CHOKEPOINTS

City sets $175 million price tag for repairs to West Seattle Bridge

Mar 10, 2021, 12:30 PM | Updated: 3:20 pm
West Seattle Bridge...
The West Seattle Bridge. (SDOT, Flickr)
(SDOT, Flickr)

It’s been nearly a year since cracks in the concrete of West Seattle Bridge forced the city to close it for safety. Today, request for bids to repair the bridge went public, as design has reached 30%.

Initial stabilization measures on West Seattle Bridge completed

The city has set a $175 million budget to include all costs for the repairs. This figure includes all the work already completed to stabilize and monitor the high bridge. It also includes all money currently being spent on traffic mitigation projects and improvements, known officially as Reconnecting West Seattle.

The budget to make the upcoming repairs to the high bridge is set at $58 million, as well as another $14 million for repairs and stabilization to the Lower Spokane Street Bridge. The city expects to use carbon fiber to wrap girders on the low bridge, and will take a look at the center locking mechanism during that work.

History of the West Seattle Bridge

The schedule to return traffic to the high bridge hasn’t changed. Repairs are set to begin in November and be completed by June 2022.  “I would like to be very, very specific about the time and date when you will be able to drive across the bridge,” SDOT director of mobility Heather Marx told the West Seattle Bridge Community task force Wednesday.  “I cannot give that to you today.”

Work on the low bridge will also begin in November but will wrap-up later in 2022. There could be times where both the high and low bridge may be closed for construction, but those times would likely be very brief and restricted to weekends or holidays.

The plan is to return traffic to the high bridge little by little over a few weeks, just to be cautious. The city does not want to return a full live load to the bridge all at once.   “This is not going to be a repair where we just drop tools when we’re done and open up the bridge to full traffic,” Marx said.  “We want to make sure that this is safe, and we want to be able to measure a see how the bridge and repairs respond to additional live load.”

Contractor bids are due by April 12.

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City sets $175 million price tag for repairs to West Seattle Bridge