West Seattle High-Rise Bridge to be repaired first, replaced later

Nov. 23, 2020

Seattle DOT has nearly completed Phase I of this two-part repair process

The Seattle DOT (SDOT) recently announced plans to restore travel across the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge by mid-2022 with repairs rather than immediate replacement.

SDOT has nearly completed Phase I of this two-part repair process, as the stabilization work concludes in December. The agency will continue early design work for an eventual replacement of the bridge.

SDOT said after close consultation and analysis from the agency’s structural team, members of the Community Task Force, SDOT’s Technical Advisory Panel composed of leading experts in their fields, and countless others, it became clear that repair is the best way to safely restore this critical connection as quickly as possible.

"SDOT stands ready to drive this repair forward and reconnect West Seattle by 2022," SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe said in a statement. "It will take partnership and courage at all levels of government to restore travel quickly and plan for an eventual replacement that leverages all opportunities for improved connectivity, but I know, together, we can continue on this path and on this timeline.”

SDOT and consultant WSP will continue stabilization efforts and design the final phase of the repair work in the coming months, with an eye toward reopening the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge in 2022. The design consultant, HNTB, will also move forward with a Type, Size & Location study that will lay the groundwork for future replacement.

For Mayor Jenny Durkan, it initially seemed that the replacement pathway held the most promise. That only grew as new and innovative methods were introduced that could expedite the construction of a new center span replacement. In the end, however, it became clear to the city that any replacement pathway might not provide the urgency and speed that the current context demands. 

More information can can be found on the Seattle DOT's blog.



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