Contractor selected to construct final phase of West Seattle High-Rise Bridge repairs

May 20, 2021

Contractor selection marks the latest move in the ongoing effort to safely reopen the bridge on schedule in mid-2022

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has selected the construction firm Kraemer North America to complete the final phase of West Seattle High-Rise Bridge repairs.

This selection of a contractor marks the latest move in the ongoing effort to safely reopen the bridge on schedule in mid-2022, the agency says.

The West Seattle High-Rise Bridge was closed to protect public safety in March 2020 after city engineers discovered rapidly growing cracks in multiple locations. SDOT immediately set to work on a stabilization effort by installing 10 miles of taut steel cable inside the bridge, repairing a bearing in the Pier 18 support structure, and wrapping the structure in carbon fiber in multiple locations.

SDOT says the emergency measures, which were completed by late 2020, have successfully halted the cracks from growing larger and kept the bridge standing, but additional work is needed to further strengthen the bridge to support the weight and stress of daily traffic. After completing the first phase of stabilization and conducting extensive monitoring, the bridge is behaving as expected. 

Kraemer was selected based on their qualifications, experience, price proposal, and history of success, which all indicate that this firm can finish the final phase of repairs and reopen the bridge on schedule, SDOT said. Next, the agency will engage with Kraemer to develop a pre-construction scope of work so they can immediately participate in progressing the rehabilitation design.  

“This contractor selection marks a major milestone in our work to quickly and safely reopen the West Seattle Bridge to the thousands of people who rely on it to get to work and move around the city, and to our essential freight network,” SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe said in a statement. “We closed this bridge under emergency conditions and have been working day-in, day-out to guarantee that it’s safe to use and reopen it as quickly as possible.”  

This repair contract will rehabilitate both the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge (high bridge) and the Spokane St Swing Bridge (low bridge). The project will be delivered with Kraemer through the general contractor/construction manager (GCCM) project delivery approach.