In a press conference held on Nov. 29, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced the final phase of West Seattle Bridge repairs had begun, and SDOT was on track to reopen the bridge as of mid-2022.
“We know the impact this closure has on the community, and it is our responsibility to work with urgency to safely complete repairs on the bridge so that it can be a vital transportation connection again,” said SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe.
The West Seattle Bridge, which has been closed since March 2020, has undergone a series of repairs to ready the structure for reopening. SDOT completed the first phase of stabilization repairs in 2020, then completed the design to repair the bridge and select a contractor to complete the work.
The final phase of repairs includes injecting epoxy into cracks to seal them and prevent corrosion, wrapping parts of the structure with carbon fiber-reinforced polymer to strengthen the bridge and installing additional tight steel cables referred to as “post-tensioning strands.” The strands reinforce concrete throughout the bridge.
Kraemer North America, SDOT’s construction contractor, estimates that the cost for the final phase of repairs will be around $45 million.
Pending any unforeseen issues such as extreme weather, worker shortages, supply chain shortages or unexpected conditions, Kraemer has agreed to a schedule that completes repairs by mid-2022.
Following the completion of the repairs by Kraemer, SDOT will test the bridge prior to reopening it to the public. A more specific opening date will be announced as construction advances.
“Whether you’re taking Metro or driving, we’re all looking forward to getting back on the West Seattle Bridge next year, and having this vital roadway reconnecting West Seattle,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Our partnerships with the City of Seattle, SDOT, and Metro have helped keep people moving throughout this project, and we’re all eager to see it across the finish line.”