West Seattle Bridge

1981 -- July 1984

Until 1984, West Seattle was separated from the rest of the city by a pair of drawbridges, and there were one or two railroad tracks to cross to get to them. If a train wasn't going back and forth on the tracks, the drawbridge was likely to be open to allow some large vessel up the Duwamish River. The trip to or from West Seattle could often be lengthened by 15 to 30 minutes because of these obstacles. Then one day, one of the bridges was hit by a ship and put out of commission, and, after a couple of years, the politicians found the money to build a new, highrise bridge.

The West Seattle Bridge was one of my favorite projects because it had no fences. Whenever I was feeling paranoid sneaking through fences around the downtown projects, I would go to the bridge site and relax. One day, after nearly 3 years of documenting the project, I was driving across the recently completed span when I was stopped by a fence! I was enraged! On the following Monday, I called a friend of mine who was on the Arts Commission, and explained the situation. She put me on to a lady working in the Mayor's office whose job it was to liaise with the arts community, and I soon got an invitation from a Captain in the Army Corps of Engineers (they oversee all projects around navigable waters) to come by during regular working hours and continue my documentation.

There are 313 negatives of this project.


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