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June 28, 2010

South Park Bridge set to close at 7 p.m. June 30

Closure will affect vehicle traffic, bus service and pedestrian access

Motorists, Metro Transit riders and pedestrians are being reminded that the South Park Bridge on 14/16th Ave South spanning the Duwamish River will be permanently closed to pedestrians and vehicles at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 30.

As residents living in South Park and neighboring communities now know, the 79-year-old bridge has reached the end of its life and must be closed for safety reasons. While King County Executive Dow Constantine has been leading an intensive effort to secure funding for construction of a replacement structure, the county’s transportation department has been working closely with the city of Seattle, other service providers and community members to develop plans for closing and decommissioning the bridge.

“We know the closure of this bridge will touch many who care very deeply about the South Park community,” Department of Transportation Director Harold Taniguchi said. “But as challenging as the coming months will be, our energy and commitment will continue to focus on working with our partner agencies to minimize impacts of the closure and securing the remaining funding required to get a new bridge built.”

To help minimize traffic impacts, the county has been working with the city of Seattle and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to optimize signal timing, add signage, electronic message boards and traffic cameras in addition to reconfiguring certain intersections to improve traffic flow. WSDOT has also installed a traffic signal at the intersection of South Cloverdale Street and First Avenue South, which will improve traffic flow for vehicles entering the South Park neighborhood.

Closure of the bridge will also impact bus riders in the South Park and Georgetown communities. To minimize those impacts, three Metro Transit bus routes that carry more than 1,700 passenger trips across the bridge each day will be rerouted beginning at 5 a.m. June 30. Those bus routes include:

  • Route 60 (White Center, South Park, Georgetown, Beacon Hill, Capitol Hill)
  • Route 131 (Des Moines, Burien, South Park, Georgetown, downtown Seattle)
  • Route 134 (Burien, South Park, Georgetown, downtown Seattle)

Metro will closely monitor the reroutes and may adjust service in response to changing traffic conditions. Metro will also review the performance of the revised service and propose a permanent schedule for the three routes in 2011.

Over the past several weeks, additional steps have been taken to ensure fire response times and school transportation schedules are maintained. The county and city of Seattle have also been working with local businesses to identify strategies to retain customers until a new bridge can be constructed.

Once the South Park Bridge is closed, its movable spans will be raised and secured in the open position to accommodate boat traffic.  Later this year, the spans will be removed.

For more information about the bridge closure, call the South Park Bridge Closure Line at (206) 263-9979. You can also learn more about planning for the upcoming closure by visiting the South Park Bridge website.

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