One small bridge project has resumed, but the West Seattle Bridge work still awaits concrete, despite drivers’ back-to-work announcement earlier this week. First, here’s what SDOT announced today about the Andover overpass over the southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge:
We’ve resumed work on the SW Andover St Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge (Andover Bridge) seismic retrofit project. Our contractor for this project is using independent drivers to pour small amounts of concrete.
Remaining work includes landscaping around the new sidewalk and base of the bridge, installing and painting the handrail, and replacing fencing near the bridge. With work starting on the Andover Bridge again, we expect to complete the seismic retrofit in the next few weeks. We appreciate your patience and look forward to reopening the bridge after the work is done and it’s ready for use again.
After getting that announcement, we asked SDOT if there’s an update on the Teamsters Local 174 drivers’ offer to resume work for three companies in hopes of getting concrete to some projects including the West Seattle Bridge. The reply from spokesperson Ethan Bergerson:
Contractors have autonomy to select concrete suppliers and we were informed last week by the contractor for the Andover St Pedestrian Bridge Seismic Retrofit project that they would be pouring a comparatively small amounts of concrete using independent drivers.
This is not the same kind of concrete as is needed for the West Seattle Bridge. The West Seattle Bridge program requires specialized concrete which is capable of holding more than 20 million pounds of force and must sustain its strength for decades for the bridge to remain standing. This is a different kind of concrete than what is used for most other transportation projects like streets or sidewalks, which does not need to hold up to the same kinds of force.
Kraemer has reached out to all the concrete suppliers to determine who can supply the special type of concrete needed for the West Seattle Bridge and other details about timing and logistics. We are still awaiting more information from the concrete suppliers.
As for the drivers, they have a new statement online tonight, saying drivers for one company – Salmon Bay – are back at work, but alleging another company, Cadman, is dragging its feet on setting a date for drivers’ return.