Ballard Bridge maintenance work frustrates drivers, more lane closures coming

Update: Next week’s work has been postponed

Earlier: With backups of 30 minutes or more, drivers attempting to cross the Ballard Bridge yesterday and today were met with long lines of cars in both the northbound and southbound directions.
The RapidRide D Line bus experienced delays from the backup, as well.

SDOT crews had closed the curbside lane in both directions to do scheduled maintenance work.

“Who thought doing maintenance on the Ballard bridge in the middle of a work day was a good idea?” wrote one frustrated driver on Twitter. “This is crazy! I waited 30 mins before I turned around and went a different route.”

“Who scheduled this smack in the middle of the day on a weekday?” wrote another. “Can’t this be done off hours or early weekend mornings? There are no signs up alerting commuters that this is coming so we could plan around.”

The closures were a surprise to motorists — as well as My Ballard — so we contacted SDOT to find out what was happening. SDOT said the lanes were closed for maintenance and cleaning until 3 p.m. today, and new maintenance work is scheduled for March 12th through the 16th, closing one of the northbound lanes from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

SDOT then issued a blog post this afternoon with news of today’s closure as well as the upcoming maintenance work. “SDOT would like to thank the public for its patience while this work is being completed,” it said.

(If you’re ever wondering about Ballard Bridge traffic, check our traffic cameras here.)

40 comments on “Ballard Bridge maintenance work frustrates drivers, more lane closures coming”

  1. The “wins” just keep on coming. Pretty sure they’ll be hitting us up for some tax increases.

  2. I left my house in ballard at 1130 to get to an important appointment in Magnolia at 12 . I got stuck in this for 45 minutes before turning around mid bridge then went to Fremont bridge that was backed up with bridge up also .. so I drove all the way to Mercer to get on to Elliot then across the Magnolia Bridge – total commute time from Ballard to Magnolia 1 hour 15 minutes – I missed my entire appointment!
    The drive should hav taken 20 minutes tops

  3. This was insane ! I had to call a neighbor to pick up my daughter from school – I was an hour late! No warning signs the bridge just stayed up for 10 minutes then traffic down to 1 lane and up again for 10-15 minutes then again a total of 3 times in 45 minutes it stayed up for over 10 minutes.
    Who is running this City ?

  4. I think they schedule it in the middle of the day because you are only slowing down people that don’t have jobs like the homeless and stay in bed moms.

  5. @Truth – you moron. Shall we allow ourselves 1 hour and 15 minutes of “buffer time?” In your mad zeal to type, do you ever bother to think? And really, who needs your hectoring finger-wags anyway? Shut it.

  6. @obnoxious ballard millenail
    how many homeless people do you know that have cars?? That wouldn’t even make sense because cars can be homes in a pinch. So by definition they are homeful. Please think before you speak.

  7. CONCERNED BALLARD MILLENIAL, you giant ass, there are plenty of us who don’t work 9-5 shifts.

  8. Sorry, I didn’t realize there were people that still live in Ballard that didn’t go to college.

  9. So with these lane closures will SDOT finally fix the massive potholes on the approach structures that have caused extensive damage to cars as evident by the pileups of hubcaps that fly off cars on the sidewalks and in the bushes?

    I’ll bet $1,000,000 on no.

    We somehow come up with hundreds of millions to pay consultants to think about the homeless crisis but actually fixing infrastructure would be unthinkable.

  10. It’s just going to get worse (& worse). Just wait, with all the single dwelling lots being subdivided, it’ll increase the traffic, the wear and tear on the road ways causing more maintenance needs. Think of it as a funnel. A traffic funnel with an ever expanding top & an ever narrowing end. Thanks City of Seattle planning. Ya did good (Ha!)

  11. There will be delays like this daily once they build more and more high rises north of the bridge pushing traffic beyond the capacity of the Ballard Bridge. No rail will be finished in the lifetime of anyone with a current drivers license either.

  12. This is but a small taste of what’s coming if there’s a moveable bridge that the light rail will go over for the proposed expansion.

  13. Grandmother picking up granddaughter from day care-Ballard to Discovery Pk.-a trip that usually takes 15 min.. Tues. I was late by 25 min. picking up, today late again 20 min.. Will SDOT pay my daughter the extra $$ she will be charged for delays? I tried to do a work-around (Fremont bridge to Nickerson) on Tues., but today I was too far across the bridge to turn around. Very frustrated, to say the least. And, why could this work not have been done say 11 pm-6 am???? No warnings. Nice job, SDOT.

  14. Did anybody here bitch about those lovely handful of folks last Friday that shuttered downtown? And why not? At least this IS progress. Um, we do need this link to work well folks. They do it at night due to noise restrictions. Too bad this ancient artifact can’t simply be replaced. Like a bridge 50 feet higher that NEVER needs opening As in being progressive. Yet that would bring instant taxation, 3 blue ribbon panels, 6 citizen review boards, 120 variances/impact statements, union squabbles, and VIOLA; we have Seattle! Nothing will get done, except adding another gazillion people here AND bitching, a lot Failed leadership. Most here don’t know the bridge used to be wooden and catch fire often from train sparks. We haven’t advanced that much since.

  15. @Sockpuppet: Wow, did you really impersonate me and then create a NEW sockpuppet to try to shame your impersonation of me? You REALLY need mental help dude. Ask for help if your tiny hands are unable to pick up the phone.

    @Josh: So the maximum life expectancy is now 33? I knew our country has regressed, but yikes!

  16. I do not want my tax dollar$ doing to reimburse peoples poor planning.

  17. 30 minutes…? We were waiting for an hour! It was hugely disruptive in both directions. Unfortunately I was in front of the line so I could witness the ‘work’.

  18. What’s a stay in bed mom ? Sounds like more sexists hate speech popularized by gay men with no idea about life or the beauty of a women. Go grow a long beard your not fooling anyone

  19. I think a stay in bed mom is a mom who claims to be a homemaker but is very lazy? I know a few of those 🙄

  20. Who need to be at works on time in Seattle? That noise is for blue collar losers – i.e. Trump racists – who can’t get a nice gig where they pet dogs all day and watch episodes of “Girls” while eating overpriced cupcakes.

    Anybody know if the SDOT is hiring? I just found out I’m 1/25 PoC and want to get in on this sweet city money.

  21. Well, they should have given notice but I think it’s time for everyone to accept the fact that they live in a growing city and should plan on giving themselves an hour to get most anywhere across town. Try it, it lowers the blood pressure.

    Working overnight costs the city much more money than paying people to work during the day so if we want overnight road work to be the norm let’s just pay more taxes.

  22. @Linda W
    You have a point, but “accepting facts” often translates to “enabling ineptitude and corruption” around here.

  23. Ok so you know a few mothers who call themselves homemakers an they appear lazy to you. I get it but it’s the only ism that is ok anymore
    Let’s pick on the Mom and call her lazy , boring, or worthless or undeserving of respect.
    This is so rude since being a parent mom or dad is very hard work and comes with a lot of time constraints. Kids have to eat, be taught how to dress, laundry needs to be done, play dates scheduled, driven to school , taken to activities 4-5 tines a week. Kids need need to be taught how to be nice, cool, ride a bike, spell, good nutrition, don’t hit, speak well about others, show compassion, make a difference,
    As a parent you talk about racism a lot ( thanks SPS) Bullies, brushing your teeth, Donald trump
    It’s a huge job !!!
    It’s a thankless depressing job because as a parent you know that their are screwed up kids in the world who’s parents both decided to work outside the home 40-60 hours a week and “outsource” the raising of decent humans to day care, grandparents, nannies who text all day and I pads
    And the result is evident in the culture full of asshole men like you who judge women who work really hard for their family’s best interests above their own needs. Some men do this and it’s very cool to see a family or community working to support all people as equals. I’ve never known a lazy parent and never a mom, they work from 6 am – 10 pm every day for 18 years + with a smile
    Most also work outside the home in addition just to be put down and judged and sitting waiting for the bridge for over an hour is not ok for any parent picking up a child from school.
    Happy women’s Day !
    Not one person noticed the put down sexist hateful comment to Stay in bed moms but a few defended the non working drugged out homeless … funny isn’t it ?

  24. Being a stay-at-home mom is thankless because they do enough back-patting for themselves.

  25. Hamsters breed mindlessly but humans are heroes.
    Please discipline your child so that they don’t throw tantrums in stores or turn into a school shooter!

  26. I’m with Linda on the whole”give yourself mire time” and I’m sympathetic to parents under the gun to pick up kids from daycare before they are charged “late fees” but when “mom” mentioned that she has to take her child to after school activities 4-5 times a week I ask myself , “why so many activities”? How much traffic is added to rush hour by parents ferrying their children around multiple times a week? Tell little Jimmy to pick his favorite each quarter and drop the rest.

    Parenting or “being a super mom” was devalued when childless hipsters and weird boomers started calling their dogs and cats “fur babies” and treating them like children. When soccer moms became functionally the same as weirdos driving their dog to the park or doggy day care, they lost all credibility. Ironically, the PC soccer moms as a whole enable this large scale insanity.

  28. Looking back to 2016,,, Seattle’s residents were removed from an equation who’s design was kept behind a few closed doors. This equation’s framework was based on subjectivity and those with opposing views were ignored.

    Would it not be prudent to review how a single decision made in 2016 changed Seattle residents ability to participate in what many consider to be the cornerstone of civility, the ability for each individual to participate in the processes supporting the vitality and character of our unique neighborhoods, communities and districts.

    In 2016 the City of Seattle severed ties with every community, neighborhood and district counsil. Neighborhood District Coordinators were eliminated. Those who assisted in preparing agendas, invited guest speakers, and publicized meetings through City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods email lists, no longer exist. The vital conduit between neighborhood interests and the public outreach agendas of city, county and other agencies no longer exists. In a single moment and after 30 years of valued service it’s gone.

    I believe it’s important to clearly understand why such a decision was made. I also believe that our neighborhood, community and district councils were able to achieve so many of our goals over the last 30 years.

    Many of us believe the characterizations used in an effort to justify the decision were ill-conceived and ethically remiss. Why would anyone take away another’s ability to participate.
    Respectfully submitted this date.

  29. That kind of bridge work must be done at night to avoid inconveniencing the thousands of people and businesses who use that bridge daily. The delays caused by daytime work result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity.

  30. I laugh at all you suckers trapped in your car as I breeze by you on my bike. I’m never stuck in traffic, my commute time is predictable and always the same. I’m always amazed at how many able bodied people don’t just ride a bike. It’s typically the fastest way to get around the city.

  31. Not one single person has brought up the fact that they’re doing “maintenance.”

    Do you think the bridge is self-maintaining?
    Do potholes fix themselves?
    Does concrete never crack?
    Do you drive your vehicle and never change the oil?

    Maintenance is scheduled and it’s a GOOD thing for EVERYONE’S SAFETY.

    I cannot believe what humanity is evolving into. Most of you who wrote comments are so self-involved, irrational, and insensible to the way the world works. They’re fixing the fuckin road so that you can drive your dumbass over the bridge to buy a bunch of crap at Goodwill that you don’t need. It’s one goddamn week out of the whole year.

    Is this really such a big deal in your life?

    Grow up, ya bunch of fucking crybabies.

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