'Advanced deterioration' on Aurora Bridge prompts around-the-clock lane closures

SEATTLE - The right lane of the southbound SR-99 Aurora bridge will remain closed around-the-clock this week.

Drivers and riders should plan for delays, especially during the morning and afternoon commutes, if traveling toward downtown Seattle through Fremont and Wallingford.

"The bridge is still safe, I want to stress that, the bridge is still safe for people to use," said WSDOT's Bart Treece. "This lane closure is a precautionary measure until we can get that repair underway."

During an in-depth inspection of the structure over the weekend, state Department of Transportation bridge inspectors found advanced deterioration of steel on the underside of the Aurora bridge.

"Over the weekend we had an inspection that found a little bit of concern, we had some pack rust that was removed as part of a painting project," Treece said. "We went out in September to take a look at it, and this past weekend we had a closer look, and that gave us some concern about needing to repair portions of the bridge."

While the bridge is still safe to cross, the southbound right lane will remain closed around-the-clock as a precautionary step until repairs are developed and implemented. Additional closures may be needed.

"We want to make sure we’re not doing any additional damage and reducing some of that additional load on the right lane of the bridge," said Treece.

Plan for delays

With the southbound SR 99 reduced to two lanes across the bridge, travelers should expect delays in the area and consider alternatives: