WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Structural-concrete pours completed, ‘mid-2022 reopening’ still expected

(SDOT photo: Structural-concrete work inside the bridge)

As first reported here on Tuesday, SDOT said the last two structural-concrete pours for the West Seattle Bridge repairs were scheduled for yesterday and today – and they’ve just announced that indeed, the last one did happen today. Here’s the announcement:

Today, our construction contractor finished pouring structural concrete inside the bridge, forming the structures that will hold new steel cables essential to strengthening the bridge. Completing this crucial project milestone marks the end of a challenging process that affected our reopening schedule.

We still expect to reopen the bridge in mid-2022 and can now work with our construction contractor to finalize the sequence of the remaining work.

Concrete work was originally scheduled to begin in February and was delayed by a concrete strike that affected practically every transportation and construction project in the Puget Sound region. We appreciate and thank the concrete suppliers and drivers who came together for the community to enable projects like the West Seattle Bridge to move forward again.

We never stopped working on the bridge, despite the concrete strike. We adjusted the sequence of work activities so that we could complete other strengthening measures like sealing cracks with epoxy and wrapping the bridge walls with carbon fiber.

This week’s deliveries involved concrete trucks making back-to-back pours. Our construction contractor poured 15 truckloads of concrete in two days, more than half of the 245 cubic yards of structural concrete needed for the entire project.

The concrete was piped into the hollow bridge interior through a hole in the deck and was used to create massive blocks that form the foundations of the bridge’s additional post-tensioning system. Once the concrete structures have cured after 28 days, they’ll be capable of holding more than 20 million pounds of force.

The next step in the post-tensioning process is to install ducts in the new concrete blocks so that we can thread steel cables through the length of the bridge. After the concrete has fully cured, we will tighten these cables to strengthen the bridge and prevent future cracking.

SDOT also confirmed earlier this week that it expects to present a reopening-timeframe update when the Community Task Force meets on June 9th.

32 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Structural-concrete pours completed, 'mid-2022 reopening' still expected"

  • Mj May 26, 2022 (5:30 pm)

    Nice, it would be nice to give folks in WS our independence by July 4th!

  • 935 May 26, 2022 (5:30 pm)

    245 yards is almost a MILLION pounds of deadweight on a structurally insufficient bridge. Would be interesting to see loading calcs. 

    • Derek May 26, 2022 (6:29 pm)

      Are you a structural engineer? Concrete is typically better than steel or truss for this height and span. The post tensioning will brace the concrete for the load. That’s the whole point to it.

    • Pete May 26, 2022 (6:46 pm)

      I bet they just totally winged it, right?/s

    • 935 May 26, 2022 (9:09 pm)

      Wow – you 2 need to chill. I AM an SE. And Derek, I don’t think you are  Your verbiage is all wrong. It appears the concrete is to brace the PT – the absolute reverse of your word salad.

      It appears the concrete is the anchor for the PT, which would indicate loading at 2 very specific points.

      Again, as stated, I would love to see the load calcs.


      • Derek May 27, 2022 (7:47 am)

        I am not sure I believe you but ok. There was no word salad. My sentence was articulate and to the point. You do you. My point on PT was that it’ll prevent torsion. Load calculations are impossible to know until there’s sufficient samples of a “live traffic load.”

        • 935 May 27, 2022 (4:05 pm)

          You show your ignorance here. Calcs are just that. Calcs. Ever heard of variables?

          Maybe I lost you at “calcs”. They are “calculations” of loading, both known and estimated variables….For example, dead vs live. There IS a history of this bridge (from 1984) of traffic patterns, weather patterns, wind load etc.

          Putting a million pounds on a structurally questionable bridge leads me to believe in these calcs (Derek) there is going to be a sacrifice of LIVE loading AKA vehicle traffic.

          Again, I would love to see the CALCS


      • Mark47n May 27, 2022 (8:13 am)

        I’m with 935 in that all he did was express a curiosity about the load calcs.  While he did call the bridge “structurally insufficient” regarding the added structural load of 496T of concrete, I’m also sure he knows that other actual engineers are involved in the process since it’s a reasonable assumption.As someone who tends to be caustic, nay inflammatory, The retorts to this simple statement are just plain silly.

        • Derek May 27, 2022 (10:42 am)

          Pedantic literalism is all I see here. 

          • rocket May 28, 2022 (2:16 am)

            Derek, chill.

  • Peter May 26, 2022 (5:34 pm)

    Excellent news!

  • Blbl May 26, 2022 (5:53 pm)

    It’s mid-2022 now. 

    • Lagartija Nick May 26, 2022 (7:16 pm)

      And it will still be mid 2022 in July, Blbl.

    • Duh May 26, 2022 (7:17 pm)

      No it is not. Mid 2022 is the END of June.  

    • Derek May 26, 2022 (8:57 pm)

      I thought the same thing…., it’s about to be June which is the middle month of the year. 

      • WSB May 26, 2022 (9:23 pm)

        You can look at mid-2022 a number (pun semi-intended) of ways.

        The exact midpoint of a 365-day year, by my calculation, is midway through July 2nd.

        You can also divide a year into thirds – the middle third, four months, would be May through August.

  • Carnac the Magnificent May 26, 2022 (6:02 pm)

    Four weeks to cure. Duct installation. Steel cable threading and tightening. I remember something about testing the bridge deck for load. My guess is Labor Day.

    • uncle loco May 27, 2022 (7:30 am)

      Pretty sure the cables are already set since they’re embedded in the concrete. They’ll just have to be stressed (tightened) during the cure process. Not trying to sound like a nerd but hopefully it shortens your timeline a little…

    • Chris K May 27, 2022 (9:22 am)

      Cure??  It’s not finished and it’s already sick?

  • zipda May 26, 2022 (7:09 pm)

    Well on that note I too will pour a cold one.

  • Morgan Graham May 26, 2022 (7:19 pm)

    My fiance is 49 and she claims to be in her mid-40s. I really hope they aren’t using the same logic.

    • HS May 26, 2022 (7:49 pm)

      😂😂 no fiancée out-ing 😂😂

    • Boinsted May 27, 2022 (6:34 am)

      So end of December if we use ‘Morgan’s fiancé’ logic. 

  • Doing Happy Dance May 27, 2022 (9:14 am)

    I am hoping they will do a Grand Opening and let us walk/bike the bridge prior to reopening for cars.  I will be curious how long it takes me to reprogram my brain from taking the long route around.

    • WSB May 27, 2022 (9:21 am)

      A community coalition led by the Junction Association and Chamber of Commerce is continuing to plan reopening events. As of last we heard a few weeks ago, they hope to include both a 5K-type run/walk with entry fees and a free opportunity to walk. There was also an indication a separate group was trying to put together a bike ride. And the West Seattle coalition was also planning some kind of food festival. No date yet for obvious reasons, but the logistics have been in the works for a few months now.

      • BlairJ May 28, 2022 (12:24 pm)

        They should do additional structual calculations to ensure the bridge can withstand the weight of all those people after they eat all that food.  ;)

  • JJM May 27, 2022 (9:33 am)

    First off, excellent news and good progress!  It could be worse news like other major projects of the past (aka Bertha).  Curious to learn the update from SDOT via the 6/9 task force meeting.  As someone who lives on one of the key detours in/out of our “island” , I will be celebrating and probably crying with joy when the day comes that the high bridge is actually open again.  Appreciate the concrete workers willing to go back to work despite the ongoing labor dispute regardless of intentions or motivations for returning to work.  Thanks WSB for keeping us informed along the way- this is one key reporting source I check often for updates to our bridge reopening.  Mid 2022- my guess (absent of any data) is mid to late July even though true calendar calculations for mid year would be sooner…

  • Lisa May 27, 2022 (2:32 pm)

    Does anyone remember what it was like before the pandemic? When traffic was backed up north and south on 35th while people tried to get over the bridge? And then Avalon got all backed up? And it took 90 minutes to get to Ballard for a morning appointment if there was an accident between here and there? Yeah, that. Plus more people living in West Seattle now. #RealityCheck

    • rocket May 28, 2022 (2:24 am)

      In that case now you are quite familiar with other alternative routes off the peninsula and can take advantage of those in a way you would have never thought of prior to the closure.But you are right, there will be absolutely no increase in the facility to move about our city from our peninsula once the main arterial going in and out is re opened /s.  #yesyoustillwillnotbetheonlyonearound

  • 98126res May 27, 2022 (5:45 pm)

    This overlong wait… we’ll see how it goes

  • wetone May 28, 2022 (1:27 pm)

    SDOT added extra lane of traffic years ago to highrise, something it was never designed for when built and now they have added almost a million pounds of dead weight (concrete). I guess the bridge wasn’t really in that bad of shape to begin with ;) I wonder how much of the work done was driven by the weight added for so called fix   think about that……….

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