Photo: Progress on the Ballard Bridge Seismic Retrofit
Hassle-free construction avoids bothering drivers, bicyclists
While riding to Ballard via the Ship Canal Trail, I had to stop at the Ballard Bridge when a construction vehicle was blocking the way. He was just pulling out, and it's not a big deal for bicyclists usually, but it gave me a little bit of time to reflect on the words of Seattle Department of Transportation's Art Brochet, who does communications for the seismic retrofit of the Balalrd Bridge.
I paraphrase, because he said these words at the Ballard District Council quite a while ago, but he said something along the lines of "You probably haven't noticed, but we've been making great progress on the seismic retrofit project. We've been doing all the work from underneath, and we haven't needed to close lanes on the top even once."
Even bicyclists are treated nicely, as they built scaffolding so workers wouldn't have to stand on lifts parked in the middle of the trail. You can't really see them in the photo, but there are a couple or workers up there. Originally, SDOT thought they would have to close the trail for 30 days while they completed this upper portion of work, but all they had to do was slightly narrow the trail instead.
Most of the in-water portion of work has already been completed, but its currently on hold during the salmon migration season, until October. Steel and concrete column jackets were installed around eight of the 11 piers.
No timeline is posted on the SDOT website, but I have an email in asking when they expect the project to be complete.
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