West Seattle High-Rise Bridge clears major hurdle on road to repair

May 19, 2021, 4:03 PM | Updated: 4:20 pm
west seattle bridge...
The West Seattle Bridge. (Feliks Banel, KIRO Radio)
(Feliks Banel, KIRO Radio)

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

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

This selection of a contractor was the latest in a series of milestones in the effort to reopen the bridge on schedule in mid-2022.

The West Seattle High-Rise Bridge was closed in March 2020 after rapidly growing cracks were found in multiple locations. SDOT started working to stabilize the bridge. The emergency measures were completed by late 2020 and have stopped the cracks from growing larger, but additional work is needed to further strengthen the bridge and support the weight and stress of daily traffic.

SDOT reports that they received qualifications from six firms, which was narrowed down to a shortlist of three teams who were invited to interview.

“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 in a press release. “Next, SDOT will engage with Kraemer to develop a pre-construction scope of work so they can immediately participate in progressing the rehabilitation design.”

One year after West Seattle Bridge closure, there’s ‘a light at the end of the bridge’

Kraemer, headquartered in Wisconsin, has worked around the United States on transportation, rail, and marine project. In Seattle, they have worked on the Northgate Pedestrian and Bike Bridge and on emergency bridge stabilization for the West Seattle Bridge as well.

“The past year has been full of once in a lifetime challenges for our residents and businesses. We’re midway through this complex project and the end can’t come soon enough for everyone who’s been stretched by the emergency closure. Our new and growing construction team will work urgently to safely reopen the bridge,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.

The decision to repair the bridge instead of replacing it was ultimately made by Mayor Durkan. She previously said she believed repair is the fastest and best way to restore the lifeline to West Seattle.

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West Seattle High-Rise Bridge clears major hurdle on road to repair