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West Seattle bridge and low bridge 
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Credit: Seattle Department of Transportation

West Seattle Bridge will open in September

You hear that? If you listen closely, you can hear all of West Seattle erupting in a unified cheer upon hearing the news that the West Seattle Bridge is slated to open on Sept. 18, 2022.

“This monumental effort has repaired the cracks and made the bridge stronger and safer," said Heather Marx, program director for the West Seattle Bridge. "SDOT is confident that the bridge will now stand strong for decades to come, fulfilling its original intended lifespan. We appreciate the community’s resilience as we navigated the uncertainties of this project.”

The Seattle Department of Transportation announced the reopening date on Thursday, Aug. 11. It says that the bridge is ready for cars and trucks after crews added about 60 miles of new steel cable to the bridge (SDOT calls this its "backbone"). Crews also repaired cracking along the bridge that originally shut it down in 2020.

The Spokane Street Bridge, or the lower bridge, will also open on Sept. 18.

There is a caveat — there is still more work to be done, and that has to be finished in time for the September deadline. This work includes: paving; epoxy injections, and carbon fiber wrapping. SDOT also wants to install "safety inspection platforms" inside the bridge.

The West Seattle Bridge has been out of commission ever since cracks were discovered in March 2020. The cracks were so severe that the city shut the bridge down, which is the most heavily-used connection between West Seattle and the rest of the city, effectively cutting it off.

“It is a relief to be so close to the end of this difficult closure," Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a statement. "We recognize how painful this closure has been for so many people, businesses, and communities. Their safety has been at the core of this repair effort since the beginning. As we reopen the bridge and reconnect our city, we are bringing our communities together with the confidence that the bridge is now stronger and safer for everyone.”