WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: City gets grant for Spokane Street Viaduct

(SDOT camera image, eastbound Spokane St. Viaduct lanes at left)

You might recall that SDOT has closed the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct -that’s the continuation of the West Seattle Bridge east of Highway 99 – a few times this year for pothole repair. Before the first closure, we reported on SDOT’s big-picture plans, pursuing grant funding for more-extensive repair. Today, the city announced that grant has been secured – one of three city bridges to each get at least $4.5 million “from the Federal Highway Administration Bridge Improvement Program, which is funded in part by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and then passed to WSDOT‘s Local Bridge Program,” and on down to the city from there. The announcement said only that the Spokane Street Viaduct’s $5 million grant would be used for “repairs to the existing deck,” so we asked SDOT for a few more details about what would be done and when. Spokesperson Mariam Ali‘s reply:

The federal funding is to support the replacement of the overlay for the south half of the bridge that carries the eastbound lanes of traffic. The existing concrete deck overlay exhibits significant signs of “alligator skin” cracking and damage. The project will replace the existing overlay and fix any concrete deck distress. We are currently in the design phase for this project and have not yet determined the construction timeline, which would likely occur in the next few years.

The eastbound (south) side of the SSV is its older section – the westbound (north) side includes what was built a decade ago. The other two city bridges getting federal grants announced today are the Jose Rizal Bridge to Beacon Hill ($5 million for paint) and the 15th/Leary bridge in Ballard ($4.5 million for earthquake safety).

16 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: City gets grant for Spokane Street Viaduct"

  • Ben Weagraff July 19, 2022 (9:52 pm)

    …am I to assume that they will not be repairing the Spokane Street Viaduct while the West Seattle Bridge is closed?    

    • WSB July 19, 2022 (9:53 pm)

      They’ve been doing pothole work. This particular project, as noted/quoted above, is expected to happen within “a few years.”

  • bolo July 19, 2022 (10:41 pm)

    This is obviously great news, but too bad it could not have been achieved while the bridge has been closed. Thus we can look forward to long-lasting partial closures and possible detours while the work is being done. In the end it will be worth it is my attitude.

  • bill July 20, 2022 (12:08 am)

    I sure hope the drainage and puddling issues will be fixed. The design must have been done by a firm in Arizona that did not understand the memo about rain. No, I take that back. Those folks are used to flash floods and know how to grade streets for drainage. 

    • Also John July 20, 2022 (7:18 am)

      I thought the same immediately after large puddles appeared after eastbound construction was first completed years ago.    I used to oversee road replacement work.   King county would drive the newly paved roads with a water truck.  Any section of the newly paved road that developed puddles would need to be cut out and redone.  

    • Mike July 20, 2022 (7:21 pm)

      If you’d actually driven on the roads in Arizona ( or Nevada, or Utah) you would not be making such snarky remarks. Those states have excellent roads, whereas ours are among the worst in the country. 

  • KT July 20, 2022 (8:20 am)

     We are currently in the design phase for this project and have not yet determined the construction timeline, which would likely occur in the next few years.There’s a “design phase” to fix potholes?  Wow.  Construction timeline would likely occur in the next few years.  Can you be any less definitive other than by just saying “we will fix it someday”?

    • Mr J July 20, 2022 (1:01 pm)

      It’s not patching pot holes it’s replacing large chunks of the road. The text would have told you that had you not skimmed it. Also, remember that infrastructure is not something that gets drop shipped. I don’t disagree that it takes more time than it should, but being on the outside we don’t know the constraints of the department.

      • Mike July 20, 2022 (7:29 pm)

        The frustrating thing is that section of road was already overlaid concurrent with the construction of the new Westbound viaduct a few years back (~5?). The surface started to fail almost immediately, and regularly springs delaminating concrete chuckholes. Why the city didn’t  address this during the bridge closure is beyond frustrating. The $ involved is literally a drop in SDOT’s budget bucket.  In Seattle we apparently have priorities other than providing basic infrastructure, public safety, quality education, etc?

  • Jeepney July 20, 2022 (10:55 am)

    I remember when the viaduct was widened and repaved, there were numerous potholes just after it opened.   Things aren’t built they they used to be…..

  • West Seattle Kid July 20, 2022 (2:39 pm)

    5 million for paint? Is that a good price?

    • WSB July 20, 2022 (4:10 pm)

      It also includes some environmental cleanup.

  • Deb July 20, 2022 (2:56 pm)

    Here’s some ADVANCE NOTICE  to WSDOT: PLEASE TRY to coordinate your repair of the NB on-ramp from EB Spokane viaduct onto I-5 with the future Spokane Viaduct roadway work. Sincerely -West Seattle. 

  • Karl July 20, 2022 (10:19 pm)

    Why don’t trucks get an excise tax that matches the damage they cause? One fully loaded 5 axle truck is 80,000 pounds, and damages the road more than 5,000+ cars. There should be a truck only lane, and they can maintain it. 

  • Rick July 21, 2022 (9:34 am)

    It’s all about job security.

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