The photo is from Darin, one of several readers who noticed that “BRIDGE CLOSED” signage had appeared Tuesday at the entrances to the SW Andover pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the west end of the West Seattle Bridge [map]. The foot bridge has long been scheduled for an earthquake-safety project, but that’s not why it’s closed, SDOT just told us in response to our inquiry:
The Andover pedestrian bridge was closed to address trespassing onto the high bridge from the pedestrian bridge. We also added signs in the area and hired peace officers to monitor the pedestrian bridge on weekends to help reduce trespassing. This issue was raised to us by nearby residents and the Seattle Police Department. Trespassing onto the high bridge is a safety issue as there should not be any community members on the bridge until we know it is safe for travel.
We plan to reopen the pedestrian bridge after the seismic retrofit is complete, in late fall or early winter. However, we will continue monitor the area for trespassing.
Construction of the seismic retrofit is likely to start next month, according to SDOT; more info on the project is here. We asked SDOT for specifics on what kind of problems the trespassing has caused (perhaps the graffiti vandalism that’s been visible on the bridge’s sides?); the reply: “Noise activities were taking place on the ped-bridge after hours and especially on the weekends,” as well as a reiteration that it’s just not safe to be on The Bridge.
SIDE NOTE: Last time the foot bridge made news was related to one of the other signs in the top photo. Years ago, it was popular for hanging banners such as birthday wishes, to be seen by drivers passing beneath it. In 2007, a crackdown began (extensively discussed here).