TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Second weekday morning with reopened West Seattle Bridge

(Scroll down for updates on this morning’s traffic)

6:00 AM: Good morning. It’s Tuesday, September 20th, second weekday with the reopened West Seattle Bridge. Traffic was light on the first morning, so for one more time today, we’re live-chronicling the am commute. As we start, no problems reported, so here’s the basic daily info:


Here’s the forecast – sunny, breezy, high in the low 70s. (P.S. That haze is a bit more wildfire smoke blowing in from Eastern Washington.)


Metro buses are back on the high bridge, and today also is their second weekday since changes made with the twice-yearly service change; watch @kcmetroalerts for trip cancellations/reroute alerts.

No changes in ferries (check here for alerts/updates) or West Seattle Water Taxi service.


High Bridge – here’s the reactivated camera atop the span.

Low Bridge: All restrictions were dropped with the high bridge’s reopening, so it’s open to anyone who wants to use it.

Highway 99: Whichever bridge you’re using to get to it, here’s a look at northbound traffic on 99 at Lander.

All currently functional city traffic cams can be seen here, many with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are also on this WSB page … Are movable city bridges opening for vessels? Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed.

6:29 AM UPDATE: Still problem-free. Volume on the bridge looks a bit heavier than this time Monday.

6:59 AM UPDATE: The bridge remains wide open. Northbound East Marginal south of the West Seattle Bridge is the busiest route we’re seeing on city cameras right now.

7:29 AM UPDATE: Still light bridge traffic, and no area problems reported. Northbound I-5 and 99 are slowest south of the bridge.

7:59 AM UPDATE: No change – bridge is still lightly traveled. Low bridge just closed for marine traffic.

8:29 AM UPDATE: Low bridge has reopened to surface traffic. (Closure lasted 13 minutes.) All still quiet.

8:59 AM UPDATE: Still light.

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Please text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.

29 Replies to "TRAFFIC, TRANSIT, WEATHER: Second weekday morning with reopened West Seattle Bridge"

  • Bridge-curious September 20, 2022 (7:45 am)

    Interesting that so far we’re seeing very light traffic on the high bridge. I’m curious to see if/when the high bridge returns to its former use (I for one now work from home 100% so that’s one less person on a bus at least). The past two years we certainly heard a ton of blame, complaints, and general griping. Were we just hearing from the same five drivers the entire time? 

    • William September 20, 2022 (8:08 am)

      Many work from home these days. I don’t expect a return to the gridlocked bridge of years past. 

      Thank you WSB, for your reporting. An absolute asset to West Seattle.

    • Blbl September 20, 2022 (10:23 am)

      This just tells me that had SDOT’s failure not aligned with the pandemic, it would have crushed West Seattle completely. I am one more former commuter who now works from home, and I hope the bridge commute never returns to pre-pandemic levels. 

    • James September 20, 2022 (10:41 am)

      Knock on wood please! I don’t want heavy traffic on that bridge. I live so close to it and ya’ll are loud enough as it is! Keep the volume down. 

    • sam-c September 21, 2022 (2:29 pm)

      Morning traffic on Delridge, including people heading to the bridge, has picked back up closer to pre-closure levels.

  • jsparra September 20, 2022 (7:53 am)

    Bridge open, 25 min off my commute to Bothell   YAY!!!!!!

  • West Seattle Mad Sci Guy September 20, 2022 (8:11 am)

    I think today is my first day going to the mainland for lunch on my lunch break!  Where should I go??

    • sw September 20, 2022 (9:13 am)

      Try Derby on 6th Avenue S.  

  • Roms September 20, 2022 (8:16 am)

    The bicycle traffic seems much lighter. Normally, I would see at least a good 10 bikes while riding, but both yesterday and tomorrow was less than 5. Too bad the bicycle counter on the low bridge has not been working for months (or maybe even more than a year?).

  • Mark B September 20, 2022 (8:36 am)

    I saved 20-25 mins on my first bridge commute from Gatewood to downtown. Other things haven’t changed: saw a CR-V tailgating and flashing his brights at a car going about 60 on the bridge. 

  • Neighbor September 20, 2022 (8:49 am)

    Maybe I’m jumping the gun, but it seems so far like the best part of the bridge reopening is that we don’t all need it so badly anymore. 😭👏🏼😭👏🏼

  • L September 20, 2022 (8:55 am)

    I think what we’re seeing is a mixture of trust issues and habit. I think traffic will eventually balance out again

    • Elton September 20, 2022 (12:01 pm)

      True, but I also think that there’s a possibility that traffic will remain lighter than pre-pandemic levels long-term. I think it will likely get more traffic over time than now, but possibly never the gridlock we once saw because people have changed their habits. Consider all the ways in which people have adapted, perhaps even opting out of programs/schools for children that were off-island that maybe folks will eventually resume with the bridge being open. Some people likely will never revert to their previous usage levels, even if they do cross the bridge more. Mid-day weekends were always trying on the detour route though so I’m curious what’ll happen on the first full weekend of the bridge being open, but I still suspect that the traffic will be relatively light because of how much larger and faster the high bridge is vs the Highland detour route.

      • James September 20, 2022 (12:46 pm)

        Summer is ending and that’s when Alki is a ghost town so the real test really isn’t until July next year. 

      • L September 20, 2022 (3:59 pm)

        Agreed, I don’t think volume will return to pre pandemic for the reasons you stated.   I was meaning balance between the first Ave route and high/low bridge in terms of current volumes. 

  • Theresa - Highland Park September 20, 2022 (9:10 am)

    Are people still taking the detour route? We were able to take left turns on Holden yesterday, so traffic is definitely lower. It’s been so long though, I can’t really remember what the traffic was like before the bridge closure. 

    • Jeepney September 20, 2022 (10:06 am)

      I drove on Holden from HP to Delridge yesterday for the first time at rush hour since the bridge closed, and there was very little traffic.

    • Foop September 20, 2022 (12:29 pm)

      I biked in, marginal 5-way wasn’t backed up like it used to be. Probably about 12-15 bikes queued up when the low bridge closed. I got crushed by 5 ebikes after that despite riding at 20mph myself. *Shakes fist*

      • WestSeattleBadTakes September 20, 2022 (1:12 pm)

        It is hard to tell, but please don’t introduce purity testing and gatekeeping (e-bikes) to commuting by bicycle.

  • Rick September 20, 2022 (9:15 am)

    I think I’ll look for work off peninsula just so I can use the bridge.

  • Free September 20, 2022 (10:25 am)

    I’m just relieved never having to drive thru the bowels of south Seattle again.

    • justwow September 20, 2022 (1:33 pm)

      I’m sure your neighbor’s have equally kind sentiments about having you in their hood.

  • Bus September 20, 2022 (12:29 pm)

    The 1st Avenue Bridge has had hardly any traffic on it all week either.  Everyone just decided to take the week off, I guess.

  • Alki Resident September 20, 2022 (1:35 pm)

    What a happy day!!!! 16 min to Capital Hill today. The bridge drive felt amazing! 

  • Joe Z September 20, 2022 (1:35 pm)

    It seems like we have excess bridge capacity now, which means we should be building more housing in West Seattle. 

    • Jeepney September 20, 2022 (5:46 pm)

      Excellent idea Joe, do you have the $$$$ to fund your idea?

  • WS Native September 20, 2022 (1:54 pm)

    I did notice that northbound 509 was pretty backed up this morning.  I thought things would improve for those commuters as well, but today that wasn’t the case.  I travel south via West Marginal and 509.  West Marginal has had very light traffic, which is a huge relief.  

  • nadmercury September 20, 2022 (5:16 pm)

    Congratulations to SDOT on the totality of a successful
    project!  (I am a professional engineer.)
    I am often critical of SDOT.  It is rare
    for a government project to come in below budget.  It was very smart of SDOT to demonstrate typical
    bridge design criteria by running many 80,000-pound semies over the completed
    bridge.  Most should be convinced of the
    safety of the bridge. My only criticism is, I think it could have been done more

    • smoosh September 20, 2022 (6:02 pm)

      What a well reasoned and stated while completely qualified opinion.  Thank you for sharing.

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