Another award for South Park Bridge construction project

(June 2014 TSPN photo)
Just announced by King County:

The South Park Bridge construction project continues to receive national awards for design, preservation, and engineering a year after King County Executive Dow Constantine led the opening celebration. The latest recognition comes from Roads & Bridges magazine, which named it the best bridge project in the United States for 2015.

Many of the awards King County and its contractors have received for the South Park Bridge praise the drawbridge’s energy-efficient design that can raise both 3.5-million-pound drawspans with the same amount of energy it takes to drive a Toyota Prius.

Getting the job done locally

Executive Constantine created a public-private partnership to fund construction of the new drawbridge, which is a key industrial corridor connecting communities along the Duwamish River.

“Award-winning construction projects like South Park Bridge demonstrate our ability to deliver results,” said Executive Constantine. “National recognition for our infrastructure projects is important because it shows that, even in an era of federal gridlock and budget shortfalls, we can get the job done.”

The latest award from Roads & Bridges honors projects that excel at meeting project challenges and positively impacts its region. In describing why they selected it as the nation’s No. 1 bridge project, editors said:

“Erecting a new structure in the face of a treasured progenitor is a daunting task in the best of circumstances. Those surrounding the construction of the South Park Bascule Bridge were beyond extreme—this project towed narrow lines of strict operational quality, and did so amidst input from residents. In this sense, the new South Park Bascule Bridge is more than a bridge; it is a connector of communities on both shores of the Duwamish.”

Other awards the South Park Bridge has received include:

American Council of Engineering Companies Washington, 2015 Gold Award, Structural Systems
American Council of Engineering Companies, Engineering Excellence Awards Competition, National Recognition Award
American Public Works Association, 2015 Project of the Year Award, Transportation More than $75 Million
American Society of Civil Engineers, 2014 Local Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award for Structural Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers Region 8, 2014 Project of the Year, Honorable Mention
National Council of Structural Engineers Associations, 2015 NCSEA Excellence in Structural Engineering Award – Outstanding Project
King County Historic Preservation Program, 2015 John D. Spellman Award for Exemplary Achievement in Historic Preservation
With two piers capped by brick-surfaced control towers and a sweeping bascule design, the new bridge recreates the look of its predecessor, which was torn down in 2010 due to safety concerns. King County Department of Transportation managed the project.

The new bridge carries 20,000 vehicles and nearly 3,000 heavy-duty trucks each day as well as an estimated 10 million tons of freight each year, including aerospace parts to local Boeing facilities.

South Park Bridge overnight closures are … over

DeAnna Martin from King County sends word: “Nighttime closures of the South Park Bridge for painting and finishing work ended Thursday morning ahead of schedule. King County wishes to thank residents, businesses and travelers in the area for their patience while this work was completed.”

South Park Bridge overnight closures next two weeks

As announced by King County:

The King County Road Services Division is advising South Park Bridge users that the bridge, located on 14/16th Avenue South, will be closed to vehicle traffic from 12:01 a.m. – 5 a.m. daily from Tuesday, March 17 – Saturday, March 28. The closure will be confined to the overnight hours and will allow the contractor to complete bridge painting and finishing work in areas accessible only when the bridge is partially open.

While work is underway, the waterway will remain open to recreational vessels that don’t require full openings to clear the bridge. Because the work will be performed overnight, traffic impacts should be minimal.

Followup: South Park Bridge repairs under way

So far, so good for the South Park Bridge, after last Saturday’s breakdown. Update from King County:

Repairs to a transmission pump that caused the South Park Bridge to close for several hours Saturday are now being completed by the bridge contractor. Upon closer inspection, engineers determined that repairs can be made locally. Once repairs are complete, the pump will be reconnected to the drive shaft. That work is expected to take a day or two and can be completed while the bridge continues to be open to vehicle traffic. At this point, engineers do not believe the work will result in significant traffic delays.

In the meantime, adjustments have been made that allow for the bridge to operate under auxiliary power – which means the bridge spans can still be raised and lowered to accommodate marine traffic. The raising and lowering of the bridge just may take a bit longer than normal.

King County appreciates your patience as it works to complete repairs.

Update: South Park Bridge back in service as of early Tuesday

11:42 AM: The South Park Bridge remains “stuck in the open position,” and has been that way most of the morning. No ETA for repairs yet, but we’re mentioning this in case you haven’t already heard. Whenever you refresh this page, it’ll show you the newest image from the 14th/Cloverdale traffic camera, so you can check back here to see if it’s fixed.

1:54 PM: SDOT now says the bridge might not reopen before Tuesday. Barricades are up to keep vehicles and people entirely off it.

6:10 PM: Update from King County Roads:

King County has determined that the cause of this morning’s South Park Bridge mechanical malfunction was a faulty transmission pump that will need to be rebuilt or replaced under warranty. Replacement parts are expected to arrive Tuesday. In the meantime, the county is evaluating whether the bridge spans can be safely lowered to allow for vehicle traffic.

Until the bridge reopens, motorists should use the 1st Avenue South Bridge as a detour. The county understands how important the bridge is to the community and motorists – every effort is being made to get the bridge reopened to both vehicle and marine traffic as quickly as possible.

3:08 AM SUNDAY: The bridge is back in service as of very early today, though the repairs haven’t been completed yet. This could change, but for now, both KC Roads and KING 5 confirm it’s working.

Update: South Park Bridge reopens to traffic after getting stuck

ORIGINAL REPORT, 6:22 PM: It’s been stuck open for more than an hour, one passerby was shouting at waiting cars. SDOT says via Twitter that it has ‘malfunctioned.’

UPDATE, 8:12 PM: SDOT tweeted a short time ago that it’s open to vehicle traffic again. No word yet what went wrong; so far as we know, this is the first major malfunction since it went into service almost two months ago.

VIDEO: And the new South Park Bridge is in service

Our crew was there as the gates went up at 6 am and the first vehicles went across. Do note that it’s one lane each way for a while, as some last work is done in the outer lanes.

NEW SOUTH PARK BRIDGE: Parade video, photos

After the dedication ceremony, the speeches, the fireworks – after people had a chance to walk across the bridge for the first time – it was parade time!

Our video ended when the parade paused for a long time, right after the low-rider cars and high-riding bikes. But we have some video snippets and photos from what followed – here are the bridge-builders!

Awesome equestrians:

IAM 751 – headquartered in South Park – had a big parade presence:

And in a moment of closure – remember the classic buses that crossed the old bridge the night it closed? They were in the parade today to celebrate this one’s opening:

We talked with a few sets of parents who were there with kids who hadn’t even been born yet when the old bridge closed – this is likely the only one they’ll ever know, since it’s expected to last a century. Among those parents, County Executive Dow Constantine and wife Shirley Carlson with (in stroller, out of view) their new daughter Sabrina:

(Also in the picture, from left, Dow’s brother Blair Constantine, Chris Arkills from the executive’s office, and KCDOT director Harold Taniguchi.) Still some more photos to add on Monday.

AS IT UNFOLDED: New South Park Bridge celebration!

(UPDATES CONTINUE into the evening – scroll down!)

1:42 PM: If you haven’t gone to 14th Avenue South yet – the party is well under way! We arrived for some early photos between 12:15 and 12:45 and are adding a few here, including this quick panorama from UNDER the bridge:

Pieces of the old bridge are forever part of the new one and its surroundings:

We’re heading back for the 3 pm dedication and all the festivities that follow. Big question is “When can we walk on the bridge?” Answer: Right now you can walk on the south-side path to the south tower for “self-guided tours”:

After the 3 pm ceremony, starting by 4:30 pm, the bridge will be open to all. Two music stages – one by the bridge …

(added) … where Two Scoops offered “Open Up the Bridge”:

… and one a few blocks south at Donovan:

ESPN Deportes announcers are there too:

This is the coolest dancing-in-the-street we saw in the early going:

Art is happening, too:

And you can walk under the bridge as well as (later) on it:

More to come!

We’ll be posting to the West Seattle Blog Instagram feed inbetween official updates.

4:59 PM: Open for walking!

C’mon down if you haven’t been here yet!

5:56 PM: The parade was much bigger than we expected – including the South Park float, with Executive Dow Constantine and Roads director Harold Taniguchi doing the parade wave:

Here’s the view looking southward onto 14th, as people followed the end of the parade:

We’ll have a separate gallery with parade photos/video.

8:04 PM: And then as the evening began – Lucha Libre Volcanica took the stage on the southwest side of the bridge:

LLV is the region’s only school where you can train to become a luchadore – masked Mexican-style wrestler. And its luchadores now come to South Park for a show every year – this time, it coincided with the bridge bash.

The luchadores go through outrageous moves and antics in their matches.

Still more to add!

NEW SOUTH PARK BRIDGE: The art, behind-the-scenes

When we visited the bridge earlier this week (see photos elsewhere on TSPN), the art on the bridge railings and in the raingarden below – all reusing parts of the old bridge – really caught our attention. The video above, by King County TV, takes you behind the scenes with the artist who made it all happen, Barbara Grygutis.