W Seattle Lower Bridge is Operational!

Luck Favors the Prepared

Snapshot from live traffic cameras | 06.26.18

In case you haven’t heard, the Lower Spokane St Bridge (a.k.a. West Seattle lower bridge) is open to all pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle traffic! The swing bridge went into its ‘open for marine vessels’ position last Wednesday at 8 PM, with an expected week or more to get it back online.  The key to pulling it together? A spare!

 

Love the Spare

The SDOT Roadway Structures team thinks about future needs, and had a spare piston assembly stored in case the swing bridge ever lost its swing. Like a spare tire, the spare hydraulic cylinder got people up and traveling again, much sooner than it might otherwise take to fix a leaking piston assembly.

The spare assembly is a lot to love, about 15 tons, and took a special heavy duty forklift to move it. Thanks to United Motor Freight, Inc, located right next to the bridge, and President Jeff Landstrom, for making the emergency response vehicle available!.

 

PM Commute Joy

Around lunchtime today, Roadways Structures crews completed several test openings, with the installed spare, then picked up all the traffic control and detour signage…to swing back into business! That means the bike shuttle put in place during bridge repairs, provided its unceremonious last operation during this morning’s commute.

 

Many Thanks!

Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding—and crews for your 12-hour shifts! More details to come on the originally identified problem, when the damaged piston assembly is inspected later this week. Work this last week focused singularly on efficient opening of the Spokane St Bridge, as a priority for travelers.

 

For more on what’s impacting traffic, visit…

What’s Moving Seattle This Week?

Update 5: W Seattle Lower Bridge

Weighty Subject

Today, the Roadway Structures crew is moving a 15-ton replacement cylinder into its exact place, inside the west shore pier house of the W Seattle Lower Bridge.

The bridge was swung out to its marine vessel position last Wednesday, to further investigate a hydraulic fluid leak.

Roadway Structures crew maneuvers 15-ton cylinder | June 25, 2018

Roadway Structures crew maneuvers 15-ton cylinder | June 25, 2018

 

 

Rebuilding

Photo by Casey Allen | Pexels

Maneuvering replacement parts the combined weight of two elephants is no simple task. The nearly 30,000-pound cylinder must be installed per specific controls, right down to cleaning it, along with reconnecting hydraulic oil lines, rewiring electrical conduit, etc.

Huge piston assembly cylinder must be clean for install.

 

There’s also continuous monitoring and testing along the way (not of the elephants; rather, operation of the 15-ton replacement cylinder). It all means there are several more days of hard work ahead.

 

4 x 12 Effort

On Saturday, the team worked a 4th consecutive 12-hour day, pulling the huge, damaged piston assembly out of its tightly placed spot, and delivering the new one to just inside the pier house dome. With such long hours and critical work, the team rested Sunday to ensure both a safe and successful effort kicking off again this morning.

 

The damaged piston assembly cylinder will be inspected in detail locally, to determine to cause of its hydraulic fluid leak.

 

What You Can Expect

The Spokane St Swing Bridge, a.k.a. W Seattle Low-Level Bridge over the Duwamish River, remains out of commission, potentially through the end of the week. We expect to know more tomorrow, June 26, 2018.

Vehicles:

 Detour routes are marked at the following locations:

  • Chelan Ave SW
  • 1st Ave S
  • E Marginal
  • Harbor

Visit our What’s moving Seattle this week? blog for navigation tips.

 

Cyclists:

 Shuttle service for bike commuters is running during the week, 6 – 10 AM and 3 – 7 PM, carrying up to 15 passengers each trip.

 Shuttle pick-up & drop-off is at bridge approaches; arriving at each side every ~20 minutes.

For biking around the Duwamish River to the next cross point, see our Bike Detour Map and suggestions in Update 4

 

Here’s to a successful West Seattle Lower Bridge Repair this week, coming back strong and swinging!

Update 4: W Seattle Bridge

Back-up piston assembly on site | June 22, 2018

 

 

Primed & Ready

Today crews primed the replacement parts that will help get the W Seattle Lower Bridge back in service. The huge piston also had to be rotated to match the position of the bridge–for ‘ease’ of placement.

Crews prepping the new piston assembly for the W Seattle Lower Bridge

 

 

Pull & Push

Saturday morning the team will begin pulling the massive old hydraulic assembly out from inside the pier machine house. Today crews worked to ensure the heavy pull goes smoothly, clearing space for crane movements that include pushing the new assembly in, when the time is right.

W Seattle Lower Bridge | Old piston assembly readied for 06.23.18 removal

 

Shuttle Resumes Monday

The bike commuter shuttle wraps up tonight, resuming Monday at 6 AM. For weekend riders, see the bike detour mapThank you @SDOTtraffic tweeters for sharing detour experiences–with these suggestions from downtown to W Seattle:

Stay far right on 1st Ave S, over E Marginal Way, to signed bike route.

Take 1st Ave S bike route under bridges, toward S Michigan St.

Stay right to ride onto 1st Ave S Bridge.

Rider-suggested route on 1st Ave S to W Seattle | Image by Google

 

What you can expect:

Spokane St Swing Bridge, a.k.a. W Seattle Low-Level Bridge over the Duwamish River is out of commission through next week.

Vehicles:

 Detour routes are marked at the following locations:

  • Chelan Ave SW
  • 1st Ave S
  • E Marginal
  • Harbor

 

Cyclists:

 Shuttle service for bike riders will run during weekday commutes, up to 15 passengers each trip.

 Shuttle service is available 6 – 10 AM and 3 – 7 PM starting Monday; arriving at each side every ~20 minutes.

 Bike Riders: go to bridge approaches in Seattle and W Seattle for weekday shuttle pickup and drop-off.

 

 

Enjoy the Weekend!

It’s a busy weekend special events and construction  going on in Seattle. Have fun and stay safe, while the W Seattle Low-level Bridge gets some high-level maintenance!

Update 3: W Seattle Lower Bridge

W Seattle Lower Bridge machine house; west side of the Duwamish River.

Pulling together.

Swing Bridge in ‘open’ position

Today, crews repairing the West Seattle Lower Bridge are pulling electrical conduit and casings from the western bridge support machine room. They need to reach and replace damaged hydraulics that move the west side of the swing bridge–work that will take several days. The bridge is in its marine access open position, closed to vehicles, since Wednesday night.

 

Electrical conduit inside the west side machine house.

Pieces pulled from machine room, to reach hydraulics.

Prepping the damaged assembly for pullout.

 

HUGE thanks!

Thanks to all the local businesses and our greater community for helping to ensure smooth logistics. A special shout-out to the Water Taxi to and from W Seattle for deferring its regularly scheduled maintenance so that its 278-passenger boat is running to support bike commuters! It can carry 26 bikes at a time.

 

Improving how you get around.

Our Traffic Operations is deploying additional signage to help bikes and peds find the taxi. To get around during the repair work, consider riding the bus. Buses can hold up to 3 bikes. Check out King County’s tips for loading your bike on a bus.

 

Visit our What’s moving Seattle this week? blog for navigation tips. As our crews work to gain access to the damaged hydraulics, a multitude of projects and events are getting underway–including:

 

 

What you can expect:

Spokane St Swing Bridge, a.k.a. W Seattle Low-Level Bridge over the Duwamish River is out of commission while under repair.

Vehicles:

 Detour routes are marked at the following locations:

  • Chelan Ave SW
  • 1st Ave S
  • E Marginal
  • Harbor

 

Cyclists:

 Shuttle service for bike commuters continues, up to 15 passengers each trip.

 Shuttle service is available 3 – 7 PM today; arriving at each side every ~20 minutes.

 Bike Riders: Shuttle service is available at bridge approaches in Seattle and W Seattle for pickup and drop-off.

  • For those biking around the Duwamish, see the bike detour map.

 

Updates made available as confirmed.

Thanks for your patience!

 

4th Ave Downtown Full Closures with Detours Saturday, April 21 to Sunday, April 22

SDOT is advising travelers that there will be full closures of 4th Ave from University St to Union St and Pine St to Olive Way from 4 a.m. Saturday, April 21 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 22. (Northbound 4th Ave traffic will be detoured at University St to northbound 6th Ave and can travel north to Denny Way.)

These closures are for private crane construction. SDOT would like to thank the public for its patience while this work is being completed.

A reminder that WSDOT will also be closing lanes and ramps along I-5 through the weekend.

Travelers can expect:

• 4th Ave closed from University St to Union St from 4 a.m. Saturday, April 21 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 22.
• 4th Ave closed from Pine St to Olive Way 4 a.m. Saturday, April 21 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 22.
• Signed detours will be in place
• Uniformed police officers will be on-site to direct traffic
• (Northbound 4th Ave traffic will be detoured at University St to northbound 6th Ave and can travel north to Denny Way.)