Back in August 2021, the city announced it was considering removing the Delridge/Oregon pedestrian overpass instead of reinforcing it to make it more earthquake-resistant. Feedback opportunities ensued. Today, the final decision was announced – the bridge will stay, and will get a seismic retrofit. The announcement came in the newest email update on preparations for next year’s RapidRide H Line launch:
We will seismically retrofit the Delridge Pedestrian Bridge. Construction will begin in 2024.
The Delridge Pedestrian Bridge is a high priority for a seismic retrofit, which will make the bridge safer in events like earthquakes. Over the past year, we’ve been exploring whether we should remove the bridge or seismically retrofit it.
After we installed a community-requested crosswalk and walk signal as part of the Delridge Way SW – RapidRide H Line project at SW Oregon St, we considered if making the pedestrian bridge earthquake-safe and continuing ongoing maintenance was still the right approach.
Removing the bridge would save current and future costs. With the new signal and crosswalk offering a new way to get across the street, we thought community members might find the pedestrian bridge to be unnecessary.
However, Seattle’s older bridges continue to be used and often have interesting characteristics their neighbors have come to love.
Both options would improve safety in the event of an earthquake.
Beginning in summer 2021, we asked Delridge neighbors whether the bridge should be removed or kept and seismically retrofitted. We heard loud and clear that the Delridge community would like to keep the bridge. Read more here.
Most people wanted us to keep the bridge and many people currently use the bridge. The bridge serves as a community asset, particularly for people who live or work at the Cooper School Artist Lofts/Youngstown Cultural Arts Center and want to access the Delridge Playfield, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, and Southwest Youth and Family Services building.
The Levy to Move Seattle funds our bridge seismic retrofit program and we expect to begin construction on the Delridge Pedestrian Bridge retrofit in 2024. Thank you to everyone who shared feedback and helped inform the plan.
Last year when we asked, SDOT estimated the retrofit cost as at least $4 million, The city already has retrofitted the area’s other pedestrian bridge, the SW Andover bridge over the southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge.