South Park Bridge

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South Park Bridge
South Park Bridge in Seattle.jpg
South Park Bridge seen from South Park in 2007
Crosses Duwamish River
Locale South Park, Seattle, Washington
Maintained by King County, Washington
Design Double-leaf bascule
Total length 1,285 feet (392 m)[1]
Longest span Bascule span: 190 feet (58 m) (two 95-foot leaves)[1]
Construction begin 1929


14th Avenue South Bridge
Location Spans Duwamish River,
Seattle, Washington
Coordinates 47°31′45.5″N 122°18′50.7″W / 47.529306°N 122.314083°W / 47.529306; -122.314083Coordinates: 47°31′45.5″N 122°18′50.7″W / 47.529306°N 122.314083°W / 47.529306; -122.314083
Built 1931 (1931) (bascule section replaced in 2013)
Architectural style Scherzer Rolling Lift Bascule
Governing body King County
MPS Historic Bridges/Tunnels in Washington State TR
NRHP Reference # 82004228[2]
Added to NRHP July 16, 1982

The South Park Bridge (also called the 14th/16th Avenue South Bridge) is a Scherzer Rolling Lift double-leaf bascule bridge in Seattle, Washington, United States. The bridge is operated by the King County government,[3] It carries automobile traffic over the Duwamish River[3] near Boeing Field, just outside the city limits of Seattle, and is named for the nearby South Park neighborhood of Seattle. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, as the 14th Avenue South Bridge.

The original bridge was constructed in 1929–31. Prior to its 2010 closure for rebuilding, about 20,000 vehicles used the bridge daily, and it was a main connection to South Park's main business district.[4] Due to safety concerns, the bridge was closed to traffic on June 30, 2010, and its bascule draw-span leaves were removed in August 2010. County officials secured funds for replacement of the draw span, and work to replace the bridge began in May 2011. The bridge reopened to traffic on June 30, 2014, retaining much of its original structure, but with new draw-span leaves.


The original bridge was already in poor condition when it was further damaged by the Nisqually earthquake of 2001. In 2002, King County inspectors gave the bridge a score of 6 out of a possible 100, per Federal Highway Administration criteria, and the rating later fell to as low as 4.[5][6] This compares to a score of 50 for the I-35W Mississippi River bridge, which collapsed in August 2007.

Due to lack of county, state and federal funding for a proposed replacement project, the South Park Bridge continued to operate in its deteriorated condition.[7] Although plans to build a new bridge were ready, the project failed to receive a $99 million federal TIGER I grant in early 2010.[8] The bridge was finally closed June 30, 2010, at 7:00 p.m.[7] Earlier that month, King County secured $10 million toward the replacement of bridge.[9] Dismantling of the bridge began in late August 2010, with removal of the lift span sections,[10] even while the outlook for the proposed replacement project remained unclear.

In August 2010, the County submitted a grant application for $36.2 million in federal funds from the second round of federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants, TIGER II.[11] On October 15, 2010, it was announced that the South Park Bridge had been awarded $34 million in TIGER II financing, filling the funding gap and allowing work to replace the bridge to move forward.[12] Rebuilding began in May 2011.[13][14] A ceremonial grand opening event was held for the newly completed South Park Bridge on June 29, 2014, and it officially opened to traffic the following day, June 30, 2014.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lisa Soderberg (June 1980). "Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP) Inventory: 14th Avenue South Bridge" (pdf). National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  3. ^ a b King County 2005 Bridge Report, p. 24. Accessed online 2009-04-28.
  4. ^ Gutierrez, Scott (2009-12-20). "Seattle Transportation Watch". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  5. ^ John Iwasaki (November 3, 2005). County looking at five plans to fix or replace South Park Bridge, Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Accessed online 2009-04-27.
  6. ^ Keith Ervin (July 6, 2006). "South Park Bridge on its last legs". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-03-26. 
  7. ^ a b South Park Bridge closure page.
  8. ^ South Park Bridge funding rejected West Seattle Herald, 2010-02-17
  9. ^ Ervin, Keith (June 25, 2010). "South Park Bridge funding ramps up quickly with added $10 million grant". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ Seattle Times Staff (August 31, 2010). "Spans removed from South Park bridge". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ Funding for the new South Park Bridge King County, South Park Bridge, 2010-07-07
  12. ^ Goldsmith, Steven (October 15, 2010). "Murray: Final $34M found for South Park Bridge". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ Gutierrez, Scott (May 5, 2011). "South Park celebrates groundbreaking on new bridge". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Breaking of giant piñata marks start of construction for new South Park Bridge". King County Transportation News Center. May 5, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  15. ^ "South Park Bridge Opening". King County Transportation. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 

External links[edit]