(Sunrise glow photographed by John Westrock, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
With the fall equinox on Monday night (you’ll be at Alice‘s sunset watch, right?), today is the final full day of summer, and the weather is cooperating with the concept. As for what’s on the calendar:
RECYCLE ROUNDUP: 9 am-3 pm, if it’s on this list, you can bring it to Fauntleroy Church and drop it off with 1 Green Planet, during the year’s second and final Recycle Roundup, free! (9140 California SW)
LINCOLN PARK NEEDS YOU: Friends of Lincoln Park welcome your help with today’s work party, 9 am-noon. It’s a big, beautiful park with much to be done. Details in our calendar listing. (Fauntleroy/Rose)
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Year-round! See what’s new from the farms, the fields, the orchards (and the kitchens). 10 am-2 pm. (44th/Alaska)
TAILGATE IN HIGHLAND PARK: Before the Seahawks-Broncos rematch, tailgate at Highland Park Improvement Club – doors open 11 am, barbecuing 11:30 am, details on the HPIC website, go Hawks! (12th/Holden)
COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: Noon-3 pm at High Point Community Center and adjoining Walt Hundley Playfield, Bethany Community Church is presenting a free (bring a nonperishable food donation) family festival with bouncy toys and more. Details in our calendar listing. (34th/Myrtle)
PET OWNERS’ DISASTER PREP: Got pet(s)? Make sure your disaster-preparedness plan takes them into account. Learn how at a free workshop, 1:30 pm at Southwest Branch Library; details in our calendar listing. (35th/Henderson)
‘THE MOUNTAINTOP’ MATINEE: 3 pm at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor); tickets available online. (4711 California SW)
TRIVIA NIGHT: Sunday night trivia with KJRW at West Seattle Brewing Company, 7:30 pm. (4415 Fauntleroy Way)
AND THERE’S EVEN MORE … for today, tonight, and beyond – on our calendar!
(Ford at right is the suspect’s car; at left, parked car that was hit)
A driver is in custody, under investigation for DUI, after a multiple-scene crash north of Morgan Junction.
(Taxicab that was hit, ending up on southbound California)
First scene was on the southbound side of California just south of SW Raymond (map), where the suspect is reported to have hit a cab, then driven eastbound on SW Raymond, going over a traffic circle, and coming to a stop after hitting a parked car on Raymond between 42nd and 41st.
(Traffic circle, with shrubbery torn out when car went over it)
Police, fire, and witnesses all tell us no one was hurt; witnesses say the allegedly intoxicated driver stayed at the second scene and seemed aware of what he had done. SFD has cleared the scene but it might take a while for the wrecked cars to be cleared on Raymond; the taxi on California is already gone. Thanks to everyone who texted and tweeted about this; we’re adding photos momentarily.
M/V Tillikum remains out of service on Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route, explained only as “due to operational constraints.” In the newest update, WSF says it’s adding more sailings on M/V Evergreen State to try to catch up. This all comes on the eve of WSF’s fall schedule taking effect tomorrow; no word yet on whether they’ll be back to 3 boats by then.
Twice a year, the Fauntleroy Church Green Committee brings in 1 Green Planet to collect dozens of types of items that are recyclable but not routinely picked up in your curbside service. Tomorrow is this year’s second Recycle Roundup, 9 am-3 pm at the church parking lot (9140 California SW; map). Here’s the list of what you can drop off, with a few notes about what you can’t. As usual, no charge for your dropoff (the Green Committee does accept donations to help cover the cost, if you are so moved; they’ll also be offering a flyer with some green-living tips).
(Photo courtesy Karin Beck)
Meet some of the youngest volunteers helping keep local parks from being strangled by overgrowth. These are fifth-graders from Tilden School (WSB sponsor), and their teacher Karin Beck shares the update:
In 2010, Tilden School officially adopted Dakota Place Park. Since then, the students and faculty have been removing invasive species, weeds, and trash from the park grounds. This week, the new crop of fifth graders began their role as park stewards, something they’ll continue throughout the school year. Additionally, this community service project will tie in with an ongoing learning partnership with IslandWood and Nature Consortium. The goal is for these kids to be more aware of their impact on nature and to understand their ability to create positive change.
Way back in January, when the Seattle Schools Traffic Safety Committee convened at the Boren Building, they heard K-5 STEM parents and staffers warn that existing safety challenges in and around the parking lot would only intensify when Arbor Heights Elementary moved in starting this fall. And it’s indeed been busy, to say the least – so this morning, volunteers gathered for a “parking-lot party” to fix what they could – a lot of painting, for example (top photo), and weeding/de-mossing.
Bigger issues remain to be solved, beyond the scope of a weekend work party – see our report on this past week’s Delridge District Council meeting for more on that – but progress is progress, one step (or paintbrush) at a time.
The first arrivals at the Seattle Police Mounted Patrol Unit‘s second annual Open House found it pretty exciting to meet the horses face to face. Above, Officer Laura Wollberg and Chance impressed a young visitor. You’ll find the horses and officers in and around their barn on the west side of Westcrest Park in Highland Park – Charlie got a last-minute touchup:
Along with meeting the horses and seeing demonstrations (one riding demo should be under way now, and another’s at 4, plus you’ll see how they go through “desensitization training”), you can get a behind-the-scenes look at barn operations. You might call this the pantry:
Some of the inventory, being put to good use:
For today’s open house, human treats are on hand too – free hot dogs and chips:
We asked the unit leader Sgt. Jim Scott (below, with Dozer) if visitors need to know anything else. He reminded us there’s parking inside the gate, too (that’s on the right when you drive in from 8th, where an SPD vehicle is marking the entrance).
The open house continues until 5 pm today.
(Photo courtesy The Kenney)
Among the hundreds of people who joined in the Pacific Northwest Walk to End Alzheimer’s today were four residents of The Kenney (WSB sponsor), along with staffers and family members. They raised $1,600 and walked the full two-mile route along Lake Union. Proceeds from the walk – more than $270,000, in early estimates – go toward “the care, support, and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association,” according to the event website. The rise in cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia has led some retirement centers to make big changes; The Kenney added its Memory Care Community in 2012.
The big day of fun is well under way at Holy Rosary School on the north side of The Junction – as noted again in today’s West Seattle Saturday preview, the WestFest “Carnival of Community” is on until 10 pm. Rides, games, a food court with tables that we’re sure have filled since our photo was taken earlier:
That festive table card with the onstage-entertainment lineup can also be seen here – looks like Raymond the Magician is up next at noon, followed by the Sundancers at 1, and more.
West Seattle Saturday: Parking-lot party for school safety; Mounted Patrol open house; WestFest; Lincoln Park mega-meet; more!September 20, 2014 at 6:25 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 3 Comments
(Flowers outside the White Center Food Bank, photographed on Friday)
MEGA-MEET AT LINCOLN PARK: The annual Sundodger Invitational cross-country meet for high-school and college runners is happening in Lincoln Park today, starting with packet pickup for athletes at 7:30 am and racing at 9 am – the expected schedule is in this doc, with the courses mapped here. This is a BIG event, so if you’re in the park area or thinking of heading there, keep this in mind. Also note, that doc says buses will be parking in the Chief Sealth IHS vicinity after dropping off racers. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
HELP 2 SCHOOLS GET SAFER, WITH 1 ‘PARKING LOT PARTY’: People-power is needed to help with safety features and cleanup in the parking lot serving the Boren Building, home to K-5 STEM and Arbor Heights, so even if you can only drop in for a little bit, that can make a big difference. 8 am-noon; details here. (5950 Delridge Way SW)
SHOP SEAVIEW’S RUMMAGE SALE! 8 am-4:30 pm, Seaview United Methodist Church invites you to shop its big rummage sale – details in our calendar listing. (4620 SW Graham)
OFF THE BEACH AND INTO YOUR BUCKET: Bring a bucket and join Puget SoundKeeper Alliance for the International Coastal Cleanup Day event at Alki Beach, 9 am-noon. Check in at Statue of Liberty Plaza. (61st/Alki)
DRIKUNG SEATTLE OPEN HOUSE: This Tibetan Buddhist community invites you to visit on the first day of its new location for Saturday meetings, the Senior Center of West Seattle. 9:15 am-noon; more in our calendar listing. (Oregon/California)
WESTFEST AT HOLY ROSARY: 10 am-10 pm, it’s the second, final, and biggest day of the WestFest community festival at Holy Rosary School. Today starts with special Toddler Time events/features; you’ll find details, and today’s entire entertainment schedule, here, including a talent show, a chance to show off your pet, and more. (Various locations on campus at 42nd/Genesee)
LAST ‘DOG DAYS OF SUMMER’ SWIM SESSION: Last chance for your dog(s) to swim in the closed-to-humans-until-next-year Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club pool. Proceeds benefit youth at the club. Today’s session is 10 am-1 pm. Details are on the club website. (11003 31st SW)
FREE ‘LITTLE WING’: 11:30 am at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, the 4-to-6-year-old program at the new School of Rock is offering a free session, instruments provided – call to see if there’s still room. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
MEET THE MOUNTED PATROL UNIT: Horses and humans at the headquarters of the Seattle Police Mounted Patrol Unit, opening their doors for the second annual Open House, with the help of the Seattle Police Foundation. Noon-5 pm, with riding demonstrations planned at 1 and 4 pm, and free hot dogs promised; look for more details here. Alongside Westcrest Park. (9000 8th SW)
‘AN EVENING WITH JAMES LEE STANLEY’: Tonight at Kenyon Hall, 7:30 pm. (7904 35th SW)
MY SISTER’S MACHINE: Return of the 1989-1994 rockstars, in a show also featuring West Seattle’s own Bent Richard, 9 pm at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction. (6451 California SW)
JUDE: Performing live at The Cask (WSB sponsor) in The Admiral District, 9 pm. (2350 California SW)
All three local high-school football teams played Friday night, but only one was at home:
SEALTH VS. HALE: The night’s lone home game left Chief Sealth International High School cheerleaders and fans with reason to cheer – a hard-fought win, first of the season, 28 to 26 over visiting Nathan Hale. Huge night for #11 Daron Camacho, with three touchdowns for the Seahawks, the first one just three plays in.
#12 Weston Reed threw to Czai Terrell for Sealth’s other touchdown.
Camacho also ran a two-point conversion after that TD, and after one of his own. Here are the game stats from our partners at The Seattle Times. Sealth plays Ballard next Friday at Memorial Stadium, 7:45 pm.
(added Saturday pm) Thanks to Lawrence Kane for sharing photos from the WSHS-Garfield game. First: “#40 Joey Kane, LB, stripping the ball from #5 in a TD-saving tackle at the end of the half”:
Lawrence adds that #7 Jamie Maples recovered the fumble on that – in the next photo, he is scoring a TD:
(back to original report) The Wildcats host Rainier Beach at Southwest Athletic Complex next Friday, 7 pm.
SEATTLE LUTHERAN VS. LUMMI NATION: In Bellingham on Friday night, Lummi HS defeated the visiting SLHS Saints, 60-12.
What’s along ‘Fauntleroy Boulevard’? Highlights of JuNO’s briefing, before you get a look at next Tuesday’s community open houseSeptember 19, 2014 at 8:43 pm | In Transportation, Triangle, West Seattle news | 8 Comments
It’s been six years in the making, but the “Fauntleroy Boulevard” plan is still in the “early design” phase – which is why, if you are interested in the future of Fauntleroy Way between the bridge and SW Alaska, you’re going to want to go to next Tuesday’s community meeting.
SDOT’s Fauntleroy Boulevard Project manager Therese Casper and consultant Mike Hendrix (from Perteet) came to this week’s Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting for one last community-council-level briefing before that meeting, which, by the way, will be in open-house format, so don’t worry if you can’t get there right when it starts at 5 pm – drop in for a look at the plans any time before 7 pm.
We’ve written about it before – going back to 2008 – and Casper noted that its origins go back even further, to the West Seattle Junction Plan of 1999, and now the Bicycle Master Plan‘s goals have been folded in, designating this as an area for protected bicycle lanes, as well as the “community needs” in the Triangle Streetscape Plan, and enhancement of Fauntleroy Way’s role as a gateway to West Seattle.
The Fauntleroy Boulevard plan has reached 30 percent design, and has funding through 60 percent design. The city budget process that kicks into high gear next week, with Mayor Murray presenting his proposal on Monday afternoon, will determine what happens next – will there be money to finish the design and build the project?
Its typical cross-section is the same one we first showed in July: 6′ sidewalks, 6′ protected bike lanes (asphalt), landscape strip, outside lanes of roadway maintained at 12′ (to facilitate freight needs), 10′ travel lane inside, then middle turn lane OR planted median. You can see it and the block-by-block concept on this info-sheet, also from July:
Here’s the latest on some key points – with many more details promised at next Tuesday’s open house:
Announced late today by SDOT, more repair work is ahead for the surface of the Spokane Street Viaduct. Next Thursday (September 25th), the inside (left) eastbound lane will be closed 10 am-2 pm to fix “spalls” between the Highway 99 overpass and the 4th Avenue exit.
(First two photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
3:44 PM: Police and fire are responding to a report of a man shot in the leg near 30th SW and High Point Drive SW. Officers are with him and SFD medics are arriving. Updates to come.
3:57 PM: The victim is an 18-year-old man described as having a small-caliber-handgun wound through the back of his calf. He’s on the way to the hospital. No arrest reported yet. According to our crews on the scene, it’s actually in the southeast part of High Point, near the 30th/Sylvan area where Forest Lawn has its headquarters building.
4:12 PM: Via SPD Blotter, here’s what police are saying:
Officers began receiving calls just after 3:30 p.m. Friday of a fight involving up to 20 people in the 3000 block of High Point Way SW. Officers rushed to the scene and found an 18-year-old that had been shot in the leg. Witnesses pointed officers towards a group of people who had made their way through a cemetery and disappeared. … Officers continue to scour the area looking for the suspect in this case. The only description provided of the shooter is a black male, 5-foot-8, 150 pounds wearing a red shirt. Officers are asking anyone who spots the suspect to call 911 immediately.
According to radio communication, police believe they have found the (or a) gun in the area.
(This photo and next by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)
5:21 PM UPDATE: Still no word of an arrest. The aforementioned gun can be seen in the photo above, under a car. Though only one victim has been confirmed at this point, multiple shots were fired, indicated by the markers:
Two ways to make a difference Saturday morning in West Seattle: Alki Beach cleanup, Boren Building parking-lot partySeptember 19, 2014 at 3:12 pm | In Environment, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment
Before you move entirely into weekend mode, early reminders about two ways you can start your weekend in grand community-contribution style, both happening Saturday morning:
ALKI CLEANUP: Join Puget SoundKeeper Alliance and friends on International Coastal Cleanup Day. Check in by Statue of Liberty Plaza (61st/Alki) at 8:45 on Saturday, clean the beach 9 am-noon. Full details here.
PARKING LOT PARTY: The big lot at the Boren Building (5950 Delridge Way SW) is now used by two schools, with Arbor Heights Elementary joining K-5 STEM these next two years. They could use some community help with safety upgrades and cleanup 8 am-noon Saturday: “Projects include painting, unearthing a hidden sidewalk, adding new signage, and beautifying the grounds. We’ve got the supplies & tools – we just need your help to make it happen!”
After all that, TONS more ways to enjoy your Saturday – preview them on our calendar.
Around the city, 50+ parking spaces have become parklets for a few hours, including 2 in West Seattle, continuing until 3 pm:
Amber, a citywide PARKing Day organizer who has been making the rounds, tweeted the photo of the West Seattle Bike Connections parklet in front of Mashiko and Husky Deli in The Junction, in full swing with bike-powered milkshakes among other attractions:
— Amber Raynsford (@ambervarie) September 19, 2014
We’re stopping by there shortly and should have a pic to add. Both are up and running until 3 pm, as are almost 50 others citywide. Even if you’re off-peninsula – check the map; might be one near you.
ADDED 1:56 PM: Our photo overlooking the parklet in The Junction:
As noted in our daily preview, Michael Oxman brought the greenery. Go test the bike-powered blender!
Happening now: United Way of King County’s ‘Day of Caring’ brings volunteers to West Seattle and White CenterSeptember 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, White Center | 1 Comment
The historic, now-community-owned Fauntleroy Schoolhouse is one of more than 500 sites around King County getting free TLC today during the United Way of King County “Day of Caring” event. Companies from around the region have sent more than 11,000 workers to volunteer – like the people from Car Toys who were busy around the schoolhouse’s grounds, including Fauntleroy Children’s Center.
We got there just in time to say hi to UWKC’s CEO Jon Fine, who chose it as his first stop on a tour of several volunteer projects.
Another local site getting Day of Caring help, the White Center Food Bank:
“Day of Caring” volunteers there (including Sally and Lynda in our photo) are from Bentall Kennedy. WCFB is just four weeks away from its big annual fundraising Harvest Dinner/Auction, by the way (October 18th at SSC’s Brockey Center), and you can still get tickets by going here.
40 Microsoft employees in all worked on landscaping around The Kenney’s campus, donating more than 175 hours of work in all.
(West Seattle Bike Connections‘ PARKing Day parklet in The Junction, photo by Michael Oxman, who donated the trees)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, for your Friday morning/afternoon/evening:
PARKing DAY: Two parklets in West Seattle, until 3 pm – The Junction (top photo) and Westwood Village – detailed in our preview. We’ll be visiting them later this morning. and two of the 50 temporary in-the-street mini-parks in the city will be in West Seattle, one in front of Husky Deli and Mashiko in The Junction, one in front of Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) in Westwood Village, both 9 am-3 pm. See the citywide map here.
MOPS REGISTRATION PLAYDATE: Returning member of MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers) or interested in joining? 10:30 am registration playdate today at Ercolini Park – details in our calendar listing. (48th/Alaska)
CHAT WITH CHAS: Another coffee chat with Chas Redmond, the only candidate actively campaigning so far for the West Seattle/South Park district City Council seat on next year’s ballot (David Ishii also has filed), 11 am-1 pm at Pearls Tea and Coffee in North Delridge – informal drop-in. (4800 Delridge Way SW)
FILL THE BOOT: 1-6 pm, be on the lookout again for local firefighters helping collect donations for MDA’s fight against muscle disease, various locations.
‘DOG DAYS OF SUMMER’ CONTINUE: Fifth of six chances for your dog(s) to swim in the closed-to-humans-until-next-year Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club pool. It’s a fundraiser for youth at the club; details here. Today’s session is 5-7 pm. (11003 31st SW)
STORIES FROM THE UKRAINIAN COMMUNITY: Trusted Advocates’ cultural-storytelling event features stories of Ukraine with Oleg Pynda. 6:30 pm at Seola Gardens. (11215 5th SW)
HIGH-SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Chief Sealth International High School is home tonight, at SW Athletic Complex, 7 pm, hosting Nathan Hale; West Seattle High School is on the road vs. Garfield at Memorial Stadium downtown, 5 pm.
NIGHTLIFE: Lots of live music, karaoke, and more – browse the listings on our calendar page!
(WS bridge and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
We’re headed into the last weekend of what’s still technically summer.
PARKing DAY TODAY: As we’ve been reporting, it’s PARKing Day, and two of the 50 temporary in-the-street mini-parks in the city will be in West Seattle, one in front of Husky Deli and Mashiko in The Junction, one in front of Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) in Westwood Village, both 9 am-3 pm. See the citywide map here.
CITYWIDE WEEKEND ALERTS: From the Susan G. Komen 3-Day leaving Memorial Stadium downtown early this morning (good luck, everybody!) to the Seahawks game on Sunday, citywide notes are in this roundup from SDOT.
TRANSPORTATION NEWS: Published here since the last traffic watch – Transportation triple bill @ Delridge District Council … WSB’s Christopher Boffoli on the tunnel tour … Murray CSO excavation followup – where IS all that dirt being taken (etc.)?
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Even if you agree with the advocacy group that has declared the Highway 99 tunnel a “boondoggle,” nine months after its boring machine stalled, you might be interested in a look at what’s already been done and what’s continuing to progress even before the upcoming repairs. WSDOT invited media to tour the site Thursday, and photojournalist Christopher Boffoli went on behalf of WSB. Here are his photos and narrative of how it went.
Photos, video, and story by Christopher Boffoli
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The meeting point for our tour was an entrance at the end of South King Street just under the Alaskan Way Viaduct. After being issued safety clothes (hard hat, safety glasses, gloves, and reflective vests) we were greeted by Chris Dixon, Project Manager for Seattle Tunnel Partners, who led our group of about 7 or 8 journalists over to one of the engineering and orientation trailers.
This was a small meeting room with a lot of colorful schematics and cross-section geologic diagrams on the walls:
Dixon explained that – while the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) is idle – work is advancing at both the north end of the site (where a cut and cover tunnel is being prepared in the area where the TBM will eventually emerge) and the south end of the site, near the stadiums, where the future roadways are being prepared.
There is also a great deal of activity inside the existing tunnel itself. On a whiteboard Dixon drew a cross-section of the tunnel and explained how crews are busy installing structures called corbels along the tunnel floor:
These concrete structures are essentially footings that will bear the weight of the straight interior tunnel walls and the concrete road decks (southbound traffic above and northbound traffic below) that vehicles will drive over.
He said that by the time the TBM resumes its digging, they expect to have 450 feet of the tunnel’s interior complete. Dixon said that this work was originally set to happen later but that they have reconfigured the schedule while work is underway to repair the TBM.
We were joined by Matt Preedy, Deputy Program Administrator, WSDOT (and a West Seattle resident).
All of the journalists were issued numbered brass tags which were recorded on a ledger and that we pinned to our vests. As we left the engineering trailer and entered the site, there were a number of large boards with numbered dots painted on them. Dixon and Preedy went to the boards and attached their own brass tags to them.
They didn’t take the time to explain, but those ‘pit tags’ (also called check tags) are a system employed for hundreds of years to keep track of who is working inside a mine, or in this case, a tunnel. One of the first things we saw (at ground level) were piles of curved, pre-cast concrete panels that are arranged in place behind the TBM.
Bolted together into rings, they form the very strong, outer tunnel walls. Their tight-fitting gaskets are designed to keep ground water at bay.
There are ten panels in each ring and there are to be 1,450 rings in the complete tunnel.
We walked out over a concrete gantry from which we could look down on the launch pit below. To the south were the almost completed roadways that someday would carry traffic in and out of the SR-99 tunnel:
Turning around, we could see the entirety of the launch pit and the tunnel entrance at the end of it.
We descended about eight flights of steep, metal stairs to the floor of the site.
Behind us (to the south) was a completed section of cut-and-cover tunnel, with its neat, square walls, unlike the circular structure of the bored tunnel that we were about to tour.
Construction material (mostly rebar) was everywhere:
Along the sides of the pit, workers were busy covering the walls with Spray-Crete, a light, liquid form of cement.
To our right we could see the below-ground part of what we were told would become the South Operation Building. Water also seemed to be ubiquitous, seeping in all over the walls of the site.
Dixon said that, though some of it might be from nearby Elliott Bay, most of it was fresh groundwater.
We descended a ladder to an even lower section of the launch pit, level with the bottom of the tunnel.
Walking inside the tunnel at last, we could see large red concrete forms and workers installing structural re-bar along the bottom sides of the tunnel.
This is the corbel work we were told about.
Beyond the equipment and activity near the entrance of the tunnel, it was only when you walked a bit further into the tunnel that could you appreciate the impressive size of the space.
It was here that you could also appreciate the intricate puzzle of curved concrete panels.
Overhead was a large yellow ventilation shaft that brings fresh air into the deepest part of the tunnel and that can be reversed in an emergency to pull smoke from a fire out of the tunnel. Also above was part of the long conveyor belt on which tailings and slurry are removed to awaiting barges. Dixon explained that, as the TBM advances, sections of conveyor belt are added.
By the end of the project, the belt will be as long as the tunnel itself.
Outside in the open pit we had seen piles of coiled belt sections waiting to be installed in the future.
The first part of the TBM you see is the white-painted, rear superstructure of the
300 foot long trailing section.
Massive wheels support the entire machine, which includes all of the systems of wires and pipes for power and to pump chemicals and grout towards the face of the TBM. As you move forward, you encounter the system that receives the curved panel sections, picks them up, orients them to the proper position and location for installation when they are needed.
Moving forward still, you approach the section of the TBM that is behind the cutting face.
Everything there seems covered with some form of water or mud. There are hazards to footing and low clearances, making it a challenge to decide if you should watch your head or where you step. Everything was lit with fluorescent tubes, giving it a bright – if slightly green – cast. As we arrived to the most recently-installed ring of curved concrete sections, at the very bottom, Dixon and Preedy showed us the enormous pistons that the TBM uses to push against the edge of the course of concrete rings to advance itself forward.
As politicized as the bored tunnel has been and continues to be in Seattle, I must say that standing in the bowels of the machine, it is difficult not to be in awe of the scale and size of the complex machinery, the intricate tapestry of conduits, hoses, pistons, motors, fittings and beams – the sheer audacity of the technology involved in pushing through the earth blindly at 100 feet below sea level.
It is a level of technological complexity that I have only before seen when watching a Ridley Scott film set inside of a spaceship. It did not seem like a place that a group of human beings should be standing. And it was even more incomprehensible that people had designed and built it.
We climbed narrow staircases through a maze of passageways to see where the muddy tailings from the cutting face begin their journey out of the tunnel.
On another level we visited the control room with the screens and consoles from which workers can manage and monitor all aspects of the TBM when it is in operation.
Dixon explained that the numbers we saw on the primary displays indicated just over two bars of pressure (regular atmospheric pressure is one bar; most commercial espresso makers operate at 10-15 bars of pressure). Even though the TBM was not running he said that the instruments generally don’t read much more than that. He added that – when in operation – the cutting face of the TBM isn’t even all that loud, though Preedy added that all of the motors that power the conveyor belts for the removal of tailings do make the back of the machine very noisy.
Though the TBM was idle, Dixon said that workers are kept busy “exercising” and maintaining many of the parts of the machine that might atrophy or otherwise fall into disrepair if left sitting for a long time. It wasn’t uncomfortably warm inside the heart of the machine, though Dixon said that when the TBM is in operation it does get quite hot down there as the heat of friction is transferred through the cutting face to the surrounding spaces. Heat played into what went wrong, and what’s being fixed, he explained:
Adjacent to the control room – still inside the heart of the TBM structure – was a break room that, with coffee maker, microwave oven, long lunch tables, etc. would look at home in any factory. It was hard to believe it was at the center of an incredibly complex machine deep underground.
Nearby we saw a collection of cutting heads, each weighing 1500 pounds, that could be attached to an overhead rail for transport to the front of the cutting face for replacement. Various cutting heads are used, depending on the soil conditions.
The “rippers” we saw are best suited for the type of loose glacial soils that are expected in this section of the project.
At the very front of the TBM we could see the large blue motors that individually power each of the cutting heads.
On the same level we could see the central drive shaft, painted light green. And to the sides were large pressure vessels through which men and equipment could safely transition to the pressurized area on the other side of the cutting face, if needed.
With our tour complete we walked back through the various stairways and passages, back down to the tunnel floor at the rear of the TBM’s trailing gear, and out the way we came.
The palms of my light-colored gloves – which had honestly seemed like overkill at the start of the tour – had somehow become darkened.
After we had climbed the fairly treacherous ladders and countless treads of metal stairways, we were led back to the engineering and orientation trailers where, one by one, we turned in our numbered brass tags and were signed out of the ledger.
What happens next in the repair process? Here’s the latest update on the project website. For more on the project’s status, here’s what our partners at The Seattle Times published post-tour.
One of West Seattle’s biggest digs is under way.
Excavation started today at the site of King County’s Murray Combined Sewer Overflow control project, a million-gallon underground tank across from Lowman Beach. The announcement published here Wednesday – noting that up to 55 trucks a day will travel two nearby routes – brought lots of questions in WSB comments, so we asked KCWTD’s Doug Marsano for answers. We also went to the site overlook along Lincoln Park Way for a firsthand look (see the short video above, and the photo added here).
HOW MUCH DIRT? At an earlier community meeting, it was described as “enough to fill Colman Pool twice.” Specifically, we now know – 21,000 cubic yards.
ARE THE TRUCKING HOURS SAME AS THE WORK HOURS? The latter, according to this week’s update, are 7 am-6 pm. But, we learned today:
Haul hours are 8 am- 3:30 pm. There may be additional trucks entering or leaving the site outside of those hours, but the bulk of the trips will occur between during haul hours.
IS IT ‘UP TO 55 TRUCKS A DAY’ FROM THE START, OR RAMPING UP? The latter, replied Marsano: “Today, for instance, crews removed about 30 loads. The most intense period will be through early October when the tank hole is relatively shallow. Truck trips will slow to about 20 a day (or 3-4 an hour) when the hole is at its deepest.”
WHERE ARE THE TRUCKS STAGING? “The initial plan is to stage trucks on Fauntleroy. Adjustments will be made as necessary to ease congestion and accommodate ferry traffic, including use of 48th Ave and the east side of Beach Drive.”
The project website is here; the 24-hour project hotline, for questions or to report problems, is 206-205-9186. Current timeline for completing the storage-tank facility is the second half of 2016.
(File photo, courtesy Laura James)
New hope that the mystery killer ravaging the sea-star population might be identified and stopped: “Diver Laura” James – whose sea-star monitoring project was just featured nationally again, in this MSNBC story – sent this announcement from South Sound U.S. Rep. Denny Heck:
To address the sea star wasting syndrome and other major marine disease emergencies, this week Representative Denny Heck (WA-10) and the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus introduced the Marine Disease Emergency Act. The proposed legislation would establish a framework for declaring and responding to a marine disease emergency, and to provide the science community with the resources to proactively protect marine ecosystems from being irreparably damaged by cascading epidemics.
The Marine Disease Emergency Act establishes a declaration process for the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Administrator of NOAA, to declare a marine disease emergency. The proposed bill outlines the factors needed for a 120-day rapid response plan, including the necessary engagement of individuals and entities at federal, regional, state and local levels to assist in a coordinated and effective response aimed at minimizing the impacts and preventing further transmission. The legislation also requires a post-emergency report detailing current disease status and providing recommendations for improving responses to future marine disease emergencies.
The Marine Disease Emergency Act establishes a national data repository to facilitate research and link different datasets from across the country, as well as a “Marine Disease Emergency Fund” under Treasury in order to accept donations from the public and the industry.
“Sea stars do not function underwater in a vacuum,” said Representative Denny Heck, who represents the South Puget Sound area. “They are in fact a keystone species vital to the ecosystem. When these species face an epidemic, we must engage the scientific community in an organized, rapid-response approach to determine what can be done to halt the damage to our oceans. This could be a sign of a deeper problem.”
Professor Drew Harvell of Cornell University, who studies the ecology and evolution of coral resistance to disease, expressed support for the new policy, saying “Disease outbreaks of marine organisms are predicted to increase with warming oceans and so it’s very welcome to see legislation like the Marine Disease Emergency Act introduced.”
“When you pierce the surface of our picturesque water vistas, what’s underneath is not OK. We have sea stars that are wasting away, pulling themselves apart and limbs disappearing from their bodies. That is not OK. And it’s only getting worse,” said Sheida Sahandy, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership. “We need the ability to respond to these kinds of emergencies as quickly as we would an earthquake or a hurricane. This action creates the support for the kind of nimble response that is required in order to react to fast-acting threats to our ecosystem.”
Representatives Heck and Kilmer co-founded the Congressional Puget Sound Caucus last year to reflect their commitment to preserving the Puget Sound. The caucus is the only Congressional working group devoted exclusively to promoting Puget Sound cleanup efforts, and builds on the legacy left by former Congressman Norm Dicks, a longtime advocate for the health of the Puget Sound. The caucus continues to be focused on promoting the three region-wide Puget Sound recovery priorities: preventing pollution from urban stormwater runoff, protecting and restoring habitat, and restoring and re-opening shellfish beds.
The question now – will the bill pass and become law? Laura is working on gathering grass-roots support, and we’ll update with ways for you to voice your opinion, if you are interested.
(Annie’s Nannies staff photo, by Denise Danzer)
Big year for the regional child-care agency Annie’s Nannies (WSB sponsor). It’s celebrating 30 years in business, and now, it’s just announced a headquarters move – from Ballard to West Seattle. On October 6th, according to the announcement, Annie’s Nannies will open its new office at 6041 California SW (Suite 105), on the north end of Morgan Junction. Chief Operating Officer Teah Achman is quoted in the announcement as saying, “We’ve been ‘space-challenged’ for a while now. West Seattle is a good fit for the business and our staff.” Founder Annie Davis adds, “I started this business in my bedroom with $1,500 and a phone. Since then, we’ve found top jobs for thousands of people, but it’s been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs with the economy.” Along with child-care professionals, Annie’s Nannies also coordinates hiring of family assistants, elder companions, and other personal employees.
Update: Big Seattle Fire response after gas line cut in Arbor Heights; no injuries, repairs under waySeptember 18, 2014 at 3:22 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news | 16 Comments
(WSB photo, added)
3:22 PM: Big Seattle Fire callout categorized as “natural gas leak – major” in the 9800 block of 34th SW. More to come.
3:28 PM: Some of the responding units are being dismissed. Crews on scene say it’s a 2-inch line, cut during construction activity.
3:37 PM: Our crew at the scene says Puget Sound Energy has arrived to shut off the gas. It’s a residential construction site. (You can see the excavator behind the truck.) No injuries. The smell – which should dissipate soon – is most noticeable to the north. P.S. Our crew says a TV helicopter has arrived in the area.
4:13 PM: Just in case you live in the area and are wondering what you’ll find when you get home – the SFD response is closed; the gas line is being fixed; SFD has confirmed no injuries, no evacuations.
(Terminal 5, photographed earlier this week by Don Brubeck)
A triple bill of transportation-related guests at last night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting – Seattle Port Commissioner Courtney Gregoire, City Councilmember (chairing its Transportation Committee) Tom Rasmussen, and just-confirmed SDOT director Scott Kubly, who, in his third West Seattle appearance in two weeks, heard about safety concerns outside two local schools.
First: With the expanse of closed-and-idle Terminal 5 in the line of sight for thousands of West Seattleites daily, its future was a major topic for Commissioner Gregoire.
(WSB photo from Delridge Day, 8/6/14)
On the heels – or hooves – of the Seattle Police Mounted Patrol Unit appearance at last month’s Delridge Day, here’s your next chance to see the unit’s horses and humans: This Saturday, it’s the second annual open house at their West Seattle home base. We’re giving you an extra nudge because Sgt. Jim Scott says they really want to make sure you know about the chance to come visit them. The Mounted Patrol is based alongside Westcrest Park in Highland Park (9000 8th SW – directions here); the open house runs noon-5 pm and is hosted by the nonprofit Seattle Police Foundation, whose announcement mentions riding demonstrations at 1 and 4 pm, plus free hot dogs.
(WSB photo: Westwood Village post office)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Last night, our U.S. Postal Service mail arrived at 6:30 pm. A few nights earlier, it arrived after 8 pm. Several WSB readers have e-mailed mentioning the same thing, and wondering why they’re getting deliveries so much later than before. Today, we have the answer. Our inquiry to the regional media-relations rep was referred to a USPS supervisor who’s been working out of the Junction Post Office branch, Janet Doyle, who had all the answers, plus a few datapoints we hadn’t heard before:
All contents copyright 2014, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^