Early this morning, one of the three pumps needed for the bridge’s operation started to lose pressure and exhibit atypical noises, requiring SDOT to cease bridge operations while our crews inspected the issue and performed the necessary actions to restart the bridge.
Over the course of the next few days, we will determine if the pump should be replaced or can be repaired. During that time, SDOT will station electrician and mechanical crews at the low bridge during the morning and afternoon peak periods in the event the pump requires additional attention.
On Tuesday, November 9, SDOT planned to replace a different pump on the bridge. There will be no traffic impacts to vehicles when replacing this pump on Tuesday. Any repair or replacement activities required for the pump that malfunctioned today can be performed at that time.
7:35 PM: SDOT says the same pump is having trouble tonight and they’re working on it, but the traffic cam shows it’s still open.
7:57 PM: SDOT says that while it’s open to vehicle traffic, currently the low bridge cannot open for marine traffic.
10:21 PM: SDOT’s latest update:
At approximately 5:30 pm this evening, the same pump on the Spokane Street Bridge (West Seattle Low Bridge) once again began experiencing mechanical issues preventing the bridge from being opened for maritime traffic. This only affected ships, and authorized vehicles were able to continue driving over the bridge as normal.
SDOT mechanical crews responded to the situation quickly and were able to open the eastern side of the bridge, allowing ships to pass through. We plan to expedite repairs of the malfunctioning pump as soon as possible, and will only swing open and close the eastern side of the bridge until these repairs are complete (normally, both halves of the bridge swing open). This will only affect certain marine traffic, and will not impact vehicles authorized to drive over the bridge.