During last week’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting (WSB coverage here), SDOT revealed that analysis so far shows the bridge IS likely fixable – so the biggest question now is whether repairs are feasible, more than whether they’re possible. Just published on SDOT Blog this afternoon is a close-up look at what led to that preliminary determination. From the post:
…Over the past few months, we have been hard at work conducting more than 100 scientific tests to analyze the structural stability of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge. The tests completed so far have not found indications of problems with the post-tensioning system, comprising the steel strands running through the structure like a skeleton. Problems with this system would mean repairs would be much less likely to succeed.
We are continuing to analyze how long repairs would take, how much they would cost, whether or not repairs would allow traffic to return to previous levels, and how long and in what capacity the bridge could remain open after potential repairs were completed so that we can tell whether or not fixing the bridge is a worthwhile investment. …
We are keeping all options open and are still moving forward with our search for a team to design a replacement for the bridge in case repairs are not a feasible option. Meanwhile, we have begun assembling our construction equipment to stabilize the bridge, which will be a necessary step in every possible scenario.
The full analysis of the structural stability of the bridge should be complete in early July…..
From there, the post takes a deep dive into “a look at how the steel post-tension system works and the types of scientific tests we performed to analyze the structural stability of it.” It imcludes more on the cracks themselves. Again, the full post is here.
P.S. The next Community Task Force meeting is Wednesday at noon; we’re awaiting the link for public viewing and will publish it when we get it.