West Seattle Bridge

Scale : 1" = 40-0"

Size : 30" x 60"

Location : Seattle, WA

Photo by : Gunnar Rauda

This project features two engineering models detailing different configurations for the eventual swing-span Spokane Street drawbridge. This bridge, and the high-level West Seattle Bridge above it, replaced the original West Seattle Bridge which was struck by a freighter ship in 1978. Prototype models are excellent for showing different variations of a project.

An interesting bit of history: 3 years prior to the bridge being struck, a Federal highway administrator quipped, “Short of a tug knocking it down (which could trigger federal special bridge replacement funds), there is nothing else. And you certainly wouldn’t want to go that route.” The pilot responsible for hitting the bridge was also later murdered by his wife following an argument centered around her having spent all of his pension which he had transferred to her fearing he would lose it in a lawsuit over the incident.