I wasn’t, fortunately, stuck in the traffic jam that resulted, but the Ballard Bridge got stuck in the open position again today, with predictable effects for vehicles trying to get to the south side of the Ship Canal.
A quick look at Wikipedia shows that the bridge first opened to traffic in 1917. I presume that it is more or less structurally sound, but I’m curious about what, if any, plans have been discussed to either upgrade (so it doesn’t get stuck in the open position every couple of months) or replace it.
Also – I am really not looking forward to trying to get anywhere other than to the Safeway for the 2 years that construction will probably take.
Looking at the photo reproduced at http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=3446 it does indeed seem that the bridge itself (the short section that opens and closes) was built in 1917, but the “approaches”, the roadways connecting the land to the bridge in the middle of the Ship Canal were originally made of wood; our current steel and concrete approaches were built in 1940.
Again, my vague memory is that at the north side, the bridge originally came to ground level near Edith Macefield’s house, but that in the 1940s or 1950s the extra “hump” overpass was built to extend that over Leary Way to smooth the N/S flow of traffic.
VB – yes (and sorry you’ve been kept up by the “bombers”), I wanted to do a proper job with references and didn’t have time just then. I’m still trying to remember where exactly I read about the approaches and hump construction.