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The Seattle Department of Transportation started work this week on a three-week project cleaning and painting the hand rails on the Ballard bridge east sidewalk approaches (i.e. the non-moving parts). The east sidewalk is closed Monday-Friday until Aug 30, at which point the west sidewalk will be closed for three weeks of cleaning and painting. Both sidewalks will be open on the weekends.

Though the west sidewalk is technically open to bikes during the cleaning, SDOT is encouraging bikers to detour through the Ballard Locks or the Fremont Bridge. Because the sidewalks are so narrow, bicyclists are being asked to dismount and walk across the bridge.

Maybe I'm having trouble grasping the scope of a project like this, but three weeks seems like a really long time to clean and paint handrails.

UPDATE:

According to SDOT Communications Manager Rick Sheridan, the project is a "labor intensive process over a fairly long distance to repaint the railings." Each railing is 2,740 feet long and must be ground to remove rust before applying three coats of paint.

Sheridan noted that the contractor initially asked for more time, but SDOT capped it at three weeks.
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