POSTPONED: Southbound U Bridge bike lane closed through Tuesday, NB closed 7/27-29 – UPDATED

UPDATE 7/24: The work is now scheduled for 7/27-29 northbound and 8/10-12 southbound.

UPDATE: This work has been postponed. From SDOT: “Unfortunately, this work has been postponed. When we opened the buckets of primer yesterday, we discovered that it had hardened inside of the sealed buckets and was unusable. So we reopened the bike lanes last night around 7pm and are waiting to hear back from the manufacturer on when new materials will arrive.”

Previous post:

The southbound University Bridge bike lane will be closed today until early Wednesday morning, SDOT announced today. The northbound lane will be closed July 27 until early July 29.

SDOT crews are installing a high friction coating to the sections of bike lane over the bascule bridge. The metal grating has long been filled in with concrete for the bike lanes, but the concrete is recessed a bit. Bike tires still touch the metal, which can be very slippery when wet. Hopefully, the new coating will make it more comfortable to bike and improve traction in case users need to brake.

Unfortunately, users don’t have great options for getting around the closures. There is a sidewalk, but it’s pretty skinny. You can also bike in the general purpose lanes, but be aware that the metal grating can be very slippery when wet and can feel a bit squirrelly when dry.

The city started testing the idea back in October, and you may have noticed a small rectangle of green. I guess it was successful, because now the whole bike lane is getting the treatment:

The closure will be 24-hours because the materials need to cure. Timelines are weather dependent. More details from SDOT:

I wanted to let you know that we’ve begun work on a bicycle safety project on the University Bridge which involves closing each direction of the bike lanes for up to 3 days at a time. The project will add a high friction coating to the bike lanes on the bridge to improve bike safety.

  • The southbound bike lane was closed this morning, July 20, at 9 a.m and will reopen on Wednesday, July 22.
  • The northbound bike lane will be closed from Monday, July 27 to Wednesday, July 29.
  • While the lanes are closed, we recommend that people riding bikes consider other routes or walking their bikes along the bridge sidewalk.

It will take us several days to complete work in order to allow multiple layers of coating to fully dry and set. Today’s work involves intensely cleaning the southbound bike lane and applying a primer which will cure overnight. We expect to install the finishing coat tomorrow morning, which will also need to cure overnight. We will repeat the process in the northbound bike lane next week. This work requires very dry conditions and the schedule may need to be adjusted depending on weather.

About Tom Fucoloro

Founder and Editor of Seattle Bike Blog.
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