SDOT will delay the start of the Fauntleroy Expressway Bearing Pad Replacement Project until mid-May. The project had previously been slated to begin in late April. To provide the contractor more time to prepare and also avoid conflicts with the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure, the previously announced nighttime closures of the Expressway and daytime closures of some general purpose travel lanes on surface Spokane St below the Expressway will be delayed until after the upcoming two week closure of the viaduct.
The project will be replacing the bearing pads that provide a cushion between the bridge girders and the horizontal support for the girders, and are important for preserving and protecting the long term integrity of the bridge.
The work will require the jacking of each section of the bridge, one segment at a time, in order to remove the existing pad and install the replacement pad. The new replacement pads will have steel shims imbedded within them, which will provide a longer service life than the earlier design.
Traffic cannot travel over the bridge while it is jacked, so will require what is expected to be 40-50 weeknight closures of the bridge from just west of the Delridge Way on/off ramp westward to where the road turns south (where the road is no longer a bridge). These closures will run from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following morning, running from Sunday evenings until Friday mornings. The Expressway will NOT be closed on Friday or Saturday nights. On nights of well attended Mariners or Sounders games, the closure will be delayed until 11:00 p.m. Detour routes will direct motorists to travel below the bridge on surface Spokane St.
Preparatory work underneath the Expressway will start about a week before the nighttime closures begin. This preparatory work will require the temporary closure of parking below the bridge as the underside is pressure washed and construction equipment is moved into place. Once this initial work is completed, jacking crews will work from east to west a section at a time, setting the jacks underneath the structure during the day, with the actual jacking and bearing pad replacement work completed at night when the bridge is closed.
Subsequent traffic advisories will be issued with the exact dates for this work once it becomes clear. The information will also be posted on the project website, located at www.seattle.gov/transportation/fauntleroyexpressway.htm.