West Seattle Bridge passes strength tests, will reopen Sunday as planned
Some critical tests were conducted on the West Seattle Bridge this week to determine if the reopening will happen as 30 months have passed to get it to this point, and on Thursday, the Seattle Department of Transportation confirmed that the bridge is safe and ready to reopen as planned on Sunday, Sept. 18.
Crews conducted load testing to see if the bridge could handle the weight of tens of thousands of vehicles daily,
“We didn’t have to cram, we’ve been studying the whole time, and so we are prepared for this,” said SDOT Director of Downtown Mobility Heather Marx.
News Drone 7 captured giant trucks carrying 80,000 pounds each and they all spanned parts of the bridge to see if it was structurally sound.
“We’ll place them in specific places on the bridge, so that we get those readings with that load,” said Marx.
SDOT workers said the load testing has been done several times in the past.
SDOT said the exams are critical during different weather conditions so workers can see how the bridge reacts.
“During those extreme moments, the bridge has performed exactly as we expected it to perform,” said Marx.
Many owners of mom-and-pop shops in West Seattle hoped the testing on the bridge would go great as many stores have been struggling to make ends meet.
“We’ve had so many (businesses) close. I’m hoping it will revive this area,” one resident told KIRO 7.
“A lot of my friends on the mainland are hesitant to come and visit, just because of the time it’ll take, but hopefully more and more people will come out here and visit the shops,” another person said.
SDOT said the tests were necessary as 100,000 people are expected to use the bridge every day.