The lower West Seattle swing bridge closed Wednesday evening for emergency repairs, SDOT announced just hours before crews were planning to take the bridge out of order.
The bridge will be in the open position for marine vessels, unusable for people biking, walking or driving for as long as a week.
People biking or walking Wednesday evening will find a van service to help them get around the closure. UPDATE 6/21: SDOT will continue commute-time van shuttles, according to a new blog post: “Shuttle vans are staging at the approaches to and from Spokane St Swing Bridge. Shuttles for bicyclists will run during heavy commute hours: 6 to 10 AM and 3 to 7PM.”
Other options include taking the King County Water Taxi from downtown to the Alki Trail or biking through Sodo to the 1st Ave Bridge connecting Georgetown to the Duwamish Trail. Buses are also an option, though there are only spots for three bikes on each bus. SDOT says there may be other efforts to improve bike access to West Seattle, but details are not yet available. I will update when I learn more.
The official bike detour requires riding on 1st Ave S, a busy industrial street that, like essentially every street in Sodo, does not have bike lanes. I encourage anyone navigating this detour route for the first time to give themselves lots of extra time to find the somewhat hidden entrance to the 1st Ave Bridge sidewalk (it begins underneath the bridge on S Front St) and in case they feel they need to take the sidewalk. From SDOT:
For those riding around the Duwamish:
From West Seattle:
- Detour signs are placed at the West Seattle Bridge Trail, to head south along West Marginal Way; crossing SW Michigan St onto 1st Ave S
- Detour signs are placed along 1st Ave S to continue south, to SW Michigan St