WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: New potential timelines/scenarios from SDOT

While the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force is holding its first meeting, SDOT has published an update on potential timelines/scenarios – if the bridge is not fixable and has to be replaced, for example, a replacement could be in place as soon as 2024. The full post is here; below, key excerpts:

…To ensure that the public has a similar baseline understanding of the bridge and related work as the TAP and Task Force, we want to share with you an update on current bridge work and what it means, in the broadest of terms, for when and how we might restore travel capacity across the Duwamish. The estimates shared below reflect best estimates at this time and are very much subject to change as we continue to gather additional information. They are helpful, however, for showing where we are right now and what pathways and corresponding crossroads sit before us.

The first step to determining the future of the bridge is to complete testing and analysis to understand the condition of the bridge and how it continues to change.

We learn more about the bridge’s condition every day. This past weekend, crews suspended by ropes and safety harnesses descended from the edge of the bridge to drill precision holes in the concrete and collect core samples. The concrete samples, extracted from several locations along the superstructure, will be tested to determine how resistant the concrete is to corrosion.

Soon, we will have enough information for an informed discussion about whether to repair or replace the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge.

We expect to complete our analysis on the structural stability of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge in late June or early July. This information is critical to understanding whether repairs to the bridge are possible and provides important information needed to decide what is best going forward.

Our ultimate goal will be to restore the critical transportation connection of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge as quickly as possible, in the safest, most effective way that puts the needs of the community and urgency of the situation front and center.

Critically, we will not be making this decision alone, and will work closely with elected leaders, partner agencies, our new Technical Advisory Panel of engineering experts, and the new Community Task Force representing affected communities in West Seattle and the surrounding areas.

While we do not have all of the information yet, we are beginning to better understand what tradeoffs and rough timelines could look like for repairing or replacing the bridge.

Just as we shared in April that we do not anticipate the bridge reopening in 2020 or 2021 if repair is possible, today we want to share what the corresponding timeline might be for replacement, should we collectively choose to move in that direction.

While we still do not know exactly how long it would take to repair or rebuild the bridge, and which path is best based on data and structural analysis, we do have a sense of the pros and cons of several options we want to share today, as we prepare to share a much more technical set of considerations in the coming weeks.

If repairs are feasible, they would take until 2022 at the earliest.

Repairs would potentially mean fewer lanes of traffic than the bridge carried before and would only extend the life of the bridge by approximately 10 years, when the bridge would still need to ultimately be replaced.

While these are some significant tradeoffs, this could also offer some big advantages. In addition to allowing vehicles back onto the bridge sooner, reopening the bridge for up to a decade could also give us more time to work with regional partners on the potential design, construction, and funding for a long-term solution to restore capacity across the Duwamish in a more deliberative fashion.

If repairs are deemed not feasible, constructing a new bridge could take, very roughly, four to six years (reopening approximately 2024 – 2026).

But then, the construction would be done, and the new bridge could last for 50-75 years, depending on what type of replacement option was selected.

There are many types of replacement bridges to consider, and the decision will likely depend on several factors including cost, timeline, and the health of the infrastructure around the current bridge. In addition to construction, the approximate four- to six-year timelines include public input, design, planning, and permitting.

Again, we will know more as to whether or not repairs are feasible later this summer, once we complete our analysis on the structural stability of the bridge. Any decisions before then would be imprudent, but has and will not preclude our efforts to prepare for all pivots that data might suggest.

In addition to completing testing and analysis, another immediate step for both repair and replace scenarios will be to stabilize the bridge.

We are continuing to gear up and prepare for the stabilization work that will be the essential next step for public safety, no matter what path is ultimately chosen. While we may be able to adapt and scale back some aspects our stabilization plans if we move towards replacement, we would still need to strengthen and support the bridge in order to safely demolish it prior to replacement work commencing.

This work will begin this summer and will likely consist of three phases …

Details on those phases, and what happens next, are in the full SDOT post. Meantime, we are covering the Community Task Force meeting, and will have that report later this afternoon.

113 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: New potential timelines/scenarios from SDOT"

  • KT June 10, 2020 (2:06 pm)

    So, is anyone doing the math?  If they decide now to tear down the  bridge it will be 6 years of misery.  BUT, if they do the repair it will be 3 years (at least) of the current situation, followed by 10 years of a reduced capacity bridge, followed by 4 to 6 years of building a new bridge during which we go back to what we have right now for option.  Hmmm, whatever should they do?  

  • skeeter June 10, 2020 (2:14 pm)

    Well it looks like Jort was right all along.  He (she?) called this a while ago.  Time to ditch the car and find a way to make transit and cycling work.  I (literally) sold our second car last week.  I’ve been consistently biking across the lower swing bridge to get to/from work.  I’ll be saving so much money not having a second car.  My only other choices were to quit my job, which I can’t afford to do, or move out of West Seattle, which I don’t want to do.  So once again, thanks to Jort for predicting this and inspiring my family to rethink our approach.  

    • tsurly June 10, 2020 (2:33 pm)

      And you Skeeter get just as much credit for putting in the effort to adapt to an unfortunate situation and make a change to your habits.

    • Tim P June 10, 2020 (4:23 pm)

      I simply do not understand the frequent calls for people to switch to transit or bicycles. Those are simply not options for many, many scenarios. Need to get to a hospital quickly? Want to do a large grocery shop? Have to pick up some lumber to repair your fence? Need to visit your family in Everett? What about ambulances? Should they bicycle their way to your house when you’re having a heart attack?It’s one thing to suggest SOME travel can be done via bike or transit. But to ditch your car completely? That’s simply not practical. We need a bridge, not more water taxis.

      • Joe Z June 10, 2020 (5:24 pm)

        The point is that if people who can switch to bike/transit do switch, then it frees up room for those who can not switch and have to drive.

        And if you make it easier for people to switch, they will. If you make it easy to drive, then almost everyone will drive except for those who can not afford to or those who voluntarily choose not to drive. 

        • David June 10, 2020 (8:26 pm)

          If you make it easy to drive, then almost everyone will drive except for those who can not afford to or those who voluntarily choose not to drive.
          I wouldn’t disagree with that statement, but for just one example: How many people in West Seattle live within a mile of all the grocery stores they normally visit?
          I’ve done it myself. If you’re not at least that close, lotsa luck carrying enough that you won’t need to make trips at least every 2-3 days. And that’s just one example. So no, I don’t think it’s realistic to plan for traffic congestion to go away when “those who can” sell their cars en masse.
          If anything, it looks like the earliest relief we’ll get, once we’re not on lockdown… will actually be from renters leaving West Seattle as soon as their lease is up. But hey, I’m pretty sure that’ll make some people happy too.

      • Go gull June 10, 2020 (6:41 pm)

        Many people do not own a car. What do they do?

        • me June 10, 2020 (8:59 pm)

          I haven’t owned a car for years. I walk wherever I go unless it’s over 2 or 3 miles then I just take the bus or an Uber. It’s very easy to have groceries delivered, I get a delivery once a week. Same for anything else that I need, if it’s too heavy to carry, I just get it delivered. If you need to get to a hospital quickly you can call an ambulance or the fire department will also take you. If your trip is too far for the bus or Uber you can get a ride or rent a car for a day or two. It’s not for everyone but for me it’s easier to not have a car then to have one.

          • Wendell June 11, 2020 (10:17 am)

            Welcome to the Truman Show.

        • WS REZ June 11, 2020 (2:34 pm)

          I dont have a car either. I walk, bike, or bus to local places. I bike, water taxi or bus downtown and uber for further places. Still cheaper than paying insurance, tabs, etc.

      • Matt June 10, 2020 (6:49 pm)

        Tim P, I totally agree!!!

      • Gomiles June 10, 2020 (9:34 pm)

        Agreed. I can add some scenarios. Try getting anywhere in Seattle with three young children, like to Seattle Children’s Hospital or to UW for special Ed preschool. At the very least we need our roads reverted back to four lanes to allow for higher capacity. 

      • Mac June 10, 2020 (11:46 pm)

        Sir/madam – you are so “privileged “ if all you are talking abou5nis cars and bridges. 

      • wscommuter June 12, 2020 (11:42 am)

        The point is an agenda driven by a small-but-vocal group of anti-car folks who see this moment as an opportunity to push their anti-car message.  They have every right  to their perspective, but it is, for the most part, detached from reality.  So be it.  I’m all for riding bikes – I do it, commuting to my office downtown.  But I’m not foolish enough to think that enough others can ride bikes or take buses that it will affect the need for a full fix to the W. Seattle bridge.  There is no reality where enough people will be able to ride bikes or take buses that will change this truth.  Tens of thousands of cars need that infrastructure and we need it replaced ASAP.   It seems as though the anti-car folks hope for a worse outcome – a decade-long debacle or such, so that they can harp on their alternative world view; I just shake my head.  But the anti-car ranting here will continue and it does make for entertaining reading, with the all-caps  exhortations and sneering condescension towards folks who just point out that they need to drive for all sorts of good reasons.  

        • Go gull June 12, 2020 (5:50 pm)

          Oy vey.

          ‘But I’m not foolish enough to think that enough others can ride bikes or take buses that it will affect the need for a full fix to the W. Seattle bridge.’

          Those who have advocated for alternatives to driving (you know, since there is a severe traffic issue with no realistic immediate resolution for drivers), have not suggested the bridge shouldn’t be fixed or be fixed as soon as is possible. 

          I also do not believe these commenters are delighting in the fiasco or suffering of drivers. Many of us who often bike or take transit, also occasionally drive, and impacted by the closure. 

          But it’s hard not to be frustrated and somewhat bemused by all of the Inflexibility, tantrums and demands for the bridge to be ‘immediately’ fixed. THAT is less realistic than more people riding bikes.

      • Rob June 13, 2020 (4:36 pm)

        Exactly. How about those who WORK outside of West Seattle or have to take airplane for frequent business travel. I dont get the preoccupation on this site of whether one can drive vs bike for groceries, lol

    • West Seattle Hipster June 10, 2020 (4:38 pm)


    • Will June 10, 2020 (4:56 pm)

      Not. Everyone. Can. Bike. To. Work!

      • Go gull June 10, 2020 (6:50 pm)

        Not everyone can, but do you not believe some can?

      • TK June 10, 2020 (9:53 pm)

        Thank you!!! I’mma shove a bike up the nose of the next city official that offers that as a realistic solution for the masses of WS. I can’t throw my two kids on the handlebars, idiots. Some people can, super. Good for them. What about the rest of us?

      • Ice June 10, 2020 (10:18 pm)

        And the reality of the situation is that if you’ve set your life up in such a way that you can’t then you are just going to have to suffer through traffic.

        • ACG June 11, 2020 (9:00 am)

          Yes. The people who are unable to switch to bike/transit and must drive ARE aware of the situation and the fact that their commute time will increase exponentially. Duh. I think a lot of them are, by this point in time, sick of the repeated lecturing and condescending posts by a few select anti-car individuals. If people can switch, they are free to do so.  If people can’t (for many legitimate reasons), no amount of lecturing and thumb-nosing is going to change the situation for them. Everyone is hyper aware of their own transportation options and consequences. Knock it off. 

          • Ice June 11, 2020 (2:27 pm)

            It’s the hyper defensiveness of the posts that is so funny to me. You all are screwed with no hope and you scream “THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE FOR ME THIS ISN’T FAIR STOP POINTING OUT THAT THERE MAY BE A WORKABLE ALTERNATIVE FOR SOME PEOPLE!!!!!” It’s funny, that’s all.

          • David June 11, 2020 (7:22 pm)

            Indeed, ACG. It’s darkly, sadly amusing to see someone gloat “you are just going to have to suffer through traffic” while the bridge is down, and then try to claim they were “POINTING OUT THAT THERE MAY BE A WORKABLE ALTERNATIVE FOR SOME PEOPLE!!!!!”
            You know, since they did nothing of the sort – but apparently they have a very short memory). And the people they accuse of “scream[ing]” hysterics aren’t the ones with a broken caps lock.

    • Scott Collins June 11, 2020 (10:24 pm)

      not trying to be difficult…but all these people without cars…what do you do for a living?  What i do simply doesn’t allow for bus/bike

    • Jort June 12, 2020 (8:44 am)

      To be clear, I am not right — the laws of geometry and math are right. I am only expressing what math, geometry and the facts of reality can easily predict for all of us. This isn’t a complicated formula and it will not change, no matter how angry people get at me, the city, SDOT, engineers, or anything. Car drivers in West Seattle are going to go from x*screwed to x*screwed*100,000. There will be no magical “traffic mitigation,” no matter how fast or short or thorough a “study” will be. Nobody will escape this dystopian hellscape traffic nightmare, and the only thing anybody can do about it is to demand better transit service or ride a bike. Every other complaint is wasted air. Again: this is not an opinion, this is a fact of geometry. The earlier that you  make your mental adaptations, the easier it will be on your mental health. Adapt now.

  • Andy June 10, 2020 (2:19 pm)

    Temporarily fixing a piece of infrastructure that is so vitally important to the city and region just to hopefully get 10 years of use and then ultimately still have to rebuild makes such little sense to me. Spend once, take the time now, and do it right. It seems illogical to me to do otherwise.

    • DRC June 10, 2020 (3:15 pm)

            You are so right ANDY

  • Mr. X June 10, 2020 (2:24 pm)

    I look forward to hearing about the significant decrease in property taxes to offset the pending loss in property values through 2026 (or more likely 2036). 

    • Dan June 10, 2020 (9:01 pm)

      I did some quick calculations based on available stats. Seems the city/county will lose around $30M annually I used 20% property value reductions, which I guess is close to what occurred when the last bridge went out.  I suspect it might be worse this time. Just read that rental demand has declined significantly, home values will certainly follow.  Who wants to commute or deal with a massive traffic jam.   See what happens when all workers actually start driving again, reality time.

      • Mac June 10, 2020 (11:48 pm)

        It will make the west Seattle more affordable and hence more equitable. 

      • AdmiralBridge June 11, 2020 (10:42 am)

        But as soon as they figure out that revenue will be lost, they will rewrite the tax rates and levy wording, put it on a ballot, and the masses in district 3 will shove it down our throats.  Not counting on any absolute reduction in my tax bill because of this; in fact think we’re going to get more levies to pay for the bridge.  Wondering if my car insurance is going to go down as well (still waiting for that pandemic rebate)?

        • David June 11, 2020 (1:23 pm)

          @AdmiralBridge,  if I were a betting man, I’d put all my money on them charging a $5 toll on the new bridge indefinitely.
          WA govt is run by developers, to the extent that they get completely exempted from property tax if they make a joke effort at rent control: 10% of the apts in a building have to be less than a ridiculous figure. For example, in many areas a 10-unit building will be tax-exempt if one apartment is a studio that rents for the “cheap” price of $1500/month and the rest rent for $3000. 2019 MFTE table
          And we’ve repeatedly seen them make up the shortfall with tolls, tabs, de-facto grocery taxes, and other extremely regressive measures. The 405 expansions they got a tax levy for? Instead, they used the money to turn HOV lanes into HOV/toll and build a giant flyover HOV/toll bridge over 405/167’s Malfunction Junction (while somehow making the regular intersection even worse). For being a progressive state, WA has one of the most regressive tax systems in the nation.

  • Trickycoolj June 10, 2020 (2:38 pm)

    I’m glad the go/no-go decision point will be this summer. Was afraid it would have to wait for the shoring/Pier 18 work first. It will still be a challenge to determine if we personally will stick it out or move on from the area depending on how our jobs evolve after Covid restrictions are lifted. Finding many managers willing to allow virtual work for West Seattle employees now that we’ve had long term proof of its effectiveness during Covid so that’s encouraging at least.

  • WS REZ June 10, 2020 (2:43 pm)

    lol skeeter!! The Jort part. Also, not lol to the bridge part….This. Sucks.

  • Claire Swazey June 10, 2020 (2:47 pm)

    Wasn’t the Golden Gate bridge built more quickly? And it still works. 

    • Tim P June 10, 2020 (7:24 pm)

      Claire, the Golden Gate bridge doesn’t have several exits and elevation changes. The WSB is much, much more complicated. Not making excuses for the SDOT here, but I’ve seen this comparison from many people and it’s apples and oranges.

    • Vic June 10, 2020 (9:15 pm)

      11 workers died during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.Is speediness worth risking safety and lives?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Gate_Bridge#Construction

      • Smittytheclown June 10, 2020 (9:55 pm)

        Pretty sure that safety measures have improved since then.  

  • Do it all! June 10, 2020 (2:53 pm)

    In reading the excerpts provided and looking at the timeline graphic, it seems like the best case scenario is pursue both? If we pursue the temporary fix, we can get back on to using the high-bridge (at lower capacity, but better than nothing), in the shortest amount of time (2022). And then, simultaneously, we are designing a new bridge to replace this, we’ll be ready to use the new 75 year design by 2024? They way I see it, we get back on the existing bridge as fast as possible by repairing, while at the same time we design a new one that can take it’s place, sooner than the 10 year replacement we’d need if we only repair for now? 

    • Sixbuck June 10, 2020 (9:29 pm)

      Do It All, you flunked economics, didn’t you?😷

      • Juju June 10, 2020 (11:14 pm)

        Flunked economics?

        Good grief.

        It seems most economists, who have PhDs, don’t understand economics.

        • David June 11, 2020 (5:41 pm)

          @Juju, they understand how to make the billionaires who pay them into trillionaires (even if it means the economy takes a header off a cliff for everyone else). Isn’t that the only thing that matters?  (^_~)

  • Jerry June 10, 2020 (3:04 pm)

    I have an idea. Instead of strengthening and shoring up the damaged part of the bridge why not cut the damaged part out replace it and replace the failed bearings that caused part of the failure?  Then remove the added lane that the bridge was never designed to have, and maintain it like it should have been in the first place.  It would seem that if this was done we should get the remaining 50 years out of the original bridge.

    • Eric June 10, 2020 (7:26 pm)


  • Rob June 10, 2020 (3:05 pm)

    They’ve wasted months doing nothing, and now they need to decide between two options…but the first year at least is the same damn steps.  START WORK NOW.  It’s not rocket science.

    • Steve L June 10, 2020 (7:31 pm)

      Rob, no offense man, but I wouldn’t drive ten feet on a bridge you repaired. You’re not helping. Let the adults talk.

      • Juju June 10, 2020 (11:17 pm)



        “No offense” and then you refer to Rob as a child?

        And curious, who determined you were an adult with that playground schtick?

        Try being respectful of others opinions or comments rather than behaving as though you are all that and a bag of chips.

        • Tsurly June 11, 2020 (6:34 am)

          When people’s opinions are based purely on emotions and not basic engineering principles and reality, they are fair game for criticism and ridicule.

  • Joe Z June 10, 2020 (3:23 pm)

    I would like to see a study about how many lanes the new bridge actually needs. It seems like much of the high bridge capacity was used as a queue for the I-5/99 ramps. If we further assume that a bus lane is not needed on a new bridge (replaced by light rail), then 2 lanes each way might be sufficient. 

    • AdmiralBridge June 11, 2020 (10:47 am)

      Actually there’s a good point in this…if we rebuild the bridge, the traffic still backs up, particularly to NB I-5.  Are they going to fix that bottleneck as well?  If not, am good with throttling the capacity back in terms of lanes but that risks backing us up on the bridge or into WS.  Things like kinetic vs static load come into play.  Perhaps the answer is to make it better/easier/cheaper to take the tunnel and join up to I-5 at Denny vs through downtown for those that are headed to points northward.  

  • Jordan June 10, 2020 (3:28 pm)

    SDOT needs to stop wasting our money.  This guys solution is simple, cheap and quick. Could be done before they even “fix” the existing bridge and is a long term solution that isn’t earthquake prone. I see no reason to not go with this solution.  https://www.westsideseattle.com/robinson-papers/2020/04/24/op-ed-bridge-history-its-time-immersed-tube-tunnel

  • Rik June 10, 2020 (3:37 pm)

    Tunnel nowTunnel tomorrowTunnel forevah!

  • Rocky Bullwinkle June 10, 2020 (3:48 pm)

    😭In the meantime, how about a temporary, barge supported swing bridge?

  • Barry June 10, 2020 (3:56 pm)

    Do the repair.  Reduce a lane if need be.  Keep buses and freight on lower bridge (they cause the bridge backup anyways).  People have moved here due to affordability and bus system isn’t great if you don’t work downtown so lots of people of chose to live here and commute by car.  Don’t screw those people because the voice of the bicyclist and bus rider is always the loudest (but not strongest by numbers).

    • Go gull June 10, 2020 (7:17 pm)

      It’s too bad there aren’t stronger numbers of cyclists and bus riders… there would be less traffic, fewer car accidents, less road rage, and cleaner air.

    • Tsurly June 10, 2020 (8:01 pm)

      The voice of the bicyclists and bus riders is always the loudest? That is one of the most laughable things I have read on this blog in a long time.

      • Chemist June 11, 2020 (10:30 pm)

        Is there a “Car Driver’s Advisory Board” that meets monthly with SDOT the same way there is for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit?

        • TSurly June 12, 2020 (9:29 am)

          Please, given the heavy subsidies car drivers receive via free street parking for their private property and heavily subsidized fuel, and the fact they have 6,500 miles of roadway in Seattle, they are well represented. P.S. I’m still trying to track down a non-motorized bikeshare bike so I can prove its possible to ride one up Highland Park Way.

    • David June 11, 2020 (1:41 pm)

      @Barry  Thank you for a very sensible comment. Slowly-entering 18-wheelers beg for a traffic jam, as traffic stalls behind them and slows for safety around them. If they had reasonable alternate routes so they could be prohibited on the WSB, and they fixed the NB I-5 interchange*, you could drop a lane and never see a traffic jam again.
      * – Otherwise we’ll always have jams at the eastern end, because jerks will never stop jumping into the NB I-5 queue by blocking the Columbia Way / SB I-5 lane until they get in.

  • Raymond June 10, 2020 (4:05 pm)

    One question that I can’t seem to find an answer to: If the bridge is repaired and reopened in 2022 as planned, would the replacement bridge 10 years later be able to be built with minimal disruption to the existing bridge, or would it have to shut down again while the new bridge is being built?

    • SadAboutBridge June 10, 2020 (6:29 pm)

      Get this guy a beer! Would love to hear the answer to this q. 

  • Community Member June 10, 2020 (4:19 pm)

    But the fix-it and use-it for ten years model would mean that we could have light rail in place on a separate bridge before the big build.  In that case, REPAIR = 2-3 years of truly horrid commutes, and REPLACE = 4-6 years of truly horrid commutes.  So I think there could be value in repairing the bridge, if technically possible.

      • David June 11, 2020 (1:54 pm)

        Not to mention: Has light rail delivered anywhere near the promised traffic relief, anywhere in the Puget Sound?
        And it never will, until 1) they offer adequate, safe parking for a high volume of cars and/or 2) Sound Transit offers quick, affordable service to areas out of walking distance from the stations. No one will give up their 45-minute car commute to spend 30 minutes getting to the station and waiting, 15 minutes on the train, and 30 minutes getting to their destination… and pay more for tickets than they would for gas.

        • Jort June 11, 2020 (11:32 pm)

          Light rail has NEVER promised traffic “relief,” only an alternative transportation option in place of driving. Anyone who claims that trains will resolve traffic congestion should visit any major city on the planet with a robust subway system and tell me if the “traffic” is “fixed” there. Transportation can be fixed! Not traffic. Because that is literally unfixable and no city in human history has ever done it. Seattle will not be the first. 

          • David June 12, 2020 (5:51 am)

            Having lived in NYC, I find it darkly amusing to hear that mass transit can’t relieve traffic congestion and never has. Most people would routinely commute in on the subways and buses – even those who had cars, because the system was robust enough to reliably get you anywhere you needed in about the same amount of time. If even half of the people tried to routinely drove in, Manhattan would be hopelessly snarled.

  • CM June 10, 2020 (4:24 pm)

      Let’s plan a replacement lifespan of 50-75 years.  The Brooklyn Bridge, opened in 1883, snorts.

    • Tim June 10, 2020 (7:43 pm)

      Oh, this old chestnut. It’s either the Brooklyn Bridge or the Golden Gate Bridge, I’ve heard both quite a bit. Look, those bridges did not have multiple exits and several elevation changes. They were also built over large bodies of water, not street traffic and businesses. They were also both steel suspension bridges, which tend to go up faster than concrete pour-and-place bridges, and they age very differently. They cannot be compared to each other simply because they all have “bridge” in the name.

      • M June 10, 2020 (8:47 pm)

        It’s also now 2020. Literally the future compared to when those bridges were built. 

      • HappyCamper June 10, 2020 (10:06 pm)

        Was/Is there a reason that we didn’t/won’t build a suspension bridge? It just seems like a huge part of the decision should be which type will give us the best ROI and life span, not just quick and cheap. Maybe it’s not feasible or possible to build that style? Sure seems like a better idea than a life span of 50yrs though.

        • Rumbles June 11, 2020 (8:23 am)

          The fact that the approach to Boeing Field is very near/over the bridge would likely explain the reason construction of a suspension bridge, and its large tower infrastructure, was not possible then and wouldn’t be now.  

          • AdmiralBridge June 11, 2020 (10:51 am)

            I’ve never understood this rationale.  Planes on approach to KBFI fly over Costco and downtown (hence the limit on building height).  If a pilot is approaching KBFI from the Duwarmish, isn’t he/she pretty far off????

        • Tim June 11, 2020 (10:39 am)

          It’s a fair question HappyCamper, but a suspension bridge won’t for for West Seattle because they require point-to-point entry, meaning one entrance and exit on each end. The WSB has, what, about seven entry and exits plus multiple elevation changes. You simply can’t do that with a steel suspension bridge.

  • J June 10, 2020 (4:37 pm)

    Fewer lanes of traffic than before, which was already completely, utterly over-capacity. Great work here SDOT, just top notch stuff. 

  • David June 10, 2020 (4:38 pm)

    Considering the time scale, I’m baffled why their street-work priority for the next several months is tearing up Delridge to add medians and bus lanes… you know, rather than something crazy like “expanding the bridge detour routes ASAP before Phase 2 kicks in”. Some, like poor Holden, are woefully unprepared for the volume.

    • Hank L June 10, 2020 (8:32 pm)

      Yup, Holden is going to be an almighty sh&tshow.  For the life of me I cannot fathom why SDOT hasn’t had teams working to turn it into a properly marked & utilized major arterial from 16th to HPWay for the last 3 months.  Between the emergency vehicle traffic, the blind curves, the short-cut side streets and the striped street parking on both curbs, this is an utter disaster waiting to happen.  Not just grindingly slow, but a complete breakdown of transit.

  • Todd June 10, 2020 (4:40 pm)

    So glad Skeeter and Jort can walk, bike, bus, and ferry.  Some of us have other needs that don’t take us downtown.  If all of us in West Seattle only needed to get downtown, then I see your point.  Otherwise, take your bike or bus  and quit telling the rest of us to do the same.

    • Go gull June 10, 2020 (7:10 pm)

      It’s possible to walk, bike, bus, and ferry other places than downtown.

    • heartless June 10, 2020 (7:39 pm)

      Todd- I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again–that’s a dumb argument.  Why?  Because more people in West Seattle can walk, bus, and ferry than can drive.  Once more, for those of you in the back: There are more people who can walk/bus/bike/ferry than there are who can drive.

      Also, what Gull said.

      • Scott Collins June 11, 2020 (10:35 pm)

        I honestly have no idea what you are saying.  But for the record,  I am one who cannot walk/bus/bike.  So I say tear it down and rebuild it and 5 or 6 years is ridiculous.   How long was the original build…with no plan, no land acquisition and no existing ingress egress points that are not failing…ie ramp to Fauntleroy 

        • TSurly June 12, 2020 (9:46 am)

          Curious as to what you do for a living Scott, where you have knowledge to credibly state a  5 year rebuild time is ridiculous. It’s a large, complex project that requires design/planning, permitting, stakeholder engagement, FUNDING, material sourcing/procurement and construction time. Given the parameters I just laid out, 5 to 6 years is not unreasonable. 

  • TJ June 10, 2020 (5:16 pm)

    Days where there have been accidents or stalls that cause bad delays in the past have generated outrage on the comments on here. Yet I see people commenting about “let’s add a few years of no bridge and do it right” amuse me. Unlike a lot of people, I was here and remember the original bridge debacle. Twice in 40 years now we have been screwed by a broken bridge. It defies the law of averages. Name another place anywhere with a population of West Seattle that has had this happen? It falls on the city, and they need to expedite this without a extra tax burden on us. There is no way that if the Brooklyn Bridge was shot it wouldn’t be rebuilt faster than 4-6 years. It appears many have confused themselves into thinking the entire length from Admiral to I-5 needs or should be rebuilt. From my understanding the support columns arent compromised, so replace the top sections and get on with it 

    • Bob R June 10, 2020 (7:33 pm)

      I’m glad you’re here, TJ. The experts most definitely couldn’t have thought up “replace the top sections and get on with it” if you weren’t on this forum! I sure hope they read this, they’ll be so thankful!

      • Smittytheclown June 10, 2020 (10:00 pm)

        Yes.  Trust your government.  🤣 

      • Scott Collins June 11, 2020 (10:37 pm)

        Bob, what is he missing?

    • KBear June 10, 2020 (9:37 pm)

      TJ, why would you think that a new bridge would be built FOR YOU, without YOU paying taxes for it? Are you some kind of a freeloader?

  • Onion June 10, 2020 (6:07 pm)

    The bottom line is that public transit (namely buses) and private bus service such as Microsoft’s Connector are going to have to pick up a lot of slack, including expanded service and improved connections to the east side and north of Seattle — in other words not just to downtown.

    • Tsurly June 11, 2020 (6:43 am)

      Privately owned buses can do whatever they want. Expanding bus service to the Eastside and north Seattle should only be done it if makes economic sense for Metro, not just to appease people who choose to love on a peninsula that already had limited egress prior to the bridge closing. Everyone else using metro currently has to transfer downtown to get to other places, why can’t West Seattle residents?

  • Jim June 10, 2020 (6:41 pm)

    Seattle and Wash dot need to stop allowing the designing things to the absolute bare minimum spec they can find.  Remenber the I-5 bridge Near Mt Vernon that collapsed  when ONE SEMI-TRUCK hit ONE GIRDER?  The Florida walking bridge, or that major Italian bridge that collapsed (43 dead).  Why are their Roman bridges still being used for trucks 2000 years later – stop designing for min cost and design for max safe life and changing requirements (heavier trucks & lots of them).

  • Ron Swanson June 10, 2020 (6:46 pm)

    The good news is that E-bikes are better and cheaper than ever! While not everyone can bike, most can and should for commuting trips.  Once you make the change you won’t miss driving..

    • Hi June 10, 2020 (7:19 pm)

      Yeah, biking is great- until you get hit twice by cars. Can’t afford to lose my life again. 

      • heartless June 10, 2020 (8:52 pm)

        D’ya suppose there are ex-drivers out there saying “Yeah driving’s great-until you hit a bicyclist”?

      • HappyCamper June 10, 2020 (9:07 pm)

        Yep. Have a friend in a wheelchair from that. He always did everything right too and it wasn’t his fault. Our bodies are a lot squishier than steel. I’m pro bike but let’s not forget that what would be a scratch or dent in a car could be a trip to the ER (or worse) on a bike and a lot of people are hard core enough to take that risk.

        • Tsurly June 11, 2020 (6:49 am)

          Right, I’ve never heard of anyone suffering from permanent disabilities from being in a car accident. 

          • Jort June 11, 2020 (11:36 pm)

            Oh you haven’t? Because 3 million Americans are injured annually from car crashes, which contribute to losses of $75 billion each year. But, you know, at least they weren’t wearing spandex and looking at homeless people in a bus, AMIRITE?!?!

        • Jennifer Hall June 13, 2020 (12:30 pm)

          Thanks for pointing that out.  I used to bike all over Seattle, but accidents that fortunately did not take my life (being forced into a culvert by a truck, and twice getting clipped and pushed into by motorists who just weren’t watching) really put the fear of motorists into me.  I am also slow, and not able to move out of the way fast enough on a bike, when something is coming at me.  

  • Blbl June 10, 2020 (6:48 pm)

    Ooooh, soon they will have enough information to start the discussion!!  We are really flying now!!

    • Tsurly June 10, 2020 (8:10 pm)

      Your are absolutely correct. We should make a knee jerk $500M+ decision without adequate data just to appease the infantile foot-stomping “we want our bridge now” crowd. 

  • Chris K June 10, 2020 (8:25 pm)

    I wish we had the same amount of passion focused on defunding/abolishing the SPD as we do with a getting a car bridge repaired.

    • Sixbuck June 10, 2020 (9:40 pm)

      Chris K, you never will because not that many people, not even in Seattle, are ignorant enough to abolish the police. 😷

      • Hi June 11, 2020 (11:11 am)

        Who is saying to abolish the police? Defunding and abolishing are not the same. 

        • Chris K June 11, 2020 (2:02 pm)

          It is being considered in Minneapolis, a less progressive city than Seattle.  I hope that our leaders are watching and taking notes.

          • Scott Collins June 11, 2020 (10:39 pm)

            Not true chris.  Abolishing is very different from what is being proposed.  Neither of which have to do with the wsb

        • alki_2008 June 11, 2020 (3:11 pm)

          Who is saying abolish?  Some protesters claiming to represent the CHAZ.

    • Hi June 10, 2020 (9:56 pm)

      No one is protesting in the streets for the bridge. I think that movement is a bit bigger, friend.  

  • Amanda June 10, 2020 (8:31 pm)

    I need a solution right NOW! 

    • heartless June 10, 2020 (8:53 pm)

      When in doubt scream and shout?

  • Leigh June 10, 2020 (8:48 pm)

    Great presentation by retired civil engineer Bob Ortblad tonight discussing the tunnel idea. In case anyone is unfamiliar with his idea, I’d suggest you join one of his webinars which will be hosted again the next two Wednesday evenings. See link below.https://westseattleblog.com/2020/06/west-seattle-bridge-closure-3-chances-to-talk-with-immersed-tube-tunnel-proponent/Sounds like work building the two pontoon like structures could begin while the current bridge is still being taken down since that would happen offsite. So faster, safer, and cheaper (?) vs replacing the bridge. We need to make sure this idea gets serious consideration as it sounds like the city has been focused in on repairing/replacing the bridge and not fully considering all the options.

    • Leigh June 10, 2020 (10:19 pm)

      Sorry, looks like I messed up the link. Let’s try that again: https://westseattleblog.com/2020/06/west-seattle-bridge-closure-3-chances-to-talk-with-immersed-tube-tunnel-proponent/

      • alki_2008 June 11, 2020 (3:14 pm)

        I really hope this idea is given serious consideration, especially considering the resiliency of an ITT compared to a bridge in seismic conditions. After all, we do get earthquakes here and a seismic event could seriously impact the lifespan of a repair/replaced high bridge.

        If WSP is still involved with the city, then it seems from their website that they have experience with ITT’s.

    • Scott Collins June 11, 2020 (10:40 pm)

      Too bad they scrapped Bertha.   Could have come in handy 

  • ScubaFrog June 10, 2020 (10:22 pm)

    West Seattle has a significant bloc of voters.  Let’s vote wisely, we’ll make and break elections.

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