The Peter Western Bridge at the 2200 block of S 116th Street (between Military Rd and 24th Ave S) reopened on December 21, 2020, just in time for the new year.
It replaces an older bridge, first opened in 1950, that had to be closed because of severe erosion occurring below the bridge after several weeks of wet weather in 2017. The erosion had completely undermined two bridge columns and a third column was only partially supported.
“Opening the bridge is a positive end to what’s been a challenging year,” says Brian J. Wilson, Burien city manager.
Burien was awarded emergency funding to demolish and remove the existing structure, construct a replacement bridge, repair damaged stormwater facilities in the ravine, and restore the eroded streambed.
The project occurred in two phases. During Phase 1, the damaged bridge was demolished and removed, and stormwater facilities and the streambed underneath the bridge were temporarily stabilized. During Phase 2, the permanent replacement bridge was installed, permanent stormwater facilities were repaired, and the streambed and adjoining ravine side slopes were restored.
It’s estimated that more than 10,000 vehicles travel across the bridge daily.
“The bridge is a vital connector between north Burien and other commuter highways,” explained Jimmy Matta, Burien Mayor. “The re-opening of Peter Western Bridge will keep Burien moving.”
A virtual celebration will be held later this year to celebrate the opening of the bridge.