After that bus hit a barrier on the westbound West Seattle Bridge near the ramp from southbound 99 on Saturday morning, it was attributed to the driver swerving to avoid another vehicle. But it wasn’t the only crash that day in the same spot – and it was followed by at least two others days later. In comment discussions, other drivers have mentioned something seemed awry when they drove through that same section. So we asked SDOT if the department planned to investigate. We heard back late today from SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson, who said it’s a mystery so far:
After these crashes occurred, we sent one of our inspectors to take a closer look at roadway conditions in this location. They verified that all of the signage, road markings, and pavement was in good condition. Our inspector did not see any standing water in this location, although it is possible that it was wetter at the time of the incidents. We did not make any changes to the road in this location during the West Seattle Bridge closure which would alter how people approach or drive over this particular spot.
While it’s difficult for us to determine a specific cause for this series of collisions, now that this trend has been identified we’ll be aware of the location if we see similar crashes in the future. If we do see an ongoing trend, we’ll continue to consider what we can potentially do to address it.
We also typically see an increase in crashes in rainy weather, especially when it first starts to rain after a relatively dry summer. So we would like to remind all drivers at this time of year to slow down and be extra cautious when driving in the rain, and to make sure to take care of any safety-related car maintenance issues like replacing worn-out tires or windshield wipers.
If you encounter a specific problem there (or on any other city street, which is what The Bridge is) and want to contact SDOT about it, they’re at 206-684-ROAD.