West Seattle Bridge Safety Project 256 results

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Community Task Force will continue, mayor decides

(Added: Frame-grab from SDOT cam atop bridge today)

The West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force was convened by former Mayor Jenny Durkan, so its members have been wondering if her successor would keep it going. We’ve been following up on that, and the decision just in is, yes. Mayor Bruce Harrell‘s office tells us the CTF members have just received this:

Dear West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force Members,

Thank you for your commitment and dedication to Seattle — I deeply appreciate the service you’ve provided to your communities and to the City as a whole as members of the Community Task Force. As we continue to work toward a mid-2022 re-opening of the West Seattle Bridge and measure our progress toward restoring it to full capacity, I believe it is critical that this effort continue to benefit from the input and guidance of a cross-section of West Seattle and Duwamish Valley community members.

It is clear to me that you have developed expertise on the issues surrounding the closure and the repair project methodologies and milestones. Just as important, the Task Force has come to be known as a trusted conduit for sharing information about the repair project and traffic mitigation measures to the community, while also providing a means for community members to voice their concerns and ask questions of City staff and contractors about ongoing work. Again, thank you.

With these benefits provided by the Community Task Force in mind, I would like to accept your gracious offer to continue meeting until the repairs of the West Seattle High Bridge are complete and traffic is restored. I would also like to extend a special thank you to your co-chairs, Paulina López and former Mayor Greg Nickels, for their steady leadership and bringing this request to my attention.

I hope each and every one of you will be willing to continue your service to the City on the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force. Please consider yourselves reappointed as Community Task Force members through the completion of the High Bridge Repair project. I have directed my staff, along with SDOT project staff, to work with you on developing an appropriate meeting cadence between now and the day this summer we can celebrate together the reopening of the bridge.

Sincerely,
Bruce A. Harrell, Mayor

Now the question is when the group will next meet for its monthly briefing, as the repair work continues. We’ll add that information when we find out.

ADDED WEDNESDAY: SDOT says the next meeting is set for February 10th, 4-6 pm.

UPDATE: First West Seattle Bridge work platform installed

12:53 PM: That’s the first half of the first work platform hoisted up under the West Seattle Bridge today. We photographed it from the low-bridge walking/biking path around 11:30 am, just as it was reaching the top. This half is under the south side of the bridge; the other half was scheduled to go up a few hours after the first one – we’ll check back later this afternoon. As noted in our Friday preview, the hoisting operation is not affecting traffic.

2:22 PM: Watching this “live” SDOT camera, we’re noticing that it appears crews are now moving the second half of the platform into place for hoisting now – look at the lower right of the screen.

5:13 PM: Returned to the area just before dusk for the photo above – second half in place. We’ll find out this week about the timetable for installing the other platform, on the east side of the main span.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: First of two repair-work platforms goes up Saturday

That was the scene on the high-bridge camera just after 4 pm, as crews working on the bridge repairs look ahead to a big job tomorrow – the first of two work platforms will be raised on Saturday morning. SDOT says the platform on the west side of the main span will be raised in two sections, one sometime after 8 am, the other a few hours later. SDOT says this is not expected to affect traffic, so no road closures are planned. The east-side platform-raising – at least a week away – might have some traffic effects, though. For more details on how the platforms work and why they’re needed, see our report on the briefing the project manager from contractor Kraemer NA gave to the bridge Community Task Force last year.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Repair update

(SDOT camera image, midday today)

From SDOT today, an update on West Seattle Bridge work:

Last week, crews completed the hydro-blasting work. This created access points for the work platforms to hang from and openings in the bridge deck to access the inside of the bridge.

We’ve also been working to attach rigging that will hold the work platforms in place underneath the bridge. These components consist of 10- to 14-foot-long metal cables that are being fed through the holes in the bridge deck. Next, we’ll install stairs and scaffolding inside the bridge.

In the coming weeks, we’ll begin core drilling on the inside of the bridge at Pier 16, where we’ll install post-tensioning cables to reinforce the strength of the bridge’s concrete. We’ll also be relocating utility lines at this location to make room for the additional post-tensioning cables.

(SDOT photos)

We’re continuing to build the work platforms, which we expect to will hoist up to the underside of the bridge in January. These platforms create a workspace to complete epoxy injections and carbon-fiber wrapping on the outside of the bridge.

Heads up that there may be limited weekend traffic impacts on SW Manning St and E Klickitat Ave while we raise the work platform on the east side of the bridge – stay tuned for more details about timing in future updates.

Here’s an SDOT graphic showing where those platforms will go up:

The contractor’s project manager provided an in-depth briefing of the work plan at this month’s Community Task Force meeting (WSB coverage here).

FOLLOWUP: SDOT sets dates/times for low-bridge testing closures

(Image from SDOT cam late this afternoon)

As noted in our coverage of last week’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting, SDOT has to do low-bridge testing related to its upcoming work. Last week, they didn’t have the dates set, but said it would be a series of Sundays. Now, SDOT has announced the dates and times:

On some Sundays in December and January, we will briefly close the Spokane St Swing Bridge (low bridge) for three times a day to people driving, taking transit, walking, and biking. These closures could last up to 30 minutes each, which is about twice as long as the bridge is closed to traffic when it swings open for a vessel.

In 2022, we are performing important rehabilitation upgrades to the low bridge to ensure that it remains in safe and usable condition. We will use these short-term closures to measure important deflection data for the low bridge to ensure that future construction scaffolding will be safe to use while we complete this rehabilitation work.

We are aligning these short closures to happen during off-peak periods and when there are lulls in traffic to minimize impacts to the community, including transit, freight, and other approved low bridge users.

The scheduled closure times are the same each day: during lulls in traffic around 9 AM, around 1 PM, and around 5 PM. The planned dates for these closures are:

Sunday, December 19
Sunday, January 9
Sunday, January 16
Sunday, January 23
Sunday, January 30

People driving who are authorized to use the low bridge will need to take the signed detour routes during these closures, take the trip at a different time, or wait up to 30 minutes when the bridge will reopen.

People biking, walking, or rolling on the low bridge path can wait up to 30 minutes for the bridge path to reopen or they can continue south to use the 1st Ave S Bridge path.

The low-bridge work is detailed here.

BRIDGES: Got questions? Get answers Thursday @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

(SDOT bridge-cam view, 1:37 pm today)

If you have questions after last week’s detailed briefing about the West Seattle Bridge repair plan (WSB coverage here), you have a chance tomorrow night to get answers. SDOT is on the guest list for the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s December meeting, 6:30 pm Thursday, online. And if you have a question about what’s become West Seattle’s main lifeline across the Duwamish River, the 1st Avenue South Bridge, WSDOT will be there too. The agenda also includes the Port of Seattle, as the Terminal 5 opening gets closer. All welcome – viewing/participating/call-in info is in our calendar listing.

VIDEO: Yearning for more details on West Seattle Bridge repair plan? See what contractor’s project manager showed the Community Task Force

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Tired of getting just toplines about the West Seattle Bridge “final repairs” that are getting under way now?

The project manager from repair contractor Kraemer North America presented a detailed briefing during this month’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting Thursday evening – the video recording should open below to the start (55 minutes into the meeting):

The key points and images from his presentation top our report:

CONTRACTOR PRESENTATION: Adam Dour, Kraemer’s project manager for the West Seattle Bridge Corridor projects, spoke – he said he was also involved with the rehab work last year, First, he described his company as a “bridge contractor – our specialty is bridges – we’ve been doing this for 110 years.” They’ve worked with state and local agencies around the region and country. He presented an overview of both the high and low bridges

For the high bridge, the green line on the top graphic is the pst-tensioning, and the blue and purple (interior) highlighting shows the epoxy injection and carbon-fiber polymer wrapping.

Other improvements – the project includes bridge deck overlay on the west end (Fauntleroy), removal and replacement of existing expansion joints, while some will be rehabilitated – “Bridge 131EA” will get some wrapping too near SR 99. “Not shown but equally important,” as Dour described it, the replacement of 4,000 feet of jersey barriers and 10 overhead sign structures.

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WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: 3 notes, including emergency-training plans

(Image from West Seattle Bridge cam, 11 am today)

Three West Seattle Bridge notes:

EMERGENCY TRAINING: We’ve been reporting on SFD training at a redevelopment site north of the bridge. Now we have word from SDOT that responders will be training ON the bridge the next few mornings:

The Seattle Fire Department will be conducting training exercises and safety drills on top of, and inside, the West Seattle Bridge each morning this week. The public can expect to see emergency first-response vehicles and workers on the bridge each morning until Thursday, December 9. People may also see fake smoke coming from inside the bridge during a drill that will simulate the challenges of conducting a rescue operation inside an enclosed space with limited visibility.

This is a planned training exercise and should not be a cause for alarm. Completing this safety training exercise is an important first step in resuming construction on the bridge. This is one part of the larger safety plan to keep workers and the public safe during construction and keep the project moving smoothly by preventing accidents and ensuring that we are well prepared to respond to any unplanned situations.

SPEAKING OF CONSTRUCTION: Since crews working on the bridge last week were hydroblasting attachment points for new work platforms (WSB coverage here), we asked SDOT how soon those platforms will go up. Spokesperson Ethan Bergerson says, “We’re working to finalize the permits which will allow us to schedule the installation of the work platforms. We’ll be able to say more specific timing once that has been done.” We also asked SDOT if the concrete strike will affect bridge work; spokesperson Mariam Ali says no – “Concrete is not a major part of the current work stage on the West Seattle Bridge.”

TASK FORCE MEETING THURSDAY: The next scheduled public briefing on the bridge will be at 4 pm Thursday, during the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force‘s monthly meeting. The viewing link is here; we’re hoping to get the agenda tomorrow. (Added: Here it is.)

FOLLOWUP: Here’s what we saw atop the West Seattle Bridge after today’s briefing

A little over one hour after today’s “final repairs have begun” briefing about the West Seattle Bridge (WSB coverage here), SDOT allowed media crews onto the bridge to photograph the work. It was our third visit in three months. SDOT has been saying that the first work would include hydroblasting attachment points for the work platforms, and that’s what was happening this afternoon.

Before the actual blasting, workers were measuring and marking:

These workers are with Rampart Hydro Services, a Pennsylvania-based company that describes itself as “the world’s leading hydrodemolition firm.” Their work will be done before the platforms go up next month (we’ve asked SDOT for a more specific date). Much of the rest of the $45 million dollar repairs will subsequently be happening beneath and inside the bridge.

As we reported in our coverage of this morning’s briefing, the city and contractor Kraemer North America agreed to a “substantial completion” date of the end of June, and SDOT says completion of work would be followed by up to two weeks of testing before reopening the bridge to traffic.

P.S. Adding two notes – more explanation on the repair work is here; next public update will be during the Community Task Force meeting on December 9th.

VIDEO: West Seattle Bridge briefing as ‘final repairs’ begin

11:05 AM: Just under way, livestreaming above, the mayor and SDOT are announcing the start of “final repairs” on the West Seattle Bridge, 20 months after it was abruptly closed for safety concerns. We’ll be reporting today’s updates in two parts – first, this online briefing; second, what we see and learn when media crews are escorted onto the bridge in a few hours (some of the work is already visible via this city webcam). We’ll add notes from this briefing every few minutes.

11:11 PM: Mayor Jenny Durkan thanked the “residents and businesses of West Seattle” and the Duwamish Valley for enduring the bridgelessness. She said it’s “exciting” that “we are closer than ever to reopening the bridge.” She described the project as “on time and on budget.” $19 million in federal funds and $9 million in port funding are assisting in covering the cost. “We know how much impact this has,” she reiterates. She describes the work as “extensive,” adding 91 tons and 46 miles of steel cable, two football fields of carbon-fiber polymer, among other things, to the bridge, which she says will be restored “to as close to new as possible.”

SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe got into the details. He says steel cables (post-tensioning strands) will be installed throughout the bridge, which will be wrapped in carbon-fiber polymer, with cracks being injected with epoxy. And “while we have contractors on the bridge” they’ll do “major maintenance” including replacing expansion joints, repaving, and replacing signs. He also noted the low bridge is getting carbon-fiber wrap and epoxy injections too.

11:22 AM: They’re in Q&A now. We asked about the projected completion date in the now-finalized agreement. End of June 2022, said Zimbabwe. Are there incentives for finishing sooner? No, he said, partly because of federal rules.

Mike Lindblom of The Seattle Times asks why they didn’t just keep Kraemer North America, which also was the contractor for stabilization, on to continue with repairs, Zimbabwe says he doesn’t think that would have saved time – he says the process of designing the repairs and assembling the funding was done in parallel and would have still required time post-stabilization. He insists, “I don’t think we’ve lost any time in this.”

11:35 AM: We also asked whether the bridge is going to reopen a lane or two at a time in mid-2022 as had been suggested before. No, said Zimbabwe, they expect that when it reopens, they’ll reopen it fully – after a period of up to two weeks for “load testing” among other things, Zimbabwe was also asked about whether reopening the bridge partly, early, could have been possible. He said no – it needs this next round of repairs to be able to safely carry traffic. He also said the repairs are expected to restore the bridge to where it should have been at this point – 40 more years of life.

11:44 AM: The briefing is over but you should be able to view the video on instant playback above. Look for our separate report later on what’s actually happening on the bridge now (among the work, Zimbabwe said, is hydroblasting to prepare for the new work platforms to be hoisted).

2:41 PM: Back from the bridge, separate story later. The city’s post about today’s announcement, includes quotes from elected officials and others who were on the call but didn’t speak, is here.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Repair update expected Monday

(WSB photo, last week)

One week ago, after Mayor Durkan‘s visit to Husky Deli, we reported that we had talked there with SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe, who told us to “expect some good news right after Thanksgiving” regarding West Seattle Bridge repairs. That news is scheduled for Monday morning (November 29th), when he and the mayor will brief media reps at what the announcement calls an event “marking the start of (the) final phase of West Seattle Bridge repairs.” Contractor Kraemer North America. which also handled the stabilization work on the bridge last year, has begun on-site preparation work, SDOT said last week.

VIDEO: Mayor’s ‘farewell tour’ stops at Husky Deli on bridge-decision anniversary

With just weeks remaining until she leaves office, Mayor Jenny Durkan has launched a farewell tour, and tonight it stopped in the West Seattle Junction, with an ice-cream party at Husky Deli.

This also happened to be the one-year anniversary of her announcement that the cracked West Seattle Bridge would be repaired rather than replaced, ending months of suspense. Also at Husky Deli tonight, in fact, was Seattle Department of Transportation director Sam Zimbabwe (a West Seattle resident). At some point one of the businesspeople and community advocates there for her visit asked the mayor about the bridge – she turned and called out loudly across the room, “Sam Zimbabwe assures me it’s on time and on budget!” He affirmed that:

We asked him if there’s any update on the about-to-start repairs beyond what we published last night. Not yet, he said, but he said we can “expect some good news right after Thanksgiving.” The estimate for completion of repairs remains the same as what they said the day of that big announcement one year ago – “mid-2022.” In other topics, the mayor got a warm sendoff from Lora Radford, who herself just left a high-profile job, running the West Seattle Junction Association.

As the video shows, Radford also presented the mayor with a gift reminiscent of her past visits to The Junction, Bakery Nouveau macaronns, which the mayor had bought for one of her sons during a walking tour in February 2018. She had a parting request for West Seattleites tonight: “Let’s give the new mayor every chance to succeed.”

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Repair contractor starts on-site preparations

(WSB photo, Wednesday afternoon)

We went to southeast Admiral on Wednesday afternoon for that look at the 20-months-closed West Seattle Bridge, just in case some work was in view. Turned out not to be much of a viewpoint for that, but today we did get a brief update from SDOT on what its repair contractor is doing:

This week, crews started early site prep in advance of beginning final bridge repairs. Contractor Kraemer North America began loading work shacks and equipment for erosion control onto the high bridge to be ready for construction work.

The next activities you can expect to hear more about are hydro-blasting to create access for work platforms, as well as more details about those work platforms being assembled and transported to the bridge.

Last week SDOT told the WS Bridge Community Task Force that it was very close to finalizing the “maximum allowable construction cost” contract with Kraemer NA. But that hadn’t happened yet when we checked earlier this week.

Low bridge, West Marginal, the distant future: Here’s what else West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force heard about this week

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

After the update on impending high-bridge repairs – as reported hereSDOT briefed the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force on the low bridge, West Marginal work, and more.

LOW BRIDGE PROBLEM POSTMORTEM: The recent trouble forced SDOT to do pump work that was already on the schedule for just days after the breakdown, noted bridge-program director Heather Marx. She also said the pump problem affected maritime traffic much more than vehicle traffic, delaying barges with cargo including perishable groceries for Southeast Alaska. So they expedited to November 4-5 a pump replacement that originally had been scheduled for November 9th. They also discovered “a filter had broken” and that added extra work – 16 barrels of hydraulic fluid had to be drained and replaced. There’s one more project ahead, a cylinder replacement planned December 10th-13th:

There’s no impact expected to vehicle traffic but openings for marine traffic will be restricted. Meantime, separate from all this, the controls upgrade for the low bridge is currently set for mid-2022, after the high bridge reopens.

LOW BRIDGE ACCESS: SDOT’s Maureen Sheehan led these updates. Here’s how access is going:

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WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Repair contractor’s crews will be on it ‘this month,’ SDOT tells Community Task Force

First update from this afternoon’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting is the latest on Topic A – the repair work that’s about to begin. (That wasn’t the only topic discussed, but we’ll get to the others in a later report.) From the slide deck, the announcement that the Maximum Allowable Construction Cost (MACC) contract is almost ready to be signed:

Bridge program director Heather Marx said, “You will see Kraemer North America [repair contractor] crews back on the bridge this month,” first bringing equipment and materials onto the bridge. They’re building work platforms offsite. Much of the current work happens inside the bridge or off the bridge – but she said you will see work crews, trailers, and equipment. Also ahead: Hydroblasting to create lifting points for the work platforms; there are old ones from the stabilization process but they have to create new ones for the “tail spans” – sections of the bridge on which work was not done during the stabilization process.

(WSB photo from August visit atop the bridge)

There will be some “short-term” low bridge, street, and waterway closures for the platform installation, and they’re promising lots of advance notice. Here’s the timeline:

Carbon-reinforced polymer wrapping starts around the first of the year, and low-bridge work – including more of that – also starts in the first quarter.

“As soon as we sign the contract, we’ll be free to talk about when the work is expected to be done,” Marx promised. Asked later if that contract would be viewable post-signing, Marx said it’s a public document, so yes. But she also said the work is “risk-loaded”:

The work also could go “better” than planned, she noted. The activities mentioned in the slide above include a planned “celebration” for the community – but she promised that will not delay the reopening.

Also addressed at today’s meeting – the low bridge, recent West Marginal Way work, and the study for a bridge replacement that’s likely 40 years in the future (more from SDOT Blog here). We’ll get into all those details in a separate report later.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: When will work start? Updates expected Wednesday @ Community Task Force

It’s November, and that’s when SDOT has said work will start on the repairs that will make it possible to reopen the 19-months-closed West Seqttle Bridge. We’ve been asking SDOT when and where we can photograph and report on the first work – or at least the preparations for it; no specifics yet. But the major updates every month have been presented to the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, and noon tomorrow (Wednesday, November 10th) is that group’s next meeting. We just received the agenda – see it here; it includes a bridge update with these points:

-What’s about to happen
-What to expect while the bridge is under repair

We also have the link you can use tomorrow to watch live – go here. The meeting does not include a public-comment period, but you can send comments or questions to westseattlebridge@seattle.gov.

‘We are almost there’: As repair work nears, West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force gets updates

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Repair work to reopen the 19-months-closed West Seattle Bridge is now just weeks from starting.

That’s part of what the bridge’s Community Task Force heard during its monthly meeting, held online Thursday evening. Here’s how it unfolded:

BRIDGE-TOUR THOUGHTS: Since the advisory group’s last meeting, members had been invited to tour the bridge – in visits similar to the media tour we covered last month – and CTF co-chair Paulina López of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition invited members to offer their thoughts.

(SDOT photos)

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WEST SEATTLE LOW BRIDGE: Camera dodgers busted

Our full report on tonight’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting will be out tomorrow, but first, here’s the most interesting thing we heard: Police “recently” busted dozens of drivers for trying to evade the low-bridge enforcement cameras by removing or obscuring their license plates. During SDOT‘s briefing for the CTF, one slide revealed these datapoints about the operation:

• Heard from community and observed unauthorized drivers crossing the low bridge with missing or obstructed plates during restricted hours

• Recent 3-day enforcement resulted in 47 license plate citations given, with a $231 fine

• SPD is periodically at the low bridge to enforce and reduce this type of illegal action and ensure adequate room on the low bridge for transit, freight, emergency vehicles, and authorized users

Bridge program director Heather Marx said those “three days” were more like a.handful of hours spread across three days. She called the violations “outrageous. … This is wrong and if you know (someone) who is doing this, tell them THIS IS WRONG.” Task Force co-chair Greg Nickels suggested making photos of the plates-not-visible violators public. Marx said that wouldn’t be legal, under the state law that authorized the enforcement cameras. State House Rep. Eileen Cody noted that she recalled that legislators were concerned about privacy when considering that legislation. Another elected official on the CTF, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, suggested the city should ask the court not to let drivers argue down the fine for these violations – “they are intentionally doing a thing to obscure themselves from enforcement of the law and I don’t think the magistrate should be reducing the tickets for those folks.” We’ll be following up to see if more information is available about how many vehicles have been tallied with missing or unreadable plates.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Here’s how to watch Thursday’s Community Task Force meeting

(WSB photo from last month’s media tour of the bridge)

Tomorrow brings SDOT‘s next public briefing on the status of West Seattle Bridge repair planning, during the monthly online meeting of Community Task Force members. Here’s the agenda for the 4 pm Thursday (October 14th) meeting. Along with updates on the preparations for repair work, SDOT reps will present detour-route traffic and collision data as well as low-bridge information, including its upcoming work. Task Force members will also get a chance to talk about their recent tours of the bridge. Once the meeting begins, you’ll be able to watch the livestream by going here.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Port agrees to contribute $9 million – here’s what it gets in return

(WSB photo inside the West Seattle Bridge, last Thursday)

The Port of Seattle is giving the city $9 million to help cover the costs of the West Seattle Bridge project – and getting some commitments in return. Details are in a “memorandum of understanding” approved today by port commissioners. Here’s the draft document:

From that document, here’s where the $9 million fits in the funding picture:

Here’s what the port gets: Priority handling of city construction-related permits for the Terminal 5 modernization project, certain levels of access to the West Seattle low bridge, a chance to review the bridge-repair plans “to ensure maritime operations are fully considered.” And the port and city will work together on transportation projects including truck parking to minimize backups, the East Marginal Way corridor, and design of the West Marginal Way 2-way protected bike lane “to maximize safety for all users and minimize freight impacts.” The $9 million is to be paid in three installments, starting “after the City has reopened the West Seattle High Bridge with full access consistent with prior operations (7 lanes) and shown progress satisfactory to the Port on other provisions of the agreement (this is expected in mid-2022).”

Here are the details of the low-bridge access specified in the MOU:

a. SDOT will authorize up to 550 roundtrips per day for workers required to support international marine cargo operations at T5.
• Between 7 am and 3 pm, SSA Marine and ILWU will minimize trips to 100 one-way trips per hour within those daytime hours.
• Outside of those hours, SDOT will authorize up to 200 one-way trips per hour

b. In coordination with the Port and the NWSA, while the high bridge remains closed, SSA Marine will provide flex-hours for up to 180 ILWU workers to ensure that they arrive at T5 prior to 7 am as well as provide on-terminal truck queuing starting at 6 am.

c. “T5 Labor” includes ILWU Locals 19, 52 and 98, mechanics and SSA. Each entity and members will follow existing application procedures with applications due by the 15th of each month for authorized low bridge access in the following month.

d. The SSSB is to be used only by T5 Labor only when dispatched across the Duwamish or when traveling across the Duwamish between marine cargo terminals.

e. ILWU trips to terminals other than T5 continue to be authorized when a worker is dispatched across the Duwamish; however, those non-T5 trips are assumed and expected to NOT be higher than as of the date of this MOU (averaging 10 trips per hour maximum). These trips are counted as part of the authorized trip numbers listed above.

f. ILWU and mechanic individual trips are limited to no more than two-round trips per day.

g. ILWU and SSA Marine’s coordination is necessary to enforce the authorized trip target. A pattern of exceeding the authorized trip target will result in the City directly engaging with SSA and ILWU and giving both entities an opportunity to take corrective action with their users.
• Following engagement, any persistent and on-going patterns of excessive use by authorized users could result in a reduction of ILWU/SSA access to the low bridge.

h. Once T5 reopens to marine traffic, SDOT, ILWU, SSA Marine and NWSA will regularly communicate to ensure coordinated execution.

i. NWSA will work with SDOT in advance of Terminal 5 opening to develop a terminal data reporting strategy and provide regular terminal data updates to inform low bridge access predictions and management.

For truck access, the MOU says that for one “the City will continue design to rechannelize S Spokane St east of the T-18 main gate entrance to improve traffic flow near the East Waterway Bridge, and will carry out the project at the City’s cost in 2022 after the WSHB opens to traffic.” Also, the port and city will work “to establish multiple drayage truck parking areas … for the benefit of both Duwamish Valley residents and truck drivers serving the marine cargo terminals.” For possible parking area, one on 11th SW with 25 truck-parking spaces, and potentially “near East Marginal Way, under the Spokane St viaduct and nearby areas as depicted in Exhibit E with the intention to develop up to 70 additional parking spots.”

The parking spots are supposed to be ready by the end of 2022, pending City Council approval. Then in early 2023 the city and port would collaborate on a plan for at least 100 more truck-parking spaces at site(s) TBA, possibly on city-owned property along the east side of East Marginal Way between Hanford and Holgate, also noted in Exhibit E.”

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Another visit, with a look ahead to what’s about to happen

(WSB photos/video. Above, the repurposed shipping container covering entrance to bridge interior)

By Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

A year and a half after closing the West Seattle Bridge, SDOT is giving tours while getting ready for repairs. Among those who are being offered a firsthand look, according to an SDOT email shared with us by a source, are “members of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, Technical Advisory Panel, and our governmental partners and supporters.” Plus, this afternoon – the media.

We were up on the bridge five weeks ago, but that was part of a visit by dignitaries from D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. Today’s tour was intended solely to give reporters and photographers (attendance was limited to one person per media organization, so it was one or the other) a firsthand look. That included another view inside the bridge, where most of the upcoming work will happen:

Among the SDOT reps leading the tour, roadway-structures director Matt Donahue, the man who broke the news to city leaders in March 2020 that he’d discovered cracking that necessitated the emergency closure.

Donahue and bridge program director Heather Marx recounted the explanation of “why the bridge broke” (as covered here in August). Once the bridge was stabilized last year, that took care of the cracking problem. Intensive monitoring continues, with a few visible signs on top of the bridge.

Today in fact, some SDOT staff was on the bridge for a monthly monitoring visit (which is in addition to electronic monitors in place that are watched remotely). We talked with Marx about the “early work” that’s been mentioned as starting soon:

We asked Marx for a list of what “early work” is likely to entail:

Core Drilling
Hydro Demo
Ground Penetrating Radar
Scaffolding
Carbon Fiber-reinforced Polymer
Tug Service
Electrical
Surveying
Deck Grooving
Waterproofing
Saw Cutting
Traffic Control

As was the case when we visited the bridge in August, some work is in evidence now:

(Updated: Crane truck ‘lowering equipment through the deck in to the north center span girder’)

SDOT still isn’t getting any more specific about the projected reopening than “mid-2022.” They’ve said that the contractor was providing schedule estimates as part of design milestones; we asked for that proposed schedule and were told earlier this week by an SDOT spokesperson that “it’s part of an active negotiation with our contractor, so we aren’t releasing it.”

FOLLOWUP: SDOT launches ‘Flip Your Trip’ rewards

(SDOT camera image from this morning)

At last week’s meeting of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force (WSB coverage here), SDOT previewed a rewards program for West Seattleites who try alternative ways to get around. Today – exactly a year and a half after the bridge closure, and as traffic continues to increase with schools and workplaces reopening – SDOT announced the “Flip Your Trip” initiative has launched. From the announcement:

Starting today, people who live or work in West Seattle can visit FlipYourTrip.org to sign up for a comprehensive travel options program that includes a $25 sign-up bonus for free rides on transit and scooter/bike-share, or free vanpool fares. The program also offers trip planning assistance, special informational events, as well as an opportunity to earn more free rides. …

Flip Your Trip West Seattle encourages people to replace car trips with other travel options such as transit, vanpooling, biking, scooting, or staying local. Anyone who lives or works in the West Seattle area is eligible to take a pledge to take the #FlipYourTrip pledge and receive an initial sign-up bonus worth $25 to use on the free rides of their choice. This incentive works on King County Metro buses, water taxis, Sound Transit, Seattle Streetcar and all local scooter and bike share companies (Lime, LINK, Spin, and Wheels).

The campaign will also support vanpooling—covering new King County Metro vanpool riders’ first month of vanpool costs and providing monthly fare beyond the first month for eligible participants. All official King County Metro vanpools can apply for access to use the West Seattle low bridge at all times of day.

The Flip Your Trip campaign features a new partnership with King County Metro, as participants can receive their free rides on Metro’s Transit GO Ticket mobile app (android | ios). Participants can redeem their initial sign up bonus by clicking on the new “rewards” button in the app menu, which will appear as 2,500 rewards points. Additional reward points can be earned by making transit and scooter/bike share trips. …

People who do not have smartphones can choose to receive an ORCA card and program updates through community organizations, instead of using the Transit GO Ticket mobile app.

Information about Flip Your Trip West Seattle is available in nine languages (English, Spanish, Somali, Oromo, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Khmer).

VIDEO: West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force hears about ‘early work,’ low-bridge access changes, more

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The plan to extend 7-day-a-week West Seattle Water Taxi service through the fall and winter – reported separately here – was the biggest news from today’s West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting, but not the only news. You can watch the entire meeting above, and/or read the toplines below:

BRIDGE UPDATES: Bridge program director Heather Marx said they’re reviewing the 90 percent repair design and also have received approval for “early work” that’ll start in October.

Here’s what the “early work” will involve:

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