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Construction firms sought to repair West Seattle Bridge

Construction to repair the West Seattle Bridge is expected to resume in November, and the bridge could reopen to traffic in mid-2022.

SEATTLE — Editor's note: The above video originally aired in November 2020.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has begun recruiting construction firms to strengthen the cracked West Seattle Bridge. 

It's scheduled to reopen for traffic in mid-2022.

“Our work to reopen the bridge is on track, and we’ve made great progress to date,” SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe said in a statement.

The city estimates the contract value for the high bridge work is $58 million and the low bridge work is $14 million. The winning team will write a final design and hire subcontractors before work on the concrete structure resumes in November. 

RELATED: Gov. Jay Inslee pushes lawmakers to propose transportation infrastructure plan

The bid kickoff comes as Seattle approaches the anniversary of the bridge's emergency closure. That’s when engineers concluded that cracks might lead to a collapse if traffic continued. The damage began as tiny hairline cracks seven years earlier. The city didn’t perceive them as a safety threat until early 2020.

In November, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the city would repair rather than replace the bridge.

One of the key reasons to repair the bridge rather than replace it is economic recovery, which relies on mobility. A full replacement was estimated to take until 2026. Repairs will add an estimated 15-40 years to the bridge's lifespan.

RELATED: Initial stabilization of West Seattle Bridge complete

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