WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: 13 things HPAC says need to be done ASAP

With no detailed city plan yet for handling West Seattle Bridge-less mobility when the stay-home order lifts, local groups are continuing to spell out their proposals. Today, we hear from HPAC, the community council for the areas most affected by detoured traffic – Highland Park, Riverview, South Delridge. While SDOT guested at HPAC’s meeting April 22nd (WSB coverage here), they had no specifics beyond the Highland Park Way/Holden signal that was installed in the first week post-bridge closure. So HPAC has sent a letter (see it here in PDF) to the mayor, council, and SDOT, noting that “… we are now in week 7 of the closure and very few of the public concerns that have been raised have been adequately addressed.” HPAC has these 13 specific concerns/proposals:

… Issues and areas that need to be addressed before the stay-at-home order is lifted:

1. At the intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden St:

● A left-hand turn signal is needed for turning onto SW Holden from Highland Park Way/9th Ave SW northbound. Currently, traffic coming up the hill on Highland Park Way and going right does not stop, with SW Holden being so narrow, only one car being turning onto SW Holden, so traffic trying to turn left are stuck at the light for several cycles or cutting through SW Portland St at higher speeds.
● Extra traction on the uphill southbound lane on Highland Park Way.
● Separate green signals for pedestrians and drivers in the northwest corner of the intersection.

2. Traffic signal adjustments to address traffic backups at the following intersections:

● Add a left hand turn signal at 16th Ave SW and SW Holden St as previously requested for
over the last 6 years.
● Delridge Way SW and SW Holden St.
● Orchard St. and Delridge Way SW
● 8th St and SW Roxbury St.

3. Traffic calming features on our neighborhood streets:

● For the school zones of Chief Sealth HS, Roxhill Elementary, Sanislo Elementary and Highland Park Elementary.
● Police presence to curb excessive speeding on 16th Ave SW
● Signage at 4-way intersections to ease transit for vehicles, bikes and pedestrians. Signs
along SW Thistle St at 20th and 18th Ave. Stop sign at 11th and Kenyon St.
● Work with the neighborhoods to identify streets to become one-way to help mitigate cut- through traffic.

4. Turning onto SW Holden St from streets both east and west of Delridge Way is extremely difficult with increased traffic.

● Mitigation requested.

5. West Marginal Way S:

● Increase the number of lanes to get onto the on ramp for the 1st Ave bridge.
● Request for better bike lane marking at the intersection with Highland Park Way SW
● Request to fill potholes and fix road deterioration near the railroad tracks
● Request for two lanes northbound at the intersection with Highland Park Way SW

6. Pedestrian path on the east side of Highland Park Way after the SW Holden intersection:

● Request to consider widening the path to allow for more use
● Request to clean moss off from path

7. Left-hand turn signal requests at the following intersections:

● 16th Ave SW and SW Holden St
● 16th Ave SW and SW Roxbury St.
● 8th Ave SW and Roxbury St.

8. King County Metro Route 131

● Make a bus-only lane starting at SW Holden and Highland Park Way going on through to West Marginal Way then over the 1st Ave bridge toward Seattle.
● Request to adjust signal at Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden for bus priority
● Increase Route 131 service.

9. We want to clearly understand the traffic patterns throughout the peninsula. SDoT has never taken into consideration the east-west traffic flow throughout West Seattle. We want to know what routes people are taking and which streets are becoming major arterials. Monitoring should be placed at the following intersections:

● SW Orchard St. and SW 35th Ave
● SW Orchard St. and Delridge Way SW
● SW Holden St. and SW 35th Ave
● SW Holden St. and Delridge Way SW
● SW Thistle St. and California Ave SW
● SW Thistle St. and SW 35th Ave
● SW Thistle St. and Delridge Way SW
● SW Trenton St. and SW 35th Ave
● SW Trenton St. and Delridge Way SW
● SW Barton St. and SW 35th Ave
● SW Henderson St. and Delridge Way SW
● SW Henderson St. and 9th Ave SW
● SW Roxbury St. and 35th Ave SW
● SW Roxbury St. and Delridge Way SW
● SW Roxbury St. and 9th Ave SW
● Olson Pl SW and 1st Ave S

10. For the City of Seattle to increase Metro bus service for access for east and west transit on the peninsula itself i.e. access to California St./ Junction areas only offer the 128, which is hard for the rest of the peninsula to get to without using their cars.

● The transfers through the Westwood Village has been difficult for Highland Park riders since the reroute of the 136/137. Highland Park and Delridge Neighborhoods have been designated food deserts by the city.

11. A commitment from the City to repair the streets that were damaged during the bridge closure.

● Once traffic resumes we will have a better understanding of which of the streets that will be, but assume at least: Roxbury St, Delridge Way SW, SW 35th Ave, Highland Park Way SW, and Olson Way SW.

12. Heavy freight routes clearly designated and enforced.

● This type of vehicle will cause massive and immediate damage to our more residential
streets (i.e. Holden St) and will significantly slow traffic since these types of vehicles will
have issues turning the tight corners. Both Avalon St. and Roxbury with their wider lanes
and concrete enforced lanes are better suited for this type of transit.

13. We want an immediate bridge replacement plan without a $33 million expenditure for the current bridge or a two-year evaluation period. SDOT’s current plan will put an undue burden on the daily lives of our West Seattle residents.

Please learn from the I35 bridge failure and replacement in Minneapolis and the rapid rebuild of the Genoa, Italy bridge. No one waited for two years before making a decision on viability – just replace this bridge.

The $33 millioh reference, if you missed the original report, goes back to the April 15th briefing covered here – it’s the projected cost of stabilizing the bridge, planning traffic control, and doing maintenance on the low bridge.

79 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: 13 things HPAC says need to be done ASAP"

  • Bob Lang May 5, 2020 (9:58 am)

    Great suggestions. I feel Point 13 should be Point number 1.Could not agree more. two years will be wasted and we will be right back at the beginning.  Shoring it up just to take it back down makes no sense to me.  

    • tsurly May 5, 2020 (10:24 am)

      All very good and reasonable requests, with the exception of #13.Bob, it has be discussed sooooooo many times over that the bridge needs to be stabilized before it can be SAFELY demolished, it that is the ultimate route.  How does that not make sense?

      • zark00 May 5, 2020 (12:06 pm)

        The bridge does not need to be stabilized to be demolished.  They’re stabilizing it because they have no plan beyond attempting to fix one bearing.  They’re shoring the bridge so they can then spend more time assessing it to see if they can patch it together and eek another 10 years out of it.  That’s it, that’s all this shoring nonsense is about.  If they had a plan and the money to replace it, there wouldn’t’ be any need to shore it up just to take it down. Shoring it for demolition would only be needed if there were literally pieces of it falling off; it’s not in that bad of a state.The stabilization is required before demo is a popular guess on here, but it’s not needed if they plan to demo the bridge.  Different pieces/piers/etc may have to be stabilized AS they demo, but it’s just like the viaduct, no overall general stabilization needed just to demo the thing.  The stabilization is because they have no plan, they have no idea if they can squeeze 10 more years out of it or if it’s toast, and it’s way cheaper to waste 2 years of our comfort/mobility.  They had to tell us something, and that’s what they came up with.

        • Chemist May 5, 2020 (9:48 pm)

          Look at photos of how the bridge was constructed by building out in both directions from the main supports and then meeting in the middle of the span/the high point.  The cracks aren’t exactly in the middle but you’d be hard pressed to support the uncracked-middle while doing repair or demolition without shoring to make up for the lost strength of the cracked section.  The builders also added bridge deck weight after the span was complete, so I’m not even sure it had the strength to support decking until the support span was completely formed.

        • David Witcraft May 6, 2020 (1:52 am)

          Yes, there are a lot of competing narratives and neither SDOT nor The City have done enough nor clear messaging.  During the Viaduct phases, they overwhelmed us with clear messaging about the phases. They may have raised our expectations too far. I’m disappointed the Council hasn’t held SDOT’s feet to the fire about the other issues raised above, which have been raised before this, and could have been anticipated by a minimally pro-active approach to this situation. When the Closure order is lifted we will realize how much time was wasted.In the North:-W Marginal Wy SW is narrowed to one lane NB. This is most traffic to Junction and everything to Admiral/Alki! They seem to be hoping most road users will disappear for two years. 7 weeks of opportunity for meaningful improvements wasted.-The traffic signal is unchanged since pre-bridge closure. The cycle heavily favors low bridge traffic, which should be minimal but isn’t due to flagrant cheating and disgraceful lack of enforcement. For as many SPD cruisers I see parked next to the road throughout Seattle, no excuse why two can’t be parked on opposite ends of bridge. Photo enforcement is another option. Ignoring the problem isn’t!-I’ve mostly avoided the Highland route, and it has lots of issues, but I try to remember it is a neighborhood, and they didn’t ask for this. How would any of us feel if our neighborhood were transformed into a feeder route? All of the issues they raised are valid and should have been addressed by SDOT weeks ago. The silence is really disappointing, because it rings of resignation that this is beyond mitigation and we can’t accept that from our public servants.

          • WSB May 6, 2020 (9:24 am)

            What lack of enforcement? Police are spending hours there daily. It’s evident both via scanner and via citations logged. Maybe “disgraceful lack of following the rules”? As for where the mitigation plan is – now that the emergency plan is out that really should be next so it’s where our questions are focusing …

        • Tsurly May 6, 2020 (6:23 am)

          Nice tinfoil hat “don’t trust the government” conspiracy theory. Or are you an engineer with relevant experience to back up your claim?

        • WR May 6, 2020 (12:00 pm)

          ZARKOO is exactly right.  They are going to waste a massive  amount of time and money.  

    • Kalo May 5, 2020 (10:34 am)

      Exactly, Bob! We’re already inconvenienced, why go through this again in ten years. Make it one-and-done.

      • Klaptain May 5, 2020 (4:49 pm)

        Hell yah!!  Add lite rail. Let’s move forward, not backwards. 

    • Listen to Yourselves May 5, 2020 (10:41 am)

      Yes! I also prefer my major construction plans to be immediate, reactionary, and sans professional architectural and engineering analyses. Why waste time?  It shouldn’t require any time or planning or data to replace a major bridge that carried 100K vehicles. Just think happy thoughts and draw something up!! And while you draw, go ahead and start tearing down the current bridge right away without shoring it up. Who cares if it collapses during tear-down?! </sarcasm>

      • zark00 May 5, 2020 (12:10 pm)

        Yes, that would be perfectly feasible to begin tearing the bridge down now without a massive shoring project.  that’s not what the shoring they are talking about is for.  It’s for supporting the bridge IF if can be fixed to eek out another 10 years.  No shoring would be needed to just demo the bridge.  That would be ridiculous.  There would be stabilization needed as you demo, just the the viaduct, of course.  This isn’t some master feat of engineering here, it’s demoing one bridge and building another.  Has been done quite a bit.  This is 100% about money.  Tearing down the bridge and building a new one is very expensive, shoring up the existing structure and eeking out another 10 years would be a lot cheaper.

      • Seattle Refugee May 5, 2020 (2:08 pm)

        Well, yes.  This is exactly what everyone above you was saying…..    Just breathe.

  • FedUp May 5, 2020 (10:26 am)

    What about removing the 2 lane to 1 lane to 2 lane around the Duwamish Longhouse? Easy fix and would eliminate bottleneck. The city has done nearly nothing in 7 weeks. The work at Spokane and the Chelan Cafe has not alleviated anything.  West Seattle is being forgotten. The city and the entire city council is not taking this serious.  

    • drm May 5, 2020 (10:53 am)

      Hear hear… 10 times over.

      • Rick May 6, 2020 (12:28 pm)

        Aaahhhh. For the good ‘ole days of a single drawspan. “From before West Seattle was cool”.

    • BBILL May 5, 2020 (10:55 am)

      “The work at Spokane and the Chelan Cafe has not alleviated anything.”
      Repaving an intersection, realigning some lanes at that intersection,
      and signal timing changes is not a substitute for closure of a seven lane bridge, but my
      personal experience is that the traffic flow through the intersection
      has been much better.

      • Andrea May 6, 2020 (10:45 am)

        Same, I find it a much smoother experience in both directions!

    • NQ May 5, 2020 (11:30 am)

      Excellent suggestion.  Maybe it can be put back once we have a permanent bridge solution in place and traffic has returned to ‘normal’.

    • Kalo May 5, 2020 (12:38 pm)

      Fed Up, I contacted SDOT about a month ago about this very thing. Their response:it’s a safety rechanelization for the Duwamish Long House. Seems there won’t be much extra  activity in that area for quite some time and a temporary removal would be most prudent.   

      • Murder Hornet May 5, 2020 (6:47 pm)

        Safety rechannalizationfor what?There’s not a crosswalk there/near there and they facility has a parking lot in back. Anyone crossing there is jaywalking. 

        • WSB May 5, 2020 (8:25 pm)

          Absolutely untrue. The Longhouse is at the corner of W. Marginal Way SW and SW Alaska. Therefore, an unmarked (for now) crosswalk.

          • Murder Hornet May 5, 2020 (11:03 pm)

            The “street” is the driveway into their parking lot in back.  No one is walking across the W. Marginal there.  No one is parking on the other side of W. Marginal and crossing the street there.  

          • WSB May 5, 2020 (11:35 pm)

            Right now, no, they’re not. When things get back closer to normal, they will be again, in addition to the Duwamish Tribe needing access to the culturally important sites on the river. Scroll down this page to learn about the safety/accessibility project.

        • AdmiralBridge May 5, 2020 (10:48 pm)

          I believe the Duwamish bike path (or whatever it is called) does cross nearby there.  Not sure that’s the reason, but half the time I drive past there, no cars parked.  It is a waste that needs to be suspended until a bridge is restored.

          • WSB May 5, 2020 (11:02 pm)

            If you’re judging based on what you’ve seen any time in the past two months, that would be because the Longhouse – like other cultural facilities – is not currently able to host visitors and events.

    • AmandaK May 5, 2020 (6:37 pm)

      You mean the measly 200 or so feet of narrowing that helps protect the people who’s very land we stole?  Niiiiiceee.  Yeah, that’s the solution

      • miws May 5, 2020 (8:57 pm)

        +1 AmandaK…—Mike

  • AdmiralBridge May 5, 2020 (10:28 am)

    Good suggestions.  Haven’t seen much activity out of Admiral or Alki Associations (are they still active)?  We should have some different/similar asks and some of the suggestions (e.g. expanded water taxi service and parking) may help our neighbors to the south.Hope seeing an official agency also urge decisive action on replacing the bridge without evaluating repair/extend adds to the credibility and that we aren’t just whiners…

    • KM May 5, 2020 (11:23 am)

      HPAC is a great community organization, but not an “official agency.” They aren’t a group of  engineers or transportation agencies who design and build massive bridge infrastructure.

  • SML May 5, 2020 (10:36 am)

    Some flashing lights for the crosswalk at 16th and Myrtle like other crosswalks on 16th would be nice. I asked for some after almost being hit and having cars go past me while I am already in the crosswalk and was told no. I guess it will take actually getting hit by a car for that to happen. 

    • Jon Wright May 5, 2020 (11:36 am)

      SDOT is data driven. The good part about that is that if people get run over at a particular location, SDOT will act to address the safety concern. Unfortunately, since SDOT has no statistics for close calls, they won’t act until until somebody really does get hit. I wish there was a better way to drive safety improvements proactively.

      • AMD May 5, 2020 (12:13 pm)

        They respond to community requests as well.  We got some improvements at 13th & Henderson by having a bunch of neighbors write SDoT and spell out the issues.  No serious accidents that I can recall (just a lot of scary moments and near-misses before the barriers new striping etc.).

      • zark00 May 5, 2020 (12:15 pm)

        completely untrue.  SDOT is reactionary, they follow the dollar, and they largely ignore their own data when making decisions about changes to roadways.  There were 3 times the fatality accidents at 35th and Juneau from 2001 to 2016 than at 35th and Graham, but they added the safety controls at graham because Juneau is a defacto throughway from Fauntleroy to 35th.  It’s not supposed to be, SDOT knows that as well, they have conducted several reports themselves measuring the traffic number and speed on Juneau.  But they have no solution, they don’t know how to effectively route traffic from 35th to Fauntleroy in that area, so they just gave up.  SDOT is an extremely poorly run organization.

      • WR May 6, 2020 (12:06 pm)

        There is a better way. SDOT could pay attention to what’s going on. 

    • tmm May 5, 2020 (2:46 pm)

      SML, I have asked repeatedly for the same traffic calming (light-up crossing or more) at  the 16th and Myrtle crossing. It is a heavily used intersection (school/commuter/college traffic, arterial use, people walking to the bus during the week and access to Riverview Fields on the weekends). SDOT reports that the lights (that the Sanislo crossing guard has mentioned are frequently not working) are sufficient to slow traffic down. It’s ridiculous what you have to do to get them to take you seriously.

      • sam-c May 6, 2020 (6:06 am)

        That flashing school light went out a few months ago (the NB one).  I reported it, and it was still out a week and a half later.  I haven’t been by in a long time, but they don’t flash anyway when school is out.   Local residents still need to cross streets…. that light does not slow traffic, school, no school…. lol.  The need the pedestrian activated blinking lights that are found further south on 16th Ave SW.

  • wscommuter May 5, 2020 (11:03 am)

    This is a really good effort at putting concrete proposals in front of the city for mitigation, except for No. 13.  I understand the appeal of going straight to a new bridge, but engineering study is required to figure out what is possible and what is advisable.  Frankly, if we can re-shore and re-open the bridge for $33M (which I’m not holding my breath on) in 2 years, in order to buy the time for figuring out the long-term solution and how to fund it, I’m in favor of that.  A new high bridge could be built around the re-opened existing bridge (again, assuming such is possible) if we have the time and money to do that … but getting the existing bridge re-opened has to be the first priority if sound engineering judgment figures out that it is possible.  

    • AdmiralBridge May 5, 2020 (10:57 pm)

      Everything I read is it is $33m to shore up the bridge to be able to assess if they can repair it.  There’s no way they are reopening the bridge for $33m.  It does not include the repairs.  Other reports indicate that SDOT and its advisors are developing a “decision tree” to address the odds and outcomes on whether to pursue a repair or replace option.  While I don’t apply these in public transportation issues, I use them in my line of work, and – toying with this, the only way a repair option works is if the repair costs are near zero (beyond the $33m to shore up), or the alternative new bridge lasts less than 40 years or costs an exorbitant amount of money (unfortunately both possibilities the way this has been going).  Again, not trying to play engineer, but trying to conceptualize what people in their guts are feeling and to dismiss peoples’ intuition as not rational isn’t fair.  In addition, I think people are being enormously optimistic – the shoring is going to end up being through mid-22 the way it sees to be going and – right now – the difference in a new bridge versus a repaired bridge if you start today may not be much more than a year’s difference, so why try to eke out 10 years?  (I know, money).        

  • Matthew May 5, 2020 (11:05 am)

    Request to fill potholes and fix road deterioration near the railroad tracks on West Marginal Way S/N by Continental Van Lines building. Those are some old unused tracks that cross West Marginal Way S/N. That’d be much appreciated because you can easily mess up your car’s suspension. 

  • AT May 5, 2020 (11:05 am)

    How about street parking restrictions to free up the curb lane during commute hours?

  • Curious WS Resident May 5, 2020 (11:17 am)

    One thing the Genoa Bridge did that quickened the pace for replacement was building it NEXT to the existing collapsed bridge so they could work on “demolishing” that bridge without interfering with the new bridge. Has anyone at SDOT/City considered this option?? I can’t believe we have to wait 2 years just to DEMO a bridge?! Major Eye-Roll…

    • Chemist May 5, 2020 (2:07 pm)

      https://cdn.westseattleblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/fallzonefxed-e1588639983153.png So do you build the new bridge through Nucor and the marina or over top of the low bridge (perhaps with longer spans, because you have to clear the swing bridge during opening/closing)?  How would you bid on working at ground level in the fall-zone of the high bridge while it’s being disassembled?

    • datamuse May 5, 2020 (3:01 pm)

      As I understand it, it looks like only the high span itself needs to be replaced; its approaches are still usable. Building a new bridge along a different path than the existing one would require even more demolition and more reconstruction. Which in turn would cost more money…

  • Genesee Gin May 5, 2020 (11:26 am)

    What about SW Genesee St between Avalon and Delridge. It already backs sometimes with semi traffic illegally using it which is always a disaster. Cars have trouble getting up the hill in the rain and semi’s cannot make it up that hill though they keep trying.Cars will not be able to get out of their driveway there. And bike’s fly down that hill like it is their god given right to double the speed limit going as fast as they can dangerously without regard to the fact they cannot be seen until it would be too late. It is not possible to see this same bike coming at light speed if their is ever even a break in traffic to get out of the driveway. Is their any way this can be a no bike route since Avalon has been set up specifically for this traffic to the bike trail? Maybe police presence for once on this street the way the catch speeders on Admiral. Many times I have almost been rear ended trying to get into my driveway, honked at  by someone wanting to race down that hill. 

    • Genesee Jim May 5, 2020 (5:01 pm)

      You’re absolutely right, turning the whole road into a bike path is the only sensible option.

  • rme May 5, 2020 (11:30 am)

    This is great. They have clearly done their homework. Thank you, HPAC, and I’m sorry about how much this bridge closure will impact your neighborhoods specifically.

  • Hpdp May 5, 2020 (11:36 am)

    Google Maps is showing Holden closed between 15th and the fire station. I think its mixed up due to the stay-healthy-street-project. Does anyone know how to send a correction to Maps?

    • trickycoolj May 5, 2020 (12:17 pm)

      I saw this too, I think it picks up closures from Waze reports if you have enough “helpful” points from using Waze.  Otherwise I think SDOT has to contact google as they did with the bridge closure(s).

    • Rumbles May 6, 2020 (12:27 am)

      Google it!

  • M May 5, 2020 (11:41 am)

    How about better marking and enforcement of the traffic signal at 4532 W. Marginal Way SW? Many time I have waited to cross here on foot and by bike, to see cars and trucks sail through the traffic light. In general folks tend to speed on West Marginal. 

  • J May 5, 2020 (12:05 pm)

    For me, the 5 way intersection at 16th ave sw, delridge, and Roxbury is the biggest bottleneck. It was always bad and now it takes even longer to get through that intersection 

  • lgg May 5, 2020 (12:28 pm)

    another issue is turning left onto Delridge going south to get to SW Holden from 21st Ave. There has always been a need to have some light there but it is worse now

  • TJ May 5, 2020 (12:57 pm)

    Apparently some people are talking themselves and others into believing a whole new bridge needs to be built. From the beginning the city has looked at repairing the current bridge, and if anything then the top sections only would need to be replaced. Somehow some people have morphed this into the whole structure needs to be replaced, like from 99 to Admiral or something, with it lower and incorporating light rail. 

  • Azimuth May 5, 2020 (12:57 pm)

    #2 – 16th and Holden for sure, turn signal all directions, with timing relationship at 16th and Austin since that will be a bottleneck. Ideally the signals would allow for both green arrow and optional left turn when safe on green ball or blinking yellow arrow or something like that if it is built safely.

  • ScubaFrog May 5, 2020 (1:07 pm)

    I’d love constructive criticism here.  Wouldn’t a new bridge require the $33M ‘shoring up’ as well?  That’s what I understand, anyhow.  I may be wrong, I’d love to understand this the correct way.  I kind of thought that shoring up, then patching up the old bridge for a possible 10 years of use was waste of time.  From the moment I heard that, I thought “why not build a new bridge?”.   The gods only know how much that will cost, and if crooked McConnell will budge for anything but big corporations and Trump.  

  • Smittytheclown May 5, 2020 (1:27 pm)

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper, and more efficient to put traffic police at every major intersection (like after a sporting event) to direct traffic during rush hours?  Trying to get all the light timing and directional signals perfect seems like a fools errand.

    • WSJ May 5, 2020 (1:37 pm)

      Traffic cops are always less efficient than lights. People (rightly) slow down and act more cautious when traffic is being directed manually. Aside from event traffic management or obstructions, they’re a net negative.

      • Smittytheclown May 5, 2020 (3:52 pm)

        Interesting, thanks.  Why do they use them at sporting events.  Pedestrian safety maybe?

        • WSJ May 5, 2020 (8:20 pm)

          Usually because lights need to be shut off and routes changed significantly so managing it via existing signals would be harder than the alternative.

  • JM May 5, 2020 (1:33 pm)

    These are all really good points. I am all in with point 13 in particular. Lets just get on with replacement planning now. We learned that the bridge was only planned to last a ridiculous 70 years anyway. How do you actually predict that? So the POS failed sooner. Don’t even contemplate fixing it. Keep it from blocking the river and destroying the low bridge and get on with it. I also want y’all to realize the effects on the rest of town; in particular South Park, White Center, even Burien.  Your damn traffic and forced bus revisions effects us too.

    • Rumbles May 6, 2020 (12:31 am)

      Funny how everyone (including you)  is all about “spare any expense”, until the bill comes due, and then the complaining about taxes or tolls will start.  Quit acting like its all about snapping your fingers and a bridge will emerge from the fog. 

  • Z May 5, 2020 (1:55 pm)

    I live in the Riverview Park area and am finding it challenging and dangerous to make a left-hand turn from 12th onto Holden. Can a 4-way stop be added here?The stream of traffic on Holden is nonstop during daylight hours. It would be nice to have that mitigated somehow, so residents who live RIGHT THERE aren’t required to double back  just to get to Highland Park Way by heading away west several blocks to make a left to 16th, then another left to Holden, only to get to where we started from just to get to Highland Park Way.Making that left turn onto 16th (or even going straight over) is impossible during regular commute or school zone hours, so it’s not a great option. Plus, we’d just be adding volume to the traffic backed up there.  It’s messy now even before capacity increases over the next month.

  • No Deception Pass May 5, 2020 (2:15 pm)

    During the shut-down SDOT should be re-aligning 35th SW and Roxbury BACK to 4 lane arterials to handle the 10s of 1,000s who will need to travel during Metro reductions and bridge closure over the next FEW years.
    Why isn’t this being done?

  • WSCommuter2 May 5, 2020 (3:05 pm)

    Excellent and thoughtful list by HPAC.  Good job.#13 should be #1 – Start the design of new bridge now as that will take some time.    #14 – as has been said by MANY countless times, open the Spokane St bridge on weekends to all traffic NOW.  Unsurprisingly, we are 7 weeks in and SDOT/KC Metro have no people moving plans.  Dow was speaking of coming layoffs for KC due to the pandemic today on NPR & with this lack of productivity it makes very good cents.  

  • Peter May 5, 2020 (3:41 pm)

    They apparently don’t understand the $33M is necessary to stabilize the bridge in every scenario. Even if it’s going to be demolished, it has to be stabilized fist so that can be demolished safely. This is why these decisions need to be made by experts. 

  • Mj May 5, 2020 (4:40 pm)

    7 weeks in and SDoT has found the time to post innapropriate 25 MPH limit signs on Principal Arterial streets that are to be the primary alternative routes.  

    I’m still waiting to hear what the City and Metro are going to do regarding adding bus service in areas of WS that are poorly served especially during off peak time periods

  • Ernie May 5, 2020 (5:02 pm)

    We Were Promised Jetpacks

    • mrsB May 5, 2020 (5:20 pm)

      And teleporting 

    • CDB May 5, 2020 (5:42 pm)

      Indeed we were! Thanks for the laugh, Ernie.  We Were Promised Jet Packs is also great indie band from Edinburgh.  Check them out.  

  • rb May 5, 2020 (5:23 pm)

    I would add building a sidewalk from Delridge to Holden. The stairs are unusable for moms with strollers, wheelchairs, bikers, and people who are afraid of the crowds in the stairs during dark. It was dangerous before, now it’;s much worse.    

  • Wild Willy May 5, 2020 (5:28 pm)

    Shoring has to be done to facilitate a safe inspection of the bridge. It’s my understanding that this is in the works.(Based on WSB article a few days ago). This needs to be accomplished ASAP as the cracks are expanding even without traffic. If SDOT doesn’t get going we won’t need to do anything except clear the rubble from the waterway and the remains of the low bridge.

  • Bradley May 5, 2020 (11:25 pm)

    SCRAP the ridiculous 25 mph speed limit on 35th, Roxbury, California, Delridge, Myers Way, and every other major arterial in West Seattle. Everyone is doing 35-45, anyway, and any attempt at speedtraps once we hit phase 3 and phase 4 will absolutely paralyze the whole peninsula. I was doing 40 on 35th this weekend and was being passed by countless vehicles from Roxbury to Avalon Way and back on my trip to Admiral.

    • WR May 6, 2020 (12:15 pm)

      Bradley you are so right.  Of all the speechlessly stupid things sdot does, dropping all of the arterials to 25 is absolutely completely jaw dropping.  Really, people need to start holding them accountable or we are in deep trouble. 

  • Alan May 6, 2020 (12:15 am)

    This is a great list. One other thing that I would suggest is that the 128 should not turn around at SSCC but continue on to Alki. That would allow people on the 128 line to get to the water taxi. There actually was a plan to do that not so long ago. Then budgets got cut and that plan was dropped.

    As a former Riverview resident, I was horrified to see SDOT call putting a light at Holden & Highland Park Way a “quick win”. It was something we had been pushing for, for decades. It wasn’t quick for us.

  • Mike May 6, 2020 (12:34 am)




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    No more concrete bridges on tidal lands in
    our seismically active region.  In the
    opinion of a retired aerospace engineer the West Seattle high bridge was a
    stupid design to begin with.  Early
    failure has been assured by SDOT failing to maintain the sliding bearing on one
    of the main supports, but this structure was a non-repairable, limited life
    design from day 1.  Steps to fix the

    1)  Design
    & build a concrete deck STEEL bridge that is a drop-in replacement for the
    two main spans of the existing high bridge using the 3 main supporting towers
    for the existing bridge.  If necessary,
    enlarge and reinforce the footings for the 3 main support towers.   Repair
    the sliding joints on the 3 main towers during the installation of the new
    steel structure after/during the demolition of the existing bridge.  Pour the decking of the new bridge after the
    steel structure is in place.  Design the
    decking to be replaceable lane by lane w/o harming the steel structure. 

    2)  Review
    the adjoining structures leading to and from the high-rise section.  Using I-beam rather than box structures,
    these sections should be locally repairable or incrementally repairable in
    sections.  If necessary, I-beams can be

    3)  While
    assessing the sections leading to & from the high bridge, begin the
    redesign process for the corridor to make uniform 3 lane through width from the
    high bridge to the I-5 corridor.  Plan
    for 3 lane width at the H99, 1st & 4th St crossings.  Plan for 2 lane ramps to I-5 both North &
    South bound.   Reroute Northbound truck traffic to enter at
    I-90 exchange.  Force South bound truck
    traffic to use W509 or W599.

    4)  Create
    an elevated southbound truck route form West Seattle Bridge corridor to W509
    & W599 that parallels West Marginal Way.

    5)  Address the hazardous lack of East/West traffic routes across West Seattle to the I-5 Corridor.   Create
    an alternate East West corridor w/in 1 block south of the West Seattle bridge
    corridor.  Begin condemnation procedures
    to free up the corridor.  Bring in the
    Army Corp of Engineers to put in place a temporary series of draw bridges in
    this corridor.   Alter the West Seattle bridge corridor to
    allow the existing lower bridge to function more efficiently and to effectively
    feed traffic to the new alternate E/W corridor immediately south of the
    existing bridge.  Start the design work
    to allow permanent bridge footings and draw spans for the new E/W corridor.  Start construction as soon as high bridge replacement
    is complete.  Include overpass for rail
    corridor w/ construction to begin as soon as design is being completed for new
    corridor draw bridges.

    6)  Redesign
    the E/W corridor at Michigan street to connect to West Marginal & Highland
    Park Way.

    7)  Create
    an E/W corridor across the West Seattle peninsula at or near Alaska St and
    Puget Way SW.

    8)  Identify at least 1 additional corridor in which
    to create a major East/West arterial across the West Seattle peninsula and Duwamish/Green
    River.  Consider a Roxbury to Boeing Access
    Way/S Ryan Way corridor.

    • WSJ May 6, 2020 (2:53 pm)

      Some good ideas here, but “temporary drawbridges” and “an elevated freight road that parallels W Marginal” are unicorn-level fantasies.

  • Alki Heights May 6, 2020 (5:51 am)

    OK Mike, You got my vote to be our next Mayor. Great ideas!

  • Rebecca May 6, 2020 (9:08 am)

    For a long time now we’ve desperately needed turn signals from 35th southbound on to Avalon. It’s unbelievable to me this has not happened during all of this construction along 35th. We also need to consider additional water taxi routes and diverting Fauntleroy bound ferry car traffic to downtown. I’ve also been stuck coming home the long way around which forced me onto the 1st Avenue S bridge and of course the bridge was up, can we prioritize marine traffic to a different set of restrictions during high traffic peaks?

Sorry, comment time is over.