Deteriorating steel on Aurora Bridge forces extended lane closure

SEATTLE — This week’s commute on the Aurora Bridge may be a tough one as one southbound lane will be closed, causing delays.

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The Washington State Department of Transportation said Sunday the right lane will remain closed around the clock as emergency inspection work continues.

During an in-depth inspection, inspectors found advanced steel deterioration underneath the bridge, WSDOT officials said.

“We’re doing this as precautionary measure to reduce the strain on the bridge,” a WSDOT official said.

Bart Treece, a WSDOT spokesperson said, bridge inspections are performed at least once every two years but could not immediately say when the Aurora Bridge was last inspected.

“We were out there last in September. We had bridge painting project that also cleared some of the rust on the steel and after that project had wrapped, we wanted to take a closer look out there.”

WSDOT said those who plan to take the bridge should be prepared for delays. 
Bobby Hopkins, a driver, said, "It can be very... just annoying."

“That’s going to be a mess,” another driver, Maria McCrackin said.

WSDOT said it is still developing a repair plan, which will likely require additional lane closures, but said the bridge is safe to cross.

KIRO 7 was told pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to use the walkway, which will remain open during the closure.

Watch a press conference about the closure from WSDOT officials below:

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