Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle – South Park) issued the following statement after the Seattle Department of Transportation announced the immediate closure of the West Seattle Bridge to all traffic, after finding accelerated concrete cracking that was observed during a regular bridge inspection:
“Starting tonight, the West Seattle Bridge will be closed to all traffic. The bridge cannot safely support vehicular traffic at this time. The Seattle Department of Transportation will be doing further assessment to determine what repairs are required, how long they will take and how much it will cost. Safety is a top priority and we are making traffic changes in and out of West Seattle to ensure safety and traffic flow.
“I have questions why the lower level bridge cannot be used for vehicular traffic at this time, and how soon it can be opened for traffic given lower traffic volumes in Seattle due to COVID-19 guidance, and specifically reduced traffic volumes to West Seattle via the West Seattle Bridge in light of the new COVID-19 Shelter in Place Orders. My office has requested that SDOT appeal to the Coast Guard to make fewer bridge openings of the lower level bridge to allow for more buses and cars to cross, like they did in early 2019 when the Alaskan Way Viaduct closed and the SR99 tunnel was not yet open.
“My office will continue to monitor the closure and work with SDOT and other partners to provide West Seattle residents and the public updates.”