CLOSURE ALERT: SDOT to close West Seattle low bridge October 7-14

(SDOT photo, January)

SDOT announced today that it’s set the date for a surface-traffic closure starting October 7th and lasting “approximately one week” to reinstall the cylinder removed last January. From the announcement:

… The next step in the maintenance process is to reinstall the turn cylinder that was removed from the low bridge’s east pier housing last winter for refurbishment. When the east pier’s cylinder was removed last December, preparations to overhaul all four of the bridge’s hydraulic turning cylinders were actually already underway as part of our comprehensive repair and maintenance effort. When the unexpected damage to the cylinder occurred, the planning work we had already completed enabled us to quickly jump into developing a response plan and likely allowed us to complete repairs sooner than if we had been starting from scratch.

The turn cylinder overhaul work will replace or repair these parts so that they can continue to function as originally designed, and can be readily replaced if needed, as part of our ongoing preventative maintenance work on this bridge.

From Saturday, October 7 through Saturday, October 14, 2023, crews will reinstall the repaired turn cylinder inside the east pier housing that was removed in early 2023. The remaining three turn cylinders will also be rehabilitated in the future. This operation will require us to close the low bridge for people driving, biking, and walking for approximately one week. Our work will be vital to keep the bridge reliably in operation for today and the future.

The announcement also says that free Transit GO credits will be provided so you can take a daily bus or Water Taxi round trip at no charge. (Metro had previously announced that the Water Taxi will be out of service October 14-15 for winter preparation, so we’re checking to see if the low-bridge closure is expected to end by October 14, or whether some overlap is possible.)

22 Replies to "CLOSURE ALERT: SDOT to close West Seattle low bridge October 7-14"

  • CarDriver September 25, 2023 (5:43 pm)

    Will all the buses and commercial trucks be routed over the high bridge? Does SDOT have any weight restrictions for trucks on the high bridge??

    • Reed September 25, 2023 (7:57 pm)

      How about some car restrictions as well? 

    • Opie September 25, 2023 (10:51 pm)

      You mean how the federal government weight restrictions? 

  • What about bikes? September 25, 2023 (6:15 pm)

    Will they do the big orange cone bike lane on first ave again for a bike de-tour?

  • bolo September 25, 2023 (8:02 pm)

    From the above referenced SDT Blog “Free Transit GO credits” link:

    “How to access bus and water taxi credits during the low bridge closure:

    Download the Transit Go Ticket app and create an account.
    Click on “Rewards,” select “More,” then tap “Rewards Code” and enter code LOWBRIDGE.  
    Tap “Claim” and then the “Redeem” tab; you will see “Low Bridge Closure” tickets available for King County Metro Bus or King County Water Taxi.
    Select the ticket of your choice and tap “Redeem for Free” and “View Ticket.” You can see your tickets any time under “Use”.
    When you are ready to ride, tap on your ticket and then “Activate”; show it to your transit operator.
    Visit “Redeem” to follow these steps again for your reverse trip.
    Once you’ve used this code, it will allow you to redeem two tickets for each further day the bridge is closed (while supplies last). Just visit Redeem tab in Rewards for those additional tickets. ”

    ERROR: Does not accept the listed password code.

    Has anyone else encountered this difficulty?

    If So:

    BIG FAIL. Why should it be so difficult? Guaranteed many boomers and older will not be able to access this offer.

    • Non-boomer but arthritic September 25, 2023 (9:12 pm)

      I’m familiar with the app and use it somewhat regularly and the code didn’t work for me either.

      • Amy September 25, 2023 (10:04 pm)


        • Generation X September 26, 2023 (4:56 pm)

          Don’t do apps and I’m not a Boomer.  Welcome to Seattle.  We  tolerate everyone who has a cell phone!  

          • you made the choice October 1, 2023 (10:38 pm)

            This awful take is unfortunately common in these discussions. Don’t claim oppression because you’re choosing to not have a cell phone. If you don’t do apps, you’re just like the Vashon ferry riders without bank accounts or farmer’s market shoppers who parallel park their F-250’s. You’re choosing your handicap and it’s not fair to others to expect tolerance for your impudent. You clearly have the dexterity and communication skills to navigate this website. If you’re choosing hardship, don’t trash the city you choose to inhabit.

    • skeeter September 26, 2023 (9:19 am)

      Hey all.  Try using the app/password on October 7.  I bet it will work.  (It did last time.)  It’s unsurprising the free ride doesn’t work now — it really doesn’t make sense to give people free transit a week before the closure.  

    • DC September 26, 2023 (10:35 am)

      I saw a tweet from SDOT saying the code will not be active until the closure is active. Try again on October 7. 

      • bolo September 26, 2023 (12:08 pm)

        OK, thanks. I was just trying to be proactive instead of my usual procrastinating and getting stuck at the last minute.

  • Eddie September 25, 2023 (8:10 pm)

    Might as well fix the bike counter on the east side of the bridge while they’re at it. It’s shown “444” daily crossings each day for the last 5 or 6 weeks.

    • bolo September 25, 2023 (8:57 pm)

      YES! I noticed that too! Thought it was my lucky omen! Went to Emerald Downs and bet $444 on the 4th horse in the 4th race!

      Horse came in 4th. No bueno :-(

  • Admiral-2009 September 25, 2023 (8:18 pm)

    When was the Water Taxi to be revamped?  Per my recollection it was the weekend of 14th also.  If my recollection is correct this would be bad timing.

    • WSB September 25, 2023 (8:47 pm)

      That’s mentioned in the story.

  • Question Authority September 25, 2023 (9:15 pm)

    That refurbishment seemed to take quite a bit longer than I would expect.  (Disclaimer)  I have an diverse and lenghty background in heavy machinery and repair.  To disassemble, inspect, determine scope, source materials, set-up tooling, machine, rebuild surfaces, install new component’s, test, paint and package does take time, just not that much.  SDOT has all the original design specifications and parts list in it’s archive and there are plenty of local firms capable of the work.  Make no mistake that turning cylinder is big, but normal in the big world of fixing and just another day at the office for some firms and employees.  In addition, I’ve worked on it and it’s just a big dumb chunk of iron and not a lunar lander.

  • Admiral-2009 September 25, 2023 (10:09 pm)

    Thank you 

  • Neighbor September 26, 2023 (8:42 am)

    As a relatively new West Seattle resident and new to the PNW, could someone tell me what the “low bridge” is?

    • HarbourIslandworker September 26, 2023 (8:57 am)

      Hello neighbor… it’s the bridge that connects West Seattle to Harbor Island it’s considered a movable bridge because it can open and close for marine traffic… typically marine traffic that needs to go up and down to the Duwamish river

  • Cecily Nagel September 26, 2023 (8:43 am)

    I drove across high bridge heading east 9/25. Very concerned about this closure and more heavy trucks.  An increase in pot holes which are already getting worse with the rain. Please alert SDOT to work on paving the sections that are bad!

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