WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE REOPENING: Postcard, survey, District 1 Community Network briefing

With nine days to go until SDOT plans to reopen the West Seattle Bridge, here’s the latest.

POSTCARD: If you still harbored any doubts about the September 18th reopening promise, consider this postcard that just arrived in our USPS mail, declaring “The Bridge Is Back” on that date, in eight languages. (Added: SDOT tells us it was “sent to about 58,000 addresses in West Seattle and the Duwamish Valley.”)

SURVEY: In case you don’t do QR codes, the survey the postcard points to is here. It’s officially labeled a “Reconnect West Seattle followup survey,” asking how you’ve been getting around these past two and a half years since the high bridge closed.

DISTRICT 1 COMMUNITY NETWORK BRIEFING: The repair work is almost over, but SDOT still has a lot to do in our area before and after the bridge reopens. That’s what the District 1 Community Network heard from bridge-program director Heather Marx on Wednesday night. First she reaffirmed the reopening date and then went through the list of what’s happening now:

And here’s what’s happening next – including, as we reported earlier this week, the “load testing” starting Tuesday:

Marx stressed that bridge monitoring that’s already being done has left them confident of no surprises when the formal load testing is done. Meantime, as previewed in our traffic roundup this morning, a lot of preparatory work on routes leading to the bridge is planned for this weekend.

Once the high bridge reopens, the low bridge work – done by the same contractor, Kraemer North America – will intensify. Marx said some of the recent problems – the low bridge getting stuck open – will be addressed by pump replacements scheduled in October.

And Marx reiterated that the moment the high bridge is open, the low bridge goes back to being open to all 24/7.

In addition to low-bridge work, SDOT has some other remaining West Seattle projects after the high bridge reopens – these have all been reported before, so this was a recap:

About a controversial item on that list, the West Marginal Way protected bike lane, Marx said they still plan to “collect more data” along the route after the high bridge reopens, particularly traffic from/to Terminal 5 and businesses on the east side of the street.

She also noted that new SDOT director Greg Spotts (interim, pending confirmation vote) had toured the West Seattle bridges earlier and shared photos on Twitter. (This one’s from inside the high bridge.)

In Q&A with D1CN attendees, Marx was asked again about SDOT’s decision not to allow a community-planned event on the bridge (a run/walk/ride was being discussed earlier in the year). She said that “the very, very strong response we got was ‘never mind the party, just open the bridge’.” She said SDOT is mindful of the fact that this isn’t an occasion to celebrate – “the largest asset in SDOT’s entire system failed and (by reopening it) we’re just getting people back to their normal lives.”

24 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE REOPENING: Postcard, survey, District 1 Community Network briefing"

  • Patrick Dunn September 9, 2022 (12:26 pm)

    West Seattle to reduce fire apparatus. Over the last 2 years and some months West Seattle and South Park have been the beneficiary of an additional ladder truck (L13) and an additional medic unit (M26). This was in response to the closing of the West Seattle bridge. Right now the Seattle Fire chief is fighting to keep those apparatus permanent to keep up with the growth of the city. West seattle has the longest response distances in the entire city and a known water supply issue on many West Seattle fire hydrants. Seconds count. The mayor and city counsel are looking at the 2023 budget right now and the elimination of L13 and M26 are being considered as part of the cuts the city wishes to see. At this time the City of Seattle needs more first responders, not less. Please reach out to mayor Harrell, council member Lisa Herbold or any of the city council members and let them know that you do not support the elimination of any existing fire apparatus in West Seattle. This permanent decision is happening in the next few weeks. Please make your voice heard.  https://www.seattle.gov/council/meet-the-council. https://www.seattle.gov/mayor/

    • WSB September 9, 2022 (2:03 pm)

      We’ve been checking on this (story still to come) and they’re budgeted to stay in WS/SP through at least year’s end. Councilmember Herbold says she supports keeping them permanently.

  • Brian September 9, 2022 (12:51 pm)

    I will say, whoever designed that survey did a TERRIBLE job. A lot of false assumptions will be made based on those questions. They really should have consulted someone with experience in marketing/market research. 1. What is a “typical week”? Before the closure or typical week as of late?2. How many times do you ___ in a week? Ranging 0-10, what about between 0-1 per week or simply ‘not applicable’. That option should be an option on nearly ALL questions.3. Since the closure how much has ____ impacted ___. Many questions don’t have “n/a” or “neutral”. Respondents will be forced to lean one way or another.4. How many days do you work from home? How about asking a more valid and meaningful question like “did the bridge influence the # of days you worked from home”.5. How did you get around the Duwamish? How come they didn’t ask about alternate routes like the 14th ave bridge, roxbury, morgan street, etc? Those were areas heavily impacted by the closure.6. Why not ask “Did you use the low bridge despite the warnings? And also despite the fines”. That would have measured how crucial this closure was.7. How much business did you lose due to the bridge? Or how hard was it for you to supply your business?These surveys are really important. I can see why city leadership has their head so far up their @** thinking they have done a great job. These questions don’t get provide paint the real picture. 

  • LuLu September 9, 2022 (1:57 pm)

    Glossy mailer, multi color printed and postage $$$ …..What a colossal waste of money that could have gone to other things! How much did the tax payers spend on this? Why ask how everyone has been getting around for the last two years colossal waste of time and money! How much did the tax payers spend on the survey? Just get the blasted thing open already!

    • Peter September 9, 2022 (3:32 pm)

      These communications are an important method keeping the public informed. There will always be those who claim everything they don’t like is a “waste,” and just as many who would be howling in outrage if the communication wasn’t done. It’s a lose/lose situation for public officials who will face the wrath of the anti-government crowd no matter what they do. 

  • WS ;eighbor PHD September 9, 2022 (2:21 pm)

    I totally agree with you!  I took the survey and could not believe the choices we had for a response!  The survey is, statistically, irrelevant. 

    • 1994 September 11, 2022 (7:48 pm)

      Agree! The survey can’t be valid with the types of responses offered . What a waste of money!!!! SDoT should do better instead of feeding us a bunch of nonsense for a survey.

  • StuckInWestSeattle September 9, 2022 (2:30 pm)

    Sadly the link to how they are reconnecting neighborhoods is missing which is a shame as that is what I am most interested in.http://seattle.gov/transportation/projects-and-programs/programs/bridges-stairs-and-other-structures/bridges/west-seattle-bridge-program

    • WSB September 9, 2022 (2:46 pm)

      Sorry, I need to go back and add some links, will start with that one,

  • Mark B September 9, 2022 (2:52 pm)

    Agree the survey is really poorly designed.  Yes, I use an electric scooter to leave West Seattle the same exact amount I did pre-closure: zero.  Not sure why they needed to ask four questions on that.  I guess this is just a way to make us feel like they’re soliciting feedback?

  • PatWS September 9, 2022 (5:00 pm)

    Is there a specific time the bridge will open on Sunday? Since I’m heading downtown that day for a 10 am event, it’d be nice to know whether I can use the bridge or not. Or maybe it’ll open at 12:01am?

    • WSB September 9, 2022 (5:21 pm)

      Not yet announced. Possibly unceremoniously early in the morning, is all they’ve said so far. I expect those details next week.

      • PatWS September 10, 2022 (2:00 pm)

        Thanks so much, WSB! You’re the best.

  • Oh SDOT, how I hate thee September 9, 2022 (5:13 pm)

    Agree with previous comments on this so-called survey. It is the most poorly designed product I have ever seen.

  • Rick September 9, 2022 (5:16 pm)

    Well, I’ll be hitting the gym to tone up for the streak party the night of. But you still wouldn’t want to see me. Woohoo!!!!

  • Steven Crandall September 9, 2022 (5:27 pm)

    I thought the survey was useless.  It asked about modes I never use.   Was I supposed to put in “0” or skip the question.   If I answered the next question that my use didn’t change how would they interpret that response versus someone who actually used that mode?  It also made no distinction between M-F work and weekend work.   Very different demand patterns. Overall I don’t see how this will produce any useable data.  

    • Flivver September 9, 2022 (6:01 pm)

      Steven Crandell. Don’t worry. SDOT will use the survey results to prove we all thought they did a fine job with the high bridge. 

  • OhBrother September 9, 2022 (11:14 pm)

    I hope I never have to read an update from Heather Marx or look at another picture of “work being done” on the bridge ever again. PRO TIP: SDOT, leave West Seattle alone for a while, a long while. We really are not interested in hearing from you again via any means. PLEASE go pick on some other part of the city for the next 50 years. Thanks!! WSB: Back to pictures of pretty birds and smiling people at parades please. Enough of the angry unrest, strikes, crime, broken bridges, homeless encampments, Jort virtue lectures…I know I’m not alone in this. 

  • W.S. Resident September 10, 2022 (10:38 am)

    Do you what they have planned for the intersection of 4th ave and Olson Pl, or where I can look it up?

  • Kathy September 10, 2022 (10:54 am)

    I think they really missed an opportunity by not holding a run/walk/bike event like they did with the tunnel. That was truly a unique experience to be able to bike through the tunnel. When else would you be able to do that. A coordinated event, ticketed could have been a useful fundraiser. Funds could go back into WS businesses, Junction Association, WS Food Banks, etc. I think people would have been more than eager to pay if it was for those purposes. Missed opportunity 

    • WSB September 10, 2022 (11:19 am)

      As we’ve reported several times, a community coalition was planning exactly that, but SDOT finally said, no events on the bridge.

  • Cogburn September 10, 2022 (3:12 pm)

    Please no events on the bridge that would delay its opening one more minute. Just get it open 12:01a.m. the 18th. Enough is too much. 

  • Taylor September 12, 2022 (6:28 am)

    I hate to be this person- but boy is this a horrible survey.

    • 1994 September 12, 2022 (4:38 pm)

      The survey is horrible and hardly qualifies as a survey with questions that have predetermined answers that don’t fit the situation for many people.  And no option for explanation of why the answers don’t fit your situation. What a WASTE of money!

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