West Seattle Bridge Update; Seattle Clerk Archives re: 1918-19 Influenza Epidemic

West Seattle Bridge Update

Here are a few updates on the West Seattle Bridge, which SDOT closed on the evening of Monday, March 23rd.

Council Briefings update:

SDOT’s briefing to the at the City Council’s Monday morning Council Briefing meeting is confirmed. The agenda is linked here. You can access the meeting on the Seattle Channel live feed or later at the Seattle Channel archive. You can listen by telephone at 206-684-8566.

Council meetings are being held by telephone due to the COVID-19 virus; in-person attendance is currently prohibited by Governor Inslee’s proclamation.

SDOT website:

SDOT has created a “West Seattle High-Rise Bridge Safety Project” website.

SDOT also posted a blog post about their bridge inspections that led to the closure, including photos and a timeline.

Highland Park Way SW/SW Holden Street intersection:

The blog post also notes SDOT will install a temporary traffic signal at the intersection of Highland Park Way SW and SW Holden Street. Funding for permanent improvements was included in the 2020 budget.

SDOT phone number for information/reporting issues related to the closure:

SDOT’s Customer Care Team is taking calls on the West Seattle Bridge at 206-684-ROAD for information about the closure, and to report issues related to the closure, which are shared with the team working on this.

Constituent Questions:

I’ve forwarded numerous constituent suggestions to SDOT about addressing traffic during the closure. Suggestions include:

  • Spokane Street (lower) bridge use during lower-traffic hours, e.g. overnight and earlier morning, especially for first responders and health care workers;
  • Adjusting signal timing for intersections, including the 5-point intersection below the West Seattle Bridge at Spokane; West Marginal and Delridge; at Highland Park Way at West Marginal; Andover and Delridge; and along the Michigan Street route to I-5 in Georgetown;
  • Limiting openings on the 1st Avenue South bridge (this would involve the Coast Guard as they have jurisdiction over marine waterways);
  • Addressing increased cut-through neighborhood traffic on SW Holden in Highland Park;
  • T-5 traffic, and whether it can be staggered;
  • Could the water taxi access shuttles run further south, to e.g. Roxbury?
  • Water taxi: Could a water taxi be added in another part of West Seattle?
  • Ferry service: can ferry traffic to the Fauntleroy Ferry dock be redirected to Colman Dock Downtown, or can the amount of vehicle traffic be limited? This would involve Washington State Ferries.

Seattle Clerk Archives re: 1918-19 Influenza Epidemic

During 1918-1919, the world faced an influenza epidemic. The City Clerk’s Municipal Archives has shared the following historical items from that period in Seattle:

An October, 2018 letter by Mayor Ole Hanson to the City Council on the City’s response, and requesting an appropriation.

The Department of Health and Sanitation annual reports from 1918-1919 that detailed how the epidemic affected Seattle.

In 2008 Public Health of Seattle and King County produced a history of the influenza epidemic in comic book form.

Here’s a link to the Municipal Archives Spring 2020 Archives Gazette with this and additional items.

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