Montlake Bridge opens after month-long closure, more closures still ahead

Sep 3, 2021, 10:11 AM | Updated: Sep 9, 2021, 6:08 am

Montlake Bridge...

Crews lowered pieces of scaffolding over the bridge railing to be assembled below in August 2021. (Photo courtesy of WSDOT/Flickr)

(Photo courtesy of WSDOT/Flickr)

After being closed since Aug. 9, the Montlake Bridge is once again open to traffic, and just in time for the University of Washington football team’s home opener on Saturday.

Now that the long closure is over, however, the state will still need five weekends of work to spruce up the mechanical systems on the bridge.

The project is in two phases, and first up was replacing the grid and expansion joints on the bridge. During this first phase of work, bicyclists and pedestrians could still use the bridge.

The second phase that begins this fall will involve full closures to all users. The repairs in this phase will mostly happen during the weekends, but it will not impact UW football games. Mechanical parts that are responsible for raising, lowering, and locking the bridge will be repaired and refurbished in the second phase.

What you need to know about month-long Montlake Bridge closure

The bridge itself was built in 1924, and its deck consists of metal grates. The 84 deck grids had not been replaced since 1998, so it was past time for new ones.

“This is an aging metal grid deck with panels that are essentially falling apart,” said Joe Calabro with the Washington State Department of Transportation prior to the month-long closure.

Bus service had been re-routed while the bridge was closed, but bicyclists and pedestrians were able to use the bridge since the sidewalks remained open.

KIRO Radio’s Chris Sullivan and Tracy Taylor contributed to this report.

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Montlake Bridge opens after month-long closure, more closures still ahead