Disgruntled commuters traveling to and from West Seattle will be relieved to know there is less than a month until the West Seattle Bridge opens, as long as everything goes to plan.

Sept. 18 is the planned opening date for the bridge opening, pending crews completing the remaining work on the bridge. What is left to be done includes finishing epoxy injections, carbon fiber wrapping, the installation of paving and safety inspection platforms and removing the remaining construction equipment.

“We recognize how painful this closure has been for so many people, businesses and communities,” Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a statement. “As we reopen the bridge and reconnect our city, we are bringing our communities together with the confidence that the bridge is now stronger and safer for everyone.”

The Seattle Department of Transportation said it will perform numerous tests to ensure the bridge is ready for public use. Testing includes simulating traffic by driving heavy equipment over the bridge and letting engineers monitor the bridge’s response in real-time to confirm the repairs worked as expected.

Along with repairing the bridge, SDOT installed a monitoring system inside the structure. The system is made up of hundreds of movement sensors, cameras and other instruments to detect any growth of existing cracks in the bridge. The technology monitors the bridge 24/7 with alerts to staff who oversee the bridge repairs.

SDOT has funded about $50 million towards projects to calm traffic in areas where bridge traffic detoured through communities and business districts such as Highland Park and the Duwamish Valley. The detour traffic was found to not withstand the 1,000 cars, trucks and buses that used to use the bridge as the congested traffic caused an increase in time to reach destinations for anyone using it.

It has been over two years since the West Seattle Bridge closed in March 2020, when inspectors found cracks were becoming more severe in the structure. The $175 million bridge project experienced a number of delays as construction began. From the COVID-19 pandemic to concrete worker strikes, the bridge repair project has become a local joke throughout Seattle.

“Since it closed, all of West Seattle, South Park, and Georgetown have had the bridge reopening top of mind,” Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold said. “I’m breathing a sigh of relief today because the bridge is just a few short weeks away from reconnecting us with the rest of Seattle.”