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Southbound lanes of First Avenue Bridge near West Seattle closed next week

KING-TV Seattle logo KING-TV Seattle 3/3/2021 Vanessa Misciagna
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West Seattleites know the pain of traffic congestion all too well. For the past year, the West Seattle Bridge has been closed, prompting lengthy detours. 

But for the next few weeks, the commute will become even more painful as the First Avenue South Bridge is scheduled for repairs. 

"We're going to lift the bridge up, just slightly. And then that will allow us to go in and replace the pads that the girders actually sit on to support the bridge," said Tom Pearce, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) public information officer.

The southbound lanes of the bridge, which Highway 99 goes over, will need to be closed several times. The northbound lanes will remain open. 

Starting this Friday and Saturday, all southbound lanes will be closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. The more significant closure starts on March 10 at noon, when two southbound lanes will be closed until noon on March 15. 

Finally, there will be another pair of overnight closures March 14 and 15. 

"This project should complete the repairs that we need to do on the bridge. So we don't anticipate any more closures on the bridge," said Pearce. 

That's the bright side. The not-so-bright side is what this will do to traffic in an already congested area. 

Pearce said folks can take detours through East Marginal Way, Tukwila International Boulevard or the South Park Bridge. But his top suggestion is to avoid the commute altogether, if possible. 

"They're going to want to adjust their travel schedule so that they're not traveling when traffic is at high levels, like during the afternoon commute," he said. 

Crews have installed signs along the route to remind drivers of the closures. 

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