WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: SDOT plans community meeting July 21

(WSB file photo)

The next big update on the West Seattle Bridge is due one week from today, when the Community Task Force meets at noon July 14th. Then one week after that, SDOT plans a community update meeting, just announced today. The online meeting is set for 5:30 pm Wednesday, July 21st. From the announcement:

Members of our team will provide updates about the ongoing repair effort on the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge (high bridge), expanded access on the Spokane St Swing Bridge (low bridge), and our work to improve access to and around West Seattle through the Reconnect West Seattle, Home Zone, and neighborhood travel options programs. We’ll also have plenty of time for you to submit questions, which will be answered live at our meeting by a panel of team members.

Participation information is in the SDOT announcement, which also notes that the meeting will be interpreted live in Spanish, Mandarin, and Vietnamese, while the recording posted online later will have subtitles in Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Khmer, Somali, and Oromo.

38 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: SDOT plans community meeting July 21"

  • UselessPoliticians July 7, 2021 (4:55 pm)

    Well in 1933 the Golden Gate bridge started construction and finished in 4 years…wonder if Seattle can finish merely fixing the bridge in less time especially because we have much more advanced technology and construction machines.  I was hoping they might come close to the 1934 building of the Deception Pass bridge (at a inflation adjusted rate of $9m)…but we long missed that mark.  Or the I90 floating bridge built in 1939 in one year and rebuilt from scratch in 93′ in 3 years.  How on earth is this repair taking so long?  Incompetent city staff and politicians.

    • UselessNeighbors July 7, 2021 (5:37 pm)

      Those bridges support state highways, lives were lost during construction, construction conditions were/are different etc. etc. etc. The information on why this is taking the time it is to complete the repairs is readily available for those interested in understanding it, even for incompetent neighbors.

      • Incompetentpoliticians July 7, 2021 (7:15 pm)

        You are clearly missing the point.  No there is no excuse for how long this is taking… incompetent blog posters may not agree.

        • Cricket July 8, 2021 (10:17 am)

          Dude have you not been following this topic? They have to monitor the work they have already done through all four seasons so see how it reacts to the temperature changes. Also, the eastern span of the bay bridge was built in 1 year and had to be replaced because it was structurally unsound. Guess how long the replacement took? over a decade..

          • Chemist July 8, 2021 (10:40 am)

            I have been following and only commenters on WSB have suggested a requirement of monitoring seasonal fluctuations.  Sure, SDOT is monitoring how it responds to heat cycles and how well that matches models and that’s good data to have, but it is not some “must have a full year before work can proceed” checkpoint like some folks type in WSB comments.

          • nope July 8, 2021 (8:56 pm)

            That was only for the stabilization nothing to do with the repair and did not require 4 seasons.

      • Smittytheclown July 7, 2021 (8:31 pm)

        The bridge has been empty for months. Warp speed, this is not.

    • Come on July 7, 2021 (5:46 pm)

      Agreed. Very agreed. This is absolutely beyond belief.  Actually two things are beyond belief. First.  How could the people in charge of this emergency be this incapable. I wanted to use a different word.  There are endless examples globally and historically that absolutely prove this should’ve been done faster. Second.  Why aren’t the public unanimously outraged?  Hold SDOT accountable.  Enough already.  Enough.The traffic is crippling. The traffic is truly ruining once quiet streets/neighborhoods. The traffic is costing the already suffering environment.Enough. Emergency. 

      • Helpless July 7, 2021 (8:42 pm)

        And what exactly do you propose that we, the outraged public, do about it besides complain on social media? It ain’t like were gonna have another Boston Tea Party without being shot on site so we are just going to have to accept that the good ol USA has become everything it stood against when it was founded. It’s sad to say, horrible to live in but there is always the option of moving to Canada right?

        • Sasquatch July 7, 2021 (9:38 pm)

          One thing we can do is attend this meeting. I’ve never been to any of these but I plan to go to this one just to let my frustration be known. If we have hundreds of people show up and complain loudly there will be an impact. Also, we could organize picketing and protests outside of SDOT headquarters or down by the five way intersection.

          • Chemist July 7, 2021 (10:53 pm)

            It’s a virtual meeting where you submit your questions beforehand, SDOT will sort through what they want to answer, and they’ll probably just permit you to watch.  If you’re lucky, a facilitator will monitor a public zoom chat, but often they don’t monitor.  I’d expect 90%+ of what they cover to have been in the Community Task Force meeting on the 14th.

        • alki_2008 July 8, 2021 (10:15 pm)

          Moving to Canada is not that easy, unless you have family or other connections to Canadian citizens. I’ve looked into it.

      • Reed July 7, 2021 (9:26 pm)

        If you are concerned about the crippling traffic and environmental effects, perhaps try getting out of your car and trying another mode of transportation?

        • Tony Stark July 8, 2021 (8:36 am)

          You’re right. I totally forgot about my helicopter.

        • Come on July 8, 2021 (10:01 am)

          I don’t drive Reed.  Think before you type. 

          • Reed July 8, 2021 (12:31 pm)

            I’m sorry please point out where you said you don’t drive?

    • James July 7, 2021 (6:48 pm)

      It’s about greed. How many ways can be figured to make money off this ridiculously ugly yet critical infrastructure. I’m convinced these projects take so long because people need to work out how to suck as much money out of them as possible. Why would there be any red tape as this is such a critical bridge. Meanwhile why is Faunterloy not torn up and repaired while WSB is out of commission. I-5, same thing?! And the detour routes are either under construction or in overly dire need of improvement. The excuses are pathetic. USA can do attitude interrupted by too much greed!!

      • af12 July 8, 2021 (9:03 am)

        It helps if your SDOT director is an engineer and the city doesn’t always have an additional staff besides the project manager on all city projects as a PR person!“Sam also has a background in urban design and transportation planning and spent five years working for urban design and architecture firms in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sam holds a master’s degree in City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University.”

    • Lagartija Nick July 7, 2021 (6:50 pm)

      Eleven people died during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. What’s an acceptable number of deaths to you to fix the WSB in a shorter time frame?

      • UselessPoliticians July 7, 2021 (7:11 pm)

        Uh.. 0 because it’s 2021 and not 1933.  We have significantly better technology and equipment.

        • UselessNeighbors July 7, 2021 (8:20 pm)

          You can have all the best technology and equipment in the world, but that worthless if you have a compromised human element. When things like this are rushed, mistakes are made and property damage or injury or death occur. By all means, pleas continue with your baseless ranting that will result in absolutely nothing more than your own misery. 

          • UselessPoliticians July 8, 2021 (6:39 am)

            Stop responding with nonsense please.  You clearly do not understand the point…

        • Fern July 8, 2021 (10:06 pm)

          Isn’t it possible that people are already dying because the bridge isn’t up? Dying in traffic accidents or from deferred medical care because it’s too long to get to resources they need? Is it also possible that there are likely to be deaths in any construction no matter how  safely it’s undertaken?

      • Smittytheclown July 7, 2021 (8:29 pm)

        I blame OSHA. 

        • af12 July 8, 2021 (8:50 am)

          There must be weight limitations on the bridge when is finally repaired.  We believe perhaps articulated Metro buses and many number of trailer trucks going in and out of the Port may have contributed to this disastrous situation.  The question is: whether or not SDOT is willing to put a weight limit on the bridge?May be lower bridge will be used for articulated buses and trailer trucks as is today.

    • bill July 7, 2021 (9:44 pm)

      Uselesspoliticians: Will you stop it already with the Golden Gate four-year canard. It took twenty years (20) from proposal to completion, fourteen years (14) from when authorized by the California legislature, and almost seven years (7) from when funding was approved. Indeed construction took four years but only because of all the prior work which occurred out of the public eye and which you and your fellow foot-stampers don’t understand is necessary.

      • Puzzled July 7, 2021 (11:10 pm)

        Bill, are you suggesting that SDOT might actually be working on the bridge? In some sorta whacky process that they call planning? Are you telling me that they don’t just simply jump up, cross their fingers start building and hope for the best? No way! So basically the public safety matters more than current commute time? Wow

      • UselessPoliticians July 8, 2021 (6:43 am)

        You are clearly missing the point and I really have no desire to explain it to you or others on this string…  Think harder and open your mind a bit and you might get a small glimpse of the concept (hint I am not making a direct comparison of the build time…)

  • AF12 July 8, 2021 (8:48 am)

    There must be weight limitations on the bridge when is finally repaired.  We believe perhaps articulated Metro buses and many number of trailer trucks going in and out of the Port may have contributed to this disastrous situation.  The question is: whether or not SDOT is willing to put a weight limit on the bridge?May be lower bridge will be used for articulated buses and trailer trucks as is today.

  • bfly July 8, 2021 (1:09 pm)

    Time to point out how poorly the pavement was poured on the Spokane St Viaduct (aka West Seattle Freeway) back when it was redone.  Bumpiest new road ever.  Who was the contractor on that project?  It would be nice if in the interim SDOT addressed the Fauntleroy part of the road as well as the large potholes developing on the approach to I-5. Taking the low bid approach to fixing things has not worked out well for this city, neither has strategic deferred maintenance till things fall apart.  Motion to proclaim “Emergency!” seconded .

  • Barton July 8, 2021 (1:30 pm)

    I notice it’s getting harder for even the usual steadfast City apologists to  justify the inexcusable delay in decisive and productive action regarding the WS Bridge with a straight face.

  • SeattleSlew July 8, 2021 (2:14 pm)

    I am unsure about this whole process.

    Foremost is the myopic focus on the outcome of any ‘replace’ project being another bridge.

    An immersed tube tunnel is not only less expensive, it has far less time to value and is not prone to the issues we now see with several of our bridges in the area.

    No pun intended, but this is classic tunnel vision.

    I am going to assume that the time delta between repair versus standing up another solution is material, otherwise it would be great to see their cost-benefit analysis behind repair and replace (and given the complete disregard of an immersed tube solution, I am willing to bet their timelines are inherently flawed).

    Finally, regardless of the outcome/timeline for repair, they better start replace in parallel and not kick that project 5-10 years down the road.

    Money is practically free right now. The NPV on breaking ground is going to be awful as not only given the value of money over time but more so from the increased interest rates.

    Government isn’t a business nor should one try to run it as such. But good god, that doesn’t mean jettisoning good financial practices as an operating principle.

    • sna July 8, 2021 (4:14 pm)

      I hate to flood your tunnel, the the Immersed Tube Tunnel was indeed one of the 6 options explored in the CBA and it scored terribly across the board including being more than twice as expensive and taking 10 years to complete.  Quick summary per the study on the tunnel option:“  This (tunnel) option presents environmental challenges because dredging the bottom of the Duwamish River could release hazardous materials, and an off-alignment alternative would require substantial right-of-way acquisition and relocation of existing on- and off-ramps. Similar to the above, there would be significant impacts on mobility with this option. Securing funding would be challenging, there would be major impacts to Harbor Island, and a tunnel would be a unique asset for SDOT to maintain.  ”

  • Djet7carn July 8, 2021 (2:26 pm)

    To all you “I don’t drive” or “find alternative transportation” people:We need a functioning bridge for the commerce — docks, stores, home delivery, …  The closed bridge is delaying all deliveries to the area as well as increasing the costs. Also consider the people who work in WS during hours where public transportation is on a limited schedule. 

    • Reed July 8, 2021 (8:56 pm)

      If everyone wasn’t clogging up the roads with their single occupancy vehicles there would be more capacity for commerce-associated vehicles.

      • Af12 July 9, 2021 (5:55 pm)

        People are going to use cars now and in the future.  However, it will be electric cars, etc.  People will use more mass transit if it’s similar to other modern and industrial countries (we are not there yet!). We can’t bike are way out of this fiasco!

  • Scubafrog July 8, 2021 (8:19 pm)

    And this was just the ill-conceived “fix” that may fail.  SAD!  They should’ve IMMEDIATELY taken the bridge down, and put another one up.  Remember who the local lobbyists were, who rallied for this ‘fix’, when it fails.  And boycott their businesses for life, when it happens.

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