• May 22, 2014

When is the new South Park Bridge opening? County hoping ‘to set a date soon’

On the South Park mailing list, there’s a call for help with planning a big party to celebrate the new South Park Bridge when it opens. There’s a suggestion it’s opening “in weeks, not months.” So we went to the official source to ask – King County Department of Transportation – but spokesperson Rochelle Ogershok won’t confirm that: “No date has been announced yet for the opening. Electrical testing continues. We hope to be able to set a date soon.”

  • March 19, 2014

Followup: Preview of next week’s South Park Bridge slideshow

(Click to see full-size invitation as a PDF)
From King County DOT:

We’ve seen it grow and take shape – now we can watch as the South Park Bridge project enters the final phase of construction. The bridge is expected to be substantially complete and reopened to traffic this summer.

Most of the heavy construction is now winding down. This next phase will involve the installation of electrical wiring that will power the bridge. This will be the final highly complex construction milestone prior to opening.

So what does it take to wire a bascule bridge of this size that will be raised and lowered thousands of times during its lifetime?

More than 750,000 feet of electrical wire will be installed – that’s 142 miles of wire, the distance from Seattle to Yakima! Once the installation is complete, a final testing period involving 180 lifts will confirm that the bridge is operationally ready to open. We’ll let you know a specific date when we’re further into the critical testing period.

Look for the community planning to begin soon for a grand opening celebration marking the end of the journey to replace the retired structure.

In the meantime, join us next week, Thursday, March 27, from 6-8 pm at Napoli’s for our 6th slideshow. John Stamets, project photographer, and Tim Lane, Deputy Engineer for the South Park Bridge Tim Lane will be sharing stories and photos of how construction is progressing. Food and drinks will be provided.

The closure was marked with a huge public event the evening of June 30th, 2010 – here’s just some of our coverage from partner site West Seattle Blog (we didn’t start this site until later).

  • March 7, 2014

South Park Bridge: Getting closer to completion

Just in from the King County Department of Transportation – an update on the new South Park Bridge:

The control towers, where the bridge will be operated, are taking shape more and more each day. The roof was just completed on the north tower and it won’t be long before the windows and brick work are added. Steel studs, sheet rock, plumbing, venting, and electrical systems are being installed in three levels of the tower. It’s very busy inside the towers! The south tower is coming along nicely, too. All the same work activities on that tower follow those of the north buy just a couple weeks.

North control tower comes together

This week, crews began their next major activity – pulling miles of wire through the electrical conduits in the main piers and connecting it to the equipment and control panels. It will be crunch time as two dozen electricians work around-the-clock six days a week to hook everything up.

Check out the latest construction photos documenting work in February. And, save the date for our next photo slideshow, Thursday, March 27, 6:00 – 8:00 pm. More details are forthcoming.

We asked a followup question – no projected opening date has been set, yet.

  • December 29, 2013

New views of the new bridge, from over South Park

(Photos by Long B. Nguyen)
Barring any last-minute delays, the opening of the new South Park Bridge is expected sometime this spring – that’s what King County has been saying for some time now. Today, courtesy of West Seattle photographer/pilot Long B. Nguyen, we have three new views of the new bridge, from above.

(Click image for larger view)
The bridge’s control towers, which are wrapped in these views, are the focus of the county’s December update.

(Click image for larger view)
New in the area? Or, for some other reason, never saw the old one? Check out the views from one of the reports in our West Seattle Blog coverage of its final hours three and a half years ago. At the time, construction of a replacement was not a sure thing, as full funding had not been amassed; that didn’t happen until three months later. Construction began in spring 2011. At the time it was hoped the new bridge would be done by now, but in November of last year, as we first reported here, the county disclosed a delay.

  • November 18, 2013

Video: Bridge-building, behind the scenes! The latest South Park Bridge slideshow

“Estimated opening of the new bridge is still 2014,” is how DeAnna Martin from King County opened last week’s presentation of photos from the ongoing South Park Bridge construction. In case you couldn’t be at the gathering at Napoli Pizzeria – we recorded it on video:

Lots of behind-the-scenes insight on the recent milestones including installation of the drawspan’s leaves! Technology mandated a break after the first 15 minutes – so we had to stop the camera, and the rest of it picked up here:

Tim Lane and John Stamets have come to South Park for several presentations like these as the project progressed.

  • October 4, 2013

Bringing in a new leaf: Second major part of new South Park Bridge drawspan arrives

Owly Images

the second leaf of the new South Park Bridge’s drawspan has arrived; the photo above was tweeted by the King County Department of Transportation this afternoon. Three years and three months after the closure of the old South Park Bridge – at which time there was no guarantee money would be found for its replacement – the project is ever closer to completion, now expected sometime next spring. The first leaf arrived three weeks ago. Installation of the second leaf is a painstaking process that will continue through the weekend, per the timetable we published more than a week ago.

  • September 28, 2013

County keeps promise, announces arrival date for 2nd part of new South Park Bridge’s drawspan

From King County’s DeAnna Martin via the Yahoo! e-mail list:

As promised in our last update, we wanted to let you know in advance when the next drawspan leaf will be installed on the new South Park Bridge.

On Friday, Oct. 4, a big derrick barge will mobilize at the construction site with the “Boeing side” drawspan leaf on the barge. The schedule at this point is:

At 12 pm, the barge will be located and anchored into place in the waterway on the downriver side of the north bascule span.

Between 1 and 5 pm, the waterway will be closed and the leaf will be lifted into place.

Then the leaf will be suspended in place and 1068 bolts will be carefully installed and torqued to connect the two girders to the girders in the north pier.

Installation will continue until the work is completed, sometime around noon on Sunday.

For optimal viewing, we recommend setting up your chair at the end of Rose Street!

  • September 12, 2013

New South Park Bridge gets its first leaf

Another milestone for the new South Park Bridge! The drawspan’s south leaf went in this week, which we might not have realized until Bill Pease mentioned it on the Yahoo! e-mail list. For context, here’s the rendering of what the finished bridge is supposed to look like:

Three years and three months have passed since King County closed the old bridge because of safety concerns; King County’s current estimate for bridge completion: Spring of next year. Here’s a look at the bridge deck from the current roadblock on 14th at Dallas:

And here’s a wider view of the section with the newly installed leaf:

Meantime, here’s a view sent by West Seattle photographer/pilot Long Bach Nguyen just before the leaf went in:

We haven’t checked with the county yet, but it’s reported the other leaf is just a couple weeks away.

  • July 18, 2013

Next South Park Bridge slideshow less than a week away

As posted in a reminder on the Yahoo! mailing list today:

Join us on Wednesday, July 24, as King County Road Services Division hosts our fourth slideshow presentation on the South Park Bridge construction. This is a great opportunity to get an insider’s look into the bridge construction and all of the different pieces that make it come together.

Guest speakers
Tim Lane, King County Bridge Engineer
John Stamets, Photographer

Wednesday, July 24, 7-8:30 p.m.
South Park Community Center, North Social Room
8319 8th Avenue S
Food and drinks will be provided. We will also have a Spanish interpreter available.

  • June 27, 2013

South Park Bridge update from above

The new South Park Bridge continues taking shape. This new aerial view is from West Seattle photographer/pilot Long Bach Nguyen. And the King County website for the bridge has updates too – find them here.