Russell Shrewsbury is a tugboat captain and vice president of Western Towboat, a family-owned company since 1948. Shrewsbury says it's not easy to stop a barge under tow. If the drawbridge doesn't open in time, 'it can get interesting.'
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Russell Shrewsbury is a tugboat captain and vice president of Western Towboat, a family-owned company since 1948. Shrewsbury says it's not easy to stop a barge under tow. If the drawbridge doesn't open in time, 'it can get interesting.'
Credit: KUOW Photo/Deb Wang

A boat and a car arrive at a Seattle drawbridge. Who goes first?

So you’re in the car, rushing to an appointment, and suddenly traffic stops. In front of you – a drawbridge opens - and a single boat goes through. Frustrating right?

Now imagine if you’re on a barge, heading towards that same bridge.


On this archive episode of SoundQs, we answer a listener question about why it seems like boats seem to have the right of way over cars at Seattle drawbridges. (Spoiler: that impression is accurate!)

See the original story, which first aired January 24, 2019.

Listen to the episode by clicking the play button above or on your favorite podcast app. SoundQs is a weekly podcast where our KUOW reporters tackle questions submitted by our listeners.

Have a question about the Seattle region for us to answer? Drop it here: