After 4 months, West Seattle Bridge closure is finally an emergency. And – the bridge is still looking fixable

(WSB file photo)

11:02 AM: Two announcements from the city today, almost four months since the sudden shutdown of the West Seattle Bridge.

First – the mayor has finally officially declared the closure a city emergency, signing a proclamation today (see it here). That potentially paves the way for state/federal assistance with paying for repair/replacement (see that document here).

It’s been a long time coming; at least one community advocate – Morgan Junction’s Deb Barker, who’s a member of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, has been suggesting it since June (we followed up with the mayor after that and were told she was considering it). Barker said today, “The Mayoral Proclamation of Civil Emergency tells the rest of the City and the region that the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure is a life-impacting event of epic proportion for thousands of people, and that it is not business as usual in West Seattle until the bridge connection is restored.”

Whether that will be via repair or replacement won’t be determined until later this summer; that’s what SDOT communications director Michael Harold reiterated last night in a presentation to the Morgan Community Association (full report on that later). But today there’s another indication that repairs are possible – the Technical Advisory Panel has issued a new statement to that effect:

The TAP has not been presented with any information that indicates that a long-term repair is infeasible or economically unviable. We therefore recommend that this option be retained and fully explored.

In making this statement, we have relied on documents provided by SDOT in the WSHB Technical Advisory Panel file repository, as well as presentations, responses to formal questions, and technical discussions with SDOT and WSP. No original bridge calculations, shop drawings or field notes were available for TAP review as those records do not exist within SDOT records or City archives. It should be noted that aspects of the As-Built drawings have come under scrutiny by SDOT and WSP and that the TAP has been advised to consider these documents as only partially representative of the final configuration of the bridge at the time of construction. No current survey data, geotechnical assessment, or seismic vulnerability evaluation were provided for consideration. While photos inside the box girders were made available, the TAP did not perform any visual observation of bearings or the box girder structure.

This recommendation is predicated on SDOT’s acceptance that the bridge will not be brought up to current seismic standards if repaired. We note that there is currently uncertainty with respect to the capacity (number of travel lanes) that a repair option would provide.

We understand that WSP is currently analyzing a Phase 2 long-term repair option; no analysis or calculations for the proposed long-term repairs were reviewed to confirm adequacy of such repairs. If/as more information is provided to the TAP, we reserve the right to revise this statement accordingly.

This reinforces what SDOT’s Matt Donahue told the Community Task Force a month ago, as reported here. SDOT elaborated on that less than a week later, explaining that they’re also evaluating “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.”

Regardless of which path is pursued, the bridge still has to be stabilized first, SDOT says, and that work is under way; the hoisting of a work platform up to the bridge is now set for early next week, Harold told MoCA last night.

1:40 PM: After reading the TAP statement while writing this story, we asked SDOT’s Michael Harold about the TAP note regarding documents, since we recalled Matt Donahue at one point mentioning the existence of a sizable amount of old documents. SDOT just sent this clarification:

We have provided the Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) with all West Seattle High-Rise Bridge documents and information which we knowingly possess after performing a meticulous search for digital, physical and microfilm records in the records vaults and archives of several City departments and requesting records from the original bridge contractors. Nothing that the TAP has asked for which is knowingly in our possession has been withheld. We want the best possible outcome, and need to use the best possible data to make that happen. To clarify, the TAP is not implying that all of this information exists yet; for example we did not conduct new survey data because we determined that the exhaustive data provided by our daily inspections, intelligent monitoring system and non-destructive testing was both a sufficient and superior basis for our analysis. The TAP believes it is important to be explicit about what information they did or did not have to inform their conclusions, and we support that approach.

85 Replies to "After 4 months, West Seattle Bridge closure is finally an emergency. And - the bridge is still looking fixable"

  • Bob Hanson July 16, 2020 (11:29 am)

    Keep buses and freight off of the west Seattle bridge. 20+ ton buses at 60ft length is 2-4 2-ton cars. Add in semi trucks, concrete trucks and other ultra heavy items – no wonder the bridge is collapsing. Also, put a moratorium on new homes in WSEA to prevent population growth without a transit solution. Nobody is hardly on the buses during Covid anyways.West Seattle is a car based area so the ultra bile and bus people is just not feasible. Not everybody works downtown Seattle that live here.

    • John July 16, 2020 (11:39 am)

      You realize the weight of 10-20 cars is about the same as one bus, right? Do you think only 10-20 cars will be crossing the bridge at a given time?

      • J July 16, 2020 (2:11 pm)

        Force applied to the road vs the weight of the vehicle is not a linear relationship.  A typical 18 wheeler that is 20 times heavier than a typical car does 9600 times the amount of damage, per the Government Accountability Office:

        • Civil engineer July 16, 2020 (7:13 pm)

          +1 Stress to road grows by the power of four for equivalent single axle loads. Heavy vehicles disproportionately damage infrastructure. That’s one reason why we have weigh stations along highways.

      • S - in West Seattle July 16, 2020 (2:13 pm)

        John 10 – 20 cars are spread out over a greater distance then one bus, so no it is not the same. 

      • Dozer July 16, 2020 (3:48 pm)

        Distributed weight vs concentrated weight.

    • Jort July 16, 2020 (12:02 pm)

      West Seattle is a “car-based area?” That is just one of the saddest, most depressing declarations about our neighborhood I’ve ever seen. I tend to believe we’re a “people-” and “family-” and “human-based area” but I can understand how Car Brain Disease can make people think that the only thing West Seattle should be known for is its cars. That’s what Phil Tavel said, anyway, right before he had a blowout, crushing defeat in last year’s election, calling West Seattle’s parking lots (!) “One of District One’s unique qualities.” What a sad and underwhelming assessment of West Seattle. 

      • Alf July 16, 2020 (1:03 pm)

        Jort such a silly one note boy, yep cars are here to stay along with other modes.  Your illusion that bikes, walking and buses are going to eliminat cars and the need for cars is just that an illusion this is not to say we can’t improve other forms of transit, but the reality is that for a variety of reasons  folks in west Seattle will need and use their cars.  Fixing the bridge is not an option it is needed by this community,  hate to burst your bubble, will it take a while you bet, will there be pain and inconvenience for a while, you bet, will it happen you betcha

        • tsurly July 16, 2020 (2:11 pm)

          A few years down the road when the bridge is fixed/replaced, I wonder if the “Never Anything But A Car” folks be so grateful to have the old way out again that they will never complain about traffic, or will it be back to the usual mid-morning / afternoon rants about how bad it is? Traffic is only going to get worse as our region continues to grow, and whatever solution is implemented to fix/replace the bridge, no matter the capacity, there will still be a bottleneck at 99 and I-5. I’d bet my finest bicycle that after the bridge issue is resolved, the discussion on the Blog’s daily traffic update will revert right back to where it was in the past. Internet fingers will be pointed at some branch of government, blaming them for the traffic, not the person in the mirror.

        • chemist July 17, 2020 (2:17 am)

          It’s just Jort showing their “Bike Brain Disease”.

        • skeeter July 17, 2020 (11:20 am)


          You guys are totally, absolutely, completely missing Jort’s
          point.  Yes of course there are many
          hundreds of people who simply need to drive a car or van to work.  We need to carry equipment.  We need to travel long distances very quickly.  We need to pick people up and drop them
          off.  That is why is a absolutely
          critical to keep our streets free of car traffic so people can drive quickly
          without wasting huge amounts of time in traffic.  There are two ways to do this:  (1) add immense quantities of new roads or (2)
          convince people who have options to get out of their cars and take transit or
          walk/bike.  Warning – option #1 doesn’t
          work.  There is no scenario in which we
          can add significant road capacity to our region at any cost.  That leaves us with option #2.  It is so critical that we give people
          good/safe options for getting around using transit and bikes/walking.  But instead of pursuing option #2 we give
          people cheap gasoline, free roads, and free car parking.  Then we get mad that we are sitting in

          Jort and TSURLY are simply stating the truth – if you need
          to drive a car then it is absolutely critical that we encourage people who *don’t*
          need a car to start walking and biking as much as possible.  It is so frustrating when people do not
          understand that the only way to keep our cars and trucks moving quickly is to
          get 75 or 80% of people out of their cars. 
          Then the 20 or 25% of people who really need to drive can do so quickly
          and efficiently.           

          • S - in West Seattle July 17, 2020 (1:35 pm)

            75% to 80% lol. Flip those numbers get 20% to 25% out of cars is more realistic.  

          • my car is evil July 17, 2020 (2:48 pm)

            Skeeter- Maybe Jort and Tsurly should have you script their posts so they don’t come across the way they do.

      • Will July 16, 2020 (1:09 pm)

        Wrong again Jort. 

        • me July 16, 2020 (2:02 pm)

          Car free is the future. No way that can happen over night but also no way the city can keep growing and having cars and no way the city will just stop growing so…plus all the other benefits of going car free.

          • my car is evil July 16, 2020 (2:56 pm)

            Jort, can you offer your cycling services, since driving a car around/ out of Seattle is so abhorrent? Please get in touch and I will give you my meeting schedule.  My workplace is in West Seattle, but I need to get to a few work locations a couple times a week for meetings / site visits.  Sometimes I need to bring a ladder, sometimes some construction samples, and sometimes a couple roll of documents.  I’m not able to bike that far, and it’s kinda complicated to take all this stuff on the bus (plus the buses don’t always get me so close- and the bus rides are 40+ minutes longer than the car rides with the transfers).  Looking for a bike ride to Laurelhurst and Ballard a couple times a week. ‘K thx    

          • Will July 16, 2020 (3:27 pm)

            Yes Jort me too. I have to take hundreds of pounds of maritime equipment to work.  My work is all over the area, especially where there’s no bus.  Please cycle me and my work supplies to work.  Thanks so much. I can’t wait to stop being so insanely evil because I use an automobile.  I’m awful. 

          • HappyCamper July 16, 2020 (3:36 pm)

            Exactly. Buses have their place and are helpful in a holistic approach to transportation but that’s it. People are going to need cars for work, household things and leisure for a VERY long time. Not all people all of the time but cars aren’t going away anytime soon. 

          • Actually July 16, 2020 (6:35 pm)

            My car is evil- check out Mr. Money Mustache… he often writes about moving things like ladders by bike. He’s fit as hell and retired early. He’s doing something right. Where there’s a will there’s a way…

        • Scott Collins July 16, 2020 (7:22 pm)

          Ditto Jort, I provide care to the elderly and have to travel throughout the Seattle area, from Snohomish County Line to Renton…do you have a pedicab with enough room for the medical supplies I need to bring?  And can you get from North Seattle to South Seattle in 30 minutes?  Awesome!

          • bill July 16, 2020 (8:36 pm)

            You are all just deliberately dense. Of course there are some people who have to carry ladders between their maritime job sites. But vastly more people have no such need. They drive by choice. If some of those folks could be enticed out of their cars the roads would flow much better for those who do not have a choice.

          • Chemist July 17, 2020 (3:32 pm)

            Can we also encourage strong cyclists to start using tandem bikes with less cycling capable neighbors to make more room in our limited bike trails during this closure?

    • Maggie July 16, 2020 (4:01 pm)

      Don’t worry, no one wants to buy a house in West Seattle anymore. There was just an article about demand plummeting in the PSBJ this week.  

      • Krs July 16, 2020 (10:20 pm)

        Although anecdotal, we’ve put 4 offers in on houses (over asking) since March and have been beat out by multiple offer deals. The market still seems to be hot. Inventory is still low. 

        • WSB July 16, 2020 (10:46 pm)

          We routinely walk through a few miles of Gatewood where we’ve seen half a dozen or so homes go up for sale and, before long, get “SOLD” signs. Just anecdotal, but it’s nonetheless evidence that those alleging “no one wants to move here” are wrong.

    • YouDontGnomeMe July 16, 2020 (4:43 pm)

      Bob – It seems to me, based on your comment, that you are of the common WS mentality that nothing here should change, and we should stop anything new from happening. This is further shown by your comment that WS is a car based area. As someone who is local to this area, but only a WS resident for a few years, I’ve seen that making sure we have multiple transportation options available is extremely important. The high bridge closure is showing us just that.  For the record, I’m very much a car person and do not approve of many changes in the city regarding traffic/bike lanes. Over the years it has become more difficult to navigate the city by car. But at the same time, I  use public transpiration often and want the city to keep improving this crucial infrastructure.

  • AlkiRosco July 16, 2020 (11:35 am)

    Does anyone know why Mayor Durkan didn’t declare it an emergency earlier?  I’m curious… if that opens up federal dollars I would have thought that would have been done at the start.  I’m guessing there is a reason… just curious about the strategy there.

    • AMD July 16, 2020 (3:04 pm)

      Because she’s bad at her job.  I know, I’m always the first one on here harping on people to be constructive and don’t just complain at whatever people in charge you know the names of, but I just can’t with her any more.  It’s an obvious question.  It doesn’t take that much time to declare it an emergency and there’s nothing to lose by doing so.  She’s just really ineffective.

      • Echo July 16, 2020 (6:03 pm)

        Is this really the answer and there was not a strategic reason to do so? I don’t disagree that she is not a good mayor, but we thought that about Mayor McShwinn, and now I’m thinking we were a little short-sighted given the two that we have elected since that time….

        • JES July 17, 2020 (7:30 pm)

          We didn’t elect her 

  • Jort July 16, 2020 (11:53 am)

    One thing I love about Jenny “I Love Cars” Durkan is that she’s working really, really, REALLY hard to build a constituency of nobody. She’s certainly never going to be conservative enough to please the fringe right-wing nut jobs who make up a noisy 3 percent of our electorate, nor will she do anything actually progressive to win over progressives in our overwhelmingly progressive city. The only constituency she seems truly devoted to is the, again, small and noisy minority of people with heartfelt and sincere commitments to The Seattle Process™.  This seems rooted in the absolutely stupid political belief in the inevitability of Centrism Supremacy. Good luck with that garbage electoral strategy, Mayor “I Love Cars!” I look forward to an actual progressive candidate next year. Jenny gotta go.

    • just wondering July 16, 2020 (1:05 pm)

      Kshama gotta go too!

      • Jort July 16, 2020 (3:01 pm)

        Oooo weird her district just voted on that very subject less than a year ago and it turned out Kshama gonna stay. Ooops so sorry.

        • K. Davis July 17, 2020 (1:31 pm)

          If you’re a fan of Sawant and her particular brand of stupid extremism, that is most illuminating, if entirely consistent with the tired forced-socialist crap you’ve posted here.  It explains a lot.  

      • John July 17, 2020 (12:29 am)

        Kshama is fine. But thanks. 

  • West Seattle Lurker July 16, 2020 (11:56 am)

    I love that in Seattle the busiest road can break and it’s not an emergency, so tranquil and easy going here. 

    • Also John July 16, 2020 (3:59 pm)

      I wouldn’t have classified it as an emergency.  We still have numerous ways in and out of West Seattle.       If the bridge was our only source……that would’ve been an emergency.

  • Bradley July 16, 2020 (12:42 pm)

    Put an immediate freeze on new and existing West Seattle building permits and new residential construction. Not one residential project should start until a replacement bridge or tunnel is imminent.

    • stacy July 16, 2020 (4:40 pm)


    • echo July 16, 2020 (6:06 pm)

      I get what you are saying, but you cannot just put a moratorium on building for the reason of “it takes longer to get to work and my home value is depreciating at a rocket pace”. 

    • Hammer in Hand July 16, 2020 (9:04 pm)

      I am not willing to have you shut down my livelihood I would prefer to work in those project as I would not be adding to the traffic mess getting out of West Seattle  

    • tsurly July 17, 2020 (8:32 am)

      Ah there is some of that typical conservative hypocrisy. Stomp your feet about property rights and freedom, giving the tyrannical, overreaching  gubment the middle finger when they try and tell you what you can/can’t do with your property, unless it fits your narrative. Don’t tread on the rights of property owners who are allowed to build/do what they want within the limits of law.

    • YouDontGnomeMe July 17, 2020 (9:46 am)

      What a stupid, stupid idea. The greater Seattle area is growing like crazy (has been for a long time, and will continue for a long time too), so to think that shutting down construction in a small part of this region for a couple years is going to do anything to change that is ridiculous. Even if somehow this happened and new development was paused, the construction will all start up again, WS will get new buildings/retail, and it will have accomplished nothing in the end. Going along with the point made by Hammer In Hand, sounds like you’re okay with shutting down more businesses and peoples means of making a living during this pandemic? Simply because it’ll be more convenient? Or are you just trying to push the tired old agenda of WS that is “don’t change anything, we want to be isolated and pretend the world doesn’t grow around us”?

      • Bradley July 17, 2020 (1:24 pm)

        You mean like Governor Inslee shutting down residential construction state-wide but not commercial? Yeah….

  • Joe Z July 16, 2020 (12:52 pm)

    It seems like the purpose is to help with securing funding so I’m not going to get too worked up about this. 

    • Anne July 16, 2020 (2:01 pm)

      Ahh-here we go with a  Jort rant- was waiting for it after first comment & you didn’t disappoint! Not a sad & underwhelming assessment of WS-but reality- many will never be able for a number of legitimate reasons be able to walk,bike, bus, jog out of WS-including our family. Just a fact- when & if busses can safely( Covid) & efficiently get folks where they need to go- which in my opinion also means having park & rides/garages strategically placed  in & around WS so folks can get on a bus-that could change some-eventually light rail -will be a game changer for sure. Still need to efficiently get to a light rail station though.  Even with that said -cars will  still/always be the mode of travel for many. Who said West Seattle is only known for its use of cars? You? I don’t know anyone-who when asked what WS is known for would even think of saying “ cars”.

      • wscommuter July 16, 2020 (2:53 pm)

        The anti-car fringe isn’t going away; it’s easiest just to ignore them.  They live in a bubble of wishful thinking and single-thought narrative that is incapable of accepting the complexity of, you know, the real world.  So be it.  We’ll get our bridge back eventually and those who drive for whatever reason – necessity, choice, etc. – will be fine.  Let the ranters rant.  Not worth taking the bait.   

        • Chris July 16, 2020 (3:15 pm)

          Well put. I hate to admit that I subscribed to this one-dimensional thinking before I grew up, had kids, and experienced how dangerous cycling during rush hour can be.  

          • Tsurly July 16, 2020 (8:18 pm)

            Don’t use age, kids, job demands, etc. as an excuse. Plenty of us check those same boxes, yet still ride bikes everyday. Not sure I agree with the rush hour danger comment, it keeps getting better with the addition of more bike infrastructure and improvements.

        • tsurly July 16, 2020 (3:30 pm)

          You do realize that a vast majority of us in the “anti-car fringe” own (multiple in my case) and drive cars, right? We live in the same real world that you do and are impacted by the bridge closure in the same way. The difference is that we are proponents of practical, non-car based solutions that, if implemented, will make things better for everyone. 

        • Jort July 16, 2020 (5:16 pm)

          I’d argue that if we’re going to talk about people living in “bubbles,” it would be the people with Car Brain Disease who are fundamentally incapable of recognizing what every other developed country around the planet long ago realized, themselves: that there is no such thing as a sustainable transportation system that prioritizes personal automobiles above all other modes. Seattle certainly will not be the first city in human history to solve the conundrum of cars-first planning and easy, sustainable commuting. 

        • M July 16, 2020 (5:27 pm)

          I am a cyclist and retired. For the past few years, I have done most of my long bike rides starting in West Seattle and leaving the car at home. After all the crap that has happened in the last 2 months and the growing homeless encampments and trash  everywhere, I am still cycling, but I now take my bike in the car to get out of Seattle so as to avoid the encampments and trash. So, now I am driving  more than I have in the last few years because it is unsafe to ride through drug infested camps and cycling past RVs.

          • Brian July 17, 2020 (11:25 am)

            How is cycling past an RV dangerous? Is it because the shadow it casts is big and scary?

  • Pete July 16, 2020 (1:25 pm)

    So neither the city or SDOT is in possession of the final construction documents from when the bridge was built? That surely can’t be the case. Dang it I forgot we were dealing with SDOT so anything is possible at this point. I wonder if doing a Public Records request would make them mysteriously appear. 

    • WSB July 16, 2020 (1:28 pm)

      I asked SDOT about that this morning. Michael Harold says he’s not sure exactly which documents have been provided to the TAP so far.

      • WSB July 16, 2020 (1:39 pm)

        … and in fact I just got a response following up on my question; adding it to the story.

    • 1994 July 16, 2020 (10:19 pm)

      Maybe Bertha buried the documents, you know, sealed away in concrete underground.

  • Tony S July 16, 2020 (1:42 pm)

    I found this incredibly curious as well. The trumpeting of the TAP and their technical expertise and prowess that came with the announced committee formation, it makes me feel like they’re being sabotaged before they can even start to work. How can there be now records of the original build? It’s not even four generations old! 

  • Lisa July 16, 2020 (1:47 pm)

    OMG – how are people not going ballistic over the fact that this is JUST now being called an emergency??

  • Jim Carter July 16, 2020 (1:52 pm)

    Is it just me, or are the politicians we elected doing their very best to simply screw Seattle residents?”Lost Blue Prints”,,, closed “Safe Streets”, Bike lanes making “normal” driving  even more difficult due to loss of traffic lanes, seemingly “forcing” us to start using Mass transit to get to the downtown area.”Head Tax” will force businesses to leave Seattle, under the guise of BLM, gotta recover all that lost COVID 19 money!!Lowering the speed limits across the City in the name of Safety,,,, How many accidents have you had on your street the past 4-5 years? How many of those were fatalities?? Spending how many millions of unaccounted for, or cross-situational Programs for the Homeless?We need to set our city up to succeed into the future, to help Seattle grow and become the best place to live in the USA!! Our current “leaders”,, and I use that term VERY LIGHTLY,, are NOT going to get it done for us!!!

    • Erik July 16, 2020 (4:41 pm)

      We didn’t start the fire….nuna nah na na♫

    • 1994 July 16, 2020 (10:21 pm)

      Jim Carter for mayor!

    • skeeter July 17, 2020 (12:30 pm)

      @Jim CarterTo answer your question about fatalities, there were four (4) pedestrian fatalities in West Seattle in 2019.  Four people were struck and killed by cars in West Seattle alone during 2019.  As for biking lanes removing traffic lanes, can you please let us know where this is going on?  I have not seen a single mile of traffic lane removed for a bike lane.  Are you talking about Seattle?

      • 1994 July 17, 2020 (4:47 pm)

        Roxbury got a road diet from 2 lanes each direction down to 1 lane, between 35th and 16th.  The plan for the space between the vehicle lane, to the right of the white lines, and the curb is for a bike lane. 

  • James Patrick Herrmann July 16, 2020 (1:59 pm)

    I got a laugh at the statement, “…we are running a marathon at a sprinter’s pace..” 4 months after the closing, an executive emergency?

  • Public Safety July 16, 2020 (2:29 pm)

    On a different subject- I am curious as to how our council representative from WS voted on the 50% cut the the police budget?  What a disgrace that 7 of the members were in favor of this.  

    • WSB July 16, 2020 (2:44 pm)

      There was no vote. As we reported, there is no legislation pending, so far. We’ll have a followup later today but bottom line is all that happened yesterday was a discussion.

      • Mike July 16, 2020 (2:57 pm)

        Any idea as to how Lisa Herbold feels on this? Was there any record of her comments in the discussion?

          • Mike July 16, 2020 (3:07 pm)

            Thanks for that.  But, I meant how she feels on cutting the budget for the police?

          • WSB July 16, 2020 (5:04 pm)

            She is pro-defunding, although as I said, there is no specific proposal/legislation/plan so far. I have asked for a chance to talk with her to clarify what she is in favor of. So far, all I have is a quote that I’ll be using in the forthcoming followup, saying she does not support the chief’s suggestion that the SW Precinct would have to be closed.

          • Mike July 16, 2020 (5:17 pm)

            Thanks for the clarification.Another reason why Lisa needs to go!

        • mok4315 July 16, 2020 (4:47 pm)

          Lisa not only supports the 50% defund, she also suggested to Chief Best that SPD lay off officers out of order of seniority as a way to preserve the jobs of the people of color. Chief Best explained to her that they could not do lay offs based on color, but I don’t think it got through. 

          • Derrick July 17, 2020 (7:58 am)

            Totally okay with the defunding! Cops are killing people and paid way too much. Need to invest in community instead.

    • AMD July 16, 2020 (3:08 pm)

      All three council members that live in West Seattle are in favor of the budget change.  That’s why Best chose the SW precinct to threaten.  It’s the one that offers the most political leverage since 1/3 of the city council (and almost half the budget cut supporters) live in their service area.

  • dsa July 16, 2020 (2:40 pm)

    TAP wrote:  ” … SDOT’s acceptance that the bridge will not be brought up to current seismic standards if repaired…”   It makes me wonder if SDOT cares about earthquakes or commuters if they are willing to ignore seismic standards.

  • Mj July 16, 2020 (5:34 pm)

    The data is showing the WSB is fixable and no red flags with repair and fix as the option to proceed with.  This option is clearly the quickest.  The future weight distribution may need to be in balance, the 4 EB and 3 WB lane configuration may not be a loading that works anymore.

  • Westwood July 16, 2020 (5:48 pm)

    After taking the jam packed cattle car called the C line to downtown for at least a year during non covid times, until we have rail to the area, we really don’t have public transit.

    • Derrick July 17, 2020 (8:00 am)

      C line has never been that bad for me. I live at 35/Avalon and taken it for 3 years. Gets me to Belltown about the same time daily. No more than 25 minutes. Pretty decent considering. 

  • David July 16, 2020 (6:47 pm)

    A note to those decrying the selfishness of those who don’t take the bus or bike, regarding bus reliability:
    I knew Metro was having issues that make it impractical for many to use the bus, but I had no idea how bad it had gotten until I re-experienced it this week.
    Don’t take my word for it, go to and see for yourself. Click on Routes (right middle of the map), and pick one. Now start clicking on the buses running that route – it’ll display how far ahead or behind schedule they are.
    Just checking out three, the variance I saw from schedule for all three was often as much as 30 minutes. These weren’t extreme examples, these were just the first three I picked and watched for a little while – I can only guess how much worse extreme examples are.
    To make sure you get somewhere important on time, you have to be as much as 20 minutes early or you’ll miss the bus. And you have to compensate for the fact it can be as much as 10 minutes late. I don’t want to think about how much leeway you have to give for a trip that requires transfers, because you have to also allow time in case you miss your transfer.
    If you have an extra hour to spare just for a one-bus round trip, just to compensate for bus variance – not even including how long the trip takes – good for you. I don’t know many people who do, and until Metro fixes this, doubling ridership is a pipe dream.

  • me July 16, 2020 (6:55 pm)

    “This recommendation is predicated on SDOT’s acceptance that the bridge will not be brought up to current seismic standards if repaired.”What does this mean? It seems to say that if the bridge is repaired it won’t be safe in an earthquake, does it say that?

    • bill July 16, 2020 (8:48 pm)

      That statement could use some elaboration. I would speculate it means the bridge would meet the standards in place when it was built. The fault under the bridge was only discovered recently, and the potential magnitude of a Cascadia megaquake has also only been appreciated recently, well after the bridge was built. So the bridge will be as safe or unsafe as it always has been. It’s just that now we know it is not as safe as we thought.

  • beard man July 16, 2020 (8:28 pm)

    More people should ride bikes in West Seattle. It’s really good for you. Electric bikes male it easy too. I ride a gravel bike but I see people on electric bikes flying up the hills with no effort. Just a thought.

    • Dozer July 17, 2020 (9:05 am)

      Not a very well considered thought Beard Man. Or, I should say, a thought that may have been directed at how to recreate, rather than about how to get to and from work, make a dump run, take kids to and from school / practice, do your costco run. Thoughts are appreciated. Good and considered ones even more so. 

  • Mj July 16, 2020 (9:39 pm)

    me – there is a lot of existing infrastructure that is not constructed to current standards.  this does not mean it’s not functionally safe to use.  

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