Months-long closure of Fairmount Avenue part of Admiral Way Bridge project plan

As promised, last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association community gathering brought new information about the Admiral Way Bridge earthquake-strengthening project – one of two seismic retrofits planned in West Seattle this year (the other, the Delridge/Oregon foot/bike overpass, is already under way). An SDOT rep, Dr. Matthew Howard, was at the meeting. Though ANA was not able to display his slide deck, we received a copy from SDOT (see it here, with selected slides below). First, a bit of background – as noted previously, this bridge is actually two bridges:

At the time of our most-recent update, published in March 2023, SDOT said the project would be completed this year. That timeline has slid a bit – they’re now expecting to start in June, but with an expected duration of up to nine months, it’ll stretch into 2025.

The points that generated the most discussion at the meeting involved the traffic effects expected while the work is under way – including a total closure of Fairmount Avenue beneath the bridge(s), for the entirety of the project:

The Fairmount closure drew more interest than the lane and bridge closures planned up top. Detour plans are yet to be finalized, Howard said, so he promised to get back to the group with more information about those. Same goes, he said, for neighbors on the streets closest to the bridge – they’ll get route plans but not until the work is close to starting.

He also was asked about the contractor and cost and said neither was finalized yet. (However, the city’s bidding website says the project has been awarded to Max J. Kuney Co., total base price $7.1 million.)

P.S. We’ll report on the rest of the ANA meeting’s toplines – primarily focused on the summer events the group is presenting – later.

23 Replies to "Months-long closure of Fairmount Avenue part of Admiral Way Bridge project plan"

  • sf May 15, 2024 (11:55 am)

    The people of Olga will have their voice heard (and likely drown out anyone else)!

    Stay tuned below!

  • Admiral-2009 May 15, 2024 (12:07 pm)

    Yes the bridge retrofit is needed, the City needs to provide mitigation to reduce the impacts during construction:

    Fairmont Avenue is a significant pedestrian and bike route with no reasonable alternatives.  It’s incredulous the City is even thinking about closing this route to pedestrian and bicycle use.  

    Further no traffic mitigation plan was presented to reduce traffic impacts to residential streets.

    • Kyle May 15, 2024 (12:55 pm)

      Would be even safer if they put in a sidewalk.

    • Dubious May 15, 2024 (3:10 pm)

      Is it really a “significant pedestrian and bike route”? Do you have any numbers to back that up? I don’t think it’s a very busy street: I’ve rarely seen anyone else going down/up it.

      No reasonable alternatives? A detour to the north on Ferry would only add about three minutes of walking and less for a bike. Taking California is another option. This closure isn’t a big deal.

      • Sam May 15, 2024 (8:23 pm)

        I ride up in several times per week. It’s one of the best hill climbs in WS that’s easily accessible from both directions. Anecdotal, I know. But as someone who uses it all the time, it would be a huge bummer. 

      • Sam May 15, 2024 (8:26 pm)

        I ride up it several times per week. It’s one of the best hill climbs in WS that’s easily accessible from both directions. Anecdotal, I know. But as someone who uses it all the time, it would be a huge bummer. It’s nice in the summer because it’s fully shaded. Ferry is quite a bit steeper, but Fauntleroy is longer. Kind of apples and oranges. But hey, if you say it’s no big deal, who am I to disagree?

        • Sam May 15, 2024 (8:53 pm)

          Correction: I meant Fairmount, not Fauntleroy. 

    • Me mama May 15, 2024 (5:58 pm)

      Incredulous? Seems pretty common sense to need to close the immediate area beneath the construction (Fairmount ave)   

    • RayWest May 16, 2024 (7:00 pm)

      I often drive up Fairmount coming back from Alki because I enjoy the rural feel.  I see few, if any, pedestrians walking along here and even less bikers. That’s not to say they don’t use it, but I do not think the temporary closure will have a significant impact.  

  • Sam May 15, 2024 (1:25 pm)

    This question is a long shot, but does anyone know if there will be further updates to the Fauntleroy Way Boulevard Project before light rail is built in?

    The public website is long dormant, and it’s been more than 4 years since the near-term changes were completed.

    38th at Fauntleroy is badly in need of a crosswalk (just as one example), but it’s looking like SDOT has all but written the Triangle off.

  • onion May 15, 2024 (4:12 pm)

    Under ‘slope stabilization,’ I hope some attention is paid to the ‘look’ of the underpass. The current slope attracts a lot of trash and takes inordinate effort to maintain. And aesthetically its the one negative on an otherwise gem of a street. Note to newcomers: If you have never driven, walked, or biked Fairmount I encourage you to do so. It’s beautiful and unique. Kudos if you bike it uphill!  I’ll miss it while it is closed.

    • Tim J May 18, 2024 (10:14 am)

      There are plans to address the erosion issues with rockery, landscaping, and plantings.

  • Bdubbs7 May 15, 2024 (8:06 pm)

    Why does everything in this state/country take 9 months to 10 years. Speed it up! 

    • Kristen J May 17, 2024 (7:09 am)

      The gaping hole in the bridge off ramp about a year ago where you could see the street below was fixed in two weeks! So we know it’s possible!

  • WSPK May 15, 2024 (8:45 pm)

    Fairmont, especially during the summer, does get a fair amount of bike and pedestrian traffic. It would be nice if they could maintain a lane, but that may just not be possible or acceptably risk-free. Yes, it would be wonderful to have the slopes cleaned, stabilized, and….. not trashed by trolls who live there. 

  • Diane May 16, 2024 (8:18 am)

    how will the people who live on Fairmount get to and from their homes?

    • grix May 16, 2024 (11:47 am)

      They drive up from Harbor Ave, not that complicated.

  • Joe Z May 16, 2024 (9:49 am)

    Between Fairmount, Ferry, and California there are three ways to get up the hill in that area. It won’t be a big deal to have it closed.  

  • hahaha May 16, 2024 (9:59 am)

    I’ve been living on Fairmount for years (note the “u”, it’s not Fairmont). 

    The peace & serenity we enjoy, especially in summer months will only get better.  My closest neighbor is 100 yards away, can barely see their house with the full canopy of leaves. 

    I won’t miss the cars flying past my house or the Lance Armstrong wannabees, it’s a 20mph zone with no sidewalks … but you don’t care about that. 

    So I have to do the detour drive to get to Safeway & Metropolitan Market, eh that’s very acceptable considering our peaceful wooded oasis will only get better this summer … and please, take your time with construction!

  • Admiral-2009 May 16, 2024 (11:27 am)

    Joe – I would anticipate car traffic on California to be significantly higher than currently exists.  I bike up this route routinely and with the current low traffic it works.  With increased traffic it would not be comfortable.  And the grade on Ferry Ave  makes Fairmont look easy.  

    For pedestrians Fairmont provides a direct route to the Water Taxi.  The City routinely makes Contractor’s maintain pedestrian access and providing a protected passage is reasonable.  Further there are a number of residences off Fairmont north of the bridge and they would be cut off from being able to walk to the grocery store, Schools and Hiawatha Park without a significant detour that is not practical!

    • Joe Z May 16, 2024 (11:53 am)

      Yeah that’s how it works when there is a detour, the alternative routes get more traffic and people are slightly inconvenienced. 

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