West Seattle Bridge to close indefinitely after cracks in concrete widen

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Department of Transportation will shut down the West Seattle Bridge at 7 p.m. Monday.

Transportation officials said they found "accelerated growth of concrete cracks" in the high-rise bridge that connects West Seattle to I-5.

Mayor Jenny Durkan was at the news conference along with SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe.

“Transit, freight and first responders will continue to have access to the Spokane Street bridge to ensure access to and from West Seattle," Durkan said.

The West Seattle Bridge will be closed, from Interstate 5 to Fauntleroy Way SW, until further notice starting at 7 p.m. March 23.

Zimbabwe said it could take weeks before crews figure out the best way to repair the cracks.

“We’ve kept a watchful eye on the West Seattle Bridge for years. Recently, a series of closely monitored cracks have grown faster than our team of experts had anticipated. Our engineers saw this acceleration as a clear warning sign that closer inspection is necessary, and complete closure is required to maintain safety as our top priority. As we close the bridge today, we will scale and accelerate a process already underway to determine next steps. Above all else, as the Mayor has made clear, we will make sure our first responders have quick and safe access to and from West Seattle,” SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe said.