6:41 PM: The eastbound West Seattle Bridge ramp to northbound Highway 99 has some kind of “pothole that’s been blowing out tires,” police told dispatch, so they’re working to close the ramp. They’ve just reported a fifth vehicle with a blowout, in the meantime. Police describe the pothole as being “on the curve” of the ramp, before it merges onto 99.
7:03 PM: The ramp is closed, which means among other things that buses are diverted. Police have since described the problem on the ramp as a hole, not just a pothole.
7:09 PM: We don’t know if it’s in the same spot, but one year ago, a hole in the ramp was fixed. It’s a WSDOT – state – structure, not city, as noted then, and we’re hearing that they’re being summoned now to handle the situation.
8:23 PM: Photo above is from our pre-sunset drive eastbound on the bridge to at least get a look at the response. Since then, we’ve talked by phone with a WSDOT spokesperson who says crews are going to do an “epoxy fill” on the hole and that the ramp is expected to reopen in a matter of hours. He didn’t know (yet) if it was the same spot repaired in April of last year.
10:48 PM: Just talked to WSDOT again. The ramp will NOT be fixed in time for the morning commute – they say it requires a heftier repair than first thought – as summarized, first they thought asphalt would do it, then they thought epoxy, and now they’re thinking something beyond that. They’ll know more in the morning. Meantime, if you need to get to Highway 99, options would include taking the bridge to 1st Avenue South and getting onto 99 in SODO, or use the 1st Avenue South Bridge.
9:22 AM UPDATE: (Also noted in Wednesday morning traffic coverage) Longer story later, but we just spoke with WSDOT again, and they say it’s closed “until further notice” as they evaluate how to repair it and whether the ramp itself is “structurally sound.” They also say the hole is not in the same spot as was fixed a year ago – it’s about 100 feet away. (Added above, WSDOT’s photo of the hole, which is described now as 5′ x 4′.)
11:59 AM: We’ve just been to the scene beneath the ramp. WSDOT now expects it to be closed for at least 10 days.