TRAFFIC ALERT: Heat-damage repair work Wednesday morning for West Marginal Way

That SDOT photo shows a heat-damaged section of West Marginal Way that’s about to get fixed. Here’s the alert:

Where: West Marginal Way, north of the Highland Park Way SW Intersection

When: Work will start as early as 2 a.m. and last as late as 12:00pm (noon) on Wednesday, June 30.

Closure Details: One lane will be maintained in each direction during the work. Please expect delays and drive slow through the area.

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews are planning on doing urgent pavement repairs on West Marginal Way just north of Highland Park Way SW to repair pavement that has buckled in the extreme heat. Crews will begin work at about 2 am on the morning of June 30 (tonight) and expect to be done by noon on Wednesday, June 30. During repairs, West Marginal Way will be reduced to a single lane in each direction.

Crews have previously installed a temporary patch to repair the damaged pavement on Sunday which appears to be deteriorating under the heavy traffic requiring additional repairs. In order to create a longer-term solution, crews plan to remove the concrete panel entirely and build a deeper asphalt patch. This will eventually need to be completely repaved with concrete, but we are hopeful that this solution will last for at least a year.

Extreme heat can damage roads and bridges. Concrete pavement is designed to expand in hot temperatures and contract in the cold. During extremely hot weather events, like we have been experiencing over the last few days, the heat can sometimes be so great that the expanding pavement has nowhere else to go but up, creating “buckles” in the road.

SDOT crews are standing by to respond quickly to weather-related damage, prioritizing needs with public safety as a top and hazardous conditions first. SDOT engineers are currently evaluating several other locations experiencing heat related distress around the city. Once we perform field assessments of the pavement conditions, we will be targeted and strategic in our approach to make the repairs prioritized based on public safety needs.

Every season brings different kinds of challenges to respond to, and SDOT crews work year-round to maintain to our roads, sidewalks, and curb ramps. For example, in 2020 SDOT crews filled 15,000 potholes but high temperatures can often cause previously repaired potholes to form again so our crews will be ready to respond and repair them again. We expect to continue seeing more pavement damage throughout the summer and expect to continue ongoing repairs over the next several months.

SDOT would like to remind everyone to be aware of these conditions and to be careful. You may see roads closed, signs or cones to warn of a hazard. Please be careful and obey all traffic control signs and devices. If you see road damage, please call 206-684-ROAD to report the conditions.

We’ve asked SDOT about the two “buckled” spots we reported Monday afternoon (36th/Oregon and 40th/Holly); no word yet, and we haven’t checked on them yet today. As for the West Seattle Bridge, SDOT reiterated again today that it has NOT had any heat trouble.

6 Replies to "TRAFFIC ALERT: Heat-damage repair work Wednesday morning for West Marginal Way"

  • CarDriver June 29, 2021 (6:46 pm)

    Will be interesting to see how this affects the morning commute.

  • Tim June 29, 2021 (7:34 pm)

    I saw SDOT looking at a spalled road panel today on Roxbury east of 35th today. Looks heat related. Didnt heave up but was obvious thats why it was in that condition. East bound about a block.

  • drM June 29, 2021 (7:41 pm)

    Breaking news:
    Clearly, God does not live in West Seattle!!!

  • Lola June 30, 2021 (8:11 am)

    My son said on Wednesday morning that down by Highland Pkway & West Marginal it is down to 1 lane each way.  It was starting to get thick about 6 AM. 

  • BMN June 30, 2021 (11:00 am)

    SDOT reported on their twitter that West Marginal has been repaired and reopened (

    • WSB June 30, 2021 (11:07 am)

      Already made note of that in today’s traffic roundup. Thank you!

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