Concrete workers return to work, begin pouring concrete on West Seattle Bridge

Hundreds of concrete workers have agreed to return to work, and crews started structural concrete pouring to repair the West Seattle Bridge Saturday morning.

Concrete trucks were coming and going on the West Seattle Bridge on Saturday, as structural concrete pours are underway. This, as hundreds of striking concrete workers have come back in good faith and contract negotiations continue.

People in West Seattle are excited to see progress being made, and cannot wait for the West Seattle Bridge work to be over. People are keeping their fingers crossed; hoping the bridge work will be right on track.

Ray Parise and Debbie Miller are visiting from Oregon:

"If they had it marked, it'd be much easier," Parise said. "I thought the lower bridge probably worked, but there were some signs 'Bus only', I think maybe we misread it."

For Miller, it is a return to her old home. Getting there is not like it used to be with the West Seattle Bridge still under repair.

"I lived here for 10 years, but it's been almost 20 years ago, and I used to go over all the time and, you know, go to the delis and walk on the beach and the coffee shops and just, I just love it over there, but I had not heard this. We planned our trip, part of our trip was to go there. So, frustrating," she said.

Kim Jones, a West Seattle resident, has been riding her bike instead of driving to save time on her commute. Seeing construction resume on the bridge put a smile on her face.

"It was amazing because I'm actually meeting some friends to bike and normally, I have to drive an hour, and I was literally amazed like in my head as you stopped me I was like, 'This was the fastest trip I've ever had', like, I can't wait for the bridge," she said.

The project, which has been happening for more than two years, had come to a near halt, as concrete workers went on strike months ago demanding better wages and healthcare benefits. 

RELATED: Striking concrete drivers return to 2 companies, union says strike not over

The concrete strike has impacted Sound Transit Link expansion work and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said some projects are also delayed. Earlier this month, the mayor was quoted in a Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) email saying the mid-2022 target date to reopen the West Seattle Bridge may not be impacted by the strike.

RELATED: Sound Transit: Light rail projects delayed following strike

For now, the community is staying cautiously optimistic and considering other options to get around.

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