WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Repair contractor’s crews will be on it ‘this month,’ SDOT tells Community Task Force

First update from this afternoon’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting is the latest on Topic A – the repair work that’s about to begin. (That wasn’t the only topic discussed, but we’ll get to the others in a later report.) From the slide deck, the announcement that the Maximum Allowable Construction Cost (MACC) contract is almost ready to be signed:

Bridge program director Heather Marx said, “You will see Kraemer North America [repair contractor] crews back on the bridge this month,” first bringing equipment and materials onto the bridge. They’re building work platforms offsite. Much of the current work happens inside the bridge or off the bridge – but she said you will see work crews, trailers, and equipment. Also ahead: Hydroblasting to create lifting points for the work platforms; there are old ones from the stabilization process but they have to create new ones for the “tail spans” – sections of the bridge on which work was not done during the stabilization process.

(WSB photo from August visit atop the bridge)

There will be some “short-term” low bridge, street, and waterway closures for the platform installation, and they’re promising lots of advance notice. Here’s the timeline:

Carbon-reinforced polymer wrapping starts around the first of the year, and low-bridge work – including more of that – also starts in the first quarter.

“As soon as we sign the contract, we’ll be free to talk about when the work is expected to be done,” Marx promised. Asked later if that contract would be viewable post-signing, Marx said it’s a public document, so yes. But she also said the work is “risk-loaded”:

The work also could go “better” than planned, she noted. The activities mentioned in the slide above include a planned “celebration” for the community – but she promised that will not delay the reopening.

Also addressed at today’s meeting – the low bridge, recent West Marginal Way work, and the study for a bridge replacement that’s likely 40 years in the future (more from SDOT Blog here). We’ll get into all those details in a separate report later.

22 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Repair contractor's crews will be on it 'this month,' SDOT tells Community Task Force"

  • Rick Cook November 10, 2021 (4:38 pm)

    Oooohhhh gooodddy!!!

  • Derek November 10, 2021 (5:16 pm)

    How much extra life does this add to the bridge? 10 years? Should replacement be started fairly soon too?

    • WSB November 10, 2021 (5:58 pm)

      They believe the bridge will last 40 more years past repairs.

      • Sam November 10, 2021 (6:05 pm)

        Perfect, that’s just enough time for everyone to switch over to bikes.

        • MG November 10, 2021 (11:22 pm)


      • Auntie November 10, 2021 (6:06 pm)

        Whew! Wish I could say the same about myself!

      • Hammer in Hand November 10, 2021 (8:28 pm)

        No disrespect meantbut they also said the first one was a 70-100year structure. That did not work out so well40 years with of course proper maintenance 

  • 1994 November 10, 2021 (10:47 pm)

    SDOT – I am counting on you for the mid-2022 opening of the high bridge.  Please deliver as stated. The rest of your new choke point changes to West Seattle streets truly suck and do as much as possible to NOT MOVE Seattle.  So many recent changes don’t help move traffic but instead cause backups. 

  • Mariem November 11, 2021 (12:04 am)

    Save the money and effort! No community/ celebration needed!! Just open it. I know the politicians will want to come and talk and the contractors will, so will  Staff etc but please NO! 

    • Bubbasaurus November 11, 2021 (9:36 am)

      I’m for the “celebration” if it includes public flogging of all responsible for this debacle. Otherwise, save the money. No need for the political class to come out and high-five each other for their “amazing” work on the project.

    • zark00 November 11, 2021 (10:20 am)

      100% agree – a celebration will be a slap in the face to West Seattle residents unless it’s a “Celebration of West Seattle residents resilience in the face of SDOTs monumental incompetence”. 

      • JenT November 12, 2021 (7:46 am)

        Seriously. This will be nothing but a political photo opp. Hey, we let the bridge rot, but we fixed it 2.5 years later! Save our tax money please.

  • Single family guy November 11, 2021 (6:11 am)

    I don’t believe the bridge will be finished until then end of 2022 if we are lucky. Also the lifespan of the bridge will again be cut short as the city will continue to allow the demolition of single family homes to create multiple family homes on a single lot. This adds to many more cars traversing the bridge not to mention all the additional construction vehicles creating additional stress and weight hauling materials back and forth for the construction of these multi family units. The renaming of single family residential was just the start! Thanks city council glad some of you were voted out!

    • Derek November 11, 2021 (12:14 pm)

      SFH has to go. We need density. We’re a big city now. Most people will take bus and lightrail.

      • WestSeattleResident November 12, 2021 (9:16 am)

        Agreed. There is plenty of SFH in smaller towns all across America if you want them. Big cities wedged between immovable bodies of water have no choice but to build up, aka density. Otherwise Seattle will become a city of the uber wealthy and the lucky few who bought a home before x date.

        • Walker November 13, 2021 (2:50 pm)

          Sounds like the end goal is to force out people in SFH in order to increase density. No thanks. My neighbor is putting up a two story ADU that is taller than the primary house and takes up the ENTIRE backyard. No room for trees or even a potted shrub. Now that can’t be in keeping with the idea of the ’emerald city’. 

  • David November 11, 2021 (6:19 am)

    Amazing – the world can develop a vaccine to help slow a pandemic in 20 months yet we have typical Seattle meetings – outreach – consultants and handwringing repeatedly before we can get any project finished – so typically Seattle!

    • OneTimeCharley November 11, 2021 (8:36 am)

      Maybe because one problem was threatening to lead to the death of millions and millions of people, versus a bridge being out causing traffic problems for a couple of years. The two events really are not comparable, both in scope and in required remedy. Yeesh.

  • wsres November 11, 2021 (7:57 am)

    Celebration? Please don’t spend any of my tax dollars on a celebration meant to make the people in charge look like heroes. Just fix the damn bridge!!

  • DC November 11, 2021 (8:37 am)

    Two questions 1: Does ‘risk-loaded’ mean that the mid-2022 schedule is set with the expectation of possible risks causing delays? Thus, if no anticipated risks are realized, the bridge will open sooner. Or does it mean the opposite? The schedule is based on
    things mostly going right and any unanticipated delays could push the mid-2022
    schedule back. 2: Why couldn’t they have kept the work platforms from the initial repairs? Why start from scratch when that work was already done?

  • StupidinSeattle November 11, 2021 (4:45 pm)

      So…. this celebrating would be because SDOT negligence over a 7 year period of cracking made the repairs possible?  Or because repairing a critical piece of city transportation infrastructure didn’t take 3 years?  Not sure I see the happy side of this.  Agree with anyone who sees the city extending beyond June next year.

  • wetone November 12, 2021 (11:43 am)

    Just remember SDOT knew of the main issue back in <2013 . Where are these people today….  While many in charge at SDOT today are very smart they lack any real life current job experience and city is now experiencing the outcome. SDOT keeps talking about post tension cables, epoxy injections……….. well from what I understand and have read, the post tension cables had a little more slack that what SOME at SDOT thought they should but were still with-in spec. The epoxy injections are something that have and were being done before closure of Highrise…… Politics ; )  just open it up…….

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