Access to the West Seattle low bridge has been limited, in part, to save space for the port truck traffic expected when Terminal 5 goes back into the cargo business, after the first phase of a $340 million modernization project. That was supposed to happen this June. Then suddenly, late Thursday, the Northwest Seaport Alliance announced T-5’s new north berth won’t open until the first quarter of next year. That means the city is saving space for trucks that won’t need it for a year or so – by which time the high bridge should be close to reopening. So as promised, we followed up with SDOT today to ask what that means to low-bridge access policy. In short: They’re working on it. SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson told WSB, “We plan to address this as part of our update to the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force next week. We’re developing a staff recommendation now in response to this new development, and would then still plan to work with the Low Bridge subcommittee to formalize any changes to the access policy.” The Community Task Force meets at 4 pm next Thursday (February 11th). Meantime, we also asked NWSA for elaboration on the “unforeseen circumstances” cited as factoring into the T-5 delay; spokesperson Melanie Stambaugh would not comment except to reiterate that details will be provided at the March 2nd meeting of the NWSA’s managing members (Seattle and Tacoma port commissioners).
West Seattle, Washington