When you’re sitting in your car, drawbridges are all aggravation and a little imagination as you look at that flat bit of roadway gone vertical. But when you’re on your bike, there’s more to see. And today, for the first time in nearly 15 years in Seattle, I got to see the West Seattle drawbridge open. Best of all, I was on my bike.
The bridge was almost all the way open by the time I rode up to the gate, so I didn’t have to wait long to watch the barge, corralled by two tugboats, come through. The barge was stacked on both ends with containers. On the middle of the deck sat two bulldozers, looking weirdly small from above and compared to the mass of the barge. The whole entourage was followed by a pretty green sailboat and a stout looking red and white tug.
The bridge rotated back after the tug cleared the passageway. The West Seattle drawbridge is a massive concrete structure and instead of your classic vertical lift, the whole midsection of the bridge rotates around a massive pillar standing in the slough. The road doesn’t go to the sky, it’s just gone, transformed in to a bridge to nowhere in the middle of the Duwamish. And when it rotates back, it seems to barely clear the tall pillars that support the upper bridge.
Wow, that was really freakin’ cool. What a miracle of engineering.
- The Slow Lane – cyclist pics
- Open Mondays – bridge construction photos
- The Spokane Street Swing Bridge – awesome band name or SDOT web site, you decide!
[tags]West Seattle bridge, drawbridge[/tags]