Ounces Taproom hosts celebration for West Seattle Bridge reopening

At Ounces Taproom and Beer Garden, hundreds showed up for a West Seattle Bridge reopening celebration on Saturday. Customers enjoyed music, a pop-up market, food vendors and family-friendly fun while toasting the long-awaited reopening. 

"Very excited for the bridge to reopen," said Martin Williams, a resident of West Seattle.   

Many at the party had taken to calling West Seattle "The Island" during the last two years of construction, joking that it was very hard to escape during the more than 900 days that the bridge has been closed.  

Those who had more traffic congestion in their neighborhoods or long commutes say the reopening was a long time in coming

"My wife’s current commute is about an hour each way to Beacon Hill," said Williams. 

Ounces Taproom owner Andrew Trujillo says he's throwing a weekend-long party that everyone, including families, can enjoy.  

"We have a bounce house for the kids, family-friendly, and two days of celebration," said Trujillo.

"We were really excited just to have something fun for our kid come to do a bouncy house, and hang out with some other friends," said Libby Solursh, a resident of West Seattle.   

Customers at the beer garden were also drinking a specially released brew called "Reunited IPA".  The draft beer was the result of a collaboration by bars and breweries as a tribute to the end of around 2.5 years of isolation.  

"I’m thrilled to go back to my 15 minutes commute.  I’ve gotten into podcasts to pass the time, but it’s been really frustrating to add 2 hours to my day," said Solrush. 

"I think it will a huge relief for our streets. People will be less tense about it, won’t be in gridlock all day, trying to just do life," said Trujillo.

West Seattle Bridge reopens to traffic after 2.5 year closure

After two and a half 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.

Less than a mile away, at Pecos Pit BBQ, employees were excited to welcome in new and returning customers. 

"Our drive-thru actually leads onto the bridge entrance, so that’s going to help us a lot," said Dusty Seavoy, Shift Manager at Pecos Pit, West Seattle.  

Seavoy says the crew is planning to celebrate Sunday.  

"I just heard it’s going to get more hectic and more chaotic, and I’m looking forward to that," he said. 

The bridge has been closed for so long that driving it will be a new experience for some. 

"When I moved here, the bridge was closed, so I actually never rode on the bridge, so it’s going to be exciting to actually drive on it for the first time," said Seavoy.

The celebration wraps up at 9:30 pm at Ounces Taproom Saturday. The beer garden and taproom will again open for more revelry starting at noon Sunday.  

"It’s just good for all our local beer bars and breweries, restaurants just to have people be able to get over here and not fight in traffic, just trying to get five miles from Capitol Hill to Seattle. It’s going to be great for everybody," said Trujillo.

The Seattle Department of Transportation says all restrictions will also lift on Spokane Street Swing Bridge, or Low Bridge as well when the bridge reopens Sunday.