The bridge closed June 20 after an inspector discovered leaking hydraulic fluid, used in the mechanism that allows the bridge to swing open.

Share story

The Spokane Street Bridge, the lower-level span connecting West Seattle to the rest of the city, reopened Tuesday afternoon, after it was closed for emergency repairs for six days, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) said.

The bridge closed June 20 after an inspector discovered leaking hydraulic fluid, which is used in the mechanism that allows the bridge to swing open.

SDOT said that the leak was inside the cylinder-machine house, a self-contained area, and that “only a small amount” of hydraulic fluid had leaked. The agency initially estimated the bridge would be closed for at least a week.

Traffic Lab is a Seattle Times project that digs into the region’s thorny transportation issues, spotlights promising approaches to easing gridlock, and helps readers find the best ways to get around. It is funded with the help of community sponsors Alaska Airlines, CenturyLink, Kemper Development Co., NHL Seattle, PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company, Sabey Corp., Seattle Children’s hospital and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Seattle Times editors and reporters operate independently of our funders and maintain editorial control over Traffic Lab content.

Learn more about Traffic Lab » | Follow us on Twitter »

About 15,000 cars use the bridge each weekday and about 1,400 bikes were using it each weekday before the closure. SDOT ran a shuttle service for several days during the closure, to transport cyclists across the taller West Seattle Bridge.