Ballard Bridge retrofit won’t adversely affect environment

Next year, the Seattle Department of Transportation plans to retrofit the Ballard Bridge. According to the SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) Checklist (.pdf):

The project will add various structural strengthening elements to the Ballard Bridge in order to prevent collapse of the structure during an upper-level seismic event. The project will strengthen transverse diaphragms, add blocking between adjacent floor beams, replace knee bracing with plate girder diaphragms, install steel jackets around bridge columns, add seat extenders, and notch the backwall. In addition to the seismic retrofits the project will replace the street lights and poles along the bridge deck.

According to the SEPA Determination of Non-Significance, SDOT has determined that the project “will not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment” and an environmental impact statement is not required.

The public can make comments on this SEPA Determination of Non-Significance (.pdf) until April 25th at 5 p.m.

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21 thoughts to “Ballard Bridge retrofit won’t adversely affect environment”

  1. I’m pretty sure that the structural reinforcement would also prevent the pedestrian and bicycle facilities from “collapse of the structure during an upper-level seismic event”.

  2. Constant streetlight outages on the bridge have been a personal bugaboo, so I’m glad they will finally be installing new light poles with properly-working wiring.

  3. Chris is refering to widening the pedestrian / bicycle pathways on the east and west sides of the bridge. Which is part of the city’s bicycle master plan. They are currently wide enough for only a single person or bicyle going one way and can be dangerous when having to pass another person or cyclist. It would probably happen by cantilevring new steel pathways off the east and west sides. At the least they should be reinforcing the bridge structure to handle these upgrades in the future.

  4. Thats a good idea… blow millions of tax payer dollars so people riding a bike can get accross faster, even though they represent a microscopic minority of who actually use the bridge. That mcmismanagement at its best.

  5. Ahhh the arrogance of the left. Yes all drivers are fat and lazy. They never go to gyms, take hikes, go swimming, some drivers even, god forbid, ride bikes. You know, this I why we don’t listen to you because the loony green left in seattle is so narrow minded.

    Plus, may I say, many of the women I see huffing down 15th ave look like they’ve slapped on more pounds than a high school sumo wrestler.

  6. comon now, I have friends that drive to the gym. Where is your eyes when your driving down 15th? The cyclist if she was smart she wouldn’t be going down 15th.

  7. Yes I believe that’s part of the seismic – the bridge vibrates enough that I think it knocks out the lights really often. So it becomes expensive to replace bulbs without the seismic work.

  8. I think they should remove 2 lanes for cars and re-add the trolly lines. Better bike lanes would be cool but I doubt they have the money. Sadly this is just another patch job. Seattle won’t be able to replace these bridges until they fall down, and even then they will have to do a toll or somethings.

  9. Did you see what happened a few weeks ago when there was only one lane open southbound? And you think removing a travel lane is a good idea? And this is coming from a guy who only bikes, buses or runs.

  10. I’m pretty sure BT was joking… chill, dude.

    There is of course a pretty inexpensive solution to improve pedestrian crossing of the Ship Canal — set up zip lines! Cheap, fast, low maintenance and lots of fun.

  11. Republicans are the family values party. This of course I explains why they fight tooth and nail against anything that actually improves family life like schools, healthcare, sidewalks, clean air, parks, safe working conditions, livable wages, vacation time, family planning, etc., etc.

  12. I’m a cyclist and ride over that bridge and don’t see what the big deal is. Yeah, it’s narrow. So what – slow down and deal with it. A lot of streets in Seattle are narrow – do you propose widening all of them at a cost of billions of dollars?

    There are areas where cycling needs improvements but this isn’t one of them. Spending millions of dollars to upgrade what is an already obsolete bridge doesn’t make sense. Better to save it for when they replace the bridge (though that will take at least 10 elections since this is Seattle!)

  13. Why not, this is after all the city that spent millions trying to make a Disney ride into a mass transit system. While we’re at how about a log ride from Queen Anne to downtown.

    They really do need to replace the bridge with a design that is safer for cars, pedestrians, cyclists and will accommodate any anticipated light rail. Of course knowing Seattle they’ll build a new bridge, fail to do this, and then have to retrofit it to accommodate light rail. This city is that short sighted.

  14. All drivers may not be fat and lazy, but the ones who comment on their behalf come off as awfully stupid. If you really want a better drive, improve the bike and bus transit so that there are fewer cars on the road. Duh! As a driver you should be all for improving bike and bus transit.

  15. SeaSpider, that’s the family* values party.

    * “family” refers to the family of a few hundred billionaires at the expense of everyone else’s actual family.

  16. Thank you!! For the life of me I don’t get drivers who are opposed to public transit. 50 people on a bus is going to take up a LOT less space on the road than 50 people in 50 cars. The more people you have taking mass transit, the less congestion you’ll have on the road. Why so many motorists can’t seem to do the math on this is beyond me. Being against public transit basically means you want to see thousands of more cars in front of you during your commute forcing you to spend more time at red lights, more time away from home, more money spent on gas, etc.

    As for public transit being subsidized with tax dollars, well so is private car ownership. Gas taxes, sales taxes on cars and license fees don’t even come remotely close to covering the cost of car usage. Just pull up the annual report from SDOT and you’ll see that only a tiny portion of road funding comes from gas taxes and fees. This also kills the whole “bikes shouldn’t be on the road because they don’t pay taxes” argument. Cyclists pay sales taxes and sales taxes make up way more of road funding than gas taxes so they are paying their fair share, especially considering bikes don’t cause potholes or pollution.

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