Just over four years ago, King County reps first came to Fauntleroy for meetings with neighbors about two projects to reduce combined-sewer overflows from two area pump stations. Now, many meetings later, both of those projects are on the verge of construction, and last night at Fauntleroy Church, the Murray project – named after the Lowman Beach pump station to which it’s tied – was discussed in detail with neighbors, in a pre-construction briefing. Ahead, some of what neighbors and Lowman Beach/Lincoln Park users alike should know about the impending three years of construction:
First, the slide deck that accompanied the presentation:
Project manager Erica Jacobs started by going all the way back to the reason for the project – older “combined-sewer” systems that fill with stormwater and sewage during storms, and “by design” overflow as a “safety valve.” Those overflows average 5 million gallons a year, she said.
The project includes a million-gallon storage tank as well as odor control and a standby generator, replacing the trucked-in generator that’s a familiar sight at Lowman Beach during storms (see the photo in our . The circular tank will be under the southern side of the site, with a plaza on top; a public stairway will go through the site, which will have open space on its north side.
Jacobs showed the renderings of the building, whose height, she said, was dictated by the need for a generator. Trees will be planted but it’ll take years before they hide the building’s facade, she acknowledged. The site will include a raingarden and, as its art element, rammed-earth walls.
The construction team was introduced and explained (they’re all listed in the presentation you can scroll through above); Doug Marsano remains the community-relations lead.
Site challenges detailed by the team include:
*Relatively small size
*It’s beneath developed hills
They will build a “soil-nail wall” to support the eastern hillside by Lincoln Park Way. Then, for the first few months, “secant piles” will shore the tank site during excavation, with drilling – the excavation will be a cylindrical, watertight ring nearly 100 feet across, 80 feet deep. What’ll be excavated would be enough “to fill Colman Pool twice.” A 20-foot-thick concrete slab will be installed below the tank to prevent it from floating over high groundwater. It’ll be like “putting a battleship underground.”
Large-diameter utilities (power, HVAC, water line, overflow pipes) will cross Beach Drive – they will maintain at least one lane of traffic throughout construction. A tidal gate will be installed to keep saltwater from entering back into the pump station during very high tides.
A construction permit has been issued, the county said, and other permits are being obtained now by contractor Shimmick Construction. Some activity is forecast in December – fencing, for example. The “secant piles” installation isn’t likely until first quarter. The facility building won’t likely start before 2015, after the tank, and the entire project won’t be complete until about three years from now.
What to expect? Marsano picked that up – what does it mean to neighbors?
*Heavy equipment, truck traffic, noise
*Work hours usually 7 am-6 pm weekdays (they don’t intend to work weekends, Marsano reiterated)
*Access to Beach Drive SW maintained
*No parking on eastern side of Beach Drive throughout the project
*Access to Lowman Beach Park facilities, beach maintained – “there will always be access to the park”
And he promised – “no surprises.”
They plan to share information via:
*Site signs and flyer box
*Updates via e-mail, flyer, postal mail by request
*48 hours minimum notice for “intense activities” including phone
*”Other resources” including WSB
*Lowman Beach Park community board
*Some local West Seattle businesses
How you can get info to them:
*206-205-9186 project hotline
-Online comments via project web page (here’s the link)
“Every project inquiry gets individual attention,” Marsano promised. The project hotline can be used to alert the county to “potential hazards,” too, he said, and urged people to “avoid the work area,” don’t distract the workers, etc.
Answering Q/A, Marsano was asked whether parking on Lincoln Park Way should be restricted because of all the truck traffic that will ensue. A project rep said the three months of excavating for the “secant pile” will involve four trucks a day. There will be a traffic-control person; trucks will be staged on Fauntleroy or California. “That’s going to be interesting,” said one attendee. “We’ll figure it out,” she was promised. Same goes when there are a “lot of concrete trucks” for the big pour in the hole’s base – they’ll be staged and brought in one at a time. He didn’t have the “haul-out route” handy but Marsano promised they would. Their disposal site for what’s dug up isn’t set yet, the project team said in response to another question.
There was some discussion about public space atop the structure – and whether there could be some benches in the green-roof area that currently is shown as being fenced off. The challenge is between opening it to the public and turning it into too much of a hangout area, ensuing discussion revealed. One attendee worried about graffiti vandals targeting it; Marsano promised the county has a strong interest in keeping it as “graffiti-free as possible.” Nearby residents are being asked about monitoring devices, one resident disclosed.
Also of note: The contractor will face penalties if not done on time.