TRAFFIC, ROAD WORK, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Wednesday, with low-bridge breakdown (update: reopened)

8:26 AM: Thanks for the tips. The low bridge is having trouble and traffic is being diverted.

8:37 AM: Here’s the traffic camera view from above:

8:51 AM: No estimate yet on how long this will take, but we have an inquiry out to SDOT.

9:27 AM: No ETA yet per SDOT spokesperson: “Our repair crew is working with urgency to assess the issue and determine next steps to reopen the bridge to traffic as soon as possible.”

10:02 AM: We are at the bridge. WB vehicles are crossing now. WB too.

10:30 AM: We’ll have a separate followup whenever we hear from SDOT what caused this. As you might recall, various repair/maintenance projects are in the works for the low bridge as well as the high bridge (detailed here).



6:07 AM: Good morning.


Another day with some rain, some clouds, maybe some sun, maybe even a 60-ish high.


Time to start reminding you that this Saturday night/Sunday morning, we “fall back” an hour.


592nd morning without the West Seattle Bridge. Here are views of other bridges and routes:

Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)

The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):

South Park Bridge:

West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:

Highland Park Way/Holden:

The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):

Are movable bridges opening for boats or barges? The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed is working again as of early this morning; 1st Ave. South Bridge openings are tweeted on @wsdot_traffic.

See all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also on this WSB page.


26th SW – Continuing southbound closure between Roxbury and Barton for RapidRide H Line prep work. Also, new work at 26th/Roxbury is starting. This flyer has full details.

15th SW: Still closed at Roxbury, on the south side of the intersection.

Admiral Way: Crews have been working on the stairway on the downhill slope, just before the Avalon cutoff.


Regular Metro schedule, except for the rerouting in RapidRide H Line work zones – on 26th and 15th SW in particular. Watch @kcmetrobus for word of trip cancellations.

For ferries and Water Taxi: WSF continues a two-boat schedule on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run. Check here for alerts/updates. The Water Taxi continues on its new schedule (no weekend or off-peak shuttle buses).

Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.

39 Replies to "TRAFFIC, ROAD WORK, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Wednesday, with low-bridge breakdown (update: reopened)"

  • Mellow Kitty November 3, 2021 (7:54 am)

    Daylight savings time is crap! Why do we still follow an archaic time change and why is it so difficult to say – hey, this is stupid, let’s not do it anymore? 

    • Frog November 3, 2021 (12:16 pm)

      I can answer your question, if you are actually open to an answer, which maybe you are not.  It’s all about how we place available hours of daylight.  In the summer when daylight is abundant, an hour at 9pm pleases more people than an hour at 4am, so we shift clocks.  In the winter, when daylight is painfully scarce, different imperatives exist.  Today, sunrise was at 7:58 am, and it will be an hour later by the time of the winter solstice.  Elementary schools in Seattle mostly start at 7:55.  So with daylight savings time all year, young children would be making their way to school in darkness for three months of the year.  (Or the schools would be forced to change their schedule three months each year, which would pressure the rest of society to change its schedule in harmony, which would annoy you as much as the time change.)  You are probably more into dogs than human children, but there are other members of your community who need to move about in the early morning before you get up, and more light makes it safer for them.  That is why we follow this wise old custom.

      • momosmom November 3, 2021 (3:37 pm)

        And not everyone has kids and would rather the time just stays the same all year long!

      • Mellow Kitty November 3, 2021 (4:35 pm)

        No need for snark – calm down, Frog. 

  • Traffic November 3, 2021 (8:06 am)

    The Lower bridge has been closed for 30 mins any reason why? 

  • BR November 3, 2021 (8:09 am)

    FYI, on 56…..Lower bridge is stuck open!  Rerouting to 1st Ave bridge.

  • AlexC November 3, 2021 (8:09 am)

    Something wrong with the low bridge. Stuck on the bus over 20 minutes. Just now rerouted.

  • Paul November 3, 2021 (8:19 am)

    The Lower Bridge is closed due to mechanical issues. 

  • Bus rider November 3, 2021 (8:20 am)

    Low bridge is stuck. Buses and traffic are not able to cross and are being routed down W Marginal. Boo. 

  • Mojo November 3, 2021 (8:21 am)

    The low bridge is stuck in the open position- the busses are driving aliens to 1st Ave bridge

    • AMD November 3, 2021 (8:31 am)

      The bridge thing sounds bad, but I want to know more about these aliens…

    • 1000amys November 3, 2021 (8:52 am)

      “the busses are driving aliens” – what? I feel like there’s a major plot point that got missed in the story. Aliens from where? Like, Canadians? Or Martians? Why were they in West Seattle in the first place? Or wait, are we talking about the Denny Party? What is going on here?

  • Taxi November 3, 2021 (8:35 am)

    Water Taxi is a good option today for some , good luck 

  • trickycoolj November 3, 2021 (8:38 am)

    Low bridge issues making access to Harbor Island extremely difficult from 1st ave bridge. Took partner well over an hour to get to Harbor Island from High Point. 

  • JT November 3, 2021 (8:59 am)

    We all knew this was going to happen eventually. But will Seattle DOT now focus on infrastructure rather than virtue signaling?

    • JC November 3, 2021 (9:24 am)

      Haha, the plot twists get more fantastical.

    • bikecommuterlaughing November 3, 2021 (9:30 am)

      With Bruce Harrell at the helm, likely not. Remember he was on the city council for 10 years and is directly responsible for the infrastructure problems we are experiencing. Being the lame duck that he is, don’t expect anything to change.

    • Conrad November 3, 2021 (1:59 pm)

      Looks like we just elected Brucey so that would be a big fat no.  My honest preference would be to just give the whole place back to the Duwamish.  If I have to paddle across this fucker I would prefer a clean river with fish in it.

  • AD1234 November 3, 2021 (9:00 am)

    Will King County Water Taxi add a run (when they’re usually on refueling break)?

  • W Seattle November 3, 2021 (9:33 am)

    The lower bridge now will be closed for 590 days while a feasibility study is done to see if it can be repaired or replaced.

  • Roms November 3, 2021 (9:36 am)

    From the 9:27 AM update: “Our repair crew is working with urgency to assess the issue and
    determine next steps to reopen the bridge to traffic as soon as
    possible.” That sounds like what they said at the beginning of the high bridge closure :-D

  • Hcmst November 3, 2021 (9:40 am)

    Mariginal way is horrible!! Taking me 20 minutes just to get to the light. 

  • Ken T November 3, 2021 (9:43 am)

    SDOT is working to assess the issue and determine the next steps.   Hmmm, sounds like a new task force to be created.  

  • BRUCE November 3, 2021 (9:44 am)

    I found about a dozen cyclists waiting for the bridge to reopen, but everyone who bikes over the swing bridge should know that they can use the First Ave S Bridge as a detour.  Just follow the Duwamish Trail south along W Marginal Way to Highland Park Way SW and stay left to ramp up onto the bridge.  Once over, you can choose your route into the city.  I did that this morning and took First Ave S, and it only added about 4 miles to the total commute.  Way better than waiting for the damned swing bridge to open.

    • Roms November 3, 2021 (10:04 am)

      Nice advice. I never used the First Ave S Bridge as a cyclist: Going South, are there bicycle lanes there? Do you get to it using the same ramp as cars? Thanks!

      • bill November 3, 2021 (2:32 pm)

        Roms: There is a fully separated ped/bike path. On the SODO side you get to it at the corner of Michigan and 1st Ave S/S River St, underneath the overpasses. Look at the area in Google Maps with the bike layer turned on. 

  • jim November 3, 2021 (10:02 am)

    Hard to say from this camera view, but it looks like the bridge is “down”.  It normally lifts up a few inches before rotating. That is all performed with hydraulics. That would definitely mess with alignment while trying to close.

  • Eddie November 3, 2021 (10:08 am)

    Bridge was clearly open to traffic at 10:06, but C line bus is now headed down west marginal?

    • WSB November 3, 2021 (10:32 am)

      Takes a while for Metro to get the word sometime. Leaving the bridge (the Marginal Place cul de sac to be specific) after it reopened, we saw one C Line still on Marginal but one also making it across the low bridge, luck of the draw…

  • open bridge November 3, 2021 (10:09 am)

    Looks open according to the camera

    • WSB November 3, 2021 (10:31 am)

      Yes, we reported that while standing there, literally AS it reopened. Thanks.

  • WS bike commuter November 3, 2021 (11:29 am)

    Do you think there is any way to advocate for an app or website that lets people know when the lower bridge (and the 1st Ave bridge) is going to open?  Even 5 minutes of a warning would be enough in many cases!  They must know when boats are going to pass through.

    • LiouxLioux November 3, 2021 (12:37 pm)

        Not much in the way of true advanced warning but there is @sdotbridges on twitter

    • Blbl November 3, 2021 (12:51 pm)

      @SDOTbridges is the bridge Twitter account that notifies when bridges are opening. No advance notice, though. 

  • MJ November 3, 2021 (12:18 pm)

    The 50 I was on diverted south at 1150, is the bridge closed again?

  • Flivver November 3, 2021 (1:14 pm)

    WS Bike Commuter. Pleasure boats-sailboats will use their horn(1 long 1 short)when they get to a bridge to signal they need an opening. No advance warning for the bridge tender. Commercial boats use their VHF(channel 13)radios to have a bridge open when they get there.  An app or website or tweet would fall on the bridgetender who’s busy getting the bridge open. Doubt that would be workable. My only suggestion is to carry a scanner with you tuned to the appropriate channel

  • HarborIslandworker November 3, 2021 (2:39 pm)

    • WSB November 3, 2021 (3:16 pm)

      They sent that to us while I was afk for lunch. Publishing separately.

  • Graciano November 3, 2021 (6:29 pm)
    • Frog, Day light savings time has nothing to do with school children. If you used your favorite search engine…, you would have found the flowing…: Germany was the first country to use daylight savings time in 1916 as an effort to conserve energy during World War I. England followed shortly afterwards. The United States began using daylight savings time for the first time in 1918. 

    > the Governor has signed off on staying at PDT, but it will need an act of Congress to make it official.Please write to your Congress person, maybe next year we can stop turning back the clocks.

Sorry, comment time is over.