WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Closer look at ‘Phase 1 rehabilitation’

Exactly 10 months ago – on March 23, 2020 – the city announced the West Seattle Bridge was unsafe and would close within hours. At the time, there was concern it might be unstable enough to fall apart. Stabilization work ensued. SDOT refers to that as “Phase 1 rehabilitation” in a just-published closer look at the work it’s completed, including an explanation of what’s visible from beneath the bridge:

That graphic, credited to SDOT’s consultant WSP, shows, among other things, the bolts for the brackets holding the “post-tensioning” steel cables strengthening the bridge. In a summary of the stabilization work last month, SDOT said 10 miles of those cables had been installed. One of the final tasks, completed this month, was to coat those brackets, according to SDOT’s new update. So what’s next? The update has the same timeline reported in our coverage of this month’s Community Task Force meeting – they’re designing “Phase II” now, expecting to hire a contractor in the spring, starting the work in fall. The timeline shown at the CTF meeting suggested completion in midyear 2022.

9 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Closer look at 'Phase 1 rehabilitation'"

  • Canton January 23, 2021 (10:13 pm)

    The repairs look good. With all the movement monitors, not sure why they need to observe for a year. Too bad they couldn’t use some sort of leaf spring for the center span to cushion the load laterally. Or diagonal supports back to strongest piers. 

  • UGh... January 24, 2021 (9:16 am)

    If I were the top guy I’ll fire all these people beginning with mayor & start over.  Send them all to Siberia.  10 months later all we have done is some wrapping and some bolts?! Another year before open? And maybe open maybe not?

    • NotAMoron January 24, 2021 (11:52 am)

      If you think you can do a better job, you are welcome to run for public office.  Before you do, I recommend getting a lesson in some basic common sense.  This is not some backyard playground set.  Any shortcuts to safely reopen this bridge have the potential to result in a catastrophic failure which is likely to cause a significant loss of life.  Let’s let the experts in bridge repair do their jobs and do it right.Significantly more work has been done than “just some bolts and carbon fiber wrap”.  This article even speaks to it, 10 miles of tensioning cables, for example.

      • Mark32 January 24, 2021 (1:49 pm)

        If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you don’t need common sense to be elected to office.

        • sahc3 January 24, 2021 (11:38 pm)

          Factual; and increasingly apparent in both 1821 and 2021.

    • UGHmightbeamoron January 24, 2021 (4:11 pm)

      UGH…, I invite you to visit Siberia yourself, where much civic work is done with the level of diligence you suggest. You’ll like it there. 

  • Frank January 25, 2021 (4:16 pm)

    I’d imagine the smart engineers would be able to figure out if they can at least only allow pedestrian cars – 1 lane each way – over the bridge in the most load balancing way to reduce the frustration and traffic in and out of West Seattle.  Keep buses, freight trucks, etc off the main span as a Metro bus is 26 tons and I’m sure semi + cargo box is much much heavier.  That’s probably what broke the bridge, not cars. Passenger vehicles are far far less than that in weight and 1 lane probably wouldn’t kill the bridge even while the work continues?  Has this question been proposed?

  • Notend January 25, 2021 (7:03 pm)

      I agree with Frank.

       Consider that one truck or bus causes the same
    damage to roads and bridges as 9,600 cars (from the GAO).   And from the     T-5 enviro impact statement we
    get 1,600 truck trips for an average day and up to 2,000 trips a day at peak.
    Then add the       “heavy haul” program that increased truck limits from 80,000 lbs
    up to 98,000 pounds in the SODO corridor. Oh, and from       SDOT’s Commercial Vehicle
    Enforcement video we get “40% of trucks stopped by the Seattle Commercial
    Vehicle   Enforcement team are overweight”

  • Notend January 25, 2021 (8:01 pm)

     I agree with Frank.
    Consider that one semi truck or loaded bus causes the same damage to roads and bridges as 9,600 cars (from the GAO). And from the T-5 enviro impact statement the port figures 1,600 truck trips a day average, and 2,000 trips at peak. Then add the city’s “Heavy Haul” program that raised the maximum truck weight from the federal max of 80,000 lbs to 98,000 pounds in the SODO corridor.  Oh, and from  SDOT’s “Commercial Vehicle Enforcement” video says that 40% of all trucks stopped are overweight. 

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