Alert: Fremont Bridge closed overnight early Saturday

Heads up to anyone out late Friday or working early on Saturday: SDOT is repairing the metal bridge decking on the Fremont Bridge from midnight to 6 a.m. Saturday morning.

The bridge, including the sidewalks, will be closed except for 15-minute openings at 1, 2, 3 and 4 a.m. So you might be stuck waiting 45 minutes or having to reroute to the Aurora Bridge.

More details from SDOT:

Our crews will be conducting preventative maintenance from midnight on Friday, October 21 until 6 a.m. on Saturday morning to repair the Fremont Bridge’s metal bridge deck. The drawbridge will be raised overnight so that crews can repair sections of the metal grating of the bridge deck. This work is weather-dependent.

The Fremont Bridge is over a century old and is believed to be the most frequently raised drawbridge in America and one of the busiest drawbridges in the world. Over time, the fasteners which hold the metal bridge deck in place have worn down and loosened, causing the metal grating to shift when a vehicle drives over it. It is important to repair and maintain the bridge deck in order to prevent the metal grates from moving around and damaging other bridge components.

Crew members will be lifted as high as 100 feet above the water to complete the welding work. This will be done using a truck with a movable arm to reach the sections that need to be repaired. The process will involve super-heating the metal bridge deck with a welding torch to burn off layers of accumulated dirt, and then repairing the attachments that hold the metal grating in place.

Performing this work while the bridge is raised is the most efficient way to complete the repairs. This gives crews the best access to the underside of the bridge so that they can finish the welding work more quickly and minimize the disruption for the traveling public.

We hope to finish the work in one night, but if that is not possible, we will schedule a similar overnight closure the following week.

About Tom Fucoloro

Founder and Editor of Seattle Bike Blog.
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