FOLLOWUP: 1st Avenue S. Bridge work going more slowly than expected

(Reader photo)

The overnight northbound closures of the 1st Avenue S. Bridge will continue longer than first expected. We’ve been asking WSDOT about the status of the project, which is replacing 14 of the bridge’s deck panels, and finally got an update this afternoon. The work hit a glitch, explains WSDOT spokesperson Bart Treece – some trouble getting the new panels fastened to the bridge. So even though the work started July 26th, with a five-nights-a-week schedule, Treece says they’ve only completed two panel replacements so far. So at this point it looks like the Sunday-Thursday overnight northbound bridge closures (10 pm-5 am) will continue through next Wednesday; WSDOT is still working out the schedule, which might include some lane closures beyond that. (For more project/bridge background, see our story from last month.)

19 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: 1st Avenue S. Bridge work going more slowly than expected"

  • Late for... August 11, 2020 (5:49 pm)

    Last week Thursday midday they closed the northbound lanes for 10-15 minutes at least twice in succession (some minutes in between) to do more welding.  Fortunately I’d left home much earlier than the new normal, so made it to my appointment on time.  Plan for the worst.  I didn’t know midday closures were part of the closure schedule.  Are they?

    • Yup August 12, 2020 (9:37 am)

      Late for – it is still a bridge and will open from time to time during to day.  Step out of your little bubble

      • T August 12, 2020 (3:41 pm)

        Yup, your last sentence was unnecessary. 

  • Wsea206 August 11, 2020 (7:17 pm)

    I’ve left the island over the 1st ave bridge four times and had the bridge up each time (either leaving or coming back). I’m pretty much done with going that direction. Also, I’ve seen so many cars go over the lower bridge that is pretty sure it’s open for all now but I’m just not sure or willing to take the chance.

    • WSB August 11, 2020 (8:45 pm)

      SPD still has emphasis patrols so you would indeed be taking a chance (unless you’re using it 9 pm-5 am). Have you tried the South Park Bridge? Its east end is only a mile south of the 1st Ave.S. Bridge’s north end.

    • Norse Girl August 12, 2020 (10:32 am)

      (Hello. West Seattle is a peninsula not an island.)

      • WSEA August 12, 2020 (4:28 pm)

        Hello. You dont think I know that.  Everyone in seattle and the on the blog have  been calling it island as a joke.   Joke = a thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter.

  • Lola August 12, 2020 (9:23 am)

    It is because these jobs are subbed out, not even done by WSDOT.  Is it really worth doing it with the cheapest bidder anymore?  Look at our WS Bridge the Road was crumbling at the East End of the Bridge for Month’s after they had a Sub Contractor come in and re-do it.  Our infastructure will never be good if we keep letting these fly by night Sub Contractors come in and do the job incorrectly. 

  • Bart Treece - WSDOT August 12, 2020 (10:11 am)

    Good thing you planned ahead and made your appointment. The daytime welding is not a part of this project but rather emergency maintenance repairs. The nighttime work is replacing the 14 panels that are the worst of the worst. There are many bridges around the state that are due or over due for preservation work and there is not adequate funding to address all the needs. For this bridge, there isn’t enough funding to replace the remaining 82 panels at this time. As a result, our maintenance crews do a lot of work to keep our roads and bridges safe and get as much life out of what we have, this often means spot emergency repairs.

    • T August 12, 2020 (3:42 pm)

      Thank you for participating Bart. 

  • Stevie J August 12, 2020 (11:37 am)

    WSDOT, eh? I guess SDOT won’t get the wrath of armchair engineers this time around. Despite drivers’ claims of overtaxation, it appears they are not paying their full share if there isn’t enough funding for repairs and maintenance of existing infrastructure. We need to stop building new highways, stop expanding current highways, and raise the price of driving until we can afford to maintain what we have. Maybe we can abandon some roads or lanes (convert them to multiuse trails, linear parks, etc) to focus more of the budget on the more important roads and bridges. 

    • Jort August 12, 2020 (3:49 pm)

      Those are really great ideas, Stevie J. Thanks!

  • Jeff B August 12, 2020 (11:42 am)

    Bart -Thank you for the response.  I really appreciate your participation in this discussion and for providing accurate information.

    • Bart Treece - WSDOT August 12, 2020 (4:19 pm)

      We want to make sure you have good information. We know this project is important and there’s a lot of interest from people in West Seattle due to some of the challenges. The intent here is to be helpful. 

  • Jonah August 12, 2020 (4:28 pm)

    Stevie J. Since you seem to know tell us how much we drivers do pay in taxes and educate us on how WSDOT and SDOT are spending it. You seem to feel we don’t pay enough and that all our tax money is being spent wisely. Educate us how it is being spent.

    • KM August 13, 2020 (8:59 am)

      Jonah, do the research yourself. You have the internet. Stevie doesn’t owe you answers.    

  • Jonah August 12, 2020 (6:42 pm)

    Stevie J. Also, i’m unaware of ANY new highway’s being built, or current one’s being expanded. Where are they??

    • Ron Swanson August 13, 2020 (4:44 pm)


      -509 being extended to 5 south of the airport

      -167 being extended to 5 along the Puyallup river

      -5 being widened through JBLM

      -90 being widened through Issaquah

      -520 being widened through Montlake

      -90 being widened through the pass

      -405 being widened from Bellevue to Renton

      -5 being widened through Tacoma

  • randy August 15, 2020 (7:55 am)

    I will learn this. 1 Corinthians 13: 1 Love is patient 

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