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Final phase of repairs begins on West Seattle Bridge

A two-level bridge is shown in the evening
Seattle Municipal Archives
The West Seattle Bridge

Crews have returned to the high-rise portion of the closed West Seattle Bridge to begin the final phase of repairs. City and transportation leaders marked that milestone in a news conference Monday.

Seattle Department of Transportation director Sam Zimbabwe described the work that will be done in the final phase, starting with the installation of 91 tons of steel cable.

"These reinforce the concrete, much like the bridge's skeleton. We're wrapping the structure with carbon fiber-reinforced polymer for durability and to strengthen the bridge and that will, really, last for years," he explained. "And then we're injecting epoxy into the cracks to seal them and prevent corrosion for the long-term performance of the bridge overall."

City leaders say the project is on budget. And they're on track to reopen the upper bridge by the middle of next year. It has been closed since March 2020 after crews discovered growing cracks in the roadway.

“On behalf of the people and businesses in West Seattle, I want to share our excitement and support for reopening the West Seattle Bridge next year. Seeing the workers returning this week to finish repairs is symbolic of how close we are to getting back to using the bridge. Thank you to those workers and their families for supporting the reopening each and every day they’re on the job,” said King County Councilmember Joe McDermott.

Two people in reflective gear and hard hats take notes and examine a concrete wall.
City of Seattle
Workers examine the West Seattle Bridge.

Kirsten Kendrick has been hosting Morning Edition on KNKX/KPLU since 2006. She has worked in news radio for more than 30 years. Kirsten is also a sports lover. She handles most sports coverage at the station, including helping produce a two-part series on the 50th anniversary of Title IX and the ongoing series "Going Deep."