West Seattle Bridge repairs delayed amid worker strike

It is not what people wanted to hear, but it appears there will be a delay when it comes to repairing the West Seattle Bridge as concrete workers are still on strike.

Mayor Bruce Harrell warned of possible schedule setbacks if concrete wasn't available by Feb. 20, although it's unclear how much of a delay.

People waiting for the West Seattle Bridge to reopen are facing yet another hurdle as the strike continues and a mid-year completion date isn't so set in stone.

RELATED: King County proposes first-ever concrete supplier contract amid ongoing labor strike

"I think it delays myself. It delays anybody who has to get into town, you know, when I need to go south then to go north," neighbor, Greg Cohen said.

The travel trouble treks onward for people in West Seattle.

Cohen knows just how clogged the commute can be no matter the time of day as the West Seattle Bridge sits closed.

"I've heard July is when the bridge would be open, and now it's—I don't know, and you know, luckily my organization has been pretty flexible, and it's just like, you know, when's it going to end?" Cohen said.

That's been the question for almost two years.

RELATED: West Seattle Bridge expected to reopen mid-2022, as final phase of repairs begins Monday

Now, as concrete workers strike for better wages, medical benefits and pensions, bridge work requiring concrete is at a standstill itself.

Harrell spoke earlier this month about the progress of the project and the looming deadline.

"All things considered, we certainly would have had that completed by mid-year 2022," Harrell said. "If the current labor dispute is not settled in a few weeks around Feb. 20, that this will have a significant delay on the project."

Also earlier this month, King County announced a plan to get concrete flowing again by offering concrete supply companies a chance to bid on a contract with the county.

Right now, a spokeswoman with the Teamsters said there's been no movement when it comes to negotiations and so the strike continues.

Kurt Tonnemaker, a farmer who sells produce at farmer's markets including one in West Seattle, knows all too well that time is money.

"We have a lot of customers in West Seattle that we deliver to during the week, and we have restaurant deliveries and so it's been really hard," he said.

That's why he's hoping a solution for everyone is coming and fast.

"Traffic is more, and more people are getting out to work and things. It's been getting worse and worse," he said.

There's no word at this point if any companies have made a direct bid to King County or if a bid has been accepted.

The four concrete companies released a statement last week that said they've bargained in good faith and have had more than sixteen meetings.

The companies said the union has repeatedly rejected significant offers.

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