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De-icer causes multiple collisions, West Seattle Bridge closure

Traffic is backed up on I-5 Monday afternoon after the closure of the West Seattle Bridge. (WSDOT image)

Road de-icer is being blamed for a series of crashes that caused the closure of the West Seattle Bridge Monday.

Seattle police say several cars spun out and there were about a dozen minor crashes between noon and 1 p.m., soon after crews applied de-icer ahead of an approaching cold front. The bridge reopened eastbound just before 3 p.m. Westbound lanes reopened soon after.

The city was trying to treat the road before Monday night's Seahawks game at CenturyLink Field and the evening commute, according to Rick Sheridan, Seattle Department of Transportation spokesman.

Sheridan says the de-icer can create slippery conditions if cars are driving faster than the posted speed limit, and that indications are the de-icer was applied properly.

Traffic backed up well into West Seattle and on I-5 as cars tried to get through on the lower bridge.

There was plenty of frustration as SDOT provided no information for at least an hour after the closure on its Twitter feed.

Crews applied sand to the bridge to improve traction.

About the Author


Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He covers everything from May Day riots in Seattle to the latest Boeing news.

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