West Seattle’s surplus ex-substations: Advocates tour with Rasmussen; Andover cleanup continues

March 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm | In Environment, Utilities, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Two updates on the six former substations in West Seattle that City Light has declared “surplus”:

GREEN SPACE COALITION TOUR WITH COUNCILMEMBER RASMUSSEN: Community advocates including members of the West Seattle Green Space Coalition, who hope to keep the long-deactivated sites as open space, hosted Councilmember Tom Rasmussen this morning on a tour that started at the Dakota site on Genesee Hill:

Rasmussen tells WSB, “I support the efforts of the community to keep the sites as open space. The challenge is finding the funds to do so. I am researching and checking how we can do that.” Some City Light sites have become parks – in West Seattle, those include Dakota Place Park north of The Junction and Nantes Park along Admiral Way – while others in the city have been sold to housing developers. Five of the West Seattle sites are zoned for single-family homebuilding; the one on 9th SW near Westcrest Park is zoned Lowrise 2.

We couldn’t stay for today’s full tour, but organizers were expecting also to visit the Fauntleroy and Andover sites. We reported back in December about what City Light described as “cleanup” work at the latter site on Pigeon Point, work to which the WSGSC had taken exception because of vegetation removal; the city says it’s continuing that work. From SCL’s environmental-compliance manager William Devereaux:

Tree cutting and clearing was completed several weeks ago. The final phase of work involves the actual digging up of the contaminated soil putting clean soil in, reseeding grass, and replanting. NRC Environmental Services, a company from South Park, is carrying out the work. I heard that there were some questions regarding chalk/paint lines outside of the site. Before we dig on any site we have to have all of the utilities located to ensure that we do not disturb them. There will not be any digging outside of our substation site and the SDOT right of way immediately adjacent to the site.

When we start working on the SDOT right of way portion, there will be one-way traffic only, with flaggers between 21st and 22nd Ave SW on SW Andover St and between SW Charlestown St and SW Andover St on 21st Ave. This portion is not anticipated to start until next week. We are anticipating that the entire soil removal and backfill will be complete within 2 weeks.

One of the advocates on today’s tour, Cass Turnbull of PlantAmnesty, contends that “it makes little sense to choose a remediation method before the final disposition of the property is determined.” She says that if it’s determined the sites will be kept as green spaces, there are other ways of dealing with the reported low-level soil contamination that has had the city cutting and digging.

The Green Space Coalition is planning to take its case to the City Council’s Energy Committee next week. It’s up to the council to make the final decision on the ex-substations’ future, once SCL has made its recommendations.

3 Comments

  1. how long is the SDOT right of way work scheduled to take ? (one-way with flaggers on Andover). that could be interesting in the mornings with all of the Pathfinder traffic.

    Comment by sam-c — 12:12 pm March 6, 2014 #

  2. Traffic will be most affected when we are cleaning the portion of the Andover Substation outside of the fence. We expect to get to that area some time next week. The contractor is planning to work 10 hour days starting between 7am and 8am. We estimate that this work will take a week to complete.

    Comment by William Devereaux — 8:22 am March 7, 2014 #

  3. good to know; thanks for the update!

    Comment by sam-c — 1:15 pm March 7, 2014 #

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