Seattle, WA

West Seattle High-Rise Bridge on schedule to reopen in 2022

Liam Ford
The West Seattle High-Rise Bridge is the city's most-used crossing.| Seattle Department of Transportation

SEATTLE, WA — The West Seattle High-Rise Bridge, closed since March 2020, is on track to reopen next year.

“The end is in sight to reopen the bridge in coming months,” Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan said in a news release today.

The reopening date has yet to be announced.

The final phase of repairs is estimated to cost $45 million, which is consistent with previous estimates, according to the release.

Work includes sealing the cracks with epoxy, reinforcing parts of the bridge with carbon fiber, and installing post-tensioning strands to strengthen the concrete.

The bridge was closed to all vehicle traffic on March 23, 2020, after inspections found existing cracks growing at an accelerated rate.

The West Seattle High-Rise Bridge is the city’s most-used crossing, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation. An average of 100,000 vehicles cross daily.

“Starting the repair process is a huge step,” Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold said in the release.

The West Seattle Low-level Bridge, also known as the Spokane Street Bridge, has remained open. But it is restricted to transit, freight, emergency vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. It was reopened to general traffic from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. in June.

Kraemer North America was selected as the main contractor in May 2021.

The West Seattle High-Rise Bridge was built in 1984.

A cantilevered and segmental concrete bridge, it rises to a peak of 140 feet over the Duwamish Waterway, and measures 1,300 feet across three spans.

Previously, the crossing was spanned by the old West Seattle Bridge, built in 1924. It was closed on June 11, 1978, after being permanently damaged when it was struck by a freighter, the Antonio Chavez.

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