WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Checking in, two months after reopening

(WSB photo, September 17)

Two months ago tonight, the barricades and signs came down and the West Seattle Bridge opened back up, two and a half years after its sudden shutdown. We checked in with SDOT this week on two matters – first, what are the current traffic volumes? Not long after the reopening, traffic was reported to be about two-thirds what it was pre-pandemic. This week, SDOT spokesperson Mariam Ali replied to us that it hasn’t changed: “Traffic volumes on the West Seattle Bridge are still approximately two-thirds of what they were in 2019. (~60k vehicles per day vs. ~90k per day in 2019).” Also: “Volumes on the Spokane Street low bridge corridor are roughly half of 2019 levels. (4,500 vehicles per day vs. 9,000 vehicles per day in 2019).” (We haven’t yet checked on the 1st Avenue South Bridge or South Park Bridge – our main interest was the high bridge.) We also asked about the ongoing inspections, when the next one was scheduled, and whether any new cracks had been seen. Ali replied, “(Today) will be the next scheduled inspection. No new cracking other than normal new construction shrinkage is occurring. The electronic monitoring is ongoing 24/7.”

13 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Checking in, two months after reopening"

  • Anxious Driver November 17, 2022 (10:26 pm)

    Traffic volume is an interesting statistic.  I don’t think that will ever reach 90k ever again due to work from home.  I can see it going higher when gas prices lower, though.

    • Jeff November 18, 2022 (8:49 am)

      “when” doing some heavy lifting. I think electric cars are more mainstay now and gas prices will always be high. 

      • Anxious Driver November 18, 2022 (10:05 am)

        Good point but I still don’t think fully electric cars are as common as people think.  We have a long way to go until 2035.

        • Jeff November 18, 2022 (11:18 am)

          If you’re not saving up to get one and plan on being a car driver, you’re behind IMO. Gas is only going up over the long haul. Pretty soon 6-7$ a gallon will look “cheap”…start saving! Electric cars are the future.

          • Flivver November 18, 2022 (6:13 pm)

            Jeff.  You’re correct that electric cars are the future. And that’s the key word: future. It’ll be AT LEAST 10 years before they’re common. Rabid fans will disagree with that but real world won’t. 

  • Jay from Roxbury November 17, 2022 (10:51 pm)

    It’s lovely… super happy to see less traffic on Roxbury!!! Delridge seems to have some new issues since all the “upgrades” have been done.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes November 18, 2022 (11:26 am)

      As someone who lives on this street, the upgrades are good. I wish they went a bit further actually.

  • Lola November 18, 2022 (7:29 am)

    I see a lot less traffic from when the bridge closed down.  No heavy traffic, only the speeders who pass you in the bus lane or they do the Bob and weave to try and get one more car ahead of you.  It has shaved off 20 mins from my two year alternate commute just to get to Georgetown.  

  • Oldy November 18, 2022 (9:02 am)

    I started driving the bridge in the 90s as a high school student going to Garfield, and the traffic today is far less than it was even back then. We have literally rolled back traffic to what it was in the 80s, the decade the bridge first opened. 

  • DRW November 18, 2022 (9:52 am)

    The best part of having the bridge open is how quiet it is in Highland Park now. 

  • Amy November 18, 2022 (9:52 am)

    Opening up the bridge has given me an extra 30 minutes to an hour back!  I love it!

  • Joe Z November 18, 2022 (9:55 am)

    Seems like West Seattle should get the green light for additional housing density with 30K capacity available on the bridge as well as another 25K+ capacity coming from the light rail expansion in 2032. So we could easily support at least 50,000 more housing units, which would be really great for our local businesses to have 50,000 more potential customers. 

  • Buck November 18, 2022 (4:52 pm)

    Holy Sleet! Joe. I hope that comment was sarcastic. I LOVE the new less busy bridge. I love to drive my gas-powered car back and forth every chance I get. Freedom at last!

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