WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Test results in, Sunday reopening still on

(New WSB photo: West Seattle Bridge as seen around 4:30 pm today from east Admiral hillside)

The countdown to the West Seattle Bridge reopening Sunday will continue uninterrupted. SDOT has just sent word that the load-test results have been analyzed, and the bridge passed the test:

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has completed the analysis of strength tests conducted earlier this week on the West Seattle Bridge, and the bridge has passed its final safety test. This data confirms the bridge is strong, safe, and ready to reopen on Sunday, September 18. …

Earlier this week, SDOT conducted load testing on the bridge to confirm that it is structurally sound and able to reopen thanks to the repairs that have been completed over the past two and a half years. This testing process involved driving a dozen 80,000-pound trucks on the bridge deck, then actively measuring the bridge’s response to the added weight using sensors.

SDOT is confident that the repaired bridge will stand strong for decades to come, fulfilling its original intended lifespan.

The bridge is stronger and safer now that we have added nearly 60 miles of steel cable “backbone” to the bridge, 100,000 square feet of carbon fiber wrapping, and 240 gallons of epoxy to fill cracks in the bridge’s concrete.

The bridge now includes an extensive, sophisticated bridge monitoring system that can detect subtle movements or any growth of existing cracks. The safety system runs 24/7 and automatically alerts engineers immediately of any issues that would require further inspection.

Still no announcement of exactly when on Sunday the bridge will reopen after the 2 1/2-year shutdown. We have other reopening-related notes to bring you a little later today but wanted to get this announcement out immediately.

48 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Test results in, Sunday reopening still on"

  • Flo B September 15, 2022 (4:24 pm)

    Heard a comment from SDOT on the radio that the reason they’re non-committal on the opening time is that they’re concerned about people crowding the entrance ramps hoping to be the 1st across.

    • The Dude September 15, 2022 (7:51 pm)

      I believe it.  There is sheer lunacy on the roads these days.  Between the blatant lawlessness (we see you, 509/99 carpool lane cheaters) to the stupidity displayed on TikTok we have certainly regressed as a society the past 2.5 years.  

    • Jimmy September 15, 2022 (8:06 pm)

      My money is on a Saturday opening. Open it early and you won’t have any crazy lineups. Surprise. It’s open. 

  • WS Res September 15, 2022 (4:55 pm)

    In before people complaining that they didn’t open it the moment this WSB post went up.

    • Flo B September 15, 2022 (5:17 pm)

      I vote for Jort to be the 1st across!

      • Hammer in Hand September 15, 2022 (6:09 pm)

        In a metro bus with a bike on the front

      • Roms September 15, 2022 (6:57 pm)

        😂 You made my day!

  • Gay September 15, 2022 (5:11 pm)

    I will not be one of these guinea pigs.  Knock yourselves out people.

    • Sue H September 15, 2022 (5:50 pm)

      I’m with you. I have no intention of beta testing the bridge and I’ll let everyone else drive over it for the next few weeks and see what happens. 

    • Bus rider September 15, 2022 (8:02 pm)

      Same here. That’s why I’ll be riding the bus.

      • Bronson September 16, 2022 (7:54 am)

        I’ve got news for you, the bus will be using that bridge. 

  • Drew September 15, 2022 (5:49 pm)

    Hopefully they open it a day early with no announcement. 

  • Mj September 15, 2022 (6:11 pm)

    A news report indicates that WSDOT is trying to get this weekends revive I-5 done by 0600 Sunday.  Thus I would venture the opening at 0600 Sunday, but second Drew’s comment hoping for a Saturday soft opening!

  • AlkiBean September 15, 2022 (6:17 pm)

    Of course they’re waiting until the very last second to repave the hill on Admiral approaching the bridge. Par for the course  for SDOT. 

  • Ricardo September 15, 2022 (6:26 pm)

    So pumped for this!                

  • Flo B September 15, 2022 (6:44 pm)

    We all should be thankful we don’t have to hear any more rude condescending comments from the SDOT spokeswoman. HALLELUJAH. 

    • bill September 15, 2022 (8:11 pm)

      Or rude condescending comments from those whose expertise derives from walking past the science and engineering buildings at the college they partied at.

      • Dave September 16, 2022 (5:37 pm)

        LOL – how true!

        Bill, you really nailed it with that comment about walking past the Science and Engineering buildings.

  • Vee September 15, 2022 (6:55 pm)

    I hope there are some police around during the day. I’m worried some people may get little crazy, drive too fast or celebrating and not paying attention or possibly large influx coming over from other places,  hope I’m  wrong

    • Pietro September 15, 2022 (7:47 pm)

      This concerns me way more than being a “guinea pig.”  We already see enough lawlessness on the roads, and I am a bit concerned at the sheer idiocy we may have to deal with.  Grow up, follow the traffic laws, be kind to each other.  It’s really not that hard.

  • TJ September 15, 2022 (7:03 pm)

    I hope there are lots more people scared of being guinea pigs! Please, let your fear of driving over a sound bridge last so others can enjoy less traffic 

    • Gatewood Gus September 15, 2022 (7:45 pm)

      THIS.  I can’t understand all the angst going around.  The bridge is now much beefier than when it was first built and was also found to not be in as in bad of shape as first thought when it closed.  I guess there are just some folks in this world who will never be happy no matter the circumstances.    

  • MarkM89 September 15, 2022 (7:17 pm)

    Seeing as we don’t have a first world infrastructure in this country anymore….. how about they just limit the higher bridge to car traffic only and keep all heavy trucks and buses on the lower?The bandaids might last longer with a little common sense in the mix.

    • SpencerGT September 15, 2022 (8:22 pm)

      Good idea.

    • Ernie September 15, 2022 (9:34 pm)

      lol, buses are WAY lighter per person than SOV’s are. If anything the cars should be restricted to the low bridge. 

    • Peter September 16, 2022 (12:20 am)

      Band aids?? You clearly have no understanding at all of the engineering and work that went into these repairs. And the overwhelming majority of the traffic weight on the bridge is cars and SUVs, not trucks and buses, so if your “common sense” made any sense then you should be saying cars and SUVs should stay off the bridge. 

  • Zipda September 15, 2022 (7:19 pm)

    Wheres the bridge? Cant remember where it is.

  • SpencerGT September 15, 2022 (8:22 pm)

    I like that they’re making sure that it’s safe 3 days before opening.

    • Smoosh September 15, 2022 (8:54 pm)

      You’re right. They should make sure it’s safe and then wait 14 years to re open it.

  • I thought we were better than this September 15, 2022 (11:39 pm)

    I am not concerned about the repairs. Sadly, I have serious concerns about West Seattle drivers. Even driving 5 miles over the speed limit, I regularly experience impatient, angry drivers passing on city streets after tailgating dangerously. When I stop for pedestrians, drivers pass, endangering those crossing. I am going to wait to see how many drivers ignore the bus lane or refuse to merge without any consideration for others. I hoped the past few years might increase empathy and compassion. I haven’t seen evidence to support that. It makes me sad. 

    • Josh September 16, 2022 (7:20 am)

      It is frustrating.  I try to focus on all the good thoughtful people but that can be hard at times.  

    • Auntie September 16, 2022 (5:09 pm)

      I’m hoping they have the bus lane enforcement motorcycle cop in place when the bridge opens because the minute people can cross the bridge, there will be those entitled knuckleheads who want to pass everyone using the bus lane, right from the get-go!

      • sw September 16, 2022 (8:23 pm)

        I SO look forward to the return of “Officer Shades.”

  • Watertowerjim September 16, 2022 (2:57 am)

    Graffiti vandals have gone crazy over the last 2.5 years.  I’m sure these fine citizens will have a field day with their new “canvas”.  That said, finally!

  • Joe September 16, 2022 (7:36 am)

    I love it when all of these West Seattleites suddenly think they’re Civil Engineers…lol. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, please keep it to yourselves. There are people much smarter than you that are working hard to keep you safe!

  • HE September 16, 2022 (7:37 am)

    Dear everyone saying “I’m not going to be a guinea pig, I’ll wait a few weeks or months before I use it” — unless you’re going to do that by just staying home that whole time as someone who’s been living along the detour route I beg you to reconsider. Traffic in all of the West Seattle area and surrounds is planned to work with that piece of infrastructure in place, and it hasn’t been working without it the last two and a half years. Don’t prolong that by not using it now that it’s available.

  • B September 16, 2022 (12:30 pm)

    I’m wondering how many West Seattle people have NEVER used the high bridge. I mean, it’s been out 2 and a half years, and there’s been a lot of relocating during the pandemic.   Chances are > 0 that there are at least a few people who’ve moved from far off and have never been on the high bridge.

    • Amanda September 16, 2022 (1:25 pm)

      I moved to West Seattle, and Seattle in general, right after the bridge closed. I know I’ve taken the bridge a long time ago as a kid when visiting family, but I have never personally driven over it and neither has my husband. Even bought a house here last year without ever going over the bridge. The only thing we know is the detour route, so pretty excited to try it out for the first time. 

    • Vid September 16, 2022 (11:39 pm)

      My first time in West Seattle was March 27, 2020, and I moved here days later. I’ve never been on the West Seattle Bridge and I take the bus to work downtown, so this weekend ought to be my first time.

      • WSB September 17, 2022 (12:17 am)

        If you sit on the right side and it’s clear, there’s a great view of Mount Rainier from the top …

  • Claudia Williams September 16, 2022 (12:39 pm)

    They bridge is fixed – yay! Would’ve been nice to have some fresh lane markings from W-Seattle to I-5 so it doesn’t feel like you’re in a stampede crossing the bridge. Y’all had 2+ years! 

    • Gatewood Gus September 16, 2022 (5:18 pm)

      Um, it does have new striping and lane markings.  Perhaps you’re looking at old file photos that the blog and other media outlets use?

      • Claudia Williams September 16, 2022 (7:20 pm)

        Maybe on the bridge itself, but sections beyond towards I-5 have no updated/renewed markings.

  • Mj September 16, 2022 (2:37 pm)

    Ernie – your logic is flawed, it’s axle weight of a vehicle.  With the strength added with the rehabilitation work there is no reason to restrict heavy, legal weight, vehicle use of the high bridge!  

  • mix September 16, 2022 (4:01 pm)

    how quickly do y’all think it will be until there’s a wreck that ends up making the bridge slower than marginal way

  • CheeseWS777 September 16, 2022 (4:40 pm)

    What is there to debate about? The bridge is finaly reopening. Its a good thing.

  • Kelley Bevans September 17, 2022 (7:11 am)

    I don’t need to know exactly when it will open but it would be nice to know it will be open by a certain time so I can plan accordingly. Stop toying with us.

  • DJ Allyn September 17, 2022 (5:06 pm)

    This thing should — and could — have opened up already.  But no, the politicians want to have a party first to ‘celebrate’ the reopening.Any politician attending such a party will NOT get my vote next time around.  For the most part, everyone who has been running SDOT for the past ten years should be fired.

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