Fairview Bridge project rolls along

Work continues on the Fairview Bridge project with crews practicing the required safety measures and social distancing. State officials determined that work on public works projects could continue during the Governor’s stay-at-home order, provided that appropriate safety measures are in place. 

The Seattle Department of Transportation is continuing with essential transportation (public works) projects to the greatest extent practicable during these times. “The health and safety of our workers and the public is our first priority,” SDOT said in a statement. “Our contractors have updated their Health and Safety Plans to incorporate best management practices with respect to COVID-19 throughout our construction work sites.”

In April, crews continued mobilizing equipment for concrete shaft construction. Crews installed casings, excavated, installed rebar cages and poured concrete for the new bridge shafts, working from the south end to the north end of the bridge. 

On the project, crews reuse shaft casings – large metal tubes inserted into the ground to form the cylinder-shaped shafts. Once installed, concrete is poured into the shaft. As the concrete hardens, crews remove the shaft casings so they can be reused. In May and June, crews continued work on the new bridge shafts, typically working Monday through Friday, 6am to 6pm. Crews may also be working Saturdays.

For the next month or two, a pedestrian detour will be in place intermittently on Eastlake Avenue East just north of the former ZymoGenetics building. The sidewalk on the west side of Eastlake will close for up to six hours approximately once a week to accommodate construction activity. Detour signs will be in place, and pedestrians will be detoured to the east side of Eastlake.

SDOT said that it is aware the project has been challenging as people try to figure out ways to get around the bridge closure. Most of us have gotten used to the detour up Eastlake and down East Aloha Street to reconnect with Fairview Avenue East.

Still it can be a slog. Two neighborhood boys who often ride their bikes around the lake after on-line school describe the hill going up Eastlake to Aloha Street as “long and boring.”

More information is at the SDOT webpage at

Written by Steve Dunphy

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