Transportation 3139 results

West Seattle Transportation Coalition sails into discussion of ferries, Water Taxi role in bridge crisis

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

What role might boats play in the West Seattle Bridge crisis?

That was the major theme as the West Seattle Transportation Coalition met by teleconference and phone last week, with guests speaking on behalf of the two waterborne transportation systems that already serve West Seattle.

You can watch the archived video of the meeting here; below, our report:

WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES: Government-relations director John Vezina and communicator Hadley Rodero were the guests. They addressed some points that have come up repeatedly in West Seattle Bridge-related discussion:

*Does/did traffic from ferries help clog the bridge? This slide addressed that:

Read More

Washington State Ferries to remain on reduced schedule TFN

Just in from Washington State Ferries:

Until further notice, all state ferries will operate on their current reduced schedules with the option for phased service changes based on the COVID-19 recovery and several other factors.

Any changes in service to Washington State Ferries’ current COVID Response Service Plan will be based on four metrics, all of which will be considered before any modifications are made on any route:

· Ridership – Recent system-wide numbers remain down more than 60% compared to this time last year.

· Crew availability – More than 150 crewmembers are either people who are at higher risk for severe illness or unavailable due to the pandemic.

· Vessel availability – There is a lack of boats available for service due to the maintenance shutdown earlier this year, combined with a continued reduction of U.S. Coast Guard inspection capacity.

· Funding – Washington State Department of Transportation is currently losing millions in revenue from the gas tax, state ferry farebox recovery, etc.

“Given the constraints associated with our four pillars of service, we unfortunately cannot increase our number of sailings based on ridership alone,” said Amy Scarton, head of WSF. “As we enter what is normally our peak season, our priority as always is to provide service based on the safety of our passengers and crews.”

SOUND TRANSIT: Will money crunch derail West Seattle light-rail schedule?

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The coronavirus-crisis money crunch could force Sound Transit to delay and/or cut some of its upcoming projects – and everything’s on the table, including the plan to bring light rail to West Seattle in 2030.

Potential scenarios for funding gaps, and potential ways to address them, were presented to the ST Board at a Wednesday afternoon workshop. We watched it online. Here’s the slide deck (also, here in PDF):

Chief Financial Officer Tracy Butler started with the grim numbers. When you look at them, keep in mind that sales tax provides a big chunk of ST’s funding. And since sales are way down, sales tax is too. Projecting out to the end of ST3 in 2041, they could be down $8 billion in a “moderate” recession, $12 billion in a “severe” one.

They can’t just borrow their way out of it, because they project costs would start exceeding theirc combined debt limit around 2028. So that’s when their current plan starts becoming “unaffordable.”

One way to tackle that might be to increase their debt limit – which would require supermajority voter approval. Also, they could try to raise revenue to increasing rental-car taxes and fares (both dicey propositions right now since the virus has squashed travel and transit use).

Or – they could cut costs by scaling down, stretching out, or delaying projects. “The choice doesn’t need to be IF you’re going to do a given project, but WHEN,” said Don Billen, ST’s executive director of planning.

ST has 10 projects in the pipeline for 2025-2041 completion, including the West Seattle branch in 2030. No specific projects were proposed for changes or delays in this discussion, but it was suggested that, for example, any given project could be stretched out or even built in segments, as has happened in South King County.

Where the West Seattle extension starts to look a bit endangered is in the potential criteria for suggesting changes, such as whether the project advances the system “spine” (no), whether it must “be completed for other projects to happen” (no), and whether “communities the project serves have other transit options” (yes).

No specific projects were discussed at the workshop, and no decisions were made. Next step is a discussion of the decision-making criteria at the board’s next Executive Committee meeting (originally planned for today but postponed until sometime next week), followed by a broader discussion at the full board meeting June 23, and decisions sometime this summer.

In the meantime, the West Seattle light-rail line – one of the projects in the 2016 ST3 ballot measure – remains in the environmental-study phase, with the next milestone currently scheduled to be the draft Environmental Impact Statement’s release early next year. ST spokesperson David Jackson tells WSB, “Work continues on the West Seattle-Ballard project, but plans and timelines of all projects not currently under contract or in construction are subject to change as part of our realignment process.”

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: City starts process of seeking replacement designer; decision timeline expected soon

(WSB file photo)

10:27 AM: Just published on the city website this morning – a solicitation for potential bidders to design a replacement in case the city determines the West Seattle Bridge can’t be fixed. The solicitation suggests the design could cost $50 million to $150 million and could be a 10-year project. From the solicitation:


Project: SDOT 20-018 West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Replacement Design

The City of Seattle, through Seattle Department of Transportation, requests Statements of Qualifications (SOQ) from qualified engineering firms for SDOT 20-018 West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Replacement Design .

This contract is estimated to be approximately $50 Million to $150 Million. This is anticipated to be a multi-year phased contract, for approximately ten years, as needed to deliver a partial or full replacement of the bridge. More detail to the schedule will be developed during the course of 2020 as scope direction is confirmed and, in an attempt, to accelerate the design and construction to the greatest extent practicable. It is anticipated that this contract will receive federal funds and therefore will proceed under this assumption.

On March 23, 2020, the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge was closed to vehicle traffic. This bridge is the City’s top arterial by volume, typically carrying an average of over 100,000 cars, trucks and buses every week. The bridge’s deterioration at an accelerated rate required a full closure for the safety of all users. Since that time, SDOT has continued to inspect and monitor the structure. There is a currently a design and construction team under contract working on the necessary steps to stabilize the structure and reduce the risk of failure. Next steps are to separately investigate a repair to the bridge for opening to traffic and to develop a replacement design. This solicitation is to obtain a comprehensive engineering team(s) to design a replacement of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge. Core functions include: Alternatives/Analysis/Planning, Structural Bridge, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Architecture, Marine Design, Environmental and Permitting including Army Corps of Engineer and Tribes, Right-of-Way services, Survey, Planning and Traffic Analysis, Geotechnical Engineering, Project Management, Communications, Grant Writing Services, Construction Phasing, Constructability and Real Property Services. This work will require extensive coordination and coordination with stakeholders, partners (such as the Sound Transit and the Port), and elected officials, including a project specific Technical Advisory Panel, and other consultants and contractors.

An online Pre-submittal meeting is planned for Tuesday, June 9th at 1:00 p.m. Additional meeting details to follow.

The solicitation sets the deadline for “statements of qualifications” to be received by the city by June 30th. SDOT tells us they’ll have more to say about this soon.

10:44 AM: SDOT’s reply to our request for comment: “While we are making rapid progress on our efforts to stabilize and repair the bridge – an initial set of actions we must take no matter what, to preserve public safety – we need to have all pieces in place to quickly pivot if it becomes clear that fixing the bridge is no longer an option due to continued deterioration.” So today’s posting is “the start of our search for a team to design a potential replacement bridge while we simultaneously continue working towards a possible repair.”

11:25 AM: SDOT has now posted about this here. The post says in part:

… Eventually we will reach a critical decision point to repair or replace the bridge
We expect to complete our analysis on the structural stability of the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge later this summer, thanks to all the systems put in place over the past few weeks and months to gather more information. This information is critical to understanding whether repairs to the bridge are still possible or if we must instead immediately pursue some method of replacement for the high-rise span of the West Seattle Bridge. … We will share more about upcoming decision points in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, planning for all trajectories simultaneously allows us to be nimble at every step of the way.

12:06 PM: The 10-year timeframe has grabbed the most attention, and SDOT offers this clarification: “The solicitation is not suggesting that it could take 10 years to replace the bridge. We just need to build in in flexibility since there is a scenario in which we repair the bridge to last up to a decade and then still need to design a replacement bridge in that timeframe.”

12:38 PM: We just talked by phone with Heather Marx from SDOT. Next thing to look for: She says that within a few days, they’ll release a timeline and a decision tree to explain what’s next, and within a few weeks they should have enough information from ongoing bridge monitoring to know whether the bridge is “strong enough to repair,” or whether they need to just move on to replacement planning.

Is the bridge still cracking? Yes, but still at a slower rate than before it was closed March 23rd.

Where would bridge-replacement money come from? They’ve been in discussions with the city budget office.

Other processes continue in parallel – traffic planning (within a few weeks they’ll be able to talk about low-bridge restriction changes), for example.

And as for various ways in which the bridge might be replaced – bridge with light rail, underwater tunnel, other suggestions – Marx says nothing’s been ruled out yet. (Regarding light rail, which is supposed to cross the Duwamish River on its own high-level bridge, SDOT has been asked to appear before a Sound Transit Board committee meeting later this week.)

Crash closes Pigeon Point stairway

Thanks to Jack for tweeting the photo. The 19th SW/SW Charlestown stairway (map) is taped off after an overnight crash. We heard a collision call there in the very early morning hours but no details; Pigeon Point resident Pete tells us the driver “missed the dead-end sgns and headed down the stairs toward Marginal Way; police had to have a tow truck pull it back up the stairs.” It’s been reported to SDOT for repairs.

How might ferries factor into fixing traffic without the West Seattle Bridge? WSF @ WS Transportation Coalition on Thursday

Many have wondered how Washington State Ferries might factor into the traffic picture during the West Seattle Bridge closure. Tomorrow, WSF guests at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s meeting, and you’re invited. Here’s the announcement:

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition May meeting is this Thursday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m. We will be meeting online using Zoom (please see details below).

Before Everything Changed, we had representatives from Washington State Ferries lined up to come talk about long-range plans for the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route. Now with the West Seattle High Bridge closure, we will also be discussing what the ferry system can do to help take pressure off West Seattle roads.

Officials from Seattle and King County will be joining us as well to talk about West Seattle mobility and bridge closure mitigation.

… We can’t wait to see you online Thursday for what should be a very interesting virtual meeting!

West Seattle Transportation Coalition is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting:

Thursday, May 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Zoom Meeting ID 876 0979 0501
On the web:
Via phone: +12532158782,,87609790501#

Our coverage of last month’s WSTC meeting is here.

TRAFFIC-ALERT REMINDER: Low-bridge work Friday-Sunday nights

Reminder – work on the low bridge will close it to all users (including those on bikes or on foot) Friday night, Saturday night, and possibly Sunday night:

As first announced last week, SDOT will …

… be closing the low bridge to vehicle, bike, and pedestrian traffic while we are working at night because we will not be able to open and close the bridge in a normal manner.

As a result, roadway traffic, including freight and buses, will be detoured to the 1st Ave or the South Park bridges. The low bridge will also be closed to bicyclists and pedestrians, and emergency vehicles will have limited access across the bridge. Waterway traffic will be maintained.

These restrictions will only be in place at night while we are working during the following hours:
Friday night: 8 PM to 5 AM
Saturday night: 6 PM to 3 AM
Sunday night: 6 PM to 3 AM (if needed)

During those hours, buses will be re-routed – here’s the Metro advisory:

From Friday evening, May 29, through the end of service on Sunday, May 31, overnight only each night, Metro routes 21 Local, 50, 120 and the RapidRide C Line will be operating a modified reroute via the 1st Av S bridge due to maintenance on the lower-level Spokane St bridge.

…Routes 21 Local, 50, 120 and the RapidRide C Line will travel instead via W Marginal Way SW and the 1st Av S bridge. There are no additional stops missed during this modified reroute. Expect possible service delays. At all other times, these routes will continue using their long-term reroutes via the lower level Spokane St Bridge.

SDOT says the closure is for “necessary maintenance work on the low bridge’s controls and communications systems that are used to operate the bridge.”

Rad Power Bikes: Welcome, new West Seattle Blog sponsor

Today we welcome Rad Power Bikes as a new WSB sponsor. New sponsors get to tell you about their businesses; here’s what Rad Power Bikes would like you to know:

Mike Radenbaugh built his first electric bike in his parents’ garage in 2007 as a way to get to and from high school. For years, Mike worked solo, converting his friends’ traditional bikes into electric bikes and customizing each to fit their riding style. He joined forces with childhood friend and college roommate Ty Collins, and in 2015 they relaunched Rad Power Bikes as a direct-to-consumer company with their flagship model — the legendary RadRover electric fat-tire bike.

What started as a passion project is now the largest e-bike brand in North America, with more than 100,000 owners of all ages riding Rad across 30 countries.

Electric bikes give you all the fun, freedom, and flexibility of traditional bikes with just a little extra oompf when and where you need it. Whether that means crushing hills with pedal assist from the electric motor or freeing yourself from your car commute a day or two a week, e-bikes make getting there easier.

You’ll never have to pick out the right neon-colored spandex for weekend rides, or hang out in a bike shop pretending to know what you’re talking about, or even show up drenched in sweat when you bike to work.

It’s an e-bike revolution — one that makes it easier than ever to ditch your car.

At Rad Power Bikes, we envision a world where transportation is energy-efficient, enjoyable, and accessible to all. Ride with us and you get an unrivaled customer experience with radical electric bikes that are built for everything and priced for everyone.

With flexible financing options, you can start riding for as little as $39 a month — less than a cup of coffee a day (or a twelver a week ;).

Our judgment-free product-support team is available 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have. Seriously. They’ve heard it all.

Most of all, our e-bikes make getting around fun and environmentally friendly. When every trip’s an adventure, you may even start to look forward to your commute.

You can contact Rad Power Bikes through their website.

We thank Rad Power Bikes for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.


If you live and/or work in Highland Park, Riverview, or South Delridge, your community council HPAC invites you to the monthly meeting online tonight at 7 pm, featuring guests from SDOT. The main topic: The newly unveiled details of the Highland Park Way/Holden Safety Project. A brief West Seattle Bridge update is planned too. See the agenda, and how to access the meeting via Zoom or phone, by going here.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: See who’s on the Community Task Force and Technical Advisory Panel, plus, what else is happening

(WSB photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

As we first reported last weekend, the mayor has set up a community advisory group for the West Seattle Bridge project, and it’s being formally announced today. So are details of the technical advisory group that was already in the works. We also have a general update on what’s up with the bridge, two months after it was closed.

First, the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force. It’ll be co-chaired by Greg Nickels, the West Seattle-residing former mayor who’s remained active in transportation advocacy, and Paulina Lopez, a longtime South Park community leader/advocate. From the announcement:

… we are launching the Task Force to ensure that the many voices and concerns of the community are not only heard, but consistently advocated for.

The group is comprised of elected officials and representatives from West Seattle businesses, neighborhood groups from the Junction to Georgetown to South Park to Highland Park to SODO, and industrial and maritime businesses and their workers.

Members will help ensure transparency, clear communication, and broad community engagement and understanding around both traffic mitigation efforts and the future path forward for the West Seattle
High-Rise Bridge as we address new data, public input, fiscal challenges, and many other important factors that will inform consideration of repair versus replace scenarios.

Here’s who else is on the Community Task Force:

Read More

MEMORIAL DAY 2020: West Seattle notes

(Bald Eagle, photographed by Mark Wangerin)

Good morning. Notes for the holiday:


Metro: Sunday schedule

Water Taxi: Not running

Sound Transit: Sunday schedule


Our page highlighting local cameras is here

SDOT’s map with cameras and alerts from around the city is here

(Bald Eagles, photographed by Dan Ciske)


Stop by American Legion Post 160 (3618 SW Alaska) if you are out – details in our preview, including BBQ food – with a discount for veterans – next door!


3 pm – play if you can!

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: What’s up, 2 months later

=(Photo courtesy Kevin Freitas, originally published on Twitter)

Two months ago tonight, on March 23rd, the West Seattle Bridge was closed because of collapse concerns, with only a few hours’ warning to the public. Will it ever reopen? The city has yet to announce whether it considers the bridge fixable. Here’s a quick look at some of what’s been happening in the meantime:

MAYOR ASSEMBLING COMMUNITY TASK FORCE: Earlier this month, as reported here, the District 1 Community Network suggested a stakeholders’ group of some sort was needed, to be sure the community has a voice in key decisions. Multiple sources have confirmed to WSB that Mayor Durkan is doing exactly that. Who’s on it, and what it’ll be charged with, we don’t know yet; we asked the mayor’s office for comment when we got first word of this, but no answers yet.

OTHER GROUPS: The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce also has a committee focused on the bridge closure, and the new community coalition West Seattle Bridge Now continues ramping up.

BUT WHAT’S HAPPENING *ON* THE BRIDGE? Monitoring instrumentation has been installed, and a three-scenario emergency-response plan spells out what happens if those instruments – or the daily inspections – show it’s on the verge of collapse. To try to avoid that, stabilization work is planned; SDOT announced the contractor for that three weeks ago.

GETTING AROUND WITHOUT THE BRIDGE: SDOT is working on neighborhood-specific traffic plans, which director Sam Zimbabwe says will be ready – at least in draft version – in early June.

WHERE TO GET UPDATES: SDOT has a catch-all page for its bridge updates and background info, here; all our 50+ bridge-related reports dating back to the closure announcement is archived here.

DELRIDGE WAY PROJECT: Construction starting soon to pave the way for RapidRide H Line

Back in March, we reported on the final design of the next big (planned) road project in West Seattle, Delridge Way repaving (north of Orchard) and other changes to accompany the conversion of Metro Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line. Today, SDOT announced construction will start as soon as June 8th, and launched an “online open house” with key points of the project, including a video presentation. Take some time to go through it – a lot of information is interactive/nested, requiring a click or a pull to see – and then note the feedback opportunity at the end. Also, we have a followup meeting with SDOT tomorrow for an in-depth preview as we traditionally do for major transportation projects, so we’ll be watching to see what comes up in comments. The H Line is scheduled to start service in fall 2021,

HELPING: Special delivery for National Guard members deployed to White Center Food Bank

(WSB photos/video)

Like the West Seattle Food Bank, the White Center Food Bank – which serves part of WS too – is among the food banks getting help from the Washington National Guard. And today, the helpers got some help themselves – eight bicycles!

That’s Stephen Rowley from Cascade Bicycle Club. Today, he delivered loaner bikes to the WCFB for the National Guard members to use. Their leader, Sgt. Aaron Smith, explained:

Rowley told us that these bicycles are usually used in activities at schools, but since those aren’t happening right now, they were available.

The borrowers are expected to keep them for several weeks.

HIGHLAND PARK WAY/HOLDEN: What’s proposed next, for the intersection and beyond

9:45 AM MONDAY: For decades, the Highland Park community has been fighting for safety upgrades at Highland Park Way and Holden. Within a week of the West Seattle Bridge closure, a “temporary” signal was rushed into place, followed by a few other tweaks. But SDOT promised the full “safety project” would still happen, and has just officially unveiled an early-stage plan, outlined in a flyer that arrived in some HP mailboxes over the weekend (thanks for the tips!). It spans other streets too, despite the title, but HP Way/Holden is the heart of it. Here’s what the proposal looks like:

(You can see it larger here in PDF.) The plan includes a protected bike lane on the uphill side of Highland Park Way, from West Marginal Way SW at the bottom of the hill to Holden at the top. That is discussed further, along with other nearby plans, in the slide deck presented by project developer James Le in this video from the project website:

Here are two key slides showing potential side-street “traffic calming” (Monday afternoon update – the entire deck is now online):

Once you’ve considered all that, you can take the “early design survey” in which you’re asked to prioritize what you think the area needs. It’s open through May 31st. A few days before that, SDOT expects to be part of the next monthly HPAC meeting – 7 pm Wednesday, May 27th; watch for details at

11:16 AM TUESDAY: We asked SDOT to clarify the channelization proposal for the Highland Park Way hill, and the reply, just in, confirms the interpretation that one lane is proposed for downhill motor-vehicle traffic:

Highland Park Way SW between SW Holden St and West Marginal Way currently has two southbound lanes and two northbound lanes. Creating a southbound uphill protected bike lane would provide a needed bike connection between the Duwamish Trail and the Highland Park neighborhood. Creating space for this bike lane would require removing one downhill, northbound car lane. This change would also have a safety benefit by reducing speeding toward West Marginal Way.

Traffic modeling and counts of the number of turning vehicles conducted prior to the West Seattle bridge closure indicated that removing the northbound car lane would have a minimal impact to traffic. However, we know that Highland Park Way SW is one of the most heavily used detour routes into and out of West Seattle. We have been listening closely to community comments and monitoring traffic since the bridge was closed and expect to make a decision on this proposed change in the coming weeks based on the community’s input and new traffic data.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: 4 traffic updates from Councilmember Herbold’s newsletter

This week’s West Seattle Bridge closure update in Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s weekly newsletter includes 4 new updates related to traffic – first, the latest volumes at key points around the area:

Traffic levels continue to be high in the most recent counts on West Marginal, and are up slightly on the South Park Bridge, Roxbury and 15th, 35th and Raymond, and on East Marginal Way and 1st Avenue South. Citywide traffic levels are around 50% of normal volume.

Second, Herbold’s newsletter also says travel times for West Marginal Way SW are now available via the message boards at Admiral Way/34th SW, Fauntleroy Way/38th SW, and 35th SW/SW Snoqualmie.

Third, something related to the traffic-management planning mentioned in last night’s “Town Hall”:

SDOT is working on neighborhood-based traffic management plans to prepare for the significantly higher levels we can expect. Draft plans for the neighborhoods that will see increased traffic off the peninsula (e.g. South Park, Highland Park/South Delridge/Riverview/Roxhill, as well as SODO and Georgetown) will be released for public comment and further work with the community in early June; SDOT has met with a number of community groups and committed to further meetings to discussing the draft plans. SDOT is considering public suggestions. You can send ideas to SDOT directly at I’m happy to pass on suggestions as well.

And fourth, regarding the oft-suggested idea of moving some ferry traffic from the Fauntleroy dock:

Washington State Ferries replied to my letter requesting they consider re-directing some of the ferry traffic from Vashon and/or Southworth, that usually travels to the Fauntleroy ferry dock, to Downtown Seattle instead; and that they consider trips from Fauntleroy to Downtown. Numerous constituents have written to suggest this.

Ferries replied they are “working with transportation agencies and stakeholders from across the city of Seattle and King County to better understand this dynamic situation, and together we are analyzing a variety of options to address this challenge.”

I appreciate Ferries’ reply, and commitment to work with the City, and analyze options.

Ferries also noted challenges related to their terminals include the limited capacity at Fauntleroy; the reconstruction of Colman Dock through 2023, reducing the number of operating slips from 3 to 2; potential impact to Seattle/Bremerton and Seattle/Bainbridge routes and those communities; the number of ferries they have available; and public input requirements for any schedule changes.

Ferries also notes that their most recent origin-destination study showed 60% of passengers aren’t heading downtown or points north (which is why my request was to “directing some of the traffic between Vashon and/or Southworth to Downtown Seattle”).

If you don’t already get Herbold’s weekly updates, you can find them – usually published Fridays – at

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: What SDOT director, mayor, councilmember said during ‘town hall’

Though the announced-at-the-last-minute “West Seattle Town Hall” a few hours ago was not primarily about the bridge, that was a major topic, unsurprisingly. No new information, but SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe‘s part of the program offered some new framing of where things stand. We recorded video of the entire event, which we’ll publish in a separate report; here’s a clip with just his 10-minute segment:

We screengrabbed key slides to summarize his update. First, project priorities:

Then he went through a quick recap of the heart of the emergency plan whose key points were unveiled last week (WSB coverage here):

This next slide was the first time we’ve seen SDOT try to give a visual explanation of the dramatic loss in street capacity to and from West Seattle:

Then, what seemed tailored to those who are worried nothing’s being done:

This one, for those wondering why the bridge isn’t already being repaired or demolished:

And here’s another promise that they’re working on traffic management, with the stay-home order potentially lifting in less than three weeks:

Another slide along the way recapped how many meetings they’ve spoken at:

Earlier in the event, both Mayor Jenny Durkan and Councilmember Lisa Herbold included the bridge in their opening remarks. Durkan described the bridge as “a vital, vital piece of infrastructure … for our entire region.” She says she’s been discussing the situation with all levels of government – federal, state, county, regional. She also reaffirmed her support for current restrictions on the low bridge, saying it has its limit. But she promised the city will “do everything” it can “to increase mobility” (for West Seattle).

As she has before, Herbold declared the bridge closure a “crisis.” In counterpoint to the mayor, she said she will continue advocating for some changes in low-bridge restrictions, such as opening it to personal-car drivers during late-night/early-morning hours. (In subsequent Q&A, the mayor seemed to soften a bit on that, saying “all requests” would be considered.) Herbold also summarized recent developments such as the SFD announcement that another medic unit and ladder truck would be added to this side of the Duwamish River.

Again, we’ll recap the rest of the two-hour event – which featured more than half a dozen other city department heads – in a separate story.

FOLLOWUP: Roxbury repaving expected before month’s end

As reported here last Friday, Councilmember Lisa Herbold announced SDOT planned to repave two blocks of SW Roxbury, the badly rutted section between 16th SW and 18th SW. We subsequently asked SDOT about the timeline, and today the department confirmed the work will be done before the end of the month, and once it starts, will last up to a week. They also sent this flyer that will be mailed to nearby homes and businesses this week:

(You can also see it here in PDF.)

FERRY ALERT: 1 of 2 Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth boats temporarily downsizing

From Washington State Ferries:

Due to necessary repairs, the 90-car Sealth will replace 124-car Cathlamet as the F/V/SW #2 vessel beginning with the (updated) 4:35 p.m. Fauntleroy to Vashon sailing. This will cancel the 3:55 p.m. Southworth departure

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: SDOT explains new monitoring system

One week after SDOT went public with some details of its emergency plan in case of West Seattle Bridge failure or imminent failure (WSB coverage here), it’s just published a close-up look at the new monitoring system. The graphic above is from the new SDOT Blog update, which also includes photos of some of the monitoring equipment. Also explained – the monitoring is also key to the biggest decision yet to be made. Three main purposes are listed:

*Keep us informed on how the bridge reacts to environmental changes, bridge stabilization measures, temporary shoring, and potential future repairs.

*Give us a better indication of bridge distress that could warn of impending failure.

*Guide us to a decision about the technical feasibility of repair or replacement.

SDOT says the system includes cameras, movement sensors, and crack monitors, noting:

The new intelligent monitoring system is already ‘talking’ to us and telling us that there is some potential for failure. What we don’t yet know is how great that potential is. The new system will help us better determine that.

SDOT adds that “after we collect a few weeks’ worth of data”:

Analytic modeling will interpret the data to gain a baseline understanding of the bridge’s behavior. If we observe stable behavior, the bridge will continue to be monitored during and after the temporary crack arrest measure installation and the Pier 18 restrained lateral bearings’ release, to see how the bridge reacts.

See the entire update here.

‘STAY HEALTHY STREETS’: Pedestrian Advisory Board discussion Wednesday

With a lot of discussion sparked by the city’s most-recent “Stay Healthy Streets” announcements, you might be interested in this (online) meeting Wednesday: The program is scheduled to be discussed when the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board meets tomorrow (Wednesday, May 13th). This isn’t a vote or review, but rather, it’s on the agenda of the SPAB as “Stay Healthy Streets and Social Distancing Q&A,” with guests from SDOT. The meeting also includes two public-comment periods. You can “attend” the meeting either online or by calling in (206-686-8357, conference ID 150 994 262). The meeting is set to start at 6 pm Wednesday, with public comment at 6:15 and 7:40, bracketing the SHS/Social Distancing discussion.

FOLLOWUP: South Alki ‘Stay Healthy Street’ expanded

As of today, that’s the new map for the South Alki “Stay Healthy Street,” according to SDOT traffic engineer Dongho Chang, who announced via Twitter this morning that it “has been revised based on feedback from SPD and community. We’ll update with additional signing and ADA parking … next week.” The expansion – adding the west end of Alki Avenue, west of 63rd – was foreshadowed by the exchange we featured in Friday night’s virus-crisis roundup. “Stay Healthy Streets” are closed to through traffic to expand space for “distanced” pedestrian and bicycle use, as explained in the original announcement. The city said last week that 20 miles of them will be permanent, including West Seattle stretches in High Point and Puget Ridge/Highland Park. A new round of announcments followed, with Beach Drive’s northern end included, and now the west end of Alki Avenue’s been added to that.

ROAD WORK: Roxbury paving plan; 35th/Avalon wrapup

Two road-work notes tonight:

TWO BLOCKS OF ROXBURY PAVING: From this week’s West Seattle Bridge-related update in City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s weekly newsletter:

SDOT is planning to repave the westbound lanes of Roxbury between 16th and 18th Ave SW as early as mid-May, depending on weather. SDOT indicates they are coordinating with King County, which has jurisdiction over the eastbound lanes. SDOT will be doing outreach in advance.

We’ll be following up on Monday.

35TH/AVALON WRAPUP: From SDOT this afternoon:

• We will begin work to make safety improvements to the northbound bus stop at SW Genesee St as soon as May 11. Please expect:

o No parking signs and traffic control in the work area
o Loud noise and increased truck traffic
o Bike lane shifts as we work at the bus stop
o A temporary closure of the nearby sidewalk with a posted detour route
o A temporary closure of this bus stop

• Next, we will continue installing pavement markings on 35th Ave SW and SW Avalon Way as well as install flex posts for the protected bike lane and complete miscellaneous minor activities
o Please follow any posted no-parking signs on SW Avalon Way

We will take down our no-parking signs where and when they are no longer needed.