FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Bridge NOW hears back from the mayor

(Photo by Tony Welch)

One week ago, we noted that the community coalition West Seattle Bridge NOW had yet to hear back from the mayor after sending her a letter imploring a fast fix for the six-months-closed bridge. That spurred the coalition to work on what you might call a “video petition” (still in progress). But in the meantime, WSBN’s Kevin Broveleit tells WSB they did finally get a mayoral response – it’s posted in full on the coalition website. No major revelations or promises, but here’s an excerpt:

Like me, I know others want to see a solution right now. Restoring safe travel for years to come to and from West Seattle is my north star. I cannot stress enough that we have not passed up a single opportunity to expedite these efforts and that I will continue to be steadfastly focused on efficiency throughout.

Since the closure of the High-Rise Bridge, we’ve worked to simultaneously advance all efforts needed to expeditiously pursue both a repair or replace scenario in addition to traffic and environmental mitigation efforts. By advancing all pathways at once, not a moment has been lost while the careful and thorough assessment is done to understand which avenue – repair or replace – provides the best, safest outcome for the region over the long term.In October, I am expecting a full engineering and comprehensive cost-benefit analysis that Task Force – which includes the Coalition – have played a part in shaping.

“It’s a good start,” says Broveleit, adding that the coalition is working on a formal response, as well as the aforementioned video (to which you can still contribute).

Meantime, the task force mentioned in the mayor’s letter, the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, meets online at noon tomorrow; the agenda and viewing link are at the end of this WSB story.

38 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Bridge NOW hears back from the mayor"

  • HowAboutNow? September 22, 2020 (2:51 pm)

    6 months and still no concrete plans and funding sources, just a lot of promises.  If this is her north star, would hate to think how long this would take if it weren’t a priority.  I-35 was rebuilt by this time if I recall correctly.  Absolutely embarrassing. 

    • Hyup September 22, 2020 (3:32 pm)

      It bears repeating: the WSB is not an interstate highway like I35, making federal funding more complicated. Additionally, revenues have dried up across the region, what pools could we even pull from?

      • Fix it! September 22, 2020 (5:00 pm)

        All the more reason to fix it. Paying for a repair is pennies on the dollar over partially replacing and it’s one year versus a minimum of six to get it reopen. And the economic impact on the community isn’t even part of that equation. West Seattle needs this repair. It’s the only thing that makes sense, especially if it’s possible it will last another 40 years!   Come on Mayor! We both need a win, 

    • Steve September 22, 2020 (6:17 pm)

      This just about nails it.  WSBN and all of us need to keep up the pressure, or nothing will ever get done.

    • Michael September 24, 2020 (9:28 am)

      I hope everyone understands the METRO BUSES have been the cause of the damaged West Seattle Bridge. I found this out from someone on the inside. The buses are destroying our street because without passengers they are overweight for Washington State Highways Good luck with the lower bridge soon it will be destroyed.

  • Please fix the bridge! September 22, 2020 (2:56 pm)

    I’m glad to see that the Mayor is finally engaged in this. I particularly appreciate the tone! We need to get reconnected back to the City and it sounds more and more like the bridge can be repaired. I can’t wait to drive across again! Thank you all! 

  • JenT September 22, 2020 (2:56 pm)

    Momentum heading in the right direction, and we need to keep applying pressure. Many thanks to this org and others who are treating this as the crisis it is.

  • MOVE September 22, 2020 (3:07 pm)

    Yes, keep the pressure up!  Once we learned that repair was viable and would last 15-40 years, we needed to move ASAP.  REPAIR THE BRIDGE!!!!

    • wsperson September 22, 2020 (9:40 pm)

      If repair is possible, why are they waiting? Did they give a reason?

      • WSB September 22, 2020 (10:05 pm)

        Repair is *possible* but what the city says has not been determined is whether it’s *feasible*. The Cost-Benefit Analysis is in progress and will be one of the topics again at tomorrow’s Community Task Force meeting.

        • wsperson September 23, 2020 (10:23 am)

          Oh I get it now, thank you!

  • Baby steps September 22, 2020 (3:09 pm)

    Happy to see that the Mayor is finally paying attention. The West Seattle community shouldn’t stop applying pressure until a fix is fully in motion!

  • Adam Ludwig September 22, 2020 (3:16 pm)

    Dear Mayor Durkan, thank you for your attention and focus on this transportation emergency. Please direct SDOT to repair the bridge and get this critical infrastructure back in service.  Repair it and restore the legacy of this bridge as the crowning civic achievement it was and will be. The comparatively cheap, fast, and safe reparability of the span is serving you up the cheddar – hit it out of the park and direct SDOT to fix it.

  • CM September 22, 2020 (3:29 pm)

    I’m glad the Mayor responded and that we have a Citizens Coalition leading the charge to resolve our transportation crisis. I certainly hope we can get the bridge repaired because I don’t know how much longer this community can hold on without a bridge. Traffic seems to just be getting worse and worse. 

  • Brian Zenk September 22, 2020 (4:25 pm)

    Please allow scooter and motor cycles over the lower bridge.

  • CAM September 22, 2020 (4:46 pm)

    It’s interesting that we’re all so much more supportive of this self-nominated, unelected group of individuals attempting to represent the interests of 100,000 people they haven’t consulted but seem to have such a big problem with another group of lobbyists taking their position straight to the government. 

    • CAL September 22, 2020 (9:39 pm)

      CAM, what do you know? What other group of lobbyists are you referring to?Is this about a tunnel?SDOT is spending $250k of taxpayer dollars to chase down the boondoggle tunnel option.  It is not the right solution for this problem, at this time, in this environment, and in service to these stakeholders. The CBA will bear that out, so stay tuned.  If prepared correctly the CBA is going to reveal repair #1, span replacement #2, and the tunnel concept as a silly outlier, #9 behind 8 other ideas better than that one.

      • Tunnel to nowhere September 24, 2020 (11:35 pm)

        Good reply. That tunnel idea is one of the silliest wastes of time during this whole debacle. Some crank in his basement says build a tunnel…yeezus. Fix the bridge. This is not a tough call. Either way, we NEED new leadership and SDOT should be dismantled. 

  • Rachel Lazar September 22, 2020 (5:26 pm)

    Thank you to Kevin and this amazing group for continuing to apply pressure! We MUST have our bridge back soon!!

  • Mj September 22, 2020 (6:17 pm)

    There are 168 hours in a week, currently I understand they are working 60 hours a week.  It’s time to add more shifts and get the bridge repaired and open to traffic ASAP.

  • Robin Graham September 22, 2020 (6:28 pm)

    Repair!!!! Please – use legos, use popsicle sticks, use SDOT, use anything – but DO IT NOW! Thanks West Seattle Bridge Now for your continued work on this and for getting the right stakeholders to engage! 

    • CAL September 22, 2020 (9:55 pm)

      Let’s use steel!  Now!

  • 1994 September 22, 2020 (9:17 pm)

    Someone should send the mayor and Sam Zimbabwe some of the special broken bridge t-shirts. The mayor and Sam should take a field trip to West Seattle, detour style. No low bridge for them.

    • WSB September 22, 2020 (9:28 pm)

      Sam Zimbabwe lives here. No field trip necessary.

      • CAL September 22, 2020 (10:36 pm)

        No, a field trip or two might be necessary.  Let Sam commute to Bellevue tomorrow, to see what that might be like.  Have him do that for a year or so to really let it sink in.  Have Sam take care of someone who needs daily treatments on pill hill, and handle those daily commutes back and forth. Perhaps Sam can take a job doing drywall for an outfit that serves the entire Seattle-Tacoma region and enjoy his time getting to and fro to wherever needed to make ends meet.  I think those would be educational field trips for Sam.

        • Rick September 23, 2020 (9:00 am)

          Great post CAL  – that is the core of the discussion.  I chose to live in WS because I worked where Safeco/T-Mobile field now stands.   Life changes, but selling and buying a new home is a huge cost and when I started working in Bellevue, bussing took away ~2 hours of my day, so I chose to commute by car and not move.   Fortunately I can work remotely, but every trip to First hill or anywhere east of WS involves an addition of at least 25 minutes each direction.  another hour spent away from loved ones.

        • skeeter September 23, 2020 (10:25 am)

          @CAL why are you picking on Sam?  He didn’t break the bridge.  He’s working hard to restore access to/from West Seattle.  Your frustration is misguided.  

        • Colonel Mustard's Wrench September 23, 2020 (10:53 am)

          Let’s have Sam include commuting Monday – Friday during rush hour to Everett and back for a month.  So would he use a bicycle so he can use the low bridge ?  One way is 3 hours 30 minutes with over 500 feet change in elevation.  Round trip would be 7 hours.  Or perhaps he would take public transportation: Walk to the bus stop and catch the # 57, get off at 3rd & Pine, walk to 4th & Pike, catch the # 512, get off at Ash Way Park & Ride Bay 2, walk to Bay 3 and catch the # 115, get off at Hwy 527 & Mill Creek Rd, catch the # 105 and get off at Airport Rd & Kasch Park Rd   Commute time 2 hours 27 minutes one way.  The return trip will take 2 hours 45 minutes to get home.  Round trip exceeds 5 hours of commuting to and from work by public transportation.  If he drives, it will take 1 hour, 15 minutes to get to work, and 1 hour, 50 minutes to get home for a total of 3 hours 5minutes of a car round trip commute.

  • Birfg September 22, 2020 (11:06 pm)

    I certainly hope the city is continuing to investigate an option to remove the bridge with no repair or replacement and a promise to restore the land to the Duwamish permanently. It’s the only responsible decision.

    • Cbj September 23, 2020 (12:12 am)

      Rather naive statement 

      • Rick September 23, 2020 (8:50 am)

        No Kidding!  pretty hard to believe anyone is that far removed from reality.

    • wsperson September 23, 2020 (10:27 am)

      Not naive, an idea ahead of it’s time. Someday…

    • JVP September 23, 2020 (6:08 pm)

      I’m all for it……………………….. once we all drive hovercars.

  • Phillip Tavel September 23, 2020 (12:13 am)

    It was great that the mayor took time out to recognize our group, and we really appreciate that we have had a seat at the table with the task force.

    People should realize that SDOT has worked very hard on this project and has committed tremendous resources to it. Now the hard work gets to pay off with a decision on how to restore transit across the Duwamish for the residents of West Seattle, South Park, Delridge, etc. on one side and the rest of the region on the other.

    It looks like there is going to be a very good chance the bridge can be repaired, it can be done in a reasonable time, I’m assuming from all I’ve heard and read that it could be a year to repair it, and extend it’s life 15 to 40 years. Although, it may not be the best option, and the City may not choose it.I think it’s fair to point out that nobody has a perfect idea of exactly how long a repair option would take from now to completion (other than thinking two years is probably too long for a repair to take), and you can’t be certain of how long it could last (other than most reports seem to agree that 15 years seems to be a minimum).

    That being said, the time for the Cost Benefit Analysis to be finished is just about here (early to mid October), and then a decision regarding the direction of work will be made (repair or replace).

    Thank you to everyone who has joined and helped West Seattle Bridge Now. The community can be heard much better when it comes together like this.

  • DumpsterFireResponse September 23, 2020 (8:49 am)

    Six months and still no clear answers on a direction for a solution or how it will be funded. This isn’t a priority for SDOT or the City and in the  meantime essential workers, people with medical needs and childcare issues are forced to navigate ridiculous detours that show that the City has no regard for the citizens being affected. Open up the lower bridge to residents, by license plate # or letter during the week, alternating so half the residents can use it on alternate days and all day on Sunday. Allowing this allows for relief, at least a few times a week, from a commute that has sunk the quality of life for so many. I cannot wait to vote Durkan out and Herbold out for their milquetoast approach and continued lack of leadership. Enough already! 

  • Jason September 23, 2020 (10:44 am)

    Why are they only working 60 hours per week??? That’s crazy, at least use all the daylight hours – this is an emergency situation and they are treating it lime a regular road maintenance job. They bridge is closed, they have 24 hour access I can’t think of any reason why they wouldn’t be working swing, night and morning shifts!!  Can someone help me find the person who can answer to this?

    • Colonel Mustard's Wrench September 23, 2020 (11:15 am)

      Sam Zimbabwe is in charge of SDOT. 
      Mayor Jenny Durkan is in charge of Sam Zimbabwe. 

      The Transportation & Utilities Committee is chaired by City Councilmember Alex Pederson, and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold is a member of that committee. 

      They should all be involved in fast-tracking the solution. 
      No sense of urgency from any of them. 

      Heather Marx, a point person with SDOT wants us all to ride bicycles, use public transportation, or telecommute. 

      That is just not realistic for many of us.

  • Jason September 27, 2020 (8:39 am)

    Thanks for the information- I will be reaching out – I just want an answer to why only 60 hours a week. Makes no sense to me…

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