West Seattle Bridge Update, October 9; This Week in the Budget; Play Areas, Adult Fitness Equipment, and Parks Parking Lots to Reopen!; Seattle Parks Offers Virtual Programming and a Survey; Get a Digital Library Card; 2020 Census; South Seattle College’s New Ballot Box; COVID Cases are Rising in King County

West Seattle Bridge Update October 9

Cost Benefit Analysis and Repair or Replace

As part of the cost/benefit analysis on whether to repair or replace the West Seattle Bridge, SDOT is using conceptual alternatives to inform the decision. On Wednesday, SDOT presented these conceptional alternatives to the West Seattle Bridge Community Task.

The Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) appointed by SDOT notes that all alternatives are technically feasible from an engineering standpoint. The TAP is developing guidance on the pros and cons of each:

The options SDOT presented include estimated costs by dollar sign, from 1 to 5, for capital costs and operations and maintenance (O&M), and include length of construction, duration of the structure, and risks. It’s not easy to assess without specific costs; SDOT indicates they are at 0% design.

The replacement options are designed to inform the repair/replace option only; a type, size and location study would be needed to study options for any replacement.

The first alternative, shoring, would take 5 years to build, last 5 years, and would not restore full capacity; it’s not receiving serious considerations:

The second alternative is repair. Compared to replacement options, it has a lower capital cost, and higher maintenance costs; SDOT estimates traffic could return in 2022, and would last 15+ years. They previously have listed a 15-40 year range.

They note lower seismic performance, though it’s fair to say that’s the intrinsic nature of repairs compared to replacements built with updated seismic codes.

The next alternative is superstructure replacement, which would replace the bridge from Piers 15 to 18. The capital cost is estimated higher than a repair, with the maintenance cost lower. Traffic is estimated to return in 2026, with 75 year duration. SDOT estimated this option (while noting design is at 0%) could be 5-10 times as much as repair for capital costs, though with lower O&M costs.

(a center-span replacement, Alternative 3, was deemed infeasible):

The next alternative is a full replacement bridge. A cable stay bridge is shown; SDOT notes that is just one potential approach. The construction cost is higher than the two previous options, and O&M is in between. SDOT estimates it would take six years:

The final option considered for the cost/benefit analysis is an immersed tube tunnel. SDOT estimates the  construction and O&M costs are estimated to be higher than other options, and construction would take until 2030:

Here’s a chart that compares the 10 attributes considered in the cost/benefit analysis. Alternative 2, Repair, is the baseline, so other options are scored in comparison.

Compared to a repair, replacement options are rated better for seismic; multi-modal impacts, and O&M; a replacement rates better for equity, business and workforce impacts, mobility impacts. Impact for residents isn’t mentioned, but it’s fair to include that as well.

Here’s SDOT’s assessment of the decision:

Here’s their description of how a replacement would proceed:

Here’s what will happen after the decision; it notes the “Type, Size and Location” will also proceed if a repair option is selected.

The task force is scheduled to meet on October 21st.  Members expressed interest in holding an additional meeting next week as well, for further discussion of the cost/benefit analysis, and providing  input as requested from the Mayor.

Here’s a link to presentation at the task force meeting. It introduces the term “certainty” a few times in the context of a decision; this wasn’t part of the cost/benefit analysis, and could potentially be more oriented toward a replacement.

The West Seattle Bridge is a critical lifeline for the West Seattle community. Its closure affects every resident and business on the peninsula. It is also a regional asset. The longer it takes for traffic and transit to resume, the more difficult it will be for West Seattle residents and businesses. A longer delay will also affect the Port of Seattle, and Terminal 5, which is being upgraded to handle megaship cargo vessels. I believe it’s vitally important to keep this in mind when making a decision.


Here’s an update on traffic mitigation and Reconnect West Seattle work being done (the second phase of paving work this weekend on Olson/Myers is weather dependent):

The Lander Street Overpass has opened; as a result Route 50 will resume using the bridge.

Here’s the most recent traffic data and travel times:

Here are the most recent travel times:


Below is the correct slide for Technical Risks identified in the cost/benefit analysis as presented to the task force on September 23rd; last week’s newsletter had an incorrect slide.  Apologies for the error.

This Week in the Budget

The Budget Committee held a public hearing on the Mayor’s Proposed 2021 Budget on October 6th.

October 8th was the deadline for Councilmembers to identify issues for the Budget Deliberations and Issue Identification sessions. In these meetings, Council Central Staff will review the proposed budget and identify potential issues; issues identified by Councilmembers will also be included;  these can be questions, high-level proposals, or specific proposals. Budget Deliberation and Issue Identification Sessions are scheduled for October 15, 16, 20 and 21.

You can view or download the full Select Budget Committee meeting calendar here.  Sign up to receive Select Budget Committee agendas by email here.

Public comment will be taken at the start of each meeting at 9:30 a.m. You can register to give comment on this page. The signup form is available two hours before each session begins.

There will be a second public hearing October 27 at 5:30 p.m.


Play Areas, Adult Fitness Equipment, and Parks Parking Lots to Reopen!

All play areas and adult fitness equipment in Seattle parks are now open! Seattle Parks and Recreation staff, with support from Washington Department of Health and Seattle King County Public Health, have created some guidelines that can keep us all safe while using these spaces.  Please be aware that play areas and fitness equipment are not regularly sanitized or cleaned.

How to use play areas and equipment safely:

  • Play or fitness equipment is open to five or fewer kids or adults at a time
  • Some play areas have only one piece of play equipment (usually a climber/slide combo), and others have many pieces of equipment (swings, little kids climber, big kids climber, zipline, etc.). No more than five kids on a piece of play equipment.
  • Stay home if you are sick or if anyone in your family is sick.
  • Please wash your or your child’s hands before and after play/use.
  • Everyone, including all children over the age of two, must wear a mask. See here for mask information and exception because of disability.
  • Give yourself and others at least six feet of space.

Here are a few tips on how to keep us all safe and keep these spaces open:

  • Keep a close eye on your child to ensure that they are following the guidelines
  • Stay for a short time (30 min. or less) to give everyone an opportunity to play
  • No food or drink on the play equipment to ensure that masks are worn at all times.
  • Visit parks during less busy times. Visit less popular parks. Seattle has over 150 play areas (not including those at schools).
    • Mornings are less busy than afternoons
    • Weekdays are less busy than weekends
    • Lincoln, Green Lake, Seward, Magnuson, Discovery, Gas Works, Carkeek and Jefferson Park are some of Seattle’s busier play areas.
  • We are all in this together, so kindly remind others of the guidelines and find a different activity if the play area gets too crowded.

We cannot allow play areas to be places where COVID-19 is spread, so we need folks to use these spaces safely.

Parking lots that have been closed for the past few months will reopen on Monday, Oct. 19.

Seattle Parks Offers Virtual Programming and a Survey

Your favorite Seattle Parks and Recreation instructors have brought their talents to a screen near you! Community centers are closed, but check out online offerings below.  Take this survey to let Parks know what kind of virtual programming you would enjoy.  Learn more about online programs and sign up here, or click on the class names below.

Get a Digital Library Card

Although library buildings aren’t open to the public right now, you can still access Library resources with a Digital Library Card.  If you are 13 or older, live in Seattle and have a mobile phone, you can get instant access to e-books and e-audiobooks, start using Curbside Pickup at High Point or another location, and access to other resources within a few days.  Just fill out a simple application form hereSpanish and Vietnamese application forms are available.

Library staff are also ready to answer your phone call or chat or email through Ask Us.  Learn about the Library’s virtual or digital services here.

2020 Census

Haven’t responded to the 2020 Census yet? It’s not too late, but this your final warning! Go here to start the questionnaire, it takes less time than reading my weekly news letter, I promise.

Participating in the Census helps ensure an accurate count so that we all receive our fair share of federal funding and representation in Congress. If you have questions out the Census like how it works, data privacy, and history of the Census you can check out this FAQ here.

South Seattle College’s New Ballot Box

The South Seattle College wants to remind folks that there’s a new King County Elections Ballot Box on their campus located at 6000 16th Avenue SW. This is the third drop box we have in West Seattle now, the other two locations are the High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond) and Alaska Junction (Corner of SW Alaska Street and 44th Avenue SW).

The ballot drop boxes officially open on October 15, the day after ballots are mailed out and will remain open through election day, November 3. If you want to see a comprehensive list of ballot drop boxes around the County, you can see that here.

If you need to register to vote click here to register online.

COVID Cases are Rising in King County

You’ve probably heard that coronavirus is spreading at an accelerated pace in our community, including recent outbreaks at Salish Lodge and University of Washington.

We can make sure it doesn’t reach the levels it did last spring, and keep our neighbors, healthcare workers and first responders safe.  In fact, we have even more tools and information to fight coronavirus now than we did then.


Seattle and King County is now recommending that anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or close contact with someone who has COVID-19 be tested right away. Testing as soon as possible after symptoms appear is important to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to family, friends, and the community.  Call your healthcare provider to arrange for a test, or use one of the public testing locations in District 1:

Chief Sealth High School (ADA Accessible)

Make reservations online

2801 SW Thistle St., Seattle, WA 98126

Phone: 206-684-2489

Available, Mon-Sat, 9:30am-5:30pm

Languages: Interpretation available including ASL and tactile interpretation

Neighborcare Health at High Point

6020 35th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98126

Available: Monsday-Friday, 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Call for appointment: (206) 461-6950

Languages: Amharic, Arabic, Cambodian, Oromo, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Ukrainian; interpretation available

Sea Mar Community Health Centers at South Park

8720 14th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108

Phone: (206) 762-3730

Languages: Spanish, Interpretation available

The Greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) study is working to understand how COVID-19 is spreading throughout King County, and offers free, confidential, at-home tests. Enroll at scanpublichealth.org/screener.

Staying home is still safest

Maintaining the safety principles that led to the success against the outbreak has never been more important. These include continuing to practice physical distancing of 6 feet or more, minimizing contact with others outside the home, frequent hand washing or sanitizer, use of cloth face coverings in public, and avoiding group gatherings and poorly ventilated spaces.

Check out this blog post from Public Health on how to keep indoor spaces safe this fall and winter.

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