WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: What’s next, now that repair proposals are in

(Slide from March presentation to Community Task Force)

This past Monday was the deadline for prospective contractors to submit to SDOT their proposals for the West Seattle Bridge project – spanning high-bridge and low-bridge work. Six proposals were received, SDOT tells WSB. So now what happens? According to spokesperson Ethan Bergerson, “We expect to announce a shortlist of candidates for interviews by the end of April, and will invite contractor teams to show how their experience and qualifications make them the best fit for the work. Shortlisted firms will be interviewed in May and June.” SDOT expects to choose the contractor in time for the next major schedule update and design milestone in mid-summer; they are using a process that enables the contractor to be brought in before design is complete, GCCM (General Contractor/Construction Manager). The design is being led by a consultant with whom the city’s already been working, WSP. The high- and low-bridge work is expected to cost about $72 million; more details are in this post from March. Until that expected July update, the estimate for completion and high-bridge reopening remains “mid-2022.”

24 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: What's next, now that repair proposals are in"

  • l April 16, 2021 (2:59 pm)

    Is it just me or does it seem like this is moving incredibly slow.   Wouldn’t it be worth paying extra to have them work on a faster timeline?   It would seem to me that millions are being lost daily in reduced productivity and additional costs.

    • yes it is slow April 16, 2021 (4:37 pm)

      Yes it is slow. Things like this take time, but this is an emergency. I’m not a frequent motorist or an anti-government yahoo, but I’m thinking of the prolonged ambulance rides and the hundreds of students and critical care workers giving up hours of every day. The city/state and these engineering firms need to step up or step off. Case in point, when a truck hit a bridge support and took out the I5 bridge crossing the Skagit River in May 2013, the bridge was reopened in September 2013. I know the WSB project is far more daunting, but they’re a year into it and haven’t found a contractor.  

    • nwpolitico April 16, 2021 (4:41 pm)

      Well said. It seems like this crisis is being treated like any other construction project instead of as an emergency. The least SDOT could do after selecting a contractor is require the contractor to work around the clock until the bridge can be reopened (and pay them accordingly).

    • Dan April 16, 2021 (5:03 pm)

      It does but I would rather see that SDOT take their time and get it done right vs a rushed repair that fails

    • Nicholas April 16, 2021 (5:30 pm)

      Abysmally slow.  This should have been done a year ago.  I blame committees, probably full of people who aren’t experts in the field.

    • Ninja April 16, 2021 (8:00 pm)

      My understanding is that this is intentional. It’s not that nothing is being done; they are currently in an observation period to monitor the stabilization work already done. I agree that it sucks but I’d rather be sure the band-aid isn’t going to give out before they do the rest of the work. 

  • Al King April 16, 2021 (4:31 pm)

    L. No, it’s not just you.

  • Dan Res April 16, 2021 (4:49 pm)

    I agree it seems incredibly slow. I’d like an explanation why it can’t be fast tracked with completion by thanksgiving. 

  • DRC April 16, 2021 (5:05 pm)

                      Alot of wasted time what have they been doing?

  • Joe Fortin April 16, 2021 (6:02 pm)

    Two questions. 1. Will there be a guaranteed life? 2. Will it support the light rail line we have been promised twice now?

    • Ron Swanson April 16, 2021 (6:25 pm)

      The only guarantees in life are death, taxes, and that light rail was always going to be a separate bridge. 

      • Scubafrog April 16, 2021 (10:23 pm)

        And that WS’s light rail will be the last system started, and finished in Seattle.  I wonder if they went by population, GDP-per-district, or how they decided which areas got rail first-to-last…

        • WSB April 16, 2021 (10:25 pm)

          Ballard is scheduled to open five years after West Seattle.

          • David April 17, 2021 (6:50 am)

            Currently, but ST is also asking for input on re-prioritizing projects because of revenue issues, so the relative timelines are not set in stone.  

  • Findlay April 16, 2021 (6:47 pm)

    There’s probably been some issues with the bridge repair that they’ve been keeping from the public. The lack of speed is head-smacking.

  • wscommuter April 16, 2021 (6:56 pm)

    It isn’t moving incredibly slow.  We just don’t see the engineering work that is going on daily at WSP.  It takes time to design these things.  While WSP is doing its design, the City has obtained 6 bids and will now winnow those down to most responsive/qualified.  That takes weeks to do – thousands of pages of submittals to be reviewed and evaluated.   I’m likewise dubious at the schedule – I’ll be (pleasantly) surprised if they meet the goal of reopening the bridge sometime next summer, but as of now, that schedule remains valid.  It remains to be seen whether once the design is done and contractor selected this summer, can the schedule remain intact.  Once the contract is awarded and “notice to proceed” issued (presumably this fall), that is when we should start paying attention to whether the schedule will slip or not.

  • Scubafrog April 16, 2021 (10:18 pm)

    From what I understand, there’re no guarantees re ‘the fix’.  There’s an estimate on how long it could (or should, I forget the language) last post-fix.  It WILL fail again, and we’ll go through this hell again.  When will it fail again post-fix, is the question – which is why I (and many WS’ers) wanted to do it right with a new bridge.  But you had a powerful, connected group lobbying for faster-rather-than-better, and they won.  

    • Josh April 18, 2021 (12:16 pm)

      Faster yes but it also going to cost tax payers more in the long run. Building a new bridge would have been a huge cost sure but these repairs are just a short term fix for the inevitably of having to build a new bridge. Meaning we have to pay for the expensive AF bandaid and then we’re going to have to pay for the rebuild also. 

  • Brayton April 17, 2021 (10:55 am)

    I think there’s a misconception that one can go to Amazon Infrastructure to buy a bridge for same-day delivery.

  • Yes April 17, 2021 (3:10 pm)

    Yes, that’s my fear also. After 2 years when it reopens it would be shut down again pretty quickly. . 

  • GT April 18, 2021 (7:52 am)

    I think it’s looking really good and progressing as fast as feasible. Seems to me the resulting enhanced structure will be stronger than when originally built. But for the love of God, please ban all steel and heavy hauling trucks off the high bridge forever.

  • GT April 18, 2021 (6:39 pm)

    Remember when the SR99 tunnel was impossible, would never happen? Pretty nice tunnel today. I am happy to wait out the bridge repairs, very confident it will last decades. In the mean time, happy also to see more Whiners Club members move out of West Seattle ;)

  • Dirty Politics at Play April 28, 2021 (11:36 pm)

    Nothing but a political crisis. COS is the absolute worst to get projects moving, in fact they spend somewhere between 45 to 65% on soft costs, engineering will cost 5-7%, meaning the Construction cost (where the dollars should be spent to get the most scope) will equate to much less than 1/2 of their budget. If this were a crisis, phase 2 would be underway. PT tendons and carbon wrapping don’t take 6 months of monitoring to to ensure they work, otherwise lets just slap some crap up there that professional engineers would be paid to ensure works and then monitor…??? PLUS WHAT IS SO CRITICAL ABOUT MONITORING IF NO LOAD IS ON IT? Phase 2 is not much work, Jenny Durkin is just dragging her feet politically to see if she can get WSDOT to help fund the bridge, do a combined high bridge replacement or tunnel with light rail. The bridge is ready for use or should be if they would have started phase 2 when they could have. This is purely a disgusting political move at our expense, while we are spending millions on the detours, disrupting communities, all while COS’s Delridge project can seem to get their project finished after years. This is a nightmare, a true crisis for West Seattle. Wish our politicians would do something other than continue to inflate costs for political gain. Sound transit and COS don’t like playing together. Not our problem!!!  

  • lisa fernandez April 29, 2021 (9:01 am)

    I wonder what the city would do if everyone in West Seattle refused to pay their taxes. Then would we get some action? This is an emergency and it is certainly not being treated as such. This is a project that needs to be fast tracked. I thought we were a lot further along. How can the average citizen weigh in on this?

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