As we previously reported, in Feb., 2017, the ravine below the aging structure experienced severe erosion caused by a strong winter storm, significantly damaging the bridge’s support columns. The erosion undermined the structural integrity of the bridge, and the City closed it. The creek running through the ravine also moved, causing further erosion.
The new bridge replaces the older bridge – first opened in 1950 – that was closed and then demolished.
Burien was awarded emergency funding to demolish and remove the existing structure, construct a replacement bridge, repair damaged stormwater facilities in the ravine, and restore the eroded streambed.
The project occurred in two phases:
- During Phase 1, the damaged bridge was demolished and removed and stormwater facilities and the streambed underneath the bridge were temporarily stabilized.
- During Phase 2, the permanent replacement bridge was installed, permanent stormwater facilities were repaired, and the streambed and adjoining ravine side slopes were restored.
“Opening the bridge is a positive end to what’s been a challenging year,” said Brian J. Wilson, Burien City Manager.
Hamilton Construction Company was selected through a competitive bid process to construct the bridge. The total cost of the bridge demolition, construction, design, permits, and other associated costs was approximately $11 million.
“We want to thank the neighbors who have borne the impacts of this project for the past three years and the daily commuters who have had to use an alternate route. We are thrilled to finally be opening the bridge and restoring traffic patterns to their original state,” said Maiya Andrews, Burien Public Works Director. “We also appreciate the financial support provided by the state legislature and the Federal Highway Administration.”
It’s estimated that over 10,000 vehicles will travel across the bridge daily.
“The bridge is a vital connector between north Burien and other commuter highways,” said Mayor Jimmy Matta. “The re-opening of Peter Western Bridge will keep Burien moving.”
A virtual celebration will be held in Feb. 2021 to celebrate the opening of the bridge. The City will announce more specific plans for the celebration in January.
Here are photos showing construction work on the new bridge courtesy the City of Burien:
Here’s a video of the ol’ bridge being demolished on May 19, 2017: