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South Park Bridge reopens after downed power lines forced closure during wind storm

The South Park Bridge was able to reopen Tuesday after over 48 hours of nonstop work by utility crews to clear the fallen poles and debris.

SEATTLE — As western Washington continues to brace against strong winds and prepare for more rain in the coming days, damage from Sunday’s storm is wreaking havoc in many areas.

While downed trees can cause extensive damage and pose a threat to drivers and residents, downed electrical lines and utility poles take an extended amount of time to clean up and often cause power outages.

Fallen utility poles and power lines in Georgetown Sunday forced the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to close E Marginal Way S between 14th Ave S and S 86th Place in both directions. Because of the closure, SDOT also closed the South Park Bridge.

The South Park Bridge was able to reopen Tuesday after over 48 hours of nonstop work by utility crews to clear the fallen poles and debris. Portions of E Marginal Way S necessary to access the South Park Bridge are also open, but E Marginal Way S southeast of 16th Ave S will remain closed overnight Tuesday due to damaged traffic signal equipment in Tukwila.

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The downed power lines were just north of the 26 power poles that came down in 2019, causing a power outage for more than 10,000 customers and an extensive clean-up.

These poles were last inspected in August 2021 when three poles were identified for replacement. The design and permitting process is still ongoing. 

The 15 poles that fell Sunday were being transferred to a different location for inspection.

In Bellevue, 118th Ave SE just north of Interstate 90 is still closed Monday after tree and power lines fell across the roadway Sunday morning. 

Further north of Seattle, Westbound NE 1116th Street just west of Interstate 405 in Kirkland reopened Monday afternoon after being closed due to a downed tree and power lines. There is still a detour in place for eastbound NE 116th Street.

Officials urge those who come across downed power lines to assume the lines are active and to stay at least 30 feet away.

Travelers should expect delays through Monday and are encouraged to either stay home or alter their commute to not travel during peak hours.

As of 5:15 p.m. Monday, more than 18,000 customers were without power in the Puget Sound region. Check Puget Sound Energy's outage map here.

High winds and rain, created by what’s called a bomb cyclone over the Pacific Ocean, are expected to continue Monday throughout western Washington.

A High Wind Warning is in effect until midnight Tuesday for areas across western Washington including San Juan County and western Whatcom and Skagit counties with sustained winds of 30-40 mph and gusts up to 55 mph.

Download the KING 5 app to check the interactive radar near you, as well as the latest forecast, cameras and current conditions.