Two West Seattle Bridge notes this evening:
HEAT WAVE EFFECTS? Since we heard a lot about watching how the stabilized bridge handled last winter’s cold weather – including a foot of snow – we wondered how it was handling the extreme heat. No problems as of this afternoon, SDOT told us via email, while explaining why the WS Bridge didn’t get the same treatment as some others:
Heat stress issues are a concern specifically for our movable steel bridges which is why we are monitoring their performance closely and cooling them with water during this current high temperature period. The West Seattle High-Rise Bridge (WSHB) is primarily constructed from reinforced concrete and is not effected by extreme heat in the same way that our steel movable bridges are. Also of note is that the WSHB is currently in a stabilized condition as a result of last years’ inspection, design and construction efforts. As such we don’t anticipate any damage to the WSHB from the extreme heat and therefore don’t see a need for cooling; however, out of an abundance of caution we still have active instrumentation throughout the WSHB to monitor performance and our readiness posture is still maintained with our Monitoring, Operation and Response Plan (MORP) in effect should something unexpected happen.
We’ll check again tomorrow.
NEW FEDERAL GRANT: Over the weekend, West Seattle-residing U.S. House Rep. Pramila Jayapal announced that an $11 million federal grant was on the way to help fund the West Seattle Bridge repairs. At the City Council’s morning briefing today, Transportation Committee chair Councilmember Alex Pedersen noted that while the grant was good news, it was less than the city had requested. We went back into the archives to find out how much the request was for, and found this slide from the March 17th bridge briefing before his committee, when the grant application was about to be submitted:
So the city was hoping for up to $21 million but got $11 million. As for the new federal infrastructure package, the council was told by staff this morning that it’s not clear yet what the city stands to receive. Previously received federal funding for the bridge, meantime, has included a $14 million grant routed through the Puget Sound Regional Council. The total cost of repairs plus other projects – low-bridge work, traffic calming along detour routes, trying to encourage people to shift modes, etc. – is estimated at $175 million.