SR 99 - Aurora Ave - George Washington Memorial Br 99/560 (Stage 1) - Completed December 2016

Portions of the SR 99 George Washington Memorial Bridge (Aurora Avenue Bridge) were cleaned, repaired and repainted in 2016. This work occurred on sections known as stringers and floor beams. Contractor crews also repaired and repainted the original pedestrian handrail. Decayed steel was also replaced.

Built in 1931, the bridge is a designated City of Seattle landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. 


How you benefit

Improves safety
Bridges need to be regularly cleaned and repainted to keep them safe and in good working order. Rusting and decaying steel can threaten the stability of a bridge. If left unchecked, a bridge would eventually collapse. By removing every layer of old paint and repairing or replacing rusted and decayed steel, this project helped ensure the bridge will remain standing in good condition for decades.

Protects environment
Most of the existing paint on the bridge is lead-based. It's been flaking off for many years onto homes and into the water below. Crews removed the old lead paint and repainted it with non-lead based paint. This new paint preserves and protects the bridge, while also reducing the risk of contamination to areas around it.

Economic incentive
Bridges that are not regularly maintained, repaired and repainted will naturally decay and become unsafe. In worst case scenarios, they could collapse. Regular upkeep is more cost-effective for taxpayers than building a new bridge.


Partnerships & cooperation
WSDOT worked with the City of Seattle, surrounding communities, the Cascade Bicycle Club and environmental specialists on this project.


Pre-Existing Funds (PEF): $17,944,000
Total: $17,944,000


Contact us
Northwest Region Communications
15700 Dayton Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98133

A small map of the painting project on the SR 99 Aurora Avenue Bridge in Seattle.
View larger map

A small photo of the Aurora Avenue Bridge in Seattle, looking to the southwest
The SR 99 Aurora Avenue Bridge opened to traffic on Feb. 22, 1932

A small photo showing a section of the bridge before sandblasting and repainting occurred.
Before: rust and decaying steel under the bridge deck.

A small photo showing a section of the bridge after it was repainted.
After: rust has been cleaned and sealed while decaying steel has been replaced and several new coats of primer and paint help protect the bridge.

View more before and after photos.