FOLLOWUP: Here’s what’s happening with Andover bicycle/pedestrian bridge retrofit

(SDOT photos)

Three months after SDOT closed the Andover bicycle/pedestrian bridge over the west end of the West Seattle Bridge, they’re one month into construction of its retrofit, with two months to go. Here’s the update we just received:

We began construction in mid-October on the SW Andover St Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project and are on schedule to complete construction in the next two months.

The SW Andover St Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge is a vital pedestrian connection between the Youngstown and Genesee neighborhoods. The bridge was built in 1961, prior to the modernization of the seismic design code. This project will strengthen key bridge components to better withstand seismic events like earthquakes.

What’s happening now?

We’re installing new bridge expansion joints, which allow the concrete to naturally expand and contract without cracking. The bridge deck was originally supported by three joints that were not adequately connected to each other to withstand an earthquake. The bridge will be fused together with steel plates, additional rebar, and concrete to improve its resilience to earthquakes.

We’re also strengthening the east side of the bridge where it is secured to the ground. Four long steel rods, called ground anchors, will be installed 40 feet deep into the ground to support this side of the bridge. These improvements will make the bridge stronger and safer in the event of an earthquake.

We are on schedule to complete the work in the next two months. As soon as construction is done, we’ll open the bridge for use again.

Cost of the project is estimated at $1.9 million.

4 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Here's what's happening with Andover bicycle/pedestrian bridge retrofit"

  • Al November 23, 2021 (11:52 am)

    Amazing this worked out. I remember when they proposed the options for this, they were heavily pushing the simple tear down path instead. The argument seemed to be: tearing it down would mean more pedestrians walking in the street, and that would slow down car traffic. Anything that slows cars is a good thing, right? As if the added danger to pedestrians and bicyclists was somehow worth it because we’d achieve our goal of hurting  car drivers. 

    • WSB November 23, 2021 (1:05 pm)

      No, you’re thinking of the Delridge/Oregon ped bridge. Pedestrians at grade on this one would not be a good thing considering it’s part of the West Seattle Bridge.

    • Jort November 23, 2021 (2:41 pm)

      Incorrect, this is the one and only way for pedestrians and cyclists to cross over the car sewer known as the West Seattle “Freeway,” for which there are no other options. The Delridge pedestrian overpass is an expensive redundant crossing built to facilitate faster private automobile travel. Maybe that’s what you’re thinking. And yeah, that one is gonna go bye bye.

  • Snowskier November 24, 2021 (9:23 am)

    Glad the city found a way to complete this project while the remainder of the bridge remains closed.  Seems like simple blocking and tackling but with the city these days, you never know.  It’s a vital connection for those on foot and wheels, especially when light rail comes to fruition. 

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