LOW BRIDGE CLOSURE: SDOT talks free rides, detour route @ West Seattle Bike Connections

Hours after SDOT‘s most-recent update on the West Seattle low-bridge closure, department reps were guests at West Seattle Bike Connections‘ monthly meeting. Among the new information that emerged – more on the plan for free cross-Duwamish travel during the closure:

In response to questions during the online meeting, they clarified that the free rides would be available to everyone interested – not just people with bicycles in tow. As the slide above shows, though the Water Taxi and buses are operated by King County, the city will cover the cost. Since they hope to launch this by the end of the week, watch for details within the next few days.

Another major topic of discussion was the bicycle-detour route SDOT is suggesting, and the refinements they announced this afternoon, such as temporary protected bicycle lanes on sections of West Marginal Way SW and 1st Avenue South. Installation of the cones and other markers will start tomorrow, first on 1st, and may continue into Thursday if they can’t finish tomorrow. Meeting attendees brought up concerns about route conditions – one showed video of a harrowing attempt to navigate a rutted section near the 1st Avenue South Bridge; SDOT said they have engineers working on that section.

As for the repairs themselves, most of what was presented duplicated what was in this afternoon’s update, with an additional emphasis on long-planned work that’s also coming up, beyond the unexpected repairs:

Toward the start of the meeting, SDOT’s Meghan Shepard pointed out that the low bridge was, if not one of a kind, close to it, and that its cylinders all had to be replaced within a year of its 1991 opening – those replacements are what’s lasted the ensuing 30 years, until now,

13 Replies to "LOW BRIDGE CLOSURE: SDOT talks free rides, detour route @ West Seattle Bike Connections"

  • WSeaRes January 3, 2023 (11:44 pm)

    Stay safe bike riders ❤️

  • 22blades January 4, 2023 (1:10 am)

    For a bridge built in 1992, the Fremont Bridge seems to hold up better: Built in 1917, it is the most frequently opened drawbridge in the United Stars & busiest bascule bridge in the world.

  • West Seattle Mad Sci Guy January 4, 2023 (7:32 am)

    I haven’t kept up on the lower bridge stories. Are they thinking it will be closed days, weeks, months, or years?

    • WSB January 4, 2023 (9:05 am)

      SDOT’s initial estimate was “at least two weeks.” No estimates since then, and as noted, they say they have to get the leaky cylinder out – they’re hoping within a week – to further estimate timeline.

  • miws January 4, 2023 (9:35 am)

    From the link:

    • Whether fully or partially opened, most of bascule superstructure bridge is out of vessel reach during collision, so it would not suffer considerable damage.

    Rolf Neslund:  “Hold my beer..” (Interesting article, BTW…) —Mike                                                                                                                     

  • sf January 4, 2023 (2:00 pm)

    I would like to take a moment to congratulate all of us. We have surpassed 24 hours without backseat engineering and Just Fix It reductive commenting.  Nicely done neighbors!  

  • Don Brubeck January 4, 2023 (2:52 pm)

    Thank you SDOT for setting up options.  Here is a bike route from SW Spokane St to 1st Ave S Bridge and back
    north to S Spokane & East Marginal Way S.  Not the same as the
    city’s temporary detour route.  This route is a few minutes longer and
    has a lot less traffic. Try it in daylight first, if you can. The link
    has printable turn cues, and audio cues if you put it on a phone.   https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34419471If
    coming from Riverview or Highland Park or White Center, try using the south sidewalk on Highland Park Way hill.  A
    bit bumpy and steep, but doable  if you are on an e-bike or have low

  • Colonel Mustard's Wrench January 4, 2023 (7:34 pm)

    Think anyone should tell SDOT about the upcoming King Tides ?
    They seem to have been caught by surprise by the previous King Tides in December and a conduit for the Low Bridge flooded, shorting out high voltage wiring.

    The next King Tides will be even higher: 

    Jan 23         6:46AM               13.0 feet

    Jan 24         7:22AM               13.0 feet

    Jan 25         7:57AM               13.0 feet

    And what is their plan for the sea level rise that is predicted over the coming years ?

  • Please Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus January 5, 2023 (6:09 am)

    Free bus rides, that’s funny. On what buses?! King County needs to fix its current West Seattle bus crisis (repairs + driver shortages) before it promises something that doesn’t exist. It’s so bad these days, I’d welcome a pigeon driver AND I’d gladly give it a cookie if that would restore bus routes in Admiral and throughout West Seattle. 

  • Rick January 5, 2023 (9:41 am)

    As always, somebody has to pay for “FREE”.

  • Jason Correa January 8, 2023 (12:05 pm)

    Lowbridge23 is the code you use on the transit go app

Sorry, comment time is over.