Repairs are underway on the Lake Union Park footbridge, years after it was deemed unsafe and fenced off.

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Repairs on Lake Union Park’s footbridge began this week, nearly three years after it was closed because of structural problems.

The bridge, opened in 2010, provides access between Westlake Avenue and the peninsula location of the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) in South Lake Union.

In October 2014, city workers discovered that shifting soil on the east side was causing the 108-foot bridge to move laterally, according to Seattle Parks and Recreation.

For public safety, the bridge was fenced off because officials feared it could snap.

That’s how it’s remained ever since.

Parks and Recreation project manager Toby Ressler said in early 2016 that the work should be done by the end of that year. He said this week, however, that a project of this kind takes time to do right, and that soil must be monitored over time to anticipate future shifts.

“We had to do some monitoring of how fast it was moving in order to determine what the correct fix would be,” Ressler said of the bridge’s long state of disrepair.

A plan was needed for how to halt the soil movement and secure the bridge’s structure, a project outline said.

The outline said fixes needed for the repair included replacing the shifting soil with “lightweight geofoam” along the western part of the peninsula; modifying the bridge structurally; repairing the boardwalk between the bridge and the bulkhead; and reinstalling paved walkways.

The work is costing the city more than $4.6 million, though records provided by the city before Friday indicated a total cost of $690,000.

Ressler said the park will remain open during construction, which is expected to take about four months.

“The dock is still open, the park is still open,” Ressler said. “We’ve been working with partners in the park to let them know what’s going on, what to expect.”

A front-desk employee at MOHAI said he has often been asked about the status of the bridge over the past few years. It’s a nice opportunity to talk about the history of the park, he said.

MOHAI public-relations manager Wendy Malloy said museum staff members are looking forward to having the bridge open. Malloy said that the museum’s programming hasn’t been affected, but opening the bridge will improve access to the museum and the other facilities and businesses in the park.

Center for Wooden Boats visitors-service assistant Jonah Martin said he hasn’t noticed anyone having trouble reaching the docks at the southern part of the park. Boaters and kayakers are doing just fine in the water, too.

“It doesn’t seem to have an impact,” he said.

If work goes as planned, the bridge will be open to the public in November.

Information in this article, originally published July 14, 2017, was corrected July 14, 2017. A previous version of this story gave a far lower cost for the project, based on figures provided by the city.