Spokane Street lower bridge opens up to more eligible commuters during West Seattle Bridge closure

Those traveling for lifesaving medical appointments are now eligible to apply to use the Spokane Street Bridge, or lower West Seattle Bridge, SDOT says. 

On Thursday, SDOT announced that commuters who are traveling for medical emergencies can apply to use the lower bridge. Applications for people to use the lower bridge traveling for lifesaving medical treatments are available and authorization from your medical provider is required. 

Additional eligible applications will open in late April for on-call medical workers, West Seattle restaurants and retail businesses, additional vans, shuttles or official carpools with state-issued rideshare license plates (not Uber or Lyft).

The access changes will be temporary and on a limited basis, SDOT says. Restricted access hours during the week will also change to allow for more commuters on the weekends. The lower bridge is closed to non-authorized vehicles from 5 a.m.- 9 p.m. every day. Starting April 10th, weekend access restrictions will remain in effect for an additional 3 additional, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The West Seattle Bridge closed in 2020 after cracks were found on the structure and WSDOT and the City of Seattle begun reevaluated the structural integrity.

After the WSB closed in March 2020, the lower bridge adjusted to limited access to prevent traffic back-ups and prioritize access for emergency vehicles, buses and freight trucks. The high-rise bridge is set to reopen in mid-2022. 

SDOT says they will continue to reach out to the community and BIPOC communities on equitable access for commuters in the West Seattle area, as well as surveying travel times since the West Seattle Bridge closure.

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