News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood

 

Holiday Troll Stroll

December 21st, 2016 by WK Leigh

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The Fremont Troll is such a part of our neighborhood that we sometimes forget what a fun and festive stroll it is under the bridge, especially during the holidays. Gather up some family or friends, fill a thermos with hot cocoa, and toss out a holiday greeting to our favorite urban dweller.

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Fremont Bridge Bike Count Breaking Records in 2015

April 16th, 2015 by master

A recent Seattle Bike Blog story reported the Fremont Bridge Bike Counter has tallied a record number of bikes crossing the bridge thus far in 2015. The months of January, February, and March have seen an increase from 2013 and 2014 when the data began to be collected. Click on the image below for the full story:

Graphic from Seattle Bike Blog. Click for story.

Fremont Universe previously featured the Fremont Bridge Bike Counter in “Some Fun Fremont Bridge Facts”:

The Bicycle Counter is Seattle’s first bicycle counter and came to be through the efforts of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Cascade Bicycle Club. It is located on the Northwest side of the bridge and greets cyclist and pedestrians alike with the count of how many bicycles have cross the bridge for the current day and over the current year. Bonus: The data collected by the bike counter is presented with Tableau software, a Fremont-based tech company!

A rare moment after bike #1 for the day crosses the bridge. Photo by: Andrew Pope

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Weekend Closures March 28-29th

March 27th, 2015 by master

There will be closures on the Fremont Bridge and SR 99 over the weekend. Read on for specific times and locations:

The Fremont Bridge will be closed Friday night to enable painters to access the area underneath and behind the counter-weight for the bridge’s southern span.  The southern span will be raised and kept upright, except at 1:20AM and 2:20AM, when pedestrians and bicyclists will be allowed to cross.

Highway construction and a regular inspection of the Alaskan Way Viaduct will close portions of SR 99 through Seattle during the weekend of March 27-29. Lane closures along both directions of SR 99 begin at 7 p.m. Friday, March 27. By 10 p.m., SR 99 will be closed between the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street until 5 a.m. Monday, March 30.

The Fremont Bridge pre-painting.

SR 99 closure details

7 p.m. Friday, March 27, until 5 a.m. Monday, March 30

  • Seattle Public Utilities crews will close two northbound lanes and one southbound lane of SR 99 between Ward Street and Highland Drive from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.
  • WSDOT and SDOT contractor crews will close SR 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday.

6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 28, and Sunday, March 29

  • WSDOT bridge inspection crews will conduct a scheduled inspection of the Alaskan Way Viaduct between Spokane Street and the Battery Street Tunnel.

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Fremont Bridge Painting Update: Colorful Contrast

January 9th, 2015 by master

The bold north span meets the still faded and rusty south span on the Fremont Bridge.

Have you seen how the fresh coat of blue and orange really pop?! Many Fremonsters (and our friends living just across the bridge in Queen Anne) may not have realized how badly the Fremont Bridge needed a fresh coat of paint until painting on the top part of the north span, shown above, was completed in late 2014. The project began in August 2014 and additional details on the project can be found in our original post “Fremont Bridge Lane Closure for Facelift.”

Fremont Universe checked in with Art Brochet, the SDOT Communications Lead about the ongoing project, he reported back:

The painters have completed work on the northern span and are currently stringing cables and placing scaffolding beneath the southern span to provide environmental containment for the preparation and painting of the steel in the coming months.

The completed North span of the bridge.

They’re over halfway there! There will still be several upcoming closures, although not as extensive as the weekday closures last September. Mr. Brochet provided an update on the current status of the work:

The painters are currently stringing cables and placing scaffolding beneath the southern span.  This is to support the environmental containment needed before grinding and blasting rust off the steel below the bridge deck.  The familiar enclosure of scaffolding and plastic will be in place soon, for preparation, priming and painting of the southern span over the coming months.

With regards to traffic:

At times crews will need to close the walkway and bike lane on one side of the bridge or the other (but never both) during off-peak hours.  Vehicle lanes will also be closed (less frequently) when necessary, again during off-peak hours: before 3PM in the northbound direction and just between 10AM and 3PM in the southbound direction.

There will be pair of full bridge closures in the wee hours this weekend and next so crews can access the area underneath and behind the counter-weight for the southern span.

While the project has been delayed due to bad weather and a break over the holidays the project is “more than half complete” according to Mr. Brochet. Work on the bridge will continue into March and potentially into April depending on weather-related delays.

Schedule for the upcoming weekend closures:

January 10th (aka late Friday night) from Midnight until 7AM

January 11th (aka late Saturday night) from Midnight until 7AM

January 17th (aka late Friday night) from Midnight until 7AM

January 18th (aka late Saturday night) from Midnight until 7AM

Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to cross at 1:20AM and 2:20AM each night but cars will be detoured for the entire time between Midnight and 7AM.

Fun Fremont Fact: The blue and orange paint job was chosen by a 1985 poll by Fremont residents and facilitated by the Fremont Arts Council.

If you are interested in more information about the project, please check out the project website http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bridgepainting_current.htm for additional details.

 

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Fremont Bridge Closure this Weekend

September 4th, 2014 by master

SDOT’s current painting project will close the Fremont Bridge completely this Saturday and Sunday from midnight until 7am. Pedestrians and bicycles will have an opportunity to cross at 1:20am and 2:20am. Cars will have a signed detour.

This is an August 26th update from SDOT:

Crews have been busy working inside the “heel” of the bridge on the north side of the ship canal – the area under the bridge that pivots down when the part you see goes up.  They’ve been hauling out road grit and pigeon guano, pressure washing and scraping paint, and – yes – priming and painting this area for a month now.

Crews have also strung cables below the northern bascule, from the base of the bridge toward the center or “toe” of the bridge.   These cables will support a containment system which protects the Ship Canal from anything might fall during the work: rust, scraped paint, tools, paint drips, etc.

Watch out for that pigeon guano!

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Fremont Bridge Lane Closures for Facelift

August 11th, 2014 by master

SDOT began work this week to paint the Fremont Bridge which is no easy task considering the immensity of the project itself along with the bevy of boats, bikers, walkers, and of course, vehicles that cross the bridge every hour. Here are the most important details about the closures:

Beginning this Monday and continuing for the next several weeks the northbound traffic lane and east-side walkway will be closed from 7am-3pm Monday through Friday.

There may also be a couple of weekend closures the first of which will occur on September 6-7th. However, these closures are only scheduled for the wee hours of the morning. From 3am-6am on Saturday and 12am to 6am on Sunday. (Heads up bar-goers crossing from Queen Anne!)

You can find the full project description here as well as this great explanation about how tricky it is to repaint a bridge here, both from SDOT.

We are also pretty big fans of the Fremont Bridge here at Fremont Universe, check out our post about the bridge for more fun facts.

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Some Fun Fremont Bridge Facts!

April 9th, 2014 by master

There are other bridges out there, other Fremont bridges in fact, but the history, color combo, and operation of our Fremont Bridge adds up unlike any other. Of course its unique, its Fremont!

The bridge raises an average of 35 times a day

The Fremont Bridge opened on June 15, 1917 (it’s 97!) and the centennial is not that far off. The blue and orange paint job was chosen by a 1985 poll by Fremont residents and facilitated by the Fremont Arts Council. Below the surface, the Fremont Bridge had some serious maintenance done starting in 2006. It was a $41.6 million restoration to be specific, with the final tests conducted in 2008.

Pedestrians, cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, bikes, and boats. Every day the Fremont Bridge sees it all. The bridge crosses the Fremont Cut, part of the Lake Washington Ship canal, which is part of several inter-connected bodies of water linking Lake Washington to the Ballard Locks and through the Locks, the Puget Sound.

It is a “double-leaf bascule bridge” yes, we had to look that one up. For the casual observer it is essentially a drawbridge and opens in the center. What the casual observer may not see but might appreciate knowing is that it is opened with a weighted system using huge concrete weights and minimal motor power. Oh and there is someone up there in that tower! The bridgetender!

While it’s obviously shorter than the neighboring Aurora Bridge, by any standards the Fremont Bridge is not very tall at all. The clearance below the bridge is only 30 feet! This means any sailboat with a mast taller than that has to signal (one long horn, one short horn) and request the bridge be raised.

For obvious reasons the bridge isn’t raised from 7-9AM and 4-6PM. However, it is still very frequently raised, sometimes as often as 35 times a day. Often times the Fremont Bridge is referred to as one of the busiest drawbridges in the U.S. or even the world. Since we don’t have the data to back that up we’ll just say it is a VERY busy bridge.

Some other fun bridge facts:

The Bicycle Counter is Seattle’s first bicycle counter and came to be through the efforts of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Cascade Bicycle Club. It is located on the Northwest side of the bridge and greets cyclist and pedestrians alike with the count of how many bicycles have cross the bridge for the current day and over the current year. Bonus: The data collected by the bike counter is presented with Tableau software, a Fremont-based tech company!

Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let the bridge down! Oh…wait a minute…

Located in the Northwest tower of the Fremont Bridge Rapunzel stands out just above the Bicycle Counter and enlivens our imaginations as we pass by. The artist, Rodman Miller, is a Fremonster and had a hand in much of the art that characterizes Fremont. Be sure to wave Rapunzel a “hello” next time you go by! It looks rather lonely up there.

Image courtesy of rodmanstudio.com

Image courtesy of rodmanstudio.com

The Elephant and the Alligator located in the Northeast tower of the bridge is based on a tale from Just So Stories For Little Children by Rudyard Kipling, the author of The Jungle Book. The scene depicted here is from “How the Elephant Got His Trunk.” (Hint: the alligator tugs on it!) This is another neon installation by local artist Rodman Miller.

Image courtesy of www.seattleoutdoorart.com

Image courtesy of www.seattleoutdoorart.com

More information about these two neon installations can be found in the Fremocentrist’s Public Art Inventory.

So next time you find yourself crossing the Fremont Bridge, take a look around and consider just how old, colorful, well-functioning, and quirky that bridge is!

Also, an interesting piece from the Seattle Times archives by Connie McDougall which includes the bridgetenders’ perspective.

Sources from SDOT, the Seattle Times, and the City of Seattle.

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Traffic Delays At Fremont Bridge Friday Morning

March 2nd, 2012 by master

Heads up, commuters.

Mid-morning Friday, March 2, a large marine vessel is scheduled to depart Lake Union and move through the Ship Canal to Shilshole Bay. The Fremont Bridge and the Ballard Bridge will close to vehicle traffic while opening for the ship’s passage through the waterway.

The anticipated vessel opening schedule is set for 9:45 a.m. at the Fremont Bridge and 10:15 a.m. at the Ballard Bridge, though that might not be precise.

Each of these closures to vehicles will last between 10 and 15 minutes, however traffic could become very congested on all streets surrounding both bridges on both sides of the canal.

Motorists should allow for delays or consider avoiding the general area and taking alternate routes between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.

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Fremont News, Notes, Happenings & Whatnot 1/10

January 10th, 2011 by master

Some news and items of interest for Fremonsters…

  • Fremont OktoberFest has officially been set for September 23-25, 2011.
  • The Fremont Bridge is among this list of architecturally-significance Seattle buildings that continue to serve the city well.
  • New West Seattle bar Locöl will feature Fremont Pale Ale on tap.
  • Want to have a say about the proposed “apple” apartment building at 3606 Woodland Park Ave.? Attend this meeting tonight to be heard.
  • If someone comes to your front door asking for money to pay a locksmith, it’s a scam. Check out how he’s tricked folks in Greenlake and Maple Leaf.
  • Anyone want to own up to knowing which Fremont pub received the “tsunami of poo” described in this anonymous Stranger apology (Warning: it’s about what you think it’s about).

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Lane of Fremont Bridge closed until 3 today

June 24th, 2010 by master

Some traffic issues today, if you’re planning on using the Fremont Bridge:

The Seattle Department of Transportation’s Roadway Structures crews will perform maintenance work on several bridges in north Seattle this week. This work is subject to change in the event crews are called to other locations for unplanned emergency work. In addition, there are closures on a WSDOT bridge and a King County bridge adjacent to the Seattle city limits.

For Fremont, that means one curb lane of the Fremont Bridge will be closed at a time for about three hours each to repair the bridge deck. The work is scheduled for today, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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