The Spokane Street Bridge is reopened after a temporary closure Thursday morning due to “mechanical issues,” according to the Seattle Department of Transportation.
SDOT announced the swing bridge was back in service shortly before 11 a.m. Details about the malfunction were not immediately available.
The Spokane Street Bridge has malfunctioned and closed occasionally in the two years of the upper West Seattle Bridge’s closure, including on July 9, when the bridge closed for more than two hours, and on May 11 for about 90 minutes. In that case, SDOT found an electronic sensor delivered an error message to a computer that controls bridge movements.
Engineers at SDOT have for years called for upgrades to the West Seattle Bridge; the updates are finally funded and scheduled during 2022. These include carbon-fiber wrapping of cracks in the concrete girders, a new power control system and rewiring of communications cables between the control tower and the bridge.
Since the main West Seattle Bridge’s closure in 2020, because of runaway structural cracks, the low bridge has been off limits to general-purpose traffic for much of each day — restricted from 5 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekends to buses, trucks, emergency vehicles, plus a limited number of permitted business and maritime workers. It’s unrestricted for people walking, biking and rolling.
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Information from The Seattle Times archives is included in this report.