The Seattle Times
SEATTLE — The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced late Sunday that crews were conducting “emergency inspection work” on the southbound lanes of the Aurora Bridge, and the work would close one of three lanes through Monday morning’s commute and likely throughout the rest of the week.
The bridge is a favorite among drivers trying to avoid the crawl of I-5 and offers access to the Highway 99 tunnel that has replaced the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
Bart Treece, a spokesman for WSDOT, said travelers “should plan for delays, especially during the morning and afternoon commutes, if traveling toward town from Fremont or Wallingford.”
He said the work was ordered after bridge inspectors found “advanced deterioration of steel on the underside of the Aurora bridge.”
“While the bridge is still safe to cross, the southbound right lane will remain closed around-the-clock until repairs are developed and implemented,” Treece said in a news release. “Additional closures may be needed. An update will be provided once a firm timetable has been established.”
He said travelers who normally use southbound Highway 99 should expect delays in the area and consider alternatives.
The Aurora Bridge was dedicated in 1932 and in 2012 saw the completion of a significant seismic refit after the 2001 magnitude 6.9 Nisqually earthquake.