Emergency repairs force 10 days of lane closures on Seattle's Aurora Bridge

SEATTLE -- Drivers in Seattle were caught in delays on State Route 99 Aurora Bridge as the first day of emergency construction on the bridge began.

Crews with the Washington State Department of Transportation started repairing a deteriorated steel beam Friday on the 90-year-old bridge.

WSDOT said all bridges were inspected at least once per year.

Engineering Manager Ed Kane said inspectors discovered the corrosion on Aurora Bridge on Oct. 27. He said crews would repair the beam during an approximately 10-day period.

“We’re talking one connection point at this time, but it’s a complicated connection. There’s lots of small parts that are all riveted together. And it’s not until we take off the paint and the rust until we know how much we need to replace,” said Kane.

Depending on the severity of the corrosion, Kane said crews may have to cut out the beam and replace it with new steel.

WSDOT closed two lanes to give the workers some space to finish as quickly and as safely as possible. Two lanes were available for traffic in each direction. Road signs and barriers were placed on the streets to help drives navigate through the work zones.

WSDOT encouraged people to adjust their commute in an effort to limit the congestion. Officials suggested drivers use alternate routes, carpool, public transportation or bicycle.