PHOTOS: Sylvester Road Bridge Construction Update

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Story & Photos by Brett Fish

Construction on the Sylvester Road Bridge continues to move along; below are some photos and updates (click images to see larger versions):

The Bridge End Diaphragms have the function of tying the bridge spans together at each end.

They will measure about 2 feet 6 inches thick. An estimated 57 cubic yards of concrete has been poured.

(Lower right) Jareed Rockey and Josh Thibeault are finishing up the “kickers” that hold the end diaphragm forms in place during the concrete pour. Huge concrete “Eco Blocks” (also known as deadman blocks if they roll on you) lend the bracing power needed to secure the kickers to the base of the walls.

David Tedesma on top of the Wing Wall installs conduit tubing in the curb forms.

With the end diaphragms poured the approach slab fill is imported and compressed to specs. William Parsons from King County's Materials Laboratory (in the top 5 of the nation) checks for moisture content and compaction using a Troxler 3440 moisture and density gauge.

Section by section the pedestrian barriers are being poured, water main and utilities being installed, the approach slabs being prepared. The sidewalk will be last to be poured. Progress is rapid now as workers push hard to complete the project. Crews are working 6 days a week. It won’t be long now.

Infrastructure details include boring a water main hole through the end diaphragms. There is light at the end of the tunnel between the giant bridge girder spans. Large steel water pipes are carefully cut to size and installed.

Don Vaughn, finisher (top left) and Mario Arroyo (lower left) SB Structures, complete the details to the block outs in the (pedestrian) barrier rail. (Upper right) A preview of a completed section. (Lower right) Carpenters David Tedesma, Jered Rockey, Justin Tooman, Josh Thibeault build the last pilaster form. Completed pilasters can be seen in the far left and center right of that photo.

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8 Responses to “PHOTOS: Sylvester Road Bridge Construction Update”
  1. Janet says:

    I am one of the residents affected by this long closure. I so appreciate Bret Fish’s updates. Any ETA on the opening. Will the city be throwing a party?

    • Brett Fish says:


      Party? We’d better ask the City. Maybe all of us affected should have the party eh?

      Best guess for a near completion date is probably two weeks. Next week they will be finishing the concrete pour of the “pedestrian barriers”, sidewalk and 4 more pilasters. The water pipes are installed and will be hooked up soon, utilities/cable will be run shortly.

      The approaches for the slab and pavement will probably be done this week. Toward the end of the week the last concrete forms will be pulled. Then they “dry finish” the pilasters/pedestrian barriers. A crane will drive up onto the bridge deck to pull the “false work” steel support structure underneath.

      Speculating, there might be temporary day time closures after it is opened for traffic as they finish up myriad details.

      More as it becomes available…

  2. Jim L. says:

    I hope they have taken safety more seriously than the expected construction timeline!

    • Brett Fish says:

      Safety is pre-empting the timeline. Other than some knuckle busters now and then they are primarily focused on building this bridge to last for many generations. The teamwork is impressive. Pretty darn sturdy structure worth the wait. Heading there now…

  3. Bruce Romero says:

    Thanks for the update…this is the only way to find anything out. The County and Normandy Park do not seem to have anything.

    Using the detour is getting really old…for us that have to use it and I bet everyone on the detour route too.

    Counting the days!

    Keep up the good work…waiting for your next update!

    • Brett Fish says:

      The latest: Encouraging words that we’ll be using the bridge before they are outta’ there. The water mains are being pressure tested to 250 PSI/15 mins. with no loss required, then chlorinated for 24 hours, flushed with get this, vitamin C probably for pH plus calcium. They assure me that none of the flush will enter Fox Creek (a tributary of Miller Creek) under the bridge.

      The approach ramps fill is being tamped down, more forms being installed for the next run of pilaster/pedestrian barriers. Dry finishers are smoothing out the edges. The next concrete pour scheduled for Tuesday, barrier forms to be pulled Friday/Saturday.

  4. Stew says:

    Many thanks for the updates, Brett. As with anything, the closer things get to completion, the ‘antsier’ folks get for resolution. I’m definitely in that boat! Very much looking forward to using the bridge.

    Please keep the updates coming as you are our best source for timely updates.

    Counting the days.

  5. Brett Fish says:

    Name correction: David Tedesma on the wing wall should be David Dedesma, my apologies to David

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