WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Concrete update; six more ‘progress reports’ obtained; celebration planning

Three West Seattle Bridge updates:

(SDOT photo: Expansion joint rehab, also awaiting concrete)

CLOSER TO CONCRETE? When last we checked with SDOT regarding whether some striking drivers’ offer to return to work would result in concrete for the bridge, they said contractor Kraemer North America was talking with potential supplier Cadman about the “recipe” for what they need. Today, when asked for an update, SDOT told WSB, “At this stage in the project’s pursuit of concrete, the city has evaluated and approved Cadman’s concrete mix designs. Kraemer is now working with Cadman to determine their delivery capacity and schedule.” SDOT’s response to our inquiry also said, “We are still aiming to reopen the bridge in mid-2022.”

PROGRESS REPORTS: The bridge project team continues to have “progress report” meetings on Tuesday. As explained here in early March, we requested the reports from those meetings and were told they could only be released through the public-disclosure process, which has been taking about a month. So we continue to file requests for them. We just received six more, from the meetings January 25th, February 1st, February 8th, February 15th, February 22nd, and March 1st; the only notable point is that the concrete situation is recapped weekly, with the February 1st notation, “Project can endure strike without schedule impacts through about February 20th. After this date, impacts will be day for day.” That was eight days before the city publicly announced the February 20th date; also of note, we hadn’t heard the “day for day” point before; SDOT has repeatedly said that the schedule impacts won’t be known until the last pour for the post-tensioning (strengthening). February 8th brought a mention of concern about “exposed rebar” somewhere on the bridge deck. And the February 15th report noted an incident: “Westbound Highrise vehicle drove into perimeter gate. No injuries or major damage. Security could not locate car.” That week’s report also mentioned a possible “mayoral visit” to the bridge, but no further notations about whether that ever happened.

CELEBRATION PLANNING CONTINUES: As also previously mentioned, a community coalition has been working on plans to celebrate the reopening of the bridge, whenever it happens. Members of the subcommittees are holding an online meeting every other Tuesday to check in, and today brought one of those meetings. Many specifics are still yet to be decided, but here are a few toplines. Instead of just a logo contest, they’ll ask community members to suggest slogans too. Watch for the announcement of that. They’ve settled on some verbiage, though – there’ll be a website at westseattlebestseattle (dot) org, and they’ll encourage use of the #westseattlebestseattle hashtag – this, to underscore a goal of the reopening celebration, to encourage the rest of the region to come visit. They’re also still seeking sponsors for the celebratory event(s).

55 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Concrete update; six more 'progress reports' obtained; celebration planning"

  • Meeeee March 30, 2022 (5:58 am)

    Stop with the celebration planning, there’s nothing to celebrate over what W. Seattle’s had to put up with for over 2 years with the bridge out.  Put any money for a celebration to local non-profits and just open the bridge.

    • bridgemeplease March 30, 2022 (10:14 am)


    • Mariem March 30, 2022 (5:42 pm)

      Completely agree- don’t spend this money,  Seattle. I said as much in one of the surveys as well. 

  • KD March 30, 2022 (6:46 am)

    HA!! No one neighborhood should be celebrating more than HIGHLAND PARK. We have taken the brunt of half the peninsula coming through our smaller hood for over two years (oh, the real sufferers on Holden St. and Highland Park Way leading to and from West Marginal and the 1st. So. Bridge!) We should be having the Biggest Celebration, yet we don’t have our beloved beautiful hall to celebrate in, due to the major fire that shut that down during all this traffic reroute/covid/and anything else 😭 delays. We truly look forward to some normalcy after hosting the streets especially during the peak rush hours of am and pm commutes. Funny word.. ‘rush’ yet it was a blocking crawl, for 2 years!! (Even worse was not only rerouted traffic through here, and the daily raising of the 1st. Ave. So. Bridge backing up even more backed up traffic, but anytime Highland Park Way was shut down due to landslide and trees down for days and days, and the double-back rerouting of the reroute over to Roxbury via Highland Park Way and 9th. So. It was captive hell!! 😩) 

    • Celebrate Highland Park March 30, 2022 (6:31 pm)

      Perhaps the celebration should include the funds to reopen Highland Park Improvement Club and then celebrate there.

  • MoonKitty 5000 March 30, 2022 (8:47 am)

    LOL at the celebration. Just open the bridge and we can all celebrate by driving cars over it. 

  • Joe Z March 30, 2022 (9:18 am)

    I’m impressed at the work that has been done on the approach highway. They have been busy resurfacing and smoothing out bumps in the concrete. The road surface looks great. 

    • Avi April 1, 2022 (11:50 am)

      Isn’t this just the work done for the Rapid H? 

  • Jort March 30, 2022 (10:36 am)

    It is super-duper sad that the party-planners are framing the bridge re-opening as a fresh, exciting opportunity for “the rest of the region” to visit. For months, it has not been hard to get to West Seattle if you make the easy decision not to drive your personal car to get here. Businesses are easily accessible via transit and cycling, and I’m disappointed that the thought never crosses their minds to encourage bus and biking folks to visit, too. But, this is Car Brain. Cars first, cars always. There can be no other way but Car. 

    • Troj March 30, 2022 (11:28 am)

      But, this is Car Brain. Cars first, cars always.

      It’s certainly the only thing you ever go on about.

      • Jort March 30, 2022 (12:33 pm)

        I am dedicated to pointing out the pervasive influence of automobile-centered planning and how it has re-engineered our society in unsustainable, planet- and society-destroying ways. Much of the conflicts that make the news, like arguments about density, safety, homelessness, children’s learning, commerce, business, taxation, wealth generation, etc. – all work from a baseline assumption that there is one and only way to primarily move people around the region: automobiles. This is a colossal, monumental error, one that America is uniquely and pathologically committed to in every facet of our lives despite its demonstrated and unequivocal failures. I have no expectation that this country will meaningfully change its death-spiral mindsets on this subject in my lifetime, but I will continue to make the irrefutable, unchallengeable arguments against car supremacy using facts and reason at any opportunity I can so that our children and their children can live in a better world. So, yeah, I “go on about” it. Sorry, not sorry.

      • Wseattleite March 31, 2022 (7:05 am)


    • Lucy March 30, 2022 (12:08 pm)

      While it is a good idea to reduce our dependence on single occupancy vehicles, not everyone can take transit or ride a bike.    I commute by water taxi 4 days a week and drive in once.  Transit on the fifth day for me is not safe, as I have to go to the north end.  If the city is serious about making transit a viable option, it needs to be safe.  That mean Third Ave needs to be cleaned up and the Light Rail stations need to be staffed with security officers who can do something when the druggies and the criminals show up to attack commuters.  

      • Jort March 30, 2022 (12:36 pm)

        Significantly more people in Seattle have died and been seriously injured in private automobiles than have been on buses, and it’s not even close. That’s because private automobiles are one of the most dangerous things we encounter in our daily lives, but people are blind to the risk and danger they present. Riding a bus does not protect you from having to look at icky, icky gross poor people, but if you can manage to, you know, get over it, you’ll be fine. 

    • Anne March 30, 2022 (12:47 pm)

      Biking & walking are not options for me. If/ when metro cleans up the drug & crime problems on buses & at stops -actually gets me where I want to go without it taking hours-I’ll consider taking a bus. When there are no more stories by bus drivers who don’t feel safe because of drugs & crime-I’ll consider taking a bus.  (I’m not holding my breath by the way.)Until then-yay for my car!! 

    • Roms March 30, 2022 (2:00 pm)

      When you write this, it really shows that you are not knowing what you are talking about (in other words, it shows that you yourself don’t use mass transit)…

    • Easy depends on how you measure March 30, 2022 (6:38 pm)

      Easy-peasy lemon squeezy to get to North Admiral?  Try it yourself Jort on the weekend from downtown. Times are 30 to 45 minutes if the buses are on-time to make their connections.  You’re right. You can bike faster than that but you can also drive faster than that and park for free on Sundays.

      • Kathy March 30, 2022 (9:45 pm)

        We have more than enough visitors in Alki, the minute the sun comes out. Most of them are coming in cars. These are mostly not people who are burning fossil fuels because that is the only way they have to get someplace they absolutely need to go. They are in tricked out cars. They are joy riding. Their car is a toy or a trophy to them and they don’t care how much coal they roll and noise they make. The cost of gas and the lack of a freeway to get here is not at all an obstacle for them. Seattle is basicallly a car sewer. West Marginal Way has been a car sewer during the bridge closures. The West Seattle  Bridge will be a car sewer when it reopens. .Alaskan Way on the waterfront is a car sewer, even though we spent billions to put the cars in a tunnel below. I was passed by several cars going 50 mph on 1st Avenue downtown today.  Those are the criminals downtown that I am afraid of, threatening people who are just trying to shop, walk or bike on the street and enjoy life and the businesses without noisy, speeding, polluting car traffic on nearly every street.

    • 1994 March 30, 2022 (10:40 pm)

      You forgot that Heather Marxx with the SDOT (transportation guru) asked as many people as possible to walk or bike ride in and out of West Seattle? I guess maybe not all people agreed with her recommendation or are not able to walk/bike, but so happy you  apparently did. 

  • Community Member March 30, 2022 (10:42 am)

    So… the party poopers could just decide that a party’s not their thing. What’s the point of dissing the idea of a party? 

    • TTT March 30, 2022 (12:06 pm)


  • Mj March 30, 2022 (11:25 am)

    Jort – please explain how a person living in say Bellevue can get to WS in a timely manner with kids in tow without driving?

    • Jort March 30, 2022 (12:43 pm)

      Here, MJ. Let me Google that for you, even though I can only assume you don’t care about the actual answer and instead are positing an attempted “gotcha” (hint: it’s two buses, with one transfer, and it takes less than an hour. In the future go to http://www.google.com, tap “maps” and tap “Transit” to get directions. Google can make it very easy to learn things, for those who want to actually learn things.): Google Maps Transit – Bellevue to West Seattle Junction

    • Nonsense Eliminator March 30, 2022 (3:19 pm)

      FTW!  👊🏻

    • Bus March 30, 2022 (3:40 pm)

      The 560 from Bellevue to West Seattle is pretty quick.  I’ve used it to commute to Renton, and to run errands in Bellevue.  It’s maybe 10 minutes slower than driving.  Probably faster than driving during rush hour because of right of way. Kids are allowed on the bus and there are plenty of seats for everyone, so you can do all that with kids in tow as well (have seen plenty of people with kids of all ages).

      • Roms March 30, 2022 (6:35 pm)

        The 560 is 1 hour and 15 minutes (reference: https://www.soundtransit.org/ride-with-us/routes-schedules/560) from downtown Bellevue to Westwood Village. You’re then in WV, where you need to take a C to get, say, to the Junction. That’s 15 more minutes. It’s much faster by car, which takes me about 45 minutes driving at the speed limit and taking I-5/I-90/I-405 (during the day). It’s twice faster by car.

      • Nonsense Eliminator March 30, 2022 (6:48 pm)

        And catch the Rona?  Hard Pass!NE

    • skeeter March 30, 2022 (5:57 pm)

      I’m not Jort but I’m a big fan of Jort.  Jort continues to inspire me.  To answer your question, my family (2 adults and an 11YO child) rode bikes from our home in Highpoint to Bellevue three days ago.  It was an amazing ride – about 15 miles one way.  We visited Bell Square Mall and the Bravern.  After our adventure we were feeling a little tired so we put all three bikes on the Sound Transit #560 from the Bellevue Transit Center to Westwood.  From Westwood we biked home 2.5 miles.  I really love living in an area of the country with such fantastic biking and transit options.  We are also blessed with good health that makes this sort of adventure possible.  I realize how fortunate we are that we can get around without having to use a car.  

      • Canton March 30, 2022 (11:06 pm)

        How long did that adventure take? Sounds like a long day. How many bike accommodations on the bus, besides the three you used?

        • skeeter March 31, 2022 (8:50 am)

          Hi Canton – Our adventure took about 6 hours – 3.3 hours of which was travel time.  Driving might have been faster.  Hard to say because car traffic is so variable.  If you are in a rush to get to Bellevue I definitely recommend driving a car and going early in the morning on a Sat or Sun. Busses are equipped with front racks holding three bicycles.  If the racks are full I guess riders can ask the bus driver permission to bring the bike in the coach?  Only happened to us once and the bus driver let us bring one of our bikes on the coach.  

      • HILLS March 31, 2022 (7:24 am)

        “I love living in an area of the country with such fantastic biking and transit options” is a sentence said by someone who has not been ANYWHERE else in this country. 🤦🏻‍♂️

        • Pessoa April 1, 2022 (9:40 am)

          The myopic provincialism here is stupefying.  

  • bolo March 30, 2022 (11:29 am)

    “Westbound Highrise vehicle drove into perimeter gate. No injuries or major damage. Security could not locate car.”

    This is so mysterious. Seems like a work vehicle hit & run?

  • Lisa March 30, 2022 (11:38 am)

    I’m wondering about the math: “We are still aiming to reopen the bridge in mid-2022.”

    If the original reopening was end of June, and we’ve been losing days since February 20th (six weeks ago), how can six+ weeks after the end of June still be mid-2022? “Hoping” and “aiming” don’t turn back clocks.

    • WSB March 30, 2022 (12:40 pm)

      A date has never been set for the reopening – the end of June was the contractual date by which the contractor was supposed to finish work, if all went well – but that’s why I made note of the “day for day” in the “progress reports” – that would indeed seem to make even a loose definition of “mid-2022” in jeopardy. However, SDOT has also continued to make the point that they’ve been working with the contractor on rearranging the original order of work so they could get as many non-concrete-requiring tasks done in the meantime. – TR

  • cjboffoli March 30, 2022 (11:53 am)

    I don’t know why policymakers keep putting energy into this idea of a celebration. Given all of the trouble this loss of infrastructure has costs us (which has to be in the billions of dollars when you tabulate loss of productivity, fuel costs, additional costs to business, wear and tear to vehicles and the detour route, cost to the environment, etc.) a celebration seems really tone deaf. I’d prefer that 100% of the effort and money goes into getting this vital roadway back in service.

    • WSB March 30, 2022 (12:24 pm)

      Just to be clear again, as we’ve noted in previous coverage, these are not “policymakers” or any government officials planning this. It’s a 100 percent grassroots effort, mostly involving businesses and business groups (the Junction Association and Chamber executive directors are leading it). Nor is there any public money involved so far (unless a department/agency signs up as a sponsor – so far it’s all private businesses).

      • ACG March 30, 2022 (12:51 pm)

        WSB- you might need to put a quick note in the articles on the celebration planning, just mentioning the fact that the celebration event is being privately funded by the West Seattle businesses and Chamber.  It would save most of these outraged comments by folks who think this is a city/government funded party paid for by our taxes (and didn’t read or pay close attention to your prior articles which discussed this). 

        • WSB March 30, 2022 (2:14 pm)

          I mentioned “community coalition” and “seeking sponsors.” My only omission here is a link back to previous coverage for those catching up.

          Hopefully the webpage about it will be up soon and that will also underscore that it’s a community campaign and sponsorship-funded.

          • Mariem March 30, 2022 (5:46 pm)

            Thanks for this info. I can believe ws businesses have the money to do this/sponsor this. They couldn’t subsidize parking anymore in this business environment, yes? 

          • WSB March 30, 2022 (9:53 pm)

            That’s kind of apples and oranges. I don’t know who else has signed on but as reported earlier, the lead sponsors are STS Construction (a WSB sponsor), which is not based in The Junction, and Compass Real Estate, which is but opened its office there after the parking changeover.

        • miws March 30, 2022 (4:48 pm)

          ACG, WSB has consistently mentioned in the stories about or including a mention of, having a party,  and, reiterated it repeatedly in story comments in reply to complaining commenters, that it is the community volunteering to put it on,   Not  SDoT, not the City of Seattle,  not Lisa Herbold, not former director Sam Zimbabwe.  What more do you expect them to do? The burden is on the readers to actually read the story and read it thoroughly, instead of seeing “Bridge party”, and immediately panic-posting angry comments about “%&$#@#$ SDoT”, “My tax money”, and Don’t delay the bridge opening any longer! Open it now!!!” —Mike

          • ACG March 30, 2022 (6:59 pm)

            Mike and WSB-  I was in no way questioning WSB’s quality of reporting of the topic. I am very sorry if my comment was interpreted as a negative criticism!!  That was not my intent!  I thought I was just making a suggestion, as many people did not read/remember that key funding source information (which was clearly covered by WSB in earlier articles). My apologies to WSB if the way I wrote my comment sounded as if I was criticizing the excellent reporting that they do day in and day out.  That’s why I don’t do writing for a living! ;-)

        • miws March 31, 2022 (8:10 am)

          ACG, I feel I owe you an apology. My above comment sounds as if it’s lashing out at you. I was simply frustrated in yet again, on yet another WSB story, WSB yet again having fact check commenters.  I would never have the patience to continually do so, (let alone all that WSB does otherwise). I know, as everywhere on the internet, “…don’t read the comments!…”, if they bother me so much, and I actually don’t read through comments as much as I used to, for that specific reason. 😊 —Mike

  • WSPK March 30, 2022 (12:00 pm)

    Don’t fancy a celebration? Fine- stay home. I would still REALLY like to have the bridge open to pedestrians and bikes for a day. I just don’t get the grumpiness.

  • wsres March 30, 2022 (12:06 pm)

    I will celebrate in my car when I can drive over the bridge. No more of my tax money should be used for any other type of celebration. Celebrations can be fun, but this is a transaction- I paid my taxes, my taxes fixed the bridge, then I drive over it.

    • Wsres March 30, 2022 (1:26 pm)

      Get your facts right, no one is asking you to use “your” tax money for the celebration. The west seattle junction association is funded by local business’ 

  • Sasquatch March 30, 2022 (12:47 pm)

    While a party feels like a slap in the face (ahem) to those of us who have suffered, a celebratory event would help our local businesses. I bet they feel the need to show the rest of Seattle how much West Seattle has to offer. 

  • Sparky March 30, 2022 (1:35 pm)

    The completion of the bridge repairs is a lot like the time I had a contractor do some remodeling work and the contractor repeatedly failed to do what he said he would do and absolutely failed to meet expectations.  By the time the work was completed, I wrote the final check, he collected all the remaining tools and left knowing that I would never refer him or his company to anybody else.  We were glad to be done with each other and there was no point celebrating the completion of the project which was well behind schedule and over budget even if the final product was very nice.  My wife and I were glad to have the work done and the house to ourselves, so there was some gratification in that and we looked forward to showing off the final product to friends and relatives.

    The bridge party planning faces a similar challenge.  SDOT and the City caused the closure and then botched the response.  I cannot support any messaging that lauds these agencies and glosses over their failures.  It might be reasonable if it really is a less formal opportunity to chat with our neighbors, hoist a cold one, and toast our reconnection to the mainland.  I fear, however, that it will be the usual grandstanding opportunity for Harrell, Herbold, Dow, and their bureaucrats of ill repute. 

  • CarDriver March 30, 2022 (1:52 pm)

    Sparky. AMEN, you hit the nail on the head! I’m all for a party IF politicians and SDOT are NOT invited. 

  • Meeeee March 30, 2022 (2:33 pm)

    Yup Sparky has it right.  

  • Bob March 30, 2022 (2:47 pm)

    @Sparky; fully agree. The entire bridge experience has been a prime example of how useless this city is. It should have been been fixed within 6 months and the low bridge opened to everybody, and the port traffic routed to Tacoma so residents could use the low bridge. 

  • Conjunction Junction April 19, 2022 (10:42 am)

    The only time I have ever had a chance to walk on the West Seattle Bridge was during an accident, many years ago, and I can’t wait for a different, happy reason.  If you loved the Viaduct and were interested in the history, engineering, or sheer magnitude, you can appreciate how being able to go up on the WS Bridge is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Thank you to the grassroots effort to put this celebration together.  I freaked out one day thinking we WOULDN’T have this opportunity, and was calmed down by the assurance it was in the planning.If you aren’t interested in it, don’t come. You aren’t paying for it, your presence is not required. You aren’t being delayed, don’t b*tch about it.  But if you are all about the #westseattlebestseattle, I’ll see you there!

Sorry, comment time is over.