‘King tides’ continue in our area tomorrow morning, Saturday

December 25, 2014 at 10:35 pm | In West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news | No Comments

(Photos taken Christmas evening at Lincoln Park, by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
Lots of people out walking the shoreline in Lincoln Park just before tonight’s sunset. If you’re looking for a reason to go out for a walk tomorrow morning, here’s one: The “king tides” are back, and tomorrow is the second of three mornings bringing the highest tide of the month – 13 feet tomorrow, at 8:22 am. With calm weather expected, you might even see someone out for a closer look.

Whatever you see during the “king tides” these next two mornings (and during another round in late January), the state would love to see your photos – as explained here.

(Just to be clear, this round of “king tides” is arriving in the morning; our photos were taken today at Lincoln Park around 4 pm, when the tide was about as close to average as it can get, not high, not low.)

About the police response at 35th/Austin in Gatewood

December 25, 2014 at 5:50 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 10 Comments

We’ve received several calls about a police response at 35th/Austin (map) – the original call was “assault with weapons”; one witness said there was a report of someone seen in the neighborhood with a gun. At the scene, officers told us it’s being investigated as a case of suicide. SW Austin is blocked off on the west side of 35th SW.

(As always when mentioning suicide, we want to point out a local resource for those considering self-harm or otherwise in crisis: The Crisis Clinic has a 24-hour hotline, 206-461-3222.)

West Seattle Christmas scene: A ‘tree’ on Alki Beach

December 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Thanks to Don Brubeck for sharing the photo of that Christmasy creation on Alki – and thanks to the artist (whoever you are) for creating it!

Update: Fire call at apartment in 3600 block SW Genesee

December 25, 2014 at 1:58 pm | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | No Comments

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
1:58 PM: Another major Seattle Fire callout – this time at an apartment building in the 3600 block of SW Genesee (map). “Tapped” within minutes, according to radio report from the first units on scene, but we’re on our way to check.

2:26 PM UPDATE: It was a kitchen fire, but it spread briefly to some yarn (or similar material) in the cabinets by the stove, according to what firefighters told us at the scene, so it was very smoky, and that’s left them with a lot of ventilating to do. No injuries reported.

About the fire response in 5600 block of 21st SW

December 25, 2014 at 11:52 am | In West Seattle fires, West Seattle news | No Comments

Big Seattle Fire response to a possible fire at a house in the 5600 block of 21st SW (map), but it was just a case of “food on the stove,” according to the first arrivals – cooking-oil flare-up, out fast. Most of the responding units are being canceled.

West Seattle Christmas Day 2014: Holiday miscellany

December 25, 2014 at 7:44 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Merry Christmas! Some info you might find useful on this holiday:

LOOKING FOR COFFEE? At least three West Seattle coffee shops are open – they’re on the list in our Holiday Guide.

CHRISTMAS DAY CHURCH SERVICES: You’ll find several, also in our Holiday Guide.

WHICH RESTAURANTS ARE OPEN? Here’s the list we put together after calling around in the past week-plus – invariably someone changes their mind (or is open but not on our list because we were unable to make contact) so please let us know if you find any discrepancies – we’re at 206-293-6302 text/voice as always.

WHICH GROCERY STORES ARE OPEN? Here’s the list.

TRANSPORTATION: Metro is on its Sunday schedule today. … The West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxis do NOT run today. … Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route is on a regular weekday schedule. … Sound Transit is on a Sunday schedule. … In Seattle neighborhoods with city pay stations/meters, no charge for parking today.

ENTERTAINMENT: Yes, the Admiral Theater (2343 California SW) is open – schedule’s here.

KARAOKE: Guy sends word that the Yen Wor Village (2300 California SW) lounge in The Admiral District will be open for karaoke tonight, 9 pm-2 am.

West Seattle Christmas lights: Peace on earth; reindeer, replaced

December 24, 2014 at 8:16 pm | In West Seattle Christmas lights, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

For Christmas Eve, we stopped by two more light displays – the peace sign and candy canes (above and below) are at 2707 48th SW (thanks to Lemon for the tip):

Last but not least, Santa and his flamingos can be seen in a festive Westwood yard at 31st/Thistle:

We’re adding them to the short list of Christmas-lights highlights (sorry, we’ll get back to mapmaking next year!) in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.

West Seattle scene: Christmas Eve sunset

December 24, 2014 at 6:51 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather | No Comments

6:51 PM: Thanks to JayDee for the photo of tonight’s beautiful sunset, as seen from Upper Alki.

7:55 PM P.S. – If you have a view of the southwestern sky, check out the crescent moon before it sets.

Big gift to West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA from Kids Need Bikes

December 24, 2014 at 2:37 pm | In Health, Holidays, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(Photos courtesy West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA)
Thanks to a Seattle-based volunteer group called Kids Need Bikes, dozens of young West Seattleites have new ones just in time for Christmas. The West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) received 90 donated bicycles.

Most of the bicycles donated to the Y through Kids Need Bikes, which believes “every child deserves a bicycle to experience the unique freedom and well-being that only riding a bicycle can offer,” were given to children served by Y programs – the Y’s Joleen Post shared the photos from bike-pickup visits this past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The donation even included tricycles for the Y Preschool – shown below with Emilia Holbik and Obie Wilkerson from the preschool:

The trikes are for preschoolers to use while at school. In all, Kids Need Bikes made 200 bicycle donations in the city this holiday season, and it could use your help, via donations of volunteer time and/or money; get more info on its website.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car found – with mystery items inside

December 24, 2014 at 12:22 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

Seattle Police say about three of every four stolen cars turn up somewhere. Today’s West Seattle Crime Watch starts with the latest one.

Eric‘s stolen 1997 Accord was featured here last week, and we got the photos and update from him last night:

I wanted to let you know the King County Sheriff notified me on Saturday he found my car in Skyview. When I went to the impound lot, I found some other victim(s) stolen items in my trunk including opened christmas cards, a lyric/poetry notebook, silver serving platter, a license plate which was not mine and many other items. My belongings were unfortunately missing.

Feel free to share this info if you would like to. Sure wish they would catch these creeps.

Eric had written that his kids’ booster seats were in the car when stolen.

One more Crime Watch note – an early-morning text about car prowls in the 11th/12th/Henderson/Barton area; police were searching shortly after getting the call.

West Seattle scene: Holiday Basketball Mini-Camp at WSHS

December 24, 2014 at 11:44 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

West Seattle High School boys’ basketball head coach Keffrey Fazio shares the photo – more than 60 participants at this week’s Holiday Mini-Camp! As for the team, they’re off until a tournament at Mountlake Terrace High School next week.

West Seattle Wednesday: Christmas Eve 2014 shopping, wrapping, dining, more …

December 24, 2014 at 9:31 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news | 16 Comments

We haven’t quite reached the “…and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse …” part of the day/night yet. So here are some Christmas Eve notes from around West Seattle and vicinity:

SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARYall locations closed today (and of course tomorrow).

RESTAURANTS THAT ARE OPEN: Here’s our list of restaurants that are open anywhere from one to all four of the following – Christmas Eve/Day, New Year’s Eve/Day. Please read it carefully. As we note, we have to make the calls a week or two ahead to get them ALL done, but some establishments change their plans, so please let us know if a change or omission is detected – text/call 206-293-6302 or e-mail editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you!

GROCERY-STORE HOURS: When do West Seattle supermarkets close tonight? That info’s here.

SHOPPING TODAY: You’ll find many local stores with last-minute hours. Some of the ones we’ve heard from include new WSB sponsor VAIN, 10 am-5 pm, where Rebecca shares these last-minute ideas:

Our favorites are probably the local items we carry – soaps and bath salts from Estrella, jewelry by Siddal (she’s one of our hairstylists), Theo Chocolates, and more. My personal pick would be greeting cards by local artist Mike Doyle (photo), who also is a server at West 5 down the street!

Those would make a cute stationery set with a cute pen from NW Art & Frame. Of course, we also have gift cards for the undecided gift-giver. Those are good towards hair services, hair products, or anything in our boutique.

Also: Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor), 10 am-5 pm; Junction True Value (open now, until 4 pm; WSB sponsor); Atomic Boys, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; Beer Junction, 10 am-7 pm. (added 10:29 am) Emerald Water Anglers and Wallflower Custom Framing, until 2 pm; Wyatt’s Jewelers & Curious Kidstuff, until 4 pm; JF Henry, until “4 or 5″ (preceding five are all WSB sponsors); West Seattle Cellars, 11 am-7 pm; (added) Twilight Gallery and Boutique until 5 pm, The General Store Seattle until 7 pm

Anybody else? Contact us and we’ll add to the list!

FREE FOOD: Taqueria El Antojo at the Lincoln Park 76 station is giving away tacos and burritos 11 am-3:30 pm. Same family that has a free-food tradition at Taqueria La Fondita in White Center 11 am-4 pm (details here).

WRAP IT UP: One last session for the Furry Faces Foundation gift-wrap fundraiser – 2-7 pm at Beveridge Place Pub. (6413 California SW)

FREE COCOA TONIGHT AT WEST SEATTLE LIGHTS: 6-8 pm, visit West Seattle Lights/Helmstetler Family Christmas Spectacular and that’s what awaits you. Don’t forget your West Seattle Food Bank donation! (3908 SW Charlestown)

CHRISTMAS EVE CHURCH SERVICES: We’ve moved the list up toward the top of our West Seattle Holiday Guide.

AS FOR US … Open 24/7/365, as always. Today’s the ninth anniversary of the day we started publishing here, though WSB didn’t become a full-service professional/commercial news publication until almost two years later.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Christmas Eve morning watch

December 24, 2014 at 7:34 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 2 Comments

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Probably more holiday travelers than headed-to-work commuters on the road this morning, but just in case you have to head out, here’s our usual complement of cameras, plus reminders about the transit changes:

TODAY (Christmas Eve): Metro is on its “reduced weekday” schedule.

TOMORROW (Christmas Day): Metro will be on the Sunday schedule; the Water Taxi will *not* run; Sound Transit Route 560 will be on its Sunday schedule; Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run will be on a normal schedule.

‘Let’s Talk: West Seattle’: What has (and hasn’t) happened since the ‘talk’

December 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

(WSB photo, June 28th)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Almost six months after a city-organized event that was envisioned as a prototype for conversations with neighborhoods around the city, a West Seattle community advocate laments that months of following up have shown the “experiment in communication has not worked out.”

Held on the last Saturday morning in June, the event titled “Let’s Talk: West Seattle” was announced as being for “encouraging civic engagement around development issues” – a chance to discuss those issues in a big-picture context, instead of the usual one-development-at-a-time.

Click to read the rest of ‘Let’s Talk: West Seattle’: What has (and hasn’t) happened since the ‘talk’…

Looking ahead to Christmas Eve/Day: Our church, restaurant, grocer-store lists

December 23, 2014 at 9:31 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

Quick reminders about Christmas Eve/Day information that you can preview here now rather than trying to track it down when you really need it:

*CHRISTMAS CHURCH SERVICES: A dozen local churches shared service times/descriptions with us, and you’ll find it in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.

*WHAT RESTAURANTS ARE OPEN? We’ve been making this list and checking it twice, after dozens and dozens of phone calls. Whatever local restaurants told us they were open Christmas Eve and/or Day are listed here. (With the caveat, every year somebody changes their plan … happens every so often … apologies in advance!)

*GROCERY STORE HOURS: Here’s our list of when West Seattle supermarkets close on Christmas Eve and who’s closed/open on Christmas Day.

P.S. The Holiday Guide runs through New Year’s Day, and we’re still corralling info for next week’s holidays – e-mail us if you have a New Year’s Eve/Day party or other event to announce!

Full Tilt Ice Cream temporarily closing shops, pulling its dairy-based products, as side effect of Snoqualmie Ice Cream recall

December 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm | In Health, West Seattle news | 26 Comments

You might have heard about a voluntary recall of Snoqualmie Ice Cream products because of listeria concerns. No illnesses have been reported, but other businesses that use Snoqualmie products are affected – including Full Tilt Ice Cream, which is pulling its dairy-based ice cream and closing its shops for a few days. Here’s the explanation from FT’s Facebook page:

Unfortunately our stores are going to be closed until December 26th. Our dairy supplier, Snoqualmie Gourmet, has issued a recall on our pasteurized milk products. This does not affect our non-dairy and vegan flavors.

None of our ice cream has been contaminated, but to err on the side of caution, we have decided to pull all of our dairy-based ice cream.

If you have a pint at home that you bought at one of our scoop shops, feel free to bring it in for a refund or replacement. If you recently bought a pint from another retail outlet, you can return it to the store that you bought it from for a full refund. We are currently working as hard as we can to make ice cream and get open as soon as possible.

Again, that’s the message from Full Tilt. It is not the only business affected by the Snoqualmie situation – another popular local ice-cream mini-chain, Molly Moon, has temporarily closed its shops too. (Thanks to Chas and Amy for the tips on this.)

ADDED 12/25: Please see the comments for additional info, pending our next update on this.

Update: 4 hospitalized after 4-vehicle crash at West Marginal/Highland Park Way

December 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 27 Comments

(WSB photos: Vehicles at the lower end of the crash scene, W. Marginal/HP Way)
4:14 PM: Big emergency response to West Marginal Way SW and Highland Park Way SW, where a reported crash started as a small response but has grown to half a dozen SFD units – three vehicles and five people hurt. Avoid the area if you can. It’s been raining heavily for a while now so it’s a challenge to get just about anywhere.

4:44 PM: We are at the crash scene. It’s at the bottom of HP Way hill, blocking uphill lanes. Downhill getting through but slowly – avoid.

4:49 PM: We are told 4 vehicles were involved, 4 people taken to the hospital but no life-threatening injuries so TCIS is -not- being called out. Tow trucks are starting to arrive.

(Vehicle at upper end of crash scene, HP Way westbound/uphill lanes – firefighters had to cut away part of it to get someone out)
5:17 PM: Again, even though some traffic is getting through, avoid the area until there’s word everything is cleared – it’s slow going even in the directions that are open – we are back at HQ (adding photos), and West Marginal to the south (White Center-bound) was slow too. Even though TCIS won’t be involved, clearing the scene will likely take some time, with four vehicles plus debris to be cleared.

6:07 PM: Texter says the scene is clear – Metro has also messaged that Route 131, which goes through that area, is back to normal.

West Seattle HS girls’ basketball team ranks #6 statewide!

December 23, 2014 at 2:48 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

Congratulations to coach Sonya Elliott and her undefeated West Seattle High School girls-varsity basketball team – the new Seattle Times (WSB partner) rankings have them at #6 in the state (3A division). Next up for the Wildcats, an after-Christmas tournament in California; they’re going to Palm Springs for games Friday, December 26th, through Tuesday, December 30th (here’s the schedule). Their next game in Seattle is at home on Wednesday, January 7th, vs. Holy Names.

Happening now: Holiday open house at Illusions Hair Design

December 23, 2014 at 1:42 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news | No Comments

The team at Illusions Hair Design is in the midst of what we believe to be the last Holiday Open House before Christmas, at least among West Seattle businesses! You don’t need an appointment to drop by and say hi, any time before 8 pm – they have treats (as shown on the Illusions Facebook page!) and plenty of good cheer – 5619 California SW.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Robbery outside Avalon apartments

December 23, 2014 at 11:20 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 4 Comments

We’ve just obtained the police report for an armed robbery reported early today in the 3200 block of SW Avalon Way. The exact address has been redacted, but the holdup is described as having happened in an apartment-building parking lot visible from apartments above it (which likely means a parking area off the alley). The police report says it happened just after 1 am and that the victims told them they had pulled into the lot and were getting out of their car when the three robbers approached from the north.

Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Robbery outside Avalon apartments…

How are Harbor Island cleanup sites doing? State announces your chance to see new draft status reports

December 23, 2014 at 10:28 am | In Environment, West Seattle news | No Comments

(From Ecology website: Aerial image of BP site)
The state is continuing to watch three cleanup sites on Harbor Island, and just sent an announcement that draft status reports are available for your review and/or comments. From the Department of Ecology, with links to each report:

Past and ongoing cleanup work at three major oil terminals on Harbor Island in Seattle continue to protect public safety and the environment, according to reviews drafted by the Washington Department of Ecology.

Ecology is making the draft reports available for public review and comment through Jan. 26, 2015. The reviews cover the cleanup status of BP West Coast Products Terminal, Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminal, and Shell Oil Harbor Island Terminal.

Click to read the rest of How are Harbor Island cleanup sites doing? State announces your chance to see new draft status reports…

West Seattle Tuesday: Lunch with Santa; Christmas blues; more…

December 23, 2014 at 9:13 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | No Comments

(Seen off Seacrest Tuesday! Photo by Laura James – no relation to “Diver Laura”)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and our ongoing-through-New-Year’s WS Holiday Guide:

GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE: If you can donate blood, consider visiting the Bloodmobile in The Junction until 3 pm today (except for the 11:30-12:30 break). Details in our calendar listing. (42nd/Alaska)

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE AT ILLUSIONS: 11 am-8 pm, you’re invited to stop by Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor), no appointment needed, just drop in for treats and good cheer! (5619 California SW)

LUNCH WITH SANTA: We spotted him at Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor) right after Thanksgiving, and he’s back today for lunch:

Starting at noon. (9261 45th SW)

NEED TO GO TO THE LIBRARY? Seattle Public Libraries are closed Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day, so get there today!

HAPPY HANUKKAH! At sundown, 8th and final night of the Festival of Lights.

‘BLUES TO DO’ CHRISTMAS PARTY: 8 pm at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), this week’s “Blues to Do” is the Christmas Party edition, with special guest Seth Freeman. (6451 California SW)

LOOKING AHEAD TO CHRISTMAS EVE/DAY? Find the info we’ve compiled about restaurants, grocery stores, and church services in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide!

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Christmas Eve-Eve Tuesday updates

December 23, 2014 at 7:13 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 4 Comments

(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:13 AM: Relatively light commute so far, all around the region.

Transit reminder: Metro service is normal (except for the “no UW” cancellations) again today, but then schedule changes start tomorrow and continue through New Year’s Day – the “reduced weekday” schedule will be in effect tomorrow, for starters, meaning some local routes don’t run at all.

P.S. The Water Taxi will NOT run on Christmas Day.

8:04 AM: TW notes in a comment that the 1st/Horton light has been undergoing repairs, and there’s been a bit of backup coming off the bridge at 1st.

Low-low tide tonight, ‘coastal flood advisory’ Tuesday morning

December 22, 2014 at 8:40 pm | In West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Another round of tidal extremes has arrived – if you’re up for a late-night low-tide walk, it’s the lowest tide of the month just after 11 pm (-2.7), and almost that low tomorrow night (-2.5) at quarter till midnight. The morning high tides this week are the “king tides” awaited each year, and the <strong>National Weather Service has a Coastal Flood Advisory out for some possible overflow tomorrow: The predicted high tide is 12.6 feet at 6:19 am tomorrow, building toward 13.0 high tides at 7:39 am on Christmas Day (that’ll be the morning high tide for the two days afterward, too). Read more about it on the city’s Convergence Zone website.

West Seattle Christmas lights: Two more homes to see

December 22, 2014 at 7:06 pm | In West Seattle Christmas lights, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

You’ve been to the Menashe house. You’ve been to West Seattle Lights & West Seattle Yuletide. Where else to see bright sights of the season?

That’s the Davis house at 4152 46th SW (map). Duane Davis shares photos and datapoints:

We have 10,000 lights with mix of traditional and LED. Come enjoy the Cotton Candy trees and drive up the block for more lights from our neighbors. The last picture was taken of our Hawks flag flying among the Christmas lights:

It was taken by my daughter following the Hawks win in Phoenix. Go Hawks! Merry Christmas from the Davises.

And another bold and bright display – this next photo’s from Valerie:

This one’s at 3431 48th Ave SW (map). Any other lights folks should see, yours or others’? Send a photo and address! editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

As for West Seattle’s ‘pit’: Murray CSO Control Project pours postponed until after Christmas

December 22, 2014 at 5:43 pm | In Utilities, West Seattle news | No Comments

Another “pit” update tonight – this time, for the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project‘s million-gallon-tank pit across from Lowman Beach. As tank construction begins, King County Wastewater Treatment says the next two major concrete pours – with half the truck volume of the big one earlier this month, but sizable nonetheless – are now postponed until after Christmas. Click (if you’re on the home page) or scroll for the full update:

Click to read the rest of As for West Seattle’s ‘pit’: Murray CSO Control Project pours postponed until after Christmas…

Tunnel updates: Opening no sooner than August 2017; access-pit digging on hold again; new ‘settling’ info

December 22, 2014 at 2:35 pm | In Alaskan Way Viaduct, West Seattle news | 75 Comments

(Added: New screengrab from tunnel-machine-access-pit camera)
2:35 PM: Even if nothing else goes wrong with the Highway 99 tunnel project, it won’t be open for use any sooner than August 2017.

That’s an estimate made by the contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners BEFORE the recent discovery of “settling” in the area; WSDOT just disclosed the date today, as part of a general pre-holiday update. The update also says that while no new settling has been detected near the pit being built to retrieve the cutter head of the broken-down tunneling, machine, settling elsewhere “is greater and farther reaching than anticipated. Engineers are still evaluating whether other factors are involved that could explain the discrepancy. We will continue to conduct daily inspections of the viaduct and watch the survey data closely as STP moves forward with their work. As we write this, we’re on a conference call with other reporters and reps from WSDOT and STP – we’ll be adding more details shortly.

ADDED 3:19 PM: The conference call is over; from WSDOT, it included project executive Matt Preedy and spokesperson Laura Newborn, and from Seattle Tunnel Partners, executive Chris Dixon, plus local/regional/national reporters.

Among the many points of note:

-The August 2017 date that debuted today was described as coming from the “October update” by STP. We asked why it wasn’t mentioned before, not even during the official stakeholders’ briefing (at which we were the only news org on hand) in early December. STP explained that these updates – which WSDOT now plans to make public – take several weeks to assemble, so the “October update” is just being parsed now. (Which means, they acknowledged, we won’t know full details of the “November update” – which would still not include this month’s turbulence – until January, and so on.)

-The schedule will remain “dynamic,” said WSDOT’s Preedy, until the tunneling machine is back in operation. (In other words, even the new August 2017 date is nowhere near set in stone.)

-Excavation of the pull-the-cutter-head-out-for-repairs pit is on hold now for two weeks, and not expected to resume until early January. Digging stopped on Friday, about three days after WSDOT had said it could resume. Some non-structural pilings, explained in the official online update, are being pulled out before they start going to the next level. STP’s Dixon explained that digging had been done in stages, about six feet at a time, before an evaluation of where everything stood. At the completion of the most recent stage – to 90 feet in pit depth, aka “-74 in elevation” – they decided to pause for piling removal.

-Would it have been quicker, in hindsight, to approach the tunnel-machine repair project from the south/interior? STP insisted it’s happy with its choice to build the pit to try to hoist the cutter head out, even though it’s of a magnitude that has never been done before, given the machine’s record size, etc., and has “been more difficult than anticipated.”

-The settlement of the Viaduct itself, when recalculated as explained in the online update, will likely be a bit less than estimated, but the settlement causes in the area remain a mystery, and an investigation continues.

-As for the big issues – who pays for all this unanticipated work? – the state continues to point out that this is a “design-build contract” and that STP is expected to do whatever it takes to fulfill that. Pressed on certain specifics, WSDOT’s Preedy said he didn’t think it “appropriate for either party to speculate” on how it’s all going to be worked out.

-About the “70 percent complete” recent proclamation, today’s answer seemed to mostly boil down to, that’s the percentage STP has been paid.

P.S. To see the “October schedule” from which the August 2017 open-to-traffic projection was pulled, go here. WSDOT also has published the September schedule, which also seems to project that same month (albeit a couple weeks earlier than the Oct. “schedule”).

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