SDOT reports work on the West Howe Street Bridge has been paused while new bridge gusset plates are being fabricated for the seismic retrofit project.

Work began under the 73-year-old concrete and steel structure in December, getting a late start due to the decision to add painting the bridge to the project scope for the bidding process.

There are three spans under the bridge, which crosses over 32nd Avenue West and provides a connection to the southwest edge of Magnolia. Most work will occur underneath, adding more steel to strengthen the columns and support beams. The bridge bearings at both ends of the bridge will also be replaced.

The bridge had joint repairs in 1975, resurfacing in 1976 and a rail replacement in 1987, which was up to code at the time.

SDOT reports the debris and vegetation under the bridge was also cleared recently.

Seismically retrofitting the bridge will take 6-8 months, and then another four months will be spent painting the structure, which had previously been scheduled to take place in 2022. Project manager Kit Loo told the Magnolia CommunityCouncil last April that it made more sense to add that to the project now, as well as the removal of invasive vegetation under the bridge.

Work on the West Howe Street Bridge is expected to ramp up in March.