FOLLOWUP: About those ‘missing’ West Seattle Bridge markings

We followed up on a discussion that erupted after we published this image from the SDOT camera atop the 27-months-closed West Seattle Bridge:

(SDOT bridge-cam image from Monday morning)

Commenters noted the missing bus-lane markings. Though we’ve reported previously that SDOT has said the lane configurations on the bridge will not change – the eastbound bus lane stays – we thought we’d re-verify. So we asked SDOT’s Mariam Ali about both the bus-lane markings and overall resurfacing plans. Her response:

The reason why the cam image showed that the high bridge eastbound pavement was missing the red bus lane was because they were removed to create a blank slate for contractor construction markings. We need to remove the old markings to install the new markings.

Markings and the bus lane do stay the same [for reopening] and will be returned as it was before the bridge closure.

For the new resurfacing before reopening of the bridge, we will be replacing 60 concrete panels from Fauntleroy Expressway to 35th. We will also be placing a concrete overlay on parts of the Fauntleroy Expressway (see attached document – the red marking).

There will be no deck rehab on the high bridge itself since Piers 15-18 decks are in good shape. We will also fix the holes on the high bridge that were made during construction.

As we’ve been noting, tomorrow’s the day the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force is scheduled to get an update on the timeline for reopening the bridge. The meeting starts at 4 pm Thursday and will be viewable live (and on replay) here. We’ll add the full agenda when we get it. (Update: Here it is.)

32 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: About those 'missing' West Seattle Bridge markings"

  • CarDriver June 8, 2022 (12:29 pm)

    Here’s hoping we get enough dry weather to paint……. 

  • AlkiBean June 8, 2022 (12:36 pm)

    How about the poor condition of the Spokane Street viaduct? I’m gonna be really annoyed if it’s still rife with crumbling concrete, especially in the left eastbound lane!

  • John Melick June 8, 2022 (2:24 pm)

    I just hope the streetlight fixtures are all in working order prior to the bridge reopening. SCL takes years to fix some marked red in the street light tracker.

  • Watertowerjim June 8, 2022 (3:20 pm)

    Keep busses off the high bridge!  It creates a huge backup that adds weight. Let them have free reign on the lower bridge and extend the life of the upper!

    • My two cents June 8, 2022 (4:40 pm)

      Watertowerjim – where did you get you engineering degree? How much experience do you have with this type of bridge structure? 

    • KBear June 8, 2022 (5:01 pm)

      Watertowerjim, it’s “free rein”, not “free reign”, and there’s about zero chance that buses will be relegated to the low bridge and waiting 20 minutes or more while it opens for marine traffic. Maybe you should consider riding the bus. 

    • Yeah June 8, 2022 (5:21 pm)

      Yes, we should definitely replace every bus with 64 single-occupancy vehicles!  That will alleviate traffic and cars add no weight at all!

      • 1994 June 8, 2022 (8:44 pm)

        No necessarily so Yeah, the buses would be below and filled with 64 riders per Watertowerjim’s idea…..why would people opt to drive instead of taking the bus over the low bridge?

        • Kevin on Delridge June 8, 2022 (8:53 pm)

          Why would people opt to drive when the bus gets stuck for 20 minutes by the low bridge?

  • kj June 8, 2022 (3:28 pm)

    I hope ALL lanes will be marked clearly. It was hard to see them before, especially on a rainy day.

    • Auntie June 8, 2022 (5:03 pm)

      Yes /s – lots of people had a really hard time reading those bright red letters that said BUS ONLY. 

  • Fairmont June 8, 2022 (3:40 pm)

    We really shouldn’t accept the fact that busses need to go on the bridge just to get to 99 when they can just go over the low bridge to get on. They slow down traffic and are dangerous when everyone is merging there. It’s also very confusing to people trying to get over to 99. SDOT is too scared now to make any major changes to the lane configuration so we are stuck with the same issues with it as before. Hope someone brings it up in the meeting tomorrow as unacceptable.

    • KBear June 8, 2022 (5:10 pm)

      If even half the people on each bus were driving cars instead, you would have even slower traffic. 

    • Jon Wright June 8, 2022 (5:31 pm)

      Only “issue” with the configuration of high bridge is that busses don’t get MORE priority. There are 60 people on each bus during peak times vs. 1 of you in your car.

    • CW June 8, 2022 (8:32 pm)

      Hardly seems like buses and their riders should continue to have to suffer through waiting for the draw bridge because car drivers don’t want to be bothered by them on the high bridge! 

  • sna June 8, 2022 (4:20 pm)

    Thanks for following up!

  • NDelridgeCommuter June 8, 2022 (5:14 pm)

    I never had a problem with busses using the upper bridge before. As a bus commuter, I’d hate that we would be uniquely subject to the lower bridge’s boat traffic that can delay us for upwards of twenty minutes. If you were confused about the bus lane signs before, maybe slow down. 

  • Eddie June 8, 2022 (7:52 pm)

    replacing 60 concrete panels from Fauntleroy Expressway to 35th. We will also be placing a concrete overlay on parts of the Fauntleroy Expressway”This scares me. Replacing 60 panels is a lot of time consuming work. Might have thought it could have been started and completed over a year ago. Now it feels like it has the opportunity to be on the critical path to reopening the bridge.

    • tim June 8, 2022 (11:18 pm)

      No kidding. I’ve seen the marked panels  indicating something was up. But why do they wait until now to fix those? Won’t these also have to cure for yet another month? But then again, nothing makes sense in this town. Just like when the bridge failed, Hey lets close the lower section too!  GeeeZ!

    • My two cents June 8, 2022 (11:28 pm)

      Concrete panel replacement/resurfacing would be worked on towards the end of the project. If done concurrently, additional risk and rework if something is identified that would result in additional work to stabilize the bridge components. It would be the same as if they repaved  a road and 2 weeks later it was cut up for utility work (see Avalon) from a project manager risk perspective. 

      • tim June 9, 2022 (11:13 am)

        Ha ha! That might make sense if the panels were anywhere near the bridge.  I’ll go out on a limb and say that it’s ok  to work on the panels just NE of 35th and Fauntleroy.  But noooo, let’s wait and screw up west seattle traffic even longer. eye roll.

  • MrB June 8, 2022 (8:14 pm)

    Replacing 60 concrete panels… this sounds like a major project.  Has this work been done already?  

  • CAM June 9, 2022 (12:09 am)

    Will they be installing cameras on the bus lane when the upper bridge reopens now that they can legally do so? Seems like prime opportunity and location to do so. 

  • 22blades June 9, 2022 (3:50 am)

    When the High Span reopens, re-purpose the Low Span Enforcement Cameras to the High Span Bus Lanes. Same fines will be fine!

  • MAS June 9, 2022 (7:02 am)

    What folks don’t realize is that SDOT is pranking all of west Seattle. The duration of the 35th and Avalon project was the first clue but then they doubled down with let’s take a year or so to even make a plan to make a plan on this bridge we didn’t maintain. The contest I would love to see is “Best Guess for What SDOT Will Try in West Seattle Next” with points both for accurate guesses, and creativity. Trivially obvious ones like “5 mph speed limits for all arterials” should be discouraged, but in general, go for it. 

  • Mark P June 9, 2022 (9:14 am)

    Any word about repaving/rebuilding of the eastbound bus lane on-ramp to the bridge? Pre-pandemic it was in terrible condition (flooding, potholes, etc), and I’ve seen zero work on it. I really hope there is a plan to replace that and fix the drainage before the bridge reopens.

  • Joe Z June 9, 2022 (9:21 am)

    I have a better idea that would greatly improve bus service. The 99 NB exit from the high bridge should be BUS ONLY. The merging with cars slows down the buses.If cars want to take 99 NB, they should be the ones to use the low bridge. 

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