SDOT: West Seattle Bridge one step closer to reopening

The West Seattle Bridge is getting closer to reopening as the Seattle Department of Transportation reached another construction milestone. 

This week, the department announced that crews have completed tightening steel post-tensioning cables inside the bridge. 

SDOT officials said the post-tensioning steel cables reinforce the bridge structure and help prevent it from cracking. Post-tensioning also helps the bridge better support itself and respond to environmental factors such as weather, vehicle loads, and other external forces.

Crews completed an initial phase of post-tensioning on the high bridge in 2020 in the central span. This most recent second phase added a new post-tensioning system in the center and side spans to help fully rehabilitate the bridge.


SDOT: West Seattle Bridge on track to reopen this September

Pending successful completion of remaining construction, the West Seattle Bridge will reopen as soon as the week of Sep. 12, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). 

SDOT said the final step in the tensioning process was to tighten the cables by pulling on them with hydraulic equipment. This type of equipment is fitted over the steel cables and uses a highly pressured liquid to pull and tighten each cable.

Officials listed the following remaining tasks to reopen the bridge:

  • Complete final epoxy injections and carbon-fiber wrapping
  • Complete cure time for the carbon-fiber wrapping
  • Remove work platforms
  • Load test and inspect the repairs
  • Restore the pavement on the bridge deck
  • Remove construction equipment and get the bridge ready for the public

Last month, SDOT said the bridge could reopen as soon as the week of Sept. 12, pending successful completion of the remaining construction.