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West Seattle Bridge


West Seattle Bridge

View beside the bridge from Spokane Street Viaduct approach

Photo taken by Joe Mabel at Wikimedia Commons in August 2007

License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)


View this photo at Wikimedia Commons

BH Photo #476591


I'm adding this bridge simply to make a point about how modern UCEBs are much more unreliable than historic truss bridges. This bridge, built in 1984, was closed to all traffic in March 2020 after a routine inspection discovered cracks in the concrete. Further investigation revealed serious problems with the structure - so severe that external bracing had to be erected before repairs could begin safely.

For a short period of time, this bridge and its associated expressway spur were considered for demolition which would reroute all traffic onto the adjacent Spokane Street Swing Bridge. However, this proposal was scrapped, and there are plans to repair the West Seattle Bridge, but these emergency repairs are not expected to be completed until 2022. This proves two things: one, that a major transportation artery was considered for demolition after less than 50 years in service; and two, that "emergency" repairs to this modern structure are taking several years.

If nothing else, what has happened to both this bridge and the Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart, Florida (which I'll also be adding for similar reasons) is ample evidence that any claims about modern bridges being more durable than historic bridges are 100% false.

See also https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/wes... and other related articles in the Seattle Times.


Concrete deck girder bridge over Duwamish Waterway & Industrial Flats on West Seattle Expressway/Spokane Street Bypass
Seattle, King County, Washington
Closed due to serious cracking in March 2020. Expected to remain closed until at least 2022.
Future prospects
The West Seattle Bridge & associated expressway was closed to all traffic indefinitely in March 2020 after a routine inspection discovered serious cracking in the concrete. Further inspection determined that the bridge was significantly unstable and needed additional support before any repairs could begin. Repairs are not expected to be completed until at least 2022.
Built 1984; Closed due to cracking 2020; Expected to reopen at some point in 2022
Cantilevered segmental concrete box girder
Length of largest span: 589.9 ft.
Total length: 2,607.0 ft. (0.5 mi.)
Deck width: 100.1 ft.
Also called
Jeanette Williams Memorial Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+47.57104, -122.35316   (decimal degrees)
47°34'16" N, 122°21'11" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/548650/5268827 (zone/easting/northing)
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
Inventory number
BH 89997 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of May 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 69 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • July 20, 2020: New photos from Nick Boppel


  • Nick Boppel - nickboppel01 [at] gmail [dot] com