Seattle meets goals on 5 bridges, more still need fixing

Sep 29, 2011

A number of concrete and steel bridges where built in Seattle in the 1930s, '40s and '50s - each designed with a 60-year lifespan.

The Seattle Transportation Department says 60 of the city's 137 bridges are more than 60 years old and would cost $1.1 billion to replace. The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce reports  department Manager John Buswell told the city council's Transportation Committee this week that another Bridging the Gap levy might be needed.

Voters approved a $365 million nine-year Bridging the Gap levy in 2006 that allowed Seattle to ramp up work on high-priority bridges. The levy expires in 2015.

The Seattle Department of Transportation announced yesterday that Bridging the Gap met its first nine-year goal by completing five bridge rehabilitation and replacement projects, with the East Marginal Way and South Horton Street Bridge work being completed on-time and under budget, the city reported.

Having achieved this in less than five years, SDOT will soon begin work on another bridge replacement project, the Airport Way S Viaduct over Argo Railroad Yard, and will explore adding two additional structures before the levy expires in 2015.