University Bridge reopens after being stuck in upright position for 2 days

SEATTLE — After being stuck in the upright position for two days, the University Bridge is back open, SDOT officials said Sunday.

SDOT said there was an electrical problem, not a mechanical one.

Officials said there is no indication that the electrical issue is related to the structural condition of the bridge.

It cut off the two neighborhoods on either side of this bridge.

This is how the University Bridge looked for hours, not moving, stuck in the up position. It proved a headache for those planning to drive, walk or run across it.

“Yeah, six miles in,” said Colette Kelly when asked how far she had run.

Kelly was near the end of her 8-mile run when she came upon the stuck bridge.

“Well, my run is going to be a lot longer than I thought it was going to be,” she said, laughing.

That’s what happened to drivers after the bridge got stuck at about 10:30 Friday morning.

“I thought the draw bridge was up, or whatever, but I kept waiting for it go down,” said Ann Hudson.

The Seattle newcomer was among those caught unawares.

“So, I started punching in Google for alternate routes or something like that,” said Hudson. “So, it actually had me go back down Furman and over and around – what is it? Montlake? - Montlake Bridge or the other way around.”

Seattle Department of Transportation engineers believe the bridge has suffered an ‘electrical system failure.’

“We had a burned-out fuse,” said Ethan Bergerson, SDOT spokesman. “But when we replaced the fuse, the replacement burned out again. And we realized we had a deeper problem that they’re still working to diagnose.”

And that means the bridge was still up.

“Unfortunately, the bridge is still stuck in that raised position,” confirmed Bergerson. “That means it is still closed to all travelers.”

It also means these detour signs will stay up. Metro buses will continue to be re-routed. And drivers, walkers and runners will have to find another way to the other side of this century-old span.

“Today, I wanted to run errands,” said Hudson, laughing. “But I’m like ‘nope.’”

SDOT says its engineers worked around the clock to fix this electrical problem.