WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: When will work start? Updates expected Wednesday @ Community Task Force

It’s November, and that’s when SDOT has said work will start on the repairs that will make it possible to reopen the 19-months-closed West Seqttle Bridge. We’ve been asking SDOT when and where we can photograph and report on the first work – or at least the preparations for it; no specifics yet. But the major updates every month have been presented to the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, and noon tomorrow (Wednesday, November 10th) is that group’s next meeting. We just received the agenda – see it here; it includes a bridge update with these points:

-What’s about to happen
-What to expect while the bridge is under repair

We also have the link you can use tomorrow to watch live – go here. The meeting does not include a public-comment period, but you can send comments or questions to westseattlebridge@seattle.gov.

51 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: When will work start? Updates expected Wednesday @ Community Task Force"

  • Unreal November 9, 2021 (6:16 pm)

    They haven’t even started the repair.  I really hope everyone knows this. 

    • Eddie November 9, 2021 (6:49 pm)

      Unreal: I call BS. Define:Started”. Of course they’ve Started. Msy not have Started anything you can see, but like any iceberg, a very substantial and foundational amount of work has been Started, and some of it has even has been completed. Because you can’t see it doesn’t cancel its existence. 

      • Blbl November 9, 2021 (9:01 pm)

        The only BS is what SDOT is feeding you. We need to drive on the bridge, That means actual repairs need to be made. To the bridge. 

        • Jort November 10, 2021 (1:11 am)

          YEAH! They should totally get out there and start hitting things with hammers and glooping around concrete without any engineering or planning done! JUST DO SOMETHING! It hurts my feelings SO MUCH when I don’t visibly see things with MY eyes! Think for a moment about what’s involved in a multi-million infrastructure project beyond seeing people with safety vests doing things to a structure.

      • Unreal November 10, 2021 (8:49 am)

        Eddie.  Did you read the title of the article? “when will work start” is the title. Is the title bs?

        • Eddie November 10, 2021 (9:49 am)

          Yup. Repeat after me: WORK ON THE BRIDGE REPAIR HAS STARTED. With all due respect to Tracy/WSB, the title could have said something like “when will I see visible work…”

          • WSB November 10, 2021 (10:46 am)

            With all due respect, no, the actual final phase of repair work has not begun. For example, from last week’s update to the subscribers on the bridge mailing list:

            Coming soon – Construction crews return to the high bridge!

            This month, construction crews return to the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge to start the final phase of repairs and get us closer to re-opening the bridge to traffic in mid-2022.

            Kraemer North America will perform the repair work inside and outside of the bridge, building on stabilization work completed last year.

            By “final phase” they are including the stabilization work done last year as a previous “phase.”

    • wscommuter November 10, 2021 (11:01 am)

      Ah … the semantics war.   I am as impatient as anyone for the bridge to be reopened.  But the process to get there requires engineering – study and investigation, calculations and planning, design … and now, thankfully, construction.  Unless you’re a civil engineer with experience  in complex bridge design in an active seismic zone, your whining doesn’t mean much.  The fact that you don’t see heavy equipment at work doesn’t mean that work hasn’t been occurring at deliberate speed.  Not defending SDOT, but I do know that good engineers at quality firms are working this problem as quickly as is safely possible.  If you have a better engineering solution, by all means, step up and tell us.  

      • S.A. November 11, 2021 (9:48 am)

        Don’t you know, reading newspaper articles about the bridge is functionally the equivalent of having gone to school for many years to get a professional engineering degree and passing licensing exams?  Why must you insist on deferring to these so-called “experts” who’ve gotten “training” and have “experience,” when obviously community members’ ideas about timeline and work speed are far more important?

  • Tim November 9, 2021 (6:47 pm)

    I saw a big compressor being brought up to the bridge today. 

    • WSB November 9, 2021 (7:20 pm)

      No doubt there’s a lot of prep happening, which is why frankly it’s frustrating that our request to be able to photograph something hasn’t been granted so far (aside from the two media events in which we participated). I’d be happy to even travel off-peninsula to photograph a pile of materials somewhere, not even necessarily on or at the bridge, just to be able to show people “OK, here’s what’s happening now.” Hopefully soon. (And if you see something happening, if you can, let us know, we’ll scamper over to try to get a photo!) – TR

      • HarborIslandworker November 10, 2021 (10:52 am)

        WSB… The other day I sent Deb Barker and Lisa Herbold an email about possibly putting a camera in the west Seattle Bridge and link it to the travelers homepage… “so people can see the progress” I was told that it was kind of a neat idea but was also told that it would be like watching paint dry 🤷🏻‍♂️ 

      • momosmom November 11, 2021 (6:54 am)

        Tracy, do you have a drone or know someone that does have one and knows how to use it properly, you could get pics that way???

        • WSB November 11, 2021 (7:21 am)


  • YES2WS November 9, 2021 (6:58 pm)

    I know it and I have nothing good to say about it. What a fiasco this city is with it’s insipid streets before the closure and even more so since the closure. It’s almost as though they’re playing a game. Sadly, I think they really are just that inept at their jobs. 

    • Derek November 9, 2021 (7:24 pm)

      Ditch the car. Take bus and light rail. Watch blood pressure lower. Seriously it’s time to live like we’re in a city and not a suburb. 

      • Boop November 9, 2021 (11:00 pm)

        @Derek  Sorry, can’t get the kids to practice on the bus.  

        • Jort November 10, 2021 (1:06 am)

          Yes you can. Adapt. 

        • Parent November 10, 2021 (3:51 am)

          West Seattle is a suburb where people do suburban things like raise families and as stated above shuttle kids around. Move downtown if you want that lifestyle. 

          • Derek November 10, 2021 (9:36 am)

            SFH is disappearing with good reason. We are a big apartment building and density neighborhood now. Plenty of actual ‘burbs to move to. This is a big boy city. We need to act like a big boy city. 

          • AlsoAParent November 10, 2021 (12:27 pm)

            No, our neighborhood is not a suburb, and never will be. Plenty of us can function as parents and not be totally dependent on a car. If you want the real suburban life, check out Issaquah.

        • Unreal November 10, 2021 (8:47 am)

          Hey Derek. How do I carry 60 2×4’s on a bicycle, bus? We don’t have light rail in ws. Have you noticed?

          • Jort November 10, 2021 (11:49 pm)

            As you know, nearly 97% of all people in cars are actually carrying 60 2×4 pieces of wood around, with them, too. Isn’t the primary purpose of the American automobile to move 60 pieces of 2×4 wood? Oh, wait, just because you need a car once every few months for supplies at Home Depot (which can also be delivered), doesn’t mean you need a car every single minute of every single day. I still can’t believe people think this is a good excuse for universal car ownership and transportation planning prioritization. “But what about my 2x4s?!?!”

        • Derek November 10, 2021 (9:33 am)

          Yes you can. 

      • Bronson November 10, 2021 (7:22 am)

        @ Derek – Ditching the car doesn’t fix the streets, nor does it fix the bridge. This city has failed to keep up with one of its basic functions, which is to provide the infrastructure necessary for its inhabitants to move and move its goods and services freely, without undue hardship or encumbrances.I would love to live like this was a city, but guess what, the bus service sucks and the light rail non-existent for us in WS. So until the day that those things change, it is fair to expect this city to focus on its basic functions as opposed to virtue signaling and pursuing ideological based pet projects. I for one hope Bruce Harrell fires the SDOT leadership in an attempt to stress the importance of their roles and the expectations that come with it.  

        • Jort November 10, 2021 (11:52 pm)

          If you think that Bruce Harrell will be the first politician in human history to “solve” automobile traffic issues by “firing” the head of SDOT, you are in for a really sad surprise. This has never happened in the entirety of human and automobile existence in any location on this entire planet and, guess what, Seattle will not be the first city to do it. Also, in the case of the last year, ditching the car actually DOES “fix” the bridge, because riding a bus or a bike downtown is easily much faster than choosing to drive yourself, alone, in a car. You can choose to suffer and be sad, or enjoy the freedom and joy that comes from throwing away your car.

          • Joel November 11, 2021 (6:10 am)

            Jort, your extreme hatred for those who need to drive is getting old. Cars are not going to just disappear anytime soon. We need to plan for transportation systems which benefit all, not just those on bikes. 

          • Bonson November 11, 2021 (11:43 am)

            Nowhere did I say or even indicate that replacing SDOT leadership was about fixing traffic. It’s about fixing the bridge and their slow roll approach to an “emergency.” Also, there is nothing in the history of time that suggests that ditching you car will fix a bridge. One doesn’t begat the other.

      • Tony G November 10, 2021 (8:53 am)

        Can’t do it Derek. My office is in North Seattle and I have multiple job sites on the Eastside and Seattle that I visit everyday. It’s not feasible for me and many like me who don’t work in an office downtown to use public transport. 

      • Barton November 10, 2021 (2:42 pm)

        I find the phrase “big boy city” weird.  What is that even supposed to mean?

      • ARPigeonPoint November 10, 2021 (8:35 pm)

        There’s a global pandemic, Derek. Have you seen the way they pack people on the buses here? 

        • newnative November 11, 2021 (9:29 am)

          Actually no, I have returned to the office in Queen Anne and I was pleasantly surprised to find the buses not full and a lot faster than driving. 

  • CMB November 9, 2021 (7:21 pm)

    What takes any other city 2 months takes 2 years in Seattle.  Just look at the revenue being generated by the ticket cameras on the low bridge to understand why.  Follow the money.   

    • bill November 9, 2021 (9:45 pm)

      From the number of cars without license plates I see on the bridge from my bike there’s not much revenue to look at.

  • SoManyQuestions November 9, 2021 (8:11 pm)

    Anyone have any idea why they are not maintaining the rest of the bridge during the “down time” there are huge pot holes and weeds growing in cracks.  Will the roots of said plants damage the concrete more ?   And can’t they cover the graffiti that is covering the surfaces on our “detour” so we don’t have to see it, making our commute a little more pleasant.

    • Auntie November 9, 2021 (9:10 pm)

      Yes – also the condition of the “West Seattle Freeway” between I-5 and the West Seattle Bridges. That was in terrible condition before the closure. And the drainage problem was terrible – in heavy rains, cars in the center lanes threw roostertails up over the divider into oncoming traffic. Could we hope that SDOT will fix that before the high bridge opens again or is that too much to ask?

    • nwpolitico November 9, 2021 (10:48 pm)

      I strongly second the request for answers to these questions!

  • Mj November 9, 2021 (10:46 pm)

    Derek – what bus I live in an area with no midday bus service. 

    The 50 takes forever as compared to the 56 and 57 to get to my destination, over an hour versus about 20 minutes via car with the bridge.  Coming back and catching the 56 or 57 peak service cuts 10 to 15 minutes from the commute, a significant reduction. 

    SDoT has failed to provide transit to areas of WS that historically had such service!  Having midday service would provide a significant difference for many residents in the north end of WS.

    • Jort November 10, 2021 (1:09 am)

      MJ, you know full well that SDOT doesn’t set transit routing and schedules, and that KCM handles that. People have corrected you about this for years. Why do you always do this?

      • momosmom November 10, 2021 (10:26 am)

        HA! Well there you are Jort, I was starting to think  “Derek” was you just using a different user name!!! 

        • Foop November 10, 2021 (12:17 pm)

          There are many people, not just Jort, who would like to see more people utilize and push for more / better/ connected transit and cycling infrastructure. Someone noted they don’t have bus service where they are (Admiral, judging by the bus lines mentioned) – perhaps people in Admiral should advocate for better service?

          • momosmom November 11, 2021 (7:09 am)

            Hey Foop – take a deep breath, chill I was making a joke, a funny, a you know ha, ha, ha,  LOL…. Jort hadn’t made a voice  but once at the time I posted or his posts weren’t approved and posted yet and yes, I realize  there are a lot  of people that feel the same. But again it was a poke at Jort and I’m sure he realized that.

    • Jt November 11, 2021 (7:44 am)

      Exactly.  We need density to support transit at 10-15 minute intervals.  Density means a lot more people…. All the apartment buildings near the junction are not enough to give us the number of people to support transit.  It takes a LONG time to build up infrastructure ( transit only lanes) and  without  infrastructure-parking makes life hellish because it adds traffic problems with more people driving cars.

  • Tom W November 10, 2021 (3:33 am)

    Did I just get thrown back into time? Just going to Start repairs? What have they been doing for the last 2 years?

  • RKO November 10, 2021 (5:52 am)

    I remember when it was October. And then all of a sudden it said November (without reasons) to start the work. and soon they’ll say December, and then January, and on and and on and on and “mid 2022” will feel like a cruel joke.The lack of urgency on this project makes me so disappointed and angry in this city.My street has turned into a literal freeway, all day. it has severely impacted the way of life i once had in my house and neighborhood, traffic times getting in and out of west seattle notwithstanding. this would be doable if it were just for a few months, but it’s getting to the point where i’m ready to get the heck outta dodge. and knowing that the only way out of this mess is up to SDOT gives me zero hope this will get done even remotely on their “timeline”, which doesn’t seem adherent to the national emergency this was supposedly declared as.I hope to be proven wrong. 

    • DogMom November 10, 2021 (1:07 pm)

      Right there with you, RKO. I fully expect that whenever SDOT actually starts repairs, they’ll announce that the bridge won’t re-open until 2025 or something, lol. I’m thankful I don’t have to commute every day and can’t imagine the mental strain it is for those who have to get in and out of West Seattle on a daily basis.

  • reality check November 10, 2021 (7:46 am)

    At this point, with all the entitled complaining and finger pointing, I would support SDOT demo-ing the WS bridge, and building a nice, cheaper, pedestrian/bike/bridge and park, and diverting any extra funds into making SkyLink happen.

    It’s probably only a matter of time before fuel rationing is a thing due to the urgent climate crisis. It is time to wake up and begin to accept other modes of transportation, whenever possible, now.

  • Chris Barnes November 10, 2021 (11:13 am)

    They’re not going to “rebuild” the bridge.  They’re only going to do more of what they’ve already done…tightening those cables and such.  This whole so called “repair” is bogus.  They’ve already done a big percentage of what is possible with a completed bridge.  I’d be happy if they cleaned out the downspouts so they weren’t always having grass grow out of them and change the light bulbs.  

  • Tim P November 10, 2021 (3:02 pm)

    Amazing to review the 2013 I5 bridge collapse and how quickly Inslee had it resolved.  He took it seriously and got it fixed fast.  Seattle government obviously has other priorities. 

    • KM November 11, 2021 (7:41 am)

      Yep, this is EXACTLY the same thing! Same funding, same bridge structure, same daily traffic volumes, same jurisdiction. In fact, it happened on the same day of the year at the exact same time with the same people in charge. I was the same age and weight too. 

  • Joe Z November 10, 2021 (3:11 pm)

    At this point we’ve all learned to live without it. Traffic on the high bridge will never return to previous levels.

    I would just tear the thing down, put light rail where the bridge is currently located, and call it a day. 

Sorry, comment time is over.