In order to keep the Fremont Bridge in good shape and corrosion-free, the city needs to repaint it every once in a while. That is no easy task, since the historic steel structure has all kinds of moving parts and needs to open and close periodically to allow boat travel in addition to moving tens of thousands of cars and thousands of people biking and walking every day.
Unfortunately, the painting project requires closing a general traffic lane and sidewalk during the daytime for several weeks starting Monday. The closures will be weekdays-only between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.
One of the sidewalks will be open at all times, but be ready to be patient since the already-beyond-capacity sidewalk will be extra packed.
Before too much longer folks who cross the bridge on top will share some of the inconvenience – the northbound curbside lane will be closed to vehicular traffic between 7AM and 3PM Monday thru Friday beginning August 11. The adjacent walkway (on the east side of the bridge) will be closed at the same times of day so all pedestrian and bicycle traffic will have to share the walkway on the west side.
This pattern of restrictions will be in place for several weeks, before shifting to the west, affecting southbound traffic. When this occurs, lanes will only be closed between 10AM and 3PM, given that south bound traffic flows are higher in both morning and evening.
In case you also boat, there are some pretty significant maritime restrictions, as well:
Signs have been posted (and a notice sent out) advising boaters that there will be 5 feet less vertical clearance for them to pass below the bridge when it is not raised. Furthermore, only one leaf of the bridge will normally be opened for vessels passing below – if both leaves need to be opened, SDOT will need 5 hours advance notice.
NOTE: I am volunteering for Cascade Bicycle Club’s Ride Around Washington this week. Internet is getting spotty, so if the blog seems less active, that’s why. I’ll still be posting whenever I get the chance, though, so keep checking back!