ADMIRAL WAY BRIDGE: New retrofit timeline, and studies for a replacement someday

(Admiral Way Bridges from Fairmount Avenue, via Google Maps Street View)

Three years after voters approved the “Move Seattle” transportation levy in 2015, SDOT announced a work plan that included various West Seattle projects. Among them, seismic retrofitting for the Admiral Way bridges over Fairmount Ravine (technically two structures). Fast-forward to late 2021, when SDOT told us planning for the retrofit was under way and that construction was likely to start in late 2022-early 2023. It’s been pushed back again, we learned, after following up on a mention of the Admiral Way bridges last week when an SDOT rep briefed the Levy Oversight Committee. Wes Ducey‘s briefing focused on studying various bridges around the city for eventual replacement, including Admiral:

Here’s what an “alternative analysis” is about:

In the briefing, Ducey suggested, among other things, that the city might consider designating one particular bridge to be the next in line for replacement, rather than continue to study and re-study multiple bridges:

After that briefing, we checked with SDOT regarding the Admiral Way bridges retrofit project. And we learned the retrofit is now not expected to start in “early 2023” after all. SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson told WSB, “We are still planning to complete a seismic retrofit on the Admiral Way Bridges by the end of 2024, thanks to funding from the voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle.” As for studying it for potential replacement, Bergerson explained,”While we do not anticipate the need to replace this bridge anytime soon, the planning study will incorporate what we learn during the seismic retrofit and be a valuable resource in the future if the City ever needs to choose between investing in additional major maintenance or completely rebuilding the bridge decades from now.”

P.S. During last week’s Levy Oversight Committee briefing, City Councilmember Alex Pedersen – who’s a committee member – mentioned that the council committee he chairs, Transportation and Public Utilities, will talk about bridges later this month, in the context of the citywide bridge audit.

6 Replies to "ADMIRAL WAY BRIDGE: New retrofit timeline, and studies for a replacement someday"

  • A-Red March 13, 2023 (9:05 pm)

    Admiral Island?

    • WSB March 13, 2023 (9:57 pm)

      The project page says closures of Admiral Way and Fairmount will be part of the plan. We’ll be working to get info on that sooner rather than later

  • J March 13, 2023 (10:26 pm)

    Hi WSB, cannot read the 3 images at all – they won’t enlarge on my iPhone (12). Any fix for mobile-friendly? Thanks!

    • WSB March 13, 2023 (10:57 pm)

      Sorry, I don’t have any other versions – they’re screengrabs from a meeting. If you get to look at the site on a desktop or laptop, clicking the images would enlarge them. The committee sometimes posts supporting materials from meetings but I just checked its website again, this isn’t there. – TR

  • 22blades March 14, 2023 (4:02 am)

    If you stop & look a bit more carefully, you’ll see that this job will be bigger than expected. It’s in poor shape (despite the official rating). It doesn’t help with the homeless guy constantly damaging the grading around the footings & hillside.

  • jeff March 15, 2023 (9:29 am)

    What will the detour be? I know most will probably do Harbor to California. But they are in for a nightmare traffic scenario if they do Olga to 39th to Forest to Walnut…

Sorry, comment time is over.