West Seattle Bridge timeline update coming from SDOT on Thursday

The Seattle Department of Transportation has targeted the reopening date for the week of September 12th.

SEATTLE — The Seattle Department of Transportation is expected to provide another update on repairs to the West Seattle Bridge on Thursday. It remains to be seen whether this is an announcement of a more precise reopening date.

SDOT’s latest update on a target reopening date said they plan to reopen the “high bridge” portion of the bridge as early as the week of September 12th.

Meanwhile, SDOT also completed one of its most complex repair phases this summer, a process known as “post tensioning.”

Steel cables are now laid inside the bridge and fixed with anchors at both ends. The cables are then pulled and “tensioned” to force the concrete on the bridge to compress. This will prevent the concrete from cracking.

For people who live and work in West Seattle, or for those just visiting or doing business there, it’s never too early to make repairs.

Since the elevated bridge closed two years ago, it has been an arduous journey for commuters and visitors alike, as drivers take detours at 1st Ave. S Bridge and South Park Bridge to reach West Seattle.

The “low bridge” is open to public transport, emergency vehicles, and pedestrians and cyclists, and is open to everyone from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. on weekdays and from 9:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. on weekends

Repairs can’t be completed soon enough for Evan Leonard, co-owner of Artisan Electric, a solar power company with an office in Georgetown.

“I’ll be allowing traffic back on it for a few days before climbing again, but I’m really excited to be able to move our gear faster,” Leonard said.

Leonard established his business in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood because of its proximity to the West Seattle Bridge. A quarter of their business is on Vashon Island, accessible by ferry from the west end of West Seattle.

“Having to move material between Georgetown and Vashon through West Seattle has been a nightmare for the last two years,” Leonard said.

But the company’s supply chain manager, Joe Myers, adds he’s seen an uptick in business at restaurants and bars because of the bridge closure.

“I only meet people getting off the freeway to kill an hour or two because the traffic is so bad,” Myers said.

For the past two years, traffic on 1st Ave. S-Bridge near Georgetown or further south diverted to South Park Bridge to allow motorists to and from West Seattle.

“There’s a lot of people who are like, oh, I didn’t even know Georgetown had a bar district, you know, that’s a cool neighborhood,” Myers said. West Seattle Bridge timeline update coming from SDOT on Thursday

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