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Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

It’s so hot in Seattle that water will pour over the drawbridges

By meerna Jul11,2024
It’s so hot in Seattle that water will pour over the drawbridges

It’s been blisteringly hot in Seattle this week, with Tuesday being the city’s hottest day since the deadly 2021 heatwave. With temperatures so high, the city’s drawbridges need to be cooled to function properly.

How hot is it in Seattle this week? So hot, in fact, that even our drawbridges need cooling. If you see fire hoses on some Seattle bridges during this heat wave, don’t worry: It’s just preventative maintenance.

“Whenever temperatures get this high, we give the bridges a cool bath,” said Ethan Bergerson, a spokesman for the Seattle Department of Transportation.

In weather like this, three of Seattle’s drawbridges are doused with water several times a day: the Fremont, Ballard, and University bridges.

Bergerson said these bridges have metal components and “when it’s really hot for a few days in a row, there’s a risk that the metal will expand and the bridge will seize up.”

This can cause serious problems, such as this week in New York where a bridge became stuck due to excessive heat.

SDOT typically sprays bridges when temperatures are around 85°F or higher.

Last summer, SDOT installed a sprinkler system on the University Bridge to keep it cool, but it didn’t get hot enough to use it. But this summer, the new sprinklers are in full swing.

Bergerson says it takes about as long to paint the bridge as it does to open it to let a boat through.

And no, KUOW checked, the bridges are closed during this time and people cannot run through the water, no matter how hot the water is.

By meerna

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