Six days short of one year after the sudden closure of the West Seattle Bridge, the City Council’s Transportation and Utilities Committee got a briefing from SDOT today. You can see it in the meeting video above, starting one hour and two minutes in. It was fairly short – no new information if you’re caught up with what was announced one week ago (WSB coverage here): The repair design is at the 30 percent mark, and the city has officially launched the search for a contractor. SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe and bridge-project leader Heather Marx also recapped the projected price tag: $58 million for the bridge repairs, as part of a $175 million package including everything from the completed stabilization work, to high and low bridge repairs, to the ongoing traffic-mitigation projects scattered through neighborhoods in West Seattle, South Park, and Georgetown. On the subject of money, the committee’s agenda item right after the briefing was formal acceptance of a $14.4 million federal grant that’s being routed to the city by the Puget Sound Regional Council (part of the $124 million the city has already secured). The councilmembers didn’t have many questions for SDOT, but one did yield an answer of interest: SDOT reiterated that traffic would be phased in once the repair work is done at “midyear” next year – but how? Marx said it “makes sense” to go with larger vehicles like buses first, but they’re working on a plan to “generate as little confusion as possible.”
WHAT’S NEXT: Prospective contractors are invited to apply through April 12th; once one is on board and joining SDOT and consultant WSP in the design process, they expect a major design and scheduling milestone in July. Until then, they can only project that work will start “late this year.” SDOT continues guesting at many neighborhood meetings, so watch for our ongoing agenda announcements.