly designed, cost more than it should, take longer to finish, have unexpected environmental impacts, and fail prematurely.  How many more times do you want to do this? 

    • mem April 30, 2020 (7:42 pm)

      There’s no apples to oranges. Nor Ernie, do we have to wait for a collapse. I am thankful to SDOT for preventing that!  Yet each bridge had an immediate closure that impacted  100,000 + travelers/ day. Both bridges are extremely important to the larger community, plus both have federal guidelines that impact their structures. Unfortunately, you’re missing the point I was trying to make….it requires a concerted effort on multiple levels of government to do this job and do it quickly. We don’t have YEARS to make a determination on the viability of the bridge. Think out-of-the-box people! Get this done. 

  • Todd April 30, 2020 (6:57 pm)

    Aurora Bridge was built in 1932 and is still operating, why wasn’t the WSB built out of steel and not concrete?  I’m sure the “WS engineers” that comment all the time will shoot this comment down, but just curious. The Aurora Bridge is 2,945 ft (898 m) long, 70 ft (21 m) wide, 167 ft (51 m) above the water. 

  • Beachteach April 30, 2020 (7:10 pm)

    Until a new bridge is constructed, the city MUST change the way the lower bridge is used…. freight trucks should have special hours, as should cars….. right now commerce is deemed more important than people…. that is just WRONG.

  • KT April 30, 2020 (7:52 pm)

    … most of what’s been heard from SDOT is “it’s not our fault” and “trust us, we’re doing everything we can … That is a darn good summary in just twenty words.   

  • Delridge420 April 30, 2020 (8:02 pm)

    Not sure why this group isn’t more focused on traffic mitigation since that is the only thing that we can realistically adjust in the near-term regardless of how successful any effort to pressure SDOT and the council ends up being. Has there been any discussion of new electronic signage advising drivers of estimated drive times to different destinations outside of West Seattle, similar to what they already have in certain parts of the city (4th Ave S comes to mind)?  Seems like that would be a useful recommendation from this group as it could help channel traffic away from already clogged routes or prompt people to delay or cancel trips.  

  • MW April 30, 2020 (8:16 pm)

    I haven’t made it through all comments yet.  But that thing about Herbolds office synthesizing 1000 comments for SDOT and Herbold saying, “they’re willing to listen to anything at this point” made my husband turn and remark, “wow, thats like if you go to your doctor and he says ‘gather your friends’ opinions and let me know what they think’.”   It’s the kind of thing you can’t forget.  

  • WAP April 30, 2020 (9:23 pm)

    The solution is not difficult on “paper”-suspension bridges are far less expensive and quicker to build i.e less concrete, etc. ( yes from an engineer).- Federal money will not happen with our current representative, senators, and governor.  Sometimes sad, however reality is……politics makes things happen and Wa state is irrelevant in federal eyes today. No one in Seattle seems to understand this…. even less in WS where I live.   Pointing fingers, rally groups, etc strike the emotional side, however cost effective designs ( suspension bridge) and political connections get things done.  Sadly Seattle, especially WS does not want to “bend” opinions or change historical voting so………be ready for a very long, bungled mess.

    • West Seattle since 1979 May 1, 2020 (6:34 am)

      The current *federal* administration is the real problem. Maybe that’ll change in November.

  • Ws1 April 30, 2020 (10:17 pm)

    What marinas are upstream that require such a high bridge? Could they be relocated (with compensation) so a lower and cheaper bridge could be built?

    • WSB April 30, 2020 (10:38 pm)

      It’s not marinas, it’s businesses that rely on water transport. Examples: LaFarge, CalPortland, Alaska Marine Lines, and those are just a few on the West Seattle side.

      • JeffK May 1, 2020 (6:38 am)

        What are the actual navigation heights required by these businesses?  Not their theoretical right of a once-in-100-years-load-height, but what they really need for loads and/or ships/tugs?

        • BBILL May 1, 2020 (1:16 pm)

          “Not their theoretical right of a once-in-100-years-load-height, but what they really need for loads and/or ships/tugs” The Coast Guard does consider the possibility of a ‘once-in-100-years-load-height’ as part of the review process. If you want to quickly lower the navigation channel height, what’s needed is an act of Congress for this specific section. I bet it’d be easier just to get Congress to fund a new high bridge.

    • WSJ May 1, 2020 (10:58 am)

      Lower bridges are not necessarily cheaper. A new low bridge might require completely re-doing the viaduct portions of the existing bridge, adding major time/cost

  • JeffK May 1, 2020 (8:54 am)

    Monthly sit ins stopping traffic for an hour on other bridges throughout the city would be a way to keep pressure on city officials.

  • Quiz May 1, 2020 (10:25 am)

    This is great news. Thanks to this that are organizing the effort. 

  • Kris May 1, 2020 (6:02 pm)

    This is Goverment malfeasance. Knowing there were problems with no contingency planning is inexcusable.  We need a new bridge now.  Engineering should be under way.

  • Mj May 1, 2020 (6:18 pm)

    Shoring up the existing structure, refining the clearance standards and then adding some support columns to the weak spots on the existing structure seems like it could be doable would be cost effective and could be done quickly.

  • Melody May 2, 2020 (7:51 pm)

    We need a water taxi ambulance service. Think of how long now takes with the new “detours” in place when we have medical emergencies…

Sorry, comment time is over.