Three West Seattle Bridge updates:
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).