West Seattle bridge reopens to traffic after 2.5 years

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After 2 1/2 years of inspection and repair work, authorities have reopened the West Seattle Bridge, the main route between the peninsula of West Seattle and the rest of the city.

The Seattle Department of Transportation announced that the bridge had reopened Saturday night, even as crews continued removing some barricades and detour signs.

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Officials closed the span in March 2020 after cracks were found to be growing rapidly. The repair work included 60 miles of steel cables that form the new backbone of the bridge. Each of the cables was anchored into new specialized concrete blocks woven into the structure.

The West Seattle bridge in Washington reopened on Sept. 17, 2020.

The West Seattle bridge in Washington reopened on Sept. 17, 2020.

The department said crews also installed a network of reinforced carbon fiber sheets wrapped inside and outside the bridge walls and injected 240 gallons of epoxy into cracked concrete.

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Authorities say the bridge is now much stronger, more resilient to seasonal temperature changes and will last for decades to come. Engineers will continue to monitor the bridge using cameras, sensors and inspections.

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