PHOTOS: Sylvester Road Bridge Construction in Home Stretch

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Story & Photos by Brett Fish

We’re really in the home stretch now completing the bridge! Friday, the approach slabs at both ends were poured, the giant support towers are being moved out from under the spans, the overhang walkways being removed and all the pedestrian barriers have been poured.

“Dry finish” work to the pedestrian barriers and pilasters is ongoing and will be finished up with a coat of paint. The final pour will be the sidewalk perhaps next week. Site clean up is on-going.

Paving to the approaches will be soon.

Estimates for completion are two weeks or less. Over 3,200 photos have been done so far.

All hands on deck: More than 30 cubic yards of concrete (3 truck loads per end) are being poured at each end of the bridge for the approach slabs. A long motorized tube scree is pulled across the pour and a powerful vibrator used to settle and flatten the “mud”. Lower left photo: Joe Ernst and Ricardo use hand tools to smooth the edges. Next week the forms will be pulled. It started raining near the end of the pours so in moments they constructed a giant tent over the work.

Overhang decks and walkways – soffits, handrails, overhang brackets and plywood decking are being removed by Gary Fleming, John Williams and fear no heights Ryan Calahan is hanging around on the job. Ryan is secured with safety straps so he can’t go far. Scary business! The lower left photo shows the final results.

Upper Left: Josh Thibeault and Jered Rockey of SB Structures just pulled the forms and inspect the last pedestrian barriers poured Thursday 3/8.

Upper Right & lower left: The giant “false work: metal support towers are slowly being pulled out from under the self-supporting bridge.  The immense size dwarfs the workers.

Next week, a large crane will lift towers up and out.  Very little disassembly is required.

Lower Right: Look carefully and you will see the bridge spans no longer contact the towers. When the cables were tensioned, the bridge actually arched up a bit.  Huge jack screws were also shortened.

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4 Responses to “PHOTOS: Sylvester Road Bridge Construction in Home Stretch”
  1. Bruce Romero says:

    Nice report…2 weeks! We cannot wait!

    The bridge looks beautiful.

  2. Brett Fish says:

    This week the sidewalks will have re-bar installed and concrete poured. Also scheduled this week is the asphalt pavement leading up to the approach ramps. Clean up continues, massive amounts of timbers and lumber, braces, walk ways and other construction materials are being hauled away. The towers will be pulled soon too. T-minus…..and counting.

  3. Glenn Erickson says:

    I seem to have missed something. Namely that the pedestrian walkway would be on the East side of the bridge. The reasons seem obvious. Please shed some light on this for me.
    Thanks Glenn

    • Brett Fish says:


      Perhaps the City of Normandy Park and Burien can shed more light on this. I’ve heard that sidewalks will be installed along Sylvester road on the north/northwest side at some future time. Re-bar is being installed now for the bridge sidewalk.

      This wet and snowy weather may cause a slight delay of the final pour and the asphalt road surface leading up to the concrete approach ramps.

      The giant metal “false work” towers are being removed now with a giant crane.

      That’s the best I can tell you not otherwise connected to this project.

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