WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Repair status (updated)

3:49 PM: We’ve been checking again this week with SDOT regarding the status of the high-bridge repair work. They’re still awaiting two more pours of specialized structural concrete and are working on that schedule, we were told in multiple inquiries this week. Today’s weekly update shows what they’ve been doing in the meantime:

We continued working on post-tensioning anchorage forms [above] in the West Seattle Bridge’s south girder. These anchorages contain lots of steel reinforcement and must be assembled with sleeves or openings. These sleeves allow for utility lines and new post-tensioning strands to pass through them. All of these components must be placed together correctly so that when the new post-tensioning strands are stressed to more than a million pounds, the bridge and all of its existing systems compress and strengthen the bridge as intended.

During the structural concrete pours, we are completing a review of the post-tensioning work completed so far, which includes the rebar we’ve installed, the holes we’ve drilled for the post-tensioning system, and the performance of the concrete.

As we complete this review, we’re making real-time adjustments to our work so we’re confident that the post-tensioning elements and the future post-tensioning system will ensure a safe and long-lasting repair.

SDOT has said repeatedly that they won’t be able to estimate the reopening date until those two remaining concrete pours are done. They’ve also said they expect to be able to provide the date with one month’s advance notice.

P.S. Reminder – the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct continuation of the bridge east of Highway 99 is scheduled to close for expansion-joint and pothole work from late tonight through early Monday.

8:25 PM: Councilmember Lisa Herbold writes in her weekly newsletter, circulated tonight, that she’s been told the two structural-concrete pours are expected next week, and that “SDOT expects to make a time-frame announcement on June 9th.”

54 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Repair status (updated)"

  • CarDriver May 20, 2022 (4:20 pm)

    WSB/Others. If you know when the 1st pour happened it would be easy to figure out when the last 2 will happen as the intervals should be the same and….when it may reopen.

    • WSB May 20, 2022 (4:33 pm)

      No, it isn’t. It’s not a matter of intervals, it’s a matter of availability.

      • CarDriver May 20, 2022 (4:55 pm)

        WSB. Thanks for the clarification. Do you know when the 1st pour occurred?

        • WSB May 20, 2022 (5:53 pm)

          April 16.

      • StuckInWestSeattle May 20, 2022 (7:11 pm)

        Do you know if the two more pours is it or is that only one part of the repair? I recall the comments of a certain amount of truckloads and I dont know if these two make up all of that. I for one am tired of the 1st ave bridge backups!

      • Zach Beller May 20, 2022 (8:09 pm)

        There’re no availability issues with concrete. Cancelled 700 cys for a wed placement in downtown seattle and was able to reschedule for this Saturday.Plenty of supply if you need it!all the forms should have been built and ready for concrete during the teamsters strike. This is simple job built formwork that you can buy off the shelf, so no issues with availability either.bridge should have been poured out months ago and this concrete availability excuse is a hoax! WSB-you do a great job, so can you ask these questions to SDOT? I would love to see the blank stair on their face when they don’t know how to reply to the big lie they keep on telling us all.

        • tinfoil May 21, 2022 (10:03 am)

          … and what, exactly, would be their reason to lie about it? because gOvErMeNt?

        • Joel May 21, 2022 (5:58 pm)

          It’s not typical concrete that you can get at the hardware store… It’s high strength stuff designed for being compressed by the post tension cables… Super high-quality, high cement contact stuff

          • Zach May 21, 2022 (8:17 pm)

            Common man!You can buy any of the form lumber at alki lumber and forming hardware from Mason supply or white cap in SODO.  Give me 4 hours and i could have this all onsite since its local within a 5 mile radius. Coil rods and cat heads are a good simple forming system….ready mix is ready mix and nothing to be scared about…. Order up the approved mix and it will show up. The idea of hi strength concrete has everyone scared and sometimes it requires some extra inspections and thats about all, since seattle is fortunate to have skilled labor to place. Placing this type of concrete is actually simpler then other mixes since it does need to be manually consolidated either.what exactly are we talking about with hi strength concrete? Placed 100 cy’s of 10,000 psi today so unless I’m missing something most people are getting fooled by the term “hi strength” and this concrete isn’t much different then any other ready mix product that gets delivered daily. Most the time kt means the ready mix supplier is adding a lot more cement and a lot more admixes to get “hi strength” concrete. 

          • Relieved May 21, 2022 (9:00 pm)

            I cannot express in words just how relieved I am that you are not at all involved in any step of this repair project. 

          • John swanson May 22, 2022 (11:48 am)

            Very true it’s like having all these people tell us about stent installation 

        • Bob York May 21, 2022 (9:37 pm)

          I’m a licensed structural engineer.  My professional opinion is that this is total bs. Can’t figure out the timing of your pours? Give me a break.  

        • zark00 May 22, 2022 (9:22 pm)

          You’re definitely “missing something”. First of all, high density / light-weight concrete for bridge construction requires special aggregates like shale – you couldn’t order it for you project even if you knew who to call. Second, it’s exceptionally “high strength” – over 19,000 PSI. Go find me 1 truckload of light-weight with over 10k PSI let alone 35 loads of it – we’ll wait while you google up that order.  This concrete has to be poured no more than 90 minutes after mix – 90 minutes!!  The stuff you use – 8 hours from mix to pour at the absolute earliest. Most can sit in the barrel, still viable to pour, for up to 48 hours.  Not ever remotely in the same ballpark bud.

          • Zach May 23, 2022 (11:00 pm)

            Z-Please show me where to find a 19,000 psi light weight concrete, so I can learn something new. Last I checked, lightweight aggregates don’t provide the strength of typical hard rock aggregates. If you have info on the project that says this then I would love to take a look and learn as well.The added weight of the concrete of the bridge using std ready mix (+/-150 lbs cf ) is hardly adding any dead load to a structure that large from a percentage basis  (I actually think Kramer mentioned this fact in prejob discussion a long time ago)Seriously though, I would love to learn something new, so let me know what kind of info you have.Also ACI 301 requires concrete to be placed in 90 minutes from point of mixing (batch plant) to discharge (when it leave the truck). sorry Z, but no one gets 8 hours to place ready mix and anyone whos worked in the A/E/C could tell you this. Doesn’t matter where or what your building in the country the same rules apply; check it out and let me know what you find out

    • KBear May 20, 2022 (5:26 pm)

      If only the city would have hired more armchair engineers instead of actual ones, we could be driving on that bridge already! 

      • CarDriver May 20, 2022 (6:33 pm)

        KBEAR. Educate us on how and why SDOT’s engineers have been doing a stellar job in monitoring and maintaining Seattle’s bridges. And why nobody has a reason to question their effort.

        • Buttercup May 20, 2022 (9:12 pm)

          Thank you you your reply. I for one am tired of the complaint from people regarding process, time length and their unconvinced. We are all in this together and I’m glad for the type of repair and the timeline they have set. I would rather go through this than the darn thing fall down. And thank you WSB for keeping us up to date

  • Rick May 20, 2022 (4:55 pm)

    I heard they’re flying it in with the baby formula the govt. managed so well. 

  • Buck May 20, 2022 (5:20 pm)

    WOW that looks like some pricey high-end techy work up there SDOT, so you attached some clamps and set up a scaffolding…and dripped some concrete on the cars below…worth every penny.  Now GET IT DONE pleeease.

    • Amy Thomson May 21, 2022 (10:43 am)

      I seem to recall that they need something like 22 days for the concrete pours to set.  Of course there may be other things to work on.  Fingers crossed that they’ll be able to open it up soon!

  • Bridget May 20, 2022 (5:37 pm)

    Looks like they’re working hard and ensuring safety. But wasn’t the bridge scheduled to reopen “mid-2022”? No surprise that estimate was way too optimistic. 

    • Auntie May 20, 2022 (6:02 pm)

      Their crystal ball did not show them the cement drivers’ strike.

      • Raye May 21, 2022 (3:44 pm)

        Perhaps the estimate should have been more conservative, a wider range for completion.  There are almost always contingencies, whether it’s strikes, weather, shortages, etc. 

    • Never Satisfied May 20, 2022 (6:44 pm)

      Yes, they should have known to take a crippling city-wide months-long cement strike into account when they delivered their estimate, gosh darn it.

    • Kar May 21, 2022 (12:43 pm)

      I love the political response on reopening time “mid year” Isn’t June mid year? Brilliant way to not be held to a timeline. We heard a while back. Lisa H is a terrible City Council member and representative if you haven’t already figured it out. 

  • Carole May 20, 2022 (6:09 pm)

    Let’s thank  the WSB for adding to the anxiety.  There is not enough Valium in the world to calm down those you serve.  You can keep feeding them/us all the info you can gather.  Actually, you’re not helping.

    • Colin May 21, 2022 (12:36 pm)

      I appreciate the updates, wsb. You have the option to not read this stuff if it makes you anxious, Carole.

    • Mark B May 21, 2022 (2:37 pm)

      WSB’s updates are very much appreciated in this household…no doubt it takes a TON of work to stay on top of it so thank you. Failing to give updates and information would actually be shoddy reporting, no? 

  • WSCurmudgeon May 20, 2022 (6:46 pm)

    Is there a clear definition of “the middle of a year?”
    In English, as in many Indo-European languages, periods of time, especially discrete “events,” are referred to as having a beginning, a middle and an end.

    Unless one  of the 3 parts has clearly different aspects,  they are thought of as being each a third of the total period.  For a year,  4 months is a third.  Thus the middle third of a year is the 1st of May thru the 31st of August.

    As far as I recall, SDOT has not specified a more exact reopening date than “the middle of 2022.” 

    • WSB May 20, 2022 (6:51 pm)

      “Mid-2022” to be semi-precise. Pre-concrete-strike, the only date noted was that the contract called for most specified work to be done by June 30th – barring unforeseen circumstances like weather, labor, materials availability, and more…

  • Beto May 20, 2022 (7:28 pm)

    I’m pretty sure the bridge will not reopen in the summer but some time in the fall, maybe early winter.  I hope I’m wrong but this is Seattle.

  • WSB May 20, 2022 (8:24 pm)

    Two updates tonight in Councilmember Lisa Herbold’s weekly newsletter, adding above:
    -The two remaining structural-concrete pours are expected next week
    -“SDOT expects to make a time-frame announcement on June 9th”
    Not on the council website yet but readable here (addresses other topics too as usual):

  • Zipda May 20, 2022 (8:45 pm)

    On that note, I think I will pour me a cold one.

    • Conrad May 21, 2022 (8:41 am)

      Yeah I think we got a few minutes!

  • Moremole May 20, 2022 (10:20 pm)

    All I know is there better not be a pot hole or faded road lines on that bridge or the Spokane St viaduct with this Mega road delay

    • Burgerman May 21, 2022 (11:16 pm)

      You know what there will be, though? Ridiculous backups on the WB bridge again thanks to the idiotic less than 1-mile bus lane on NB 99, forcing people to senselessly merge into a lane of what [should] be high-speed traffic when coming off the WS bridge. This bus lane on 99 has been shown repeatedly to damage commute times, including bus travel times, yet the brainiacs at SDOT continue to claim it’s necessary, because maybe it will force cars off the road and people onto mass transit (yeah right). 

  • phaatman May 21, 2022 (8:11 am)

    “SDOT expects to make a time-frame announcement on June 9th.”They’ve also said they expect to be able to provide the date with one month’s advance notice.Putting these facts together, it sounds like the bridge will be done by July 9?

    • Jeepney May 21, 2022 (9:48 am)

      That’s what I figure also. Which keeps it in line with the prediction of “mid year 2022”.  Was hoping for sooner but I will take it.

    • Andy May 21, 2022 (4:47 pm)

      My reading is that the “time-frame announcement” will be a slightly tighter but still flexible estimate, and that will be followed at some point by the more specific one month notice. I hope you’re right, because your reading probably gets it done sooner. But who knows. I’m looking forward to it either way.

  • Beanie May 21, 2022 (9:16 am)

    WSB thank you for continuing to ask for information! 

  • wsr238 May 21, 2022 (9:40 am)

    Yes, July 9th at 11:23 am.

  • Mj May 21, 2022 (5:46 pm)

    I project about 45 days after the last pour, 28 days for curing, a week to tighten up the reinforcement steel and 10 days for final testing et al. July 15th!

  • DeeJay May 21, 2022 (9:10 pm)

    “be able to provide the date with one month’s advance notice” – and why is it we need any form of notice?   we don’t need a notice of a reopening, but it’s wonderful to know the opposite.

  • Mj May 21, 2022 (10:22 pm)

    DeeJay – maybe people want to know so they can plan accordingly!  Having a family gathering when it’s easier for family to get to your place for example.

    • DeeJay May 23, 2022 (12:23 pm)

      seriously?  um no, “planning” and “notice” is needed when there is a closure, not a reopening.  this is basic common sense.  Things will still go on as they have for the past 2-1/2 years, and even if they reopened it today, is an added bonus and convenience, not a necessity.

  • WS resident May 22, 2022 (4:20 pm)

    From what I can surmise from the important aspects of their updates… estimated opening announcement to be made one month before opening. Concrete pours next week, 22 days to set. One week to test, bridge opens just after 4th a month from announcement. 

  • David May 23, 2022 (1:23 pm)

    The folks who think you can just order this concrete at Home Depot, build it with wood slats from Dunn Lumber are thankfully not involved in any important decision making.  There are “real” engineers on this thankfully.   I hear so much of this nonsense on tech boards all the time (everything from there are 5G tracking chips in vaccines to we never landed on the moon crazy).  SO many people think that thousands and thousands of professional lifetime scientists and engineers are wrong and THEY are right because they “read something on the internet”.  Dunning-Kruger effect, in psychology, a cognitive bias whereby people with limited knowledge or competence in a given intellectual or social domain greatly overestimate their own knowledge or competence in that domain relative to objective criteria or to the performance of their peers or of people in general.https://www.britannica.com/science/Dunning-Kruger-effect

    • hbb May 23, 2022 (4:32 pm)

      You are using something you read on the internet as a basis to criticize others for relying on stuff they read on the internet? 

    • Zach May 23, 2022 (10:44 pm)

      Please look at the photos that have been posted by SDOT and then tell me the formwork isn’t off the shelf (mdo plywood and forming hardware and yes that can be engineered, but you can buy this anywhere have it onsite and being installed in hours, not months, or years ) and this the key to finishing the bridge since this is the critical path of the project. I do this everyday and that’s all I said so stop trying to overthink it. formwork is all temporary and has impact on the structural system of the final product.

Sorry, comment time is over.