TRAFFIC ALERT: Tire-shredding hole closes eastbound West Seattle Bridge ramp to northbound Highway 99

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.

(Added: Photo from Tuesday morning, posted in comments by Wendell)

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.

(Added: WSDOT photo)

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.

68 Replies to "TRAFFIC ALERT: Tire-shredding hole closes eastbound West Seattle Bridge ramp to northbound Highway 99"

  • Alan May 2, 2023 (7:00 pm)

    It’s been there for months. It was poorly repaired a bit ago and now the rebar has been showing through for at least a couple weeks now.  Yep, just stating the obvious here for all of us that take this trip on a daily. 

    • Curious George May 2, 2023 (7:29 pm)

      I keep reporting on the find it fix it site about the westbound lanes from apx 1st Ave S to 4th and on the ramp to N bound I-5 about potholes and rebar too no avail.  When the bridge was closed the traffic on the remains open sections was greatly reduced which ‘would’ of been a great time for these other road fixes not patches as they are doing now.

  • Mike May 2, 2023 (7:24 pm)

    It would have been great if the state and city took the two year opportunity of less traffic to handle upgrade repairs.  East bound of Spokane Street Viaduct is a hazard and every “patch” is busted a week later.

  • Seattlite May 2, 2023 (7:32 pm)

    I have never noticed it.  I took the ramp today without a problem.  

    • Smits McKey May 2, 2023 (8:18 pm)

      You should really pay more attention when you’re driving. The pothole is huge. The only way you can fail to see it is if you aren’t looking at the road. 

      • Seattlite May 3, 2023 (7:34 am)

        This photo gives a clear shot of the location of the pothole which is on the outside of the curve.  I always stay close to the inside of the curb while watching the road carefully.   That’s why the pothole has never been in my view or why I have never driven over it.

        • Neighbor May 3, 2023 (11:29 am)

          If that’s outside your peripheral vision you shouldn’t be driving.  It’s nearer to your path than a sidewalk would be.  If you can’t keep an eye on pedestrians and the road you really shouldn’t be behind the wheel.  Following the inside of the curve like that reduces your visibility as well.  You should drive in the middle of the lane so you can see farther ahead and avoid obstacles, like this one.

        • Burgerman May 3, 2023 (2:18 pm)

          That is not an excuse. Unless your vehicle physically blocks you from having any sight line to the hole, you should have noticed it. A good driver scans the roadway for all hazards and potential hazards, in and out of their lane. Not trying to internet troll you, but there is an opportunity for improvement in your driving. I’m saying this as a lifelong professional driver with a CDL.

          • Seattlite May 3, 2023 (9:47 pm)

            I have never received a ticket.  I have never caused an accident.  I would say that my driving skills are much better than most as compared to the reckless driving I see each and every day.

    • Duffy May 3, 2023 (7:38 am)

      As they saying goes, before cell phones, what did people look at when they were driving?

  • S May 2, 2023 (7:50 pm)

    If only we had a really long time without traffic to fix the bridge and its connecting routes…

  • Lucy May 2, 2023 (7:53 pm)

    That part of the west Seattle fwy was in need of serious repair BEFORE the pandemic.  The bridge was closed for TWO YEARS.  Why was it not addressed?   

    • WSB May 2, 2023 (8:22 pm)

      This is not part of the West Seattle Bridge – it’s a state structure – just to clarify, since everyone wants to talk about different beefs. I just talked with a WSDOT spokesperson and he doesn’t know (yet) if this was the same ramp hole they fixed almost exactly a year ago, as linked above.

      • Smits McKey May 2, 2023 (10:54 pm)

        That doesn’t mean that WSDOT and SDOT couldn’t have worked together to fix stuff that needed to be fixed. I get your point, but is it too much to ask that our city and state governments work in tandem? This pothole was there for way too long. 

        • KT May 3, 2023 (8:43 am)


        • East Vashon May 3, 2023 (9:29 am)

          The quick replies supporting the “not my job” vibe is wild.  WSDOT had the entire time period of the bridge closure to inspect or repair the rest of the structure, but they passed on it.Its an absurd suggestion that they shouldn’t have reviewed it, or that no drivers complained so it was fine. Its just negligence.

    • Rick May 3, 2023 (7:18 am)

      ‘Cuz that’s how we don’t do things around here.

  • Dd May 2, 2023 (8:06 pm)

    Was a victim of the hole  . It blew out  everyone’s left front tire. There was at least 6 cars pulled over . Some had both their  front and back left tire blown out and had to be towed. Special thanks to the tow truck that saw us all and fixed what tires he could at no charge. 

    • Olivist May 2, 2023 (9:18 pm)

      As noted by Alan, this isn’t a ‘new’ (pot)hole.  The rebar has been visible for weeks.  Do we know if a  change/progression  caused all these flats?  It is hard not to see this damage in advance if you’re looking at the road ahead. 

      • Smits McKey May 2, 2023 (10:52 pm)

        Driving on it every day for the last week or so, it became significantly worse in the last 72 hours. If you were used to where it was a week ago, and planned your route around the tight corner according to that, you might have hit it by accident today. Heavy traffic or rain might make it harder to spot, but also.. a lot of people aren’t paying enough attention, or might not have a vehicle that can adjust in time to miss it. But, again, it has gotten a lot worse in the last few days.

    • Mike May 2, 2023 (10:26 pm)

      Be sure to have a shop check the wheels, steering and suspension for damage.  All added up could be over $1k easily that the state owes you and you’ll have to fight to get it from them.  They’re liable for all damages caused to your vehicle from that hole.

  • KT May 2, 2023 (8:07 pm)

    Kudos to them for closing it before there were any serious injuries!

  • Chris McMahon May 2, 2023 (8:08 pm)

    Thanks so much for this story!!!   I was driving southbound about 7 pm and saw 5-6 varied cars northbound – all with flats – but no obvious collision damage.    Puzzling until I read this story.

  • Wendell May 2, 2023 (8:39 pm)

    I’ve been dodging that pothole (on a motorcycle) for quite some time. Last week it looked like there was a half-a** attempt to fill it in. This week, whatever filler was there was gone and you could see the rebar. It’s several inches deep.

  • flimflam May 2, 2023 (8:40 pm)

    So nobody from WSDOT had any idea that this large hole with rebar sticking out existed?

  • rob May 2, 2023 (8:47 pm)

     this is why we pay our taxes. we expect things as simple as this to be taken care of. is this to much to ask our elected officials to handle

  • Wendell May 2, 2023 (9:58 pm)

    • WSB May 2, 2023 (10:01 pm)


      • Wendell May 3, 2023 (12:07 am)

        May 2nd, around 9:30am. Still extracted from GoPro on my motorcycle. 

        • WSB May 3, 2023 (1:01 am)

          Thank you. Will add to story; there was no way we could see it otherwise, once everything was closed off, and not being in possession of either a helicopter or drone …

      • Burgerman May 3, 2023 (1:01 am)

        WSB – this was there today at 2:00 PM. It’s been there for weeks before that, if not months. Reporting it on finditfixit does no good, right? Since that app is for city stuff only?The State of Washington is obviously negligent for not fixing this sooner. There’s no possible way no state truck or employee ever drove this route over the past months. It has been blatantly obvious for like I said, over a month or more. To my end, I just figured someone else reported it by now. Mea culpa.There was also an expansion joint on 99 getting loose just past the southbound entrance to west bound Bridge from 99. Made horrendous metallic slapping noises when driving over it. I don’t know if that’s been fixed yet; I quit driving that route when I went out for surgery.

        • WSB May 3, 2023 (1:06 am)

          There was chatter Monday about a “steel plate” or “iron door” on 99 in that area and there was a response to that – first police, then WSP, I think. Don’t know if it was the same thing, though, but it was definitely dispatched as a “hazard”…

          • WestSeattleite May 3, 2023 (5:52 pm)

            It was indeed a metal expansion joint that came out from between the sections of cement. C line bus was stopped in front of it and drivers were taking wide turns around. Fairly large and would’ve likely done some damage to standard vehicles. 

  • Rufus May 2, 2023 (9:59 pm)

    I’ve been avoiding that hole in recent trips north  by taking the curve very slowly and making sure none of my tires make contact. It’s clearly a tire shredder, wheel-bender,  etc. . definitely several grades worse than a pothole.  Hopefully fixed tonight! 

  • C May 2, 2023 (10:07 pm)

    Wondering if anyone knows how to complain about the semis lining up just past this on the shoulder on the right hand side. Several times in the past couple of weeks I have almost been in an accident caused by a semi crossing both lanes to try to skirt over to the shoulder right where the merge zone is. Thoughts? 

    • Ban double dump trucks from city limits May 3, 2023 (6:00 am)

      The other day one of those double dump truck semis decided to merge directly into my car. I was lined up just behind the cab. I had to slam on my brakes. So lucky I didn’t get rear ended. There is not enough time for those trucks to get across four lanes to park on the bridge. Those double dump trucks should be banned from city limits, they are so dangerous.

      • Jay May 3, 2023 (11:55 am)

        They’re not legal in most places. First time I saw them was when I moved to Washington and I was shocked.

  • bill May 2, 2023 (10:11 pm)

    Half the problem with road defects is figuring out the correct agency to call. Find It Fix It is for reporting  city of Seattle issues. Sometimes city staff refers reports to other jurisdictions, provided even they can figure out the correct agency. What is needed is a single state-wide office all road problems can be reported to, with staff dedicated to figuring out the correct local agency to handle the problem. Ordinary citizens should not have to devine whether to report problems to the city, county, WSDOT, Sound Transit, or fill-in-the-blank.

  • WSB May 2, 2023 (10:53 pm)

    Update as added above – it won’t be fixed in time for the morning commute. So if you need to get to NB 99, plan an alternate route.

  • Millie May 2, 2023 (11:15 pm)

    I’ve avoided the on-ramp to North 99 since before the closure of the West Seattle Bridge.  The other day I needed to go north and took the off-ramp from the lower Spokane bridge.  To my surprise, perhaps not so much, the same potholes that were there prior to the bridge closure, were still there and “Yes, difficult to avoid”.   Perhaps, we will get a response sometime in the future as to what this was not repaired at the same time as the bridge.   

  • F May 3, 2023 (4:23 am)

    Since we’re in this topic of poor infrastructure. How about the paint job on eastbound bridge (I can’t remember the exact spot). But it looks to me that it’s a 3 lane and not a merge???? I’ve almost been side swiped a couple of times.  

  • Julian May 3, 2023 (5:12 am)

    That thing has been there for about as long as the bridge has been open although it has worsened over time. I pass by it on my motorcycle  on the way to work imagining how it would totally wreck me

  • ARPigeonPoint May 3, 2023 (5:25 am)

    I keep wondering when they plan to fix the curve from the bridge to NB 5 where the rebar is prominent. That one is big and pretty much impossible to avoid, but not yet a “hole.” They could always wait until a bunch of people start losing tires, I suppose…

  • Claudia Williams May 3, 2023 (6:36 am)

    Remember when former mayor Durkin called Seattle a “world class city”? Made me cringe! Just like the picture of the hole in the road.

  • Balderdash May 3, 2023 (8:09 am)

    I guess this shows how shortsighted and non-interconnected the various arms of ‘transportation planning’ have become.  The entire superstructure of the spokane east bound elevated pavement was never really looked at in any meaningful way. So here we are with the local crumbling pavements that need addressing pronto versus taking your time to fix it like it could have been. Are we just going to slapdash this ‘pothole’ like we have been doing?  Maybe some Bondo this time, or super glue.We can’t even figure out who we are supposed to be reporting problems to. That’s one hell of a chasm  that opened up and this general stretch of highway should have opened up minds long ago before this.

  • JunctionResident May 3, 2023 (8:34 am)

    From WSDOT’s Twitter page:

  • Sir Chasm May 3, 2023 (8:51 am)

    Got an estimate from WSDOT. It’ll take two and half years to fix.

    • WSB May 3, 2023 (9:27 am)

      “Until further notice” is the update added above. Longer story later.

      • sam-c May 3, 2023 (9:54 am)

        Oh good grief.    (WSDOT, not WSB)

  • Audifans May 3, 2023 (9:39 am)


  • Juan May 3, 2023 (9:48 am)

    How do you report a problem like this to Wsdot? All the lights on the exit ramp westbound from I-5 to the Spokane St viaduct are not working, can they fix that too?

  • wetone May 3, 2023 (10:32 am)

    I would be very leery of that roadway if that’s a different area than last hole repair. That whole ramp should be ultrasonic tested. These are holes through structure, not a pothole. Totally different animals. They shut down WS High Rise for a lot less damage than seen here……….and yes I know you will say, most damage on H R wasn’t visible yada yada yada…….. Spokane st viaduct and this ramp should of been looked into during bridge closure and repairs done during that time. ……..

  • Boinsted May 3, 2023 (11:10 am)

    From King 5 News 

  • Riiiiiiight May 3, 2023 (11:11 am)

    Not like they had 2 years or something with the bridge closed to look at the road surface and standing water issues :)

    • Andros May 3, 2023 (10:44 pm)

      No kidding. This is gross mismanagement and really some heads should roll for this. 

  • Everything is Awesome May 3, 2023 (11:37 am)

    Makes me think of the “Lego Movie” theme: “Everything is awesome. Everything is great when you are part of a team.”

  • Ash May 3, 2023 (11:54 am)

    Early estimate is that it’ll be closed for 10 days, per WSDOT’s Twitter:

  • Mel May 3, 2023 (12:02 pm)

    Reminder to anyone that had tire damage to file a claim for repair.  This city is beyond negligent in keeping our roads safe.  

    • WSB May 3, 2023 (12:16 pm)

      I realize some people are using “city” generically but especially when you’re talking claims, it’s important again to stress that this is a state government facility. I have the address (and it’ll be in the full update within an hour or so, we are on our way back from the scene) for people who need to file claims, obtained from the WSDOT spokesperson:

  • Hammer I. hand May 3, 2023 (12:13 pm)

    This ramp has been ban-aided for years as iseastbound out to I5thank SDot for the forward thinking maintenance same sh*t different day

  • Anthony May 3, 2023 (12:17 pm)

    “At least 10 days.” I am having PTWSBD (post traumatic West Seattle Bridge Disorder).

  • MargyH May 3, 2023 (12:28 pm)

    Not a pothole— this is a hole right through the ramp.  Going to take more than 10 days to properly repair.   Be careful driving out there!

  • Bee May 3, 2023 (12:44 pm)

    As someone whom used to work for this state for many years, what’s true is that if you try to lead your workers in any exemplary way, literally Everyone will come after you. The only way to get their real attention is to get together and file a small class action lawsuit for damages.

  • TK May 3, 2023 (12:49 pm)

    March 23, 2020. Remember that date? The West Seattle bridge “is closed until further notice”.Sounds familiar? Closed for 2-1/2 years!

  • anonyme May 3, 2023 (1:39 pm)

    How in hell could such a major defect go undetected and unrepaired for the years that the bridge was closed, and what does this say about upgraded maintenance since it was reopened?  I really think that the time has come for taxpayers to be able to sue elected and unelected officials responsible for such abhorrent incompetence.

    • WSB May 3, 2023 (3:08 pm)

      This doesn’t address how long the hole was known about etc. However, it’s also worth noting (it’ll be in the followup) that this ramp was NOT closed during the West Seattle Bridge closure. It remained in use by traffic coming up from eastbound Spokane Street to connect to 99. They had to close it for a while one year ago to repair the other hole we noted.

  • LyndaB May 3, 2023 (2:20 pm)

    I just wanna say if you see a road hazard, be it an object in the road, someone losing their load, or this type of urgent structural problem, call 911.  That’s an emergency.

Sorry, comment time is over.