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Traffic worsens around West Seattle Bridge closure as coronavirus restrictions ease

Commuters have started to reemerge from 'stay home' orders — only to face long detours around the closure of the deteriorating West Seattle Bridge.

SEATTLE — West Marginal Way used to be a fairly sleepy highway serving industries using trucks.

Now it’s the main way for commuters to make it out of much of West Seattle to the First Avenue South Bridge, which is the nearest bridge open to normal traffic from the now-closed West Seattle high bridge.

The West Seattle Bridge's sudden closure due to growing cracks in March coincided with stay home measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

But now that West Seattle commuters have started to reemerge from the coronavirus restrictions, they face long detours for an indefinite period of time.

RELATED: West Seattle Bridge closure due to cracks adds to neighborhood uncertainty

According to the most recent traffic counts for West Seattle locations tracked by the Seattle Department of Transportation or SDOT, West Marginal Way is up 154%, compared with traffic in February.

Highland Park Way SW is up 108%. The South Park Bridge is up 5%.

But other streets in West Seattle have seen less congestion than normal. Delridge Way SW at SW Andover Streeet is down 74%. 35th Avenue SW at SW Raymond Street down by nearly half, at 48%.

The lower West Seattle Bridge is still functional, but reserved for buses, trucks serving the city’s industrial areas and emergency vehicles.

RELATED: Replace or rebuild: SDOT considers every option for West Seattle Bridge

RELATED: West Seattle Bridge won't reopen until 2022, if ever, says transportation officials