By Joe Veyera
The second and final phase of repainting the Aurora Bridge is scheduled to begin next spring, but before the Washington State Department of Transportation finalizes its construction plan, the public will have a chance to learn more about the project and provide feedback later this month.
The Upper Gwinn Commons at Seattle Pacific University (3310 6th Ave. W.) will host an open house from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on June 13, on work expected to wrap up in the fall of 2019.
Last year, contractor crews painted the bridge’s floor beams and stringers — sections of steels directly under the concrete bridge deck — after sandblasting the old lead-based paint off of them. The plan for stage two is more sandblasting and repainting, this time of the bridge’s trusses. Crews are also expected to grind and repave the driving surface of the bridge, and repair one and reseal six expansion joints.
The work will be done in sections, with crews encasing separate portions of the bridge one at a time to protect surrounding areas from the construction activities.
The repainting comes at a time when the last coat is peeling and flaking off the bridge, falling onto homes and into Lake Union, while exposing the steel, leading to rust and corrosion. The bridge was last painted in the mid-1980s.
The cost for the entire project is estimated at just over $28 million, with the work broken into two stages to best make use of available funding. It’s scheduled to go out for bidding in October.