WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: ‘Timeline update’ this week

(SDOT bridge-cam image from this morning)

Perhaps the biggest meeting this week is now three days away – the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, 4 pm Thursday (June 9th). This is the meeting at which SDOT promises “an update about the reopening timeline” for the bridge repairs, now that the structural-concrete pours have all been completed. Note that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll announce an opening date – the language they’ve used is exactly what’s quoted above, a timeline update. We don’t have the agenda yet but you’ll be able to watch the meeting live here. (Update: Here’s the agenda.)

51 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: 'Timeline update' this week"

  • Mike June 6, 2022 (1:27 pm)

    ” Note that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll announce an opening date…”  Not going to hold my breath.  A sigh will do!

    • StuckInWestSeattle June 6, 2022 (3:40 pm)

      Right? Its getting really old.

      • Kar June 7, 2022 (1:13 pm)

        Mid Year was the opening day….remember? 😆 🤣  What exactly is mid year? Isn’t it now June?😆 

        • I love beer June 7, 2022 (10:54 pm)

          Everyone knows “mid year” falls between January 1 and December 31. So they’re right on track. 

  • Carson June 6, 2022 (2:04 pm)

    Because we know it will be covered in the news (meaning TV) can we have a contest for who can come the closest, day and time, for the first vehicle that hits the center span? Kind of like break out day for frozen lakes.

    • Stuck June 7, 2022 (11:13 am)

      Only if we get to have a party. 

    • Auntie June 7, 2022 (12:16 pm)

      Put me down for Day One. Everyone is in such a hurry all the time, I can only guess that some speed-racer will immediately spin out. Let’s hope nobody else gets caught up in their buffoonery. We could also have a contest to guess when the first ticket will be issued for someone using the bus only lane for his/her personal passing lane. Go, SpeedRacer, go!

      • Jort June 7, 2022 (4:31 pm)

        That would involve the police department actually writing tickets for traffic violations, a duty they have lately decided isn’t a valuable use of their time.

  • Lucy June 6, 2022 (2:23 pm)

    If the bridge opens before the end of 2022, I will be thankful.

    • Jim June 7, 2022 (6:33 am)

      There’s no way it will. If we end up having an unusually hot summer I’m sure they’ll say it’s too hot to work which is understandable but then we’ll start coming into the fall/winter and they’ll say that they can’t work in the rainy weather so it’ll have to wait until next spring they use the same excuse with road work all the time 

  • R2 June 6, 2022 (2:57 pm)

    I’m guessing it is going to go something like, “we’ve got some good news, and some bad news…”

    • K9 June 8, 2022 (9:03 pm)

      This. ^

  • Sillygoose June 6, 2022 (3:00 pm)

    I’d say with all of that weight sitting up there the concrete is holding up just fine!! Open this bridge up!!!

    • Mark P June 7, 2022 (9:18 am)

      You do realize that the cables haven’t even been strung right? And a couple of construction trailers do not equal the static and dynamic loading of thousands of vehicles.

  • Jay June 6, 2022 (3:39 pm)

    I’m worried that the lack of transparency means bad news, like a delay or problem that surfaced. I want the bridge to open this summer but I’m not optimistic.

  • CarDriver June 6, 2022 (5:01 pm)

    Openness and transparency aren’t SDOT’s forte. Have had a hard time believing they even care. The only thing they were aggressive on was keeping cars off the low bridge.

  • sna June 6, 2022 (5:09 pm)

    From that picture, looks like they removed the red “bus only” lane marking.  Wondering what sort of lane reconfiguration they have planned.  Removing a lane?

    • My two cents June 6, 2022 (6:49 pm)

      Sna – SDOT will restripe the concrete roadway prior to opening. 

  • Sh June 6, 2022 (5:23 pm)

    Do you know if they are planning on paving the entire bridge before it is done?

    • CarDriver June 6, 2022 (6:35 pm)

      No. What’s the blog has passed on from SDOT is “spot” paving where needed. They’re supposed to put up new overhead signs and restriping the whole length. What we see when it reopens remains to be seen. 

    • CarDriver June 6, 2022 (6:52 pm)

      Sh. Everything I’ve read here on the blog is that when it reopens it will look exactly the same as it was before the closure.

  • Buttercup June 6, 2022 (6:26 pm)

    I have faith that the bridge will open midsummer , wish people would keep their negative vibes to themselves. So sad to always complain

    • CarDriver June 6, 2022 (6:47 pm)

      Buttercup. “Negative vibes” and complaints are the direct result of SDOT’s and the city’s horribly poor handling of the whole situation. They brought it on themselves.  As taxpayers we have the right to expect our money to be spent wisely and yes, they actually DO owe us clear, straightforward and HONEST answers to our questions and concerns.

      • Reed June 6, 2022 (8:39 pm)

        Don’t worry CarDriver, the bridge will open soon and you will be back to sitting in the same terrible traffic that existed before it closed and complaining about that as well.

        • JSB June 6, 2022 (9:18 pm)

          I guess it’s relative, personally I’d prefer the terrible traffic I recall pre-closure to what I experience now. Could be different for others perhaps?I wonder if the thoughts shared by some about the bridge opening later than previously stated could be used by SDOT as justification for delay. Opinions like this can be weaponized, it’s better when the client (taxpayers) consistently holds the responsible parties’ feet to the fire to deliver a project on time/within budget. You give an inch…

        • CarDriver June 7, 2022 (6:51 am)

          Reed. Actually, never did complain about high bridge traffic. Sorry, it’s true. And, as a courteous driver I will let you merge in, as long as you use your turn signal.

        • Kalieki June 7, 2022 (7:24 am)

          As someone in North Delridge who commutes to Kirkland daily, WS Bridge traffic beats the god awful detour that exists today.

          • W.Seattle commuter June 7, 2022 (4:15 pm)

            Sooooooo true Marginal has become a second home to me. Idc if there’s traffic on the bridge it still cuts my commute in half.

          • Isaacx June 8, 2022 (11:01 am)

            Kalieki, I agree with you. I personally think the current situation/traffic is much worse than before. Going from Admiral to Bellevue is like pulling teeth, especially this week…..

          • WSB June 8, 2022 (12:55 pm)

            Just a vote for, going to Bellevue via the south end, skipping all bridges. We get from Fauntleroy to Bellevue rather quickly for health-care appointments (services our HMO doesn’t offer on this side of the lake) … 509 to 518 to 405.

        • Mike June 7, 2022 (9:49 am)

          Or read your complaining about other peoples complaints.  

    • Andrea June 6, 2022 (7:49 pm)

      Buttercup, I am with you! It provides absolutely zero value to be so negative. We will get some level of information on Thursday, at least wait till it’s been shared to whine right haha! I am with you, I think we will be back on the bridge by mid to end of August. I remain optimistic, nothing we can do about the prior 806 days anyway :)

    • Jim P. June 7, 2022 (1:24 pm)

      Your optimism is admirable.  Sadly, most of the rest of us base our pessimism on experience.Weasel words like “an update about the reopening timeline” are chosen to hide things and are never written like that by accident.

  • Mj June 6, 2022 (6:55 pm)

    sna – no changes to the prior channelization is planned, the striping has simply worn off.  

    I project the bridge be opened for traffic on July 15th, mid summer.  If it was a WSDOT facility it would have been open already!

    • Sna June 6, 2022 (11:05 pm)

      i don’t think the red “bus only” simply wore off.  I think it was purposely removed and just wondering if this is some lane change that hasn’t been previously announced.  Maybe they just want new, shiny bus only markings when it opens.  Or maybe they only want 3 lanes eastbound to reduce the load.  It just raises questions for me.

  • KJ June 6, 2022 (8:38 pm)

    Granted there’s been plenty of poor decision-making on this. But as someone who has project-managed large software projects – which were vastly less complicated than a physical build of this size – I can tell you that you *cannot* offer completion dates early in the project when there are so many variables outside your direct control.

    All that happens is that people get even MORE mad at you.

    I’m seeing plenty of people mad because they haven’t given a date, and I can assure you if they had given you a date it wouldn’t have been accurate (because that’s *impossible* on a project like this that early in the process) and you’d now be mad at them.

    Go ahead and be mad about other stuff that’s happened here. But don’t put the date issue under “lack of transparency.” It’s a function of any project of this scope and nature.

    • Kalieki June 7, 2022 (7:25 am)

      Early?  Its supposedly almost done…  

    • Sparky June 7, 2022 (4:04 pm)

      This is absurd.  When is the last time you got a project approved when telling the decision makers that you didn’t know how long the project would take and therefore didn’t know how much it would cost?  Every project has some associated timeline that can be caveated as needed, but there is no way SDOT has been running since February without some reasonable expectation of what their remaining schedule looked like.  Even if they were updating it week to week as the cement driver’s strike drug on.  SDOT has not published a completion date for a reason that can only be interpreted as a bad reason at this point.  We’ll find out on Thursday.  

  • White_Center_Commuter June 7, 2022 (7:29 am)

    As a seasoned veteran of the concrete construction industry, I can tell you that nobody can estimate a completion date, with any accuracy.There are too many variables and unforeseen setbacks, e.g Teamsters Union Strike. Weather, COVID-19 protocols, hidden structural damage, the list goes on.The other option would be to tear it down, and get Bertha to dig another tunnel. We all know how smoothly Kathleen Gregoire’s pet project went. (Sarcasm)

    • David June 7, 2022 (1:10 pm)

      Exactly.  I just laugh when the Dunning Kruger set goes on and on about how they want “a date”.   The best you can do in REAL LIFE is give a general range (August, or first week or two of September).   But this isn’t magic.  Projects of THIS scale have SOOO many moving parts, projecting ahead to an EXACT day is NOT possible until you have nearly everything done and there’s nothing left but a cleanup (and even THEN assuming nothing new happens, no strikes, no bad weather delays, no earthquakes, no contractor problems, etc).  The ONLY criticism I have of this project (in real life) is that they may have erred on the extreme cautious side.   And being Seattle we’re SUPPOSED to listen to the public (i.e. transparency, public input, etc) but that just means time spent with meetings with nothing happening.  On the other hand if we didn’t HAVE public input then everyone would be screaming about how some “unelected” engineer was “just making decisions” without Karen and Ken able to show up to meeting and babble about engineering they have no expertise in at all.    Reminds me of the viaduct, we could have JUST built the tunnel (simple) but we “had to have public input” so we have 3 votes, all which came down 33% each on surface road (insane), repair, or tunnel.  So all that time was wasted instead of just letting the engineers and experts do what was needed.  In the end we built the tunnel anyway (and it’s fantastic now) and it was the right decision, but we had to “talk about it” for months and months so people who  lay-experts could ramble on about what THEY wanted.  What a waste.

      • Sparky June 7, 2022 (4:10 pm)

        Just to clarify on the tunnel vote, there were two votes, not three.  One was new viaduct vs. tunnel and the other was surface streets vs. tunnel.  In this way, the bureaucrats split the anti-tunnel vote into two and were able to make it look like a no decision when a straight up tunnel or no-tunnel vote would have produced a clear no-tunnel preference.  It was gamesmanship and electioneering of the highest order.  

      • zark00 June 8, 2022 (11:35 am)

        This ONLY happens in the construction industry and those of us in other industries simultaneously laugh at how ridiculous it is, and tip our hats to how completely construction has fooled their clients and stakeholders into believing this nonsense. The strikes and acts of god are always the best part. As if those things never happen around, or impact,  any project or effort that isn’t ‘building something’.

    • Auntie June 7, 2022 (3:22 pm)

      Christine Gregoire

  • Ron Burgundy June 7, 2022 (10:46 am)

    We are laughing!Stay classy SDOT

  • Naysayers be gone June 7, 2022 (12:46 pm)

    I believe it is all good. It will open July. Weekend 23/24 for the party/run. Week of 7/25-29 for lane painting and signs. First car 7/30!  I bet you a beer!

    • Sparky June 7, 2022 (4:13 pm)

      You’re on.  Can I collect at Ounces on 7/31?

  • Lovestheview June 7, 2022 (1:02 pm)

    For those who miss sitting in high bridge traffic, a reminder that the new light rail bridge that Sound Transit will build might impact your view of Mt. Tahoma (aka Rainier).

    • StuckInWestSeattle June 7, 2022 (2:13 pm)

      Yeah like in 20 years…. :)

      • WSB June 7, 2022 (2:43 pm)

        10 if they stay on schedule.

    • Jay June 7, 2022 (4:09 pm)

      Instead of sitting in traffic you can have a view of the mountain from a train.

  • Genessee5Points June 8, 2022 (9:34 am)

    Man Plans…. SDOT Laughs

Sorry, comment time is over.