WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: What’s happening on/in it right now

(SDOT photo)

Today marks exactly eight months since the West Seattle Bridge was closed to traffic. As reported last Thursday, the mayor has decided that it will be repaired rather than staying closed until it can be replaced. But first, stabilization work has to be completed. Here’s what SDOT says is happening with that right now:

Earlier this month, we released the damaged bearings at Pier 18, located on the east side of the Duwamish. Pier 18’s neoprene lateral bearings were compressed and bulging, locking together two critical parts of the bridge that typically are independent of each other. This was creating additional pressure and preventing the bridge from moving as it should.

This past week, we finished breaking down the concrete that held the damaged bearings in place and removed the concrete from the site. We also finished drilling to set new rebar [photo above], which will secure the concrete joints once they are poured to hold the new bearings in place.

We recently started on a new (and the last) round of carbon fiber wrapping. We’re on track to complete the wrapping by mid-December. Carbon fiber wrapping helps support the now stable and strengthened bridge. This is the last step in Phase I of stabilization, and once it’s done, we will lower work platforms. …

We’re on track to complete Phase I of stabilization work by the end of this year. By the end of December, all work platforms will be lowered onto barges and temporary work structures will be removed. We’ll continue monitoring and inspection activities after stabilization work is complete.

After Thanksgiving, we’ll pour concrete to hold Pier 18’s new bearings in place, setting the stage for Phase II of the two-part repair process.

No public meetings related to the bridge are planned this week. The next one announced so far is the Community Task Force‘s meeting on Wednesday, December 2nd.

14 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: What's happening on/in it right now"

  • Flivver November 23, 2020 (1:14 pm)

    Thanks for the progress updates. Good to see things moving along. Has the city/contractor said how far into repair before they’ll have a good idea on a reopening date?

    • Derek November 23, 2020 (2:19 pm)

      They already told us Mid-2022.

      Little over two years to do the repairs.

  • Jason here November 23, 2020 (1:32 pm)

    So glad we are finally moving towards having a usable bridge again. Now I’m not sure what the photo in this post is depicting – but it doesn’t give me much confidence in the workmanship of the bridge, or repairs, whichever it may be. 

    • psps November 23, 2020 (4:19 pm)

      Is that rust on the rebar?

      • Vic November 23, 2020 (6:04 pm)

        some rust on rebar is ok and doesn’t impact the strength of the reinforcement. a quick google will tell you that builders allowing rebar to rust before pouring concrete is intentional for a reason. if concrete is poured and THEN the corrosion happens, it can impact the bond with concrete because of the expansion that occurs.

  • Matt P November 23, 2020 (1:34 pm)

    What does stage 2 consist of?

  • Flivver November 23, 2020 (3:33 pm)

    Derek. From what i’ve read here on the blog there was a good chance that mid 2022 could,and would be bettered.

    • WSB November 23, 2020 (3:40 pm)

      But they don’t even know exactly when repairs will start – depends on how design goes – so way too early to know anything date-wise.

      • BBILL November 24, 2020 (12:22 am)

        …and the design depends on the data collection over the next few months.

  • Talmadge November 23, 2020 (6:34 pm)

    All this still begs the question—Why did the structure fail? We need to answer this basic question to avoid repeating the same mistake.

    • flimflam November 24, 2020 (7:18 am)

      i assume that will never be known to the public – any official reason given will be wordy and vague to avoid placing blame on DOT. just my opinion obviously.

      • BBILL November 24, 2020 (11:25 am)

        Most government records are available for public inspection. Sure elected officials or others might try to use some bogus reason to restrict access, and there are legitimate reasons, such as PII need not be revealed, information that would likely compromise a criminal investigation need not be revealed (at least during the time that the compromise is present), and there are other legitimate reasons to restrict the viewing of documents from the public, who owns them. In this situation, if the City/SDOT did not produce the documents requested, it is my guess that finding a good attorney for this case would be ‘easy,’ in that there is likely at least one qualified attorney who practices in the area who is also interested in the documents. https://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=42.56&full=true

  • mcm November 25, 2020 (7:56 am)

    After almost 9 months we finally have a decision by the mayor. Now comes the really hard part, making sure SDOT delivers. The bridge situation was deemed an emergency by the mayor and it should still be treated as such. From the flippant remarks made by Sam Zimbabwe I’m not sure that he is the right person to be leading this effort. The hot mic situation shows that he seems to lack the understanding of the gravity of the situation. I want a leader for this project who understands what it’s like to watch beloved small businesses close around our community, who can appreciate what it means to lose friends and neighbors as they are forced to move out of West Seattle, and who have the capacity to empathize for those caught up in traffic every day and how it wears a person down. It’s time for new leadership to bring this project in on time and most importantly, to deal with the community in a respectful manner. 

  • Alki Heights November 25, 2020 (8:37 am)

            I bet we could solve our problem by painting the bridge with this (219) Poliurea Prueba Resistencia Extrema, Polinova Global S L – YouTube

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