BREAKING: Sylvester Road Bridge is Now Open to Traffic!

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Click image to see larger version. Photo by Brett Fish.

We just got word from our friend Brett Fish that, as of 3 p.m. Thursday (March 29) – Sylvester Road Bridge is now open to traffic! Brett adds:

“Bridge neighbor Linda Sundblad-Passic was one of the first to drive across the new Sylvester bridge in drenching rain.

Temporary lane stripes made it official and while this photo-journalist missed the actual moment it is a thrill to see it finally being used and by neighbors who have seen and heard every moment of the construction.”

The bridge has been closed since last July, and we’ve been vigilant about posting updates and photos ever since.

Stay tuned to The B-Town Blog for more photos, and enjoy the drive!

Read our previous coverage of this construction project here.

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13 Responses to “BREAKING: Sylvester Road Bridge is Now Open to Traffic!”
  1. Christine says:


  2. Brett Fish says:

    IF and when the rain ever stops we should have a party, ribbon cutting and celebration-what do you all think?

    It’s been fun documenting nearly every phase and detail so we can have an appreciation of what went into building our new bridge.

    Thanks to you all for your kind comments and encouragement in spite of some frightful cold, rain, snow and freezing winds.

  3. Ron Laiminger says:

    I drove over it around 3:10 today and was surpised at how bumpy and ruff it was, but thats probally a good thing during winter weather. So happy its open

  4. Mark Neuman says:

    Brett Fish, your ongoing and timely photojournalistic coverage of the construction of this bridge was outstanding and very informative. Thank you for bringing it all to the B-Town Blog.

  5. W.C. says:

    Good to see that it is finished.

    Please explain why they put the sidewalk on the uphill side of the bridge? It seemed to make sense to keep it on the other side of the road since that is where the larger shoulder is located and where the previous sidewalk was.

  6. Brett Fish says:

    Replies to all:

    Ron, It is designed roughness. It is a wire scree finish for traction in heavy rain and ice, a non-skid finish. With today’s endless downpour it was a pretty secure feeling under my tires. On the sidewalks it’s finer and called a “broom finish” and yes, they use a broom.

    Mark, Thank you for your kind words. Support like yours kept me going on cold, wet days when there was seemingly endless preparation with little progress. Seeing the day to day detail sometimes is like watching grass grow but then suddenly there are huge changes. All the mini-interviews gave me a much better understanding of what, why, when, who and how.

    W.C., Plan is the sidewalk on the upstream side will eventually be extended all the way to Sylvester Middle School for the kids joining Highline Hospital’s sidewalk. Burien and Normandy Park are working this together. Also, the hillside beyond the bridge is much safer than the sheer drop on the south side.

    • Brett Fish says:

      Sidewalk answers: Why will the sidewalk be moved to the west side of the new bridge?

      The City of Normandy Park has future plans to add a new sidewalk on the west side of SW Sylvester Road. This new sidewalk will connect to the one on the bridge.

      The city analyzed long-term safety and cost issues when choosing where to put the new sidewalk. Placing it on the east side of the road would require hundreds of feet of retaining walls. It might also require acquisition of right-of-way and/or construction easements, and would create sight-distance problems for motorists at several driveways.

      After the bridge is built, the city plans to re-grade and clean up the west-side shoulders for improved pedestrian use. As the city begins to design future sidewalks in the area, it will work with residents and the City of Burien to address pedestrian needs along the entire SW Sylvester Road corridor.

  7. JH says:

    Great to hear more sidewalks are planned. Lots of people walk and run around the three tree point area, and there are far too few sidewalks.

  8. Bruce Romero says:

    I drove across yesterday afternoon…I just thought it might be open and sure enough. It felt GREAT to drive across!

    Again, thanks Brett for doing yeomans work on the updates. You have been the only source of info for all of us.

  9. Drew says:

    I, too have used it (multiple times now). Great bridge. Special thank you to Brett for keeping all of us tuned in, especially lately on the updates.

  10. Mary says:

    Glad to see my old run route opened up again. It felt so good to run over the new bridge, I came around and ran over it again! Thank you, Brett, I was always checking your posts for the updates and great pictures.

  11. Bea in Burien says:

    Happy to see it open. Not happy that it took 3 months longer than scheduled.

    • Brett Fish says:

      Weather-weather and weather, several extended snow events, frequent heavy to blinding rains—-plus almost a month late start all contributed to the delay but as bridges go this one was actually built very quickly considering. Mud base for concrete pours, asphalt paving and heavy rains don’t go together.

      The paint on the pedestrian rails has been delayed, yet to be completed for the same reasons. They opened it up anyway because of all the delays. Paint and rain don’t mix well either. It’s been a pretty wet winter. Having stood in many rain days with an umbrella to protect my cameras they have my understanding.

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