West Seattle, Washington
Three notes in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
CAR PROWLS: Two notes at midday today briefly mentioned car prowls along Beach Drive – one near Me-Kwa-Mooks Park, one in the 5900 block of Beach Drive, both involving windows that appeared to have broken in.
WHAT METHODS ARE CAR PROWLERS/THIEVES USING? Next Tuesday’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting will include a guest from the National Insurance Crime Bureau to talk about the latest methods used to get into cars, as well as “which vehicles are the most and least likely to be stolen,” according to WSCPC president Richard Miller. The meeting is at 7 pm Tuesday, January 19th, at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster).
VANDALISM: From the Stop ‘N Shop store at the Senior Center of West Seattle in The Junction:
On December 30th, the Stop ‘N Shop sold a Pennsylvania House bedroom set for $1,500. The buyer arranged to pick the set up on January 6th. When they came to pick up the furniture, we took off the protective sheets only to discover that someone had scratched / keyed the surfaces of several pieces in the set. I believe the act of vandalism occurred (in the store) on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016. We don’t understand why someone would behave in such a manner. What we do know, is that the loss of income from this kind of crime only hurts low-income seniors who we are trying to help.
The buyer did end up accepting the damaged furniture anyway, the store notes. If you have any info, contact police.
(March 2015 photo taken from Alki Point by Gary Jones)
Sometimes we don’t hear about notable sightings at sea, off West Seattle shores, until afterward – but this time, we have an advance alert. The Kitsap Sun reports that the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis will head out on deployment Friday. The departure time is generally not announced in advance.
4:10 PM: More news today from WSDOT, the day after the Highway 99 tunneling machine had to stop while they sorted out a problem with the barge that was collecting excavation spoils. The barge problem isn’t fixed yet, but they brought in some trucks, and digging resumed. Then came a sinkhole. Here’s the WSDOT update sent this afternoon:
Seattle Tunnel Partners resumed mining Tuesday evening, using trucks to remove excavated material while they continued working to resolve an issue with a soil-removal barge. STP crews resumed excavation at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Approximately two hours later, a sinkhole developed within STP’s work zone near South Main Street, about 35 feet north of the access pit. It is located more than 100 feet south of the cutterhead’s current location, in ground that crews mined through last week. STP filled the sinkhole overnight with 250 cubic yards of concrete.
This section of the tunnel drive is protected by an underground wall built by STP before tunneling. The wall was designed to isolate ground movement and protect the nearby Alaskan Way Viaduct. A manual survey of the viaduct conducted after the sinkhole developed found no movement. WSDOT and STP will continue surveying and monitoring the ground, viaduct, utilities and other structures.
The cause of the sinkhole is still under investigation. STP is analyzing the portion of the tunnel that crews have excavated since mining resumed. There is no indication that any other locations have experienced ground loss.
STP is reviewing their daily operations as a result of this incident. Immediately they will enhance monitoring protocols by requiring crews to manually verify the amount of soil removed during excavation of each ring.
The protocols STP outlined to enhance monitoring were used in the first 1,000 feet of tunneling and WSDOT is disappointed they were not used when STP restarted tunneling in December 2015. STP has several hundred feet of mining before they reach the next planned maintenance stop. Before leaving the maintenance stop, STP’s operational protocols will undergo an additional review by an expert to assure public safety.
STP has temporarily stopped mining to prepare the muck storage pit to receive excavated material. They plan to resume tunneling this week using trucks to remove excavated material. …
Safety remains our top priority as we work to replace the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct. We expect STP to further investigate this incident and take the appropriate corrective action as they continue to build this important project.
ADDED 6:31 PM: We asked WSDOT’s project spokesperson Laura Newborn about the sinkhole’s size: “According to Chris Dixon, the dimensions of the sinkhole were 35 feet long, 20 feet wide and 15 feet deep.”
3:47 PM: West Seattle High School‘s #1 is Nate Pryor, photographed during the team’s Saturday night home win over Stadium HS. Today, he received a statewide honor, announced by WSHS athletic director Trevor Leopold:
Congrats to Nate Pryor, who was named WIAA Player of the Week! Pryor averaged 21.5 points, 6.5 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and three steals per game last week, in victories over Stadium and O’Dea. The point guard hit a buzzer beater to defeat O’Dea by one, 70-69.
Also today – you can help Nate get regional recognition by voting in a Western Washington-wide online competition – go here.
ADDED 5:50 PM: In case you wondered – WIAA says the weekly honoree receives “a congratulatory letter from WIAA Executive Director, Mike Colbrese, a commemorative WIAA State Athlete of the Week t-shirt, and a certificate.”
Thanks to Amanda Kay Helmick from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council for the photo and word that the playground at Roxhill Park is fenced off for the start of work to enable returning the play structure’s turret. It’s been more than 14 months since the custom-crafted turret was removed for safety concerns; it was created and installed during the 2013 community-powered project that replaced the park’s old wooden “castle,” but Parks determined reinforcement would be required to be sure the structure could safely hold it. We’ll be checking with Parks on the expected timetable for this closure and the reinforcement/restoration work.
(2012 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli, from original pad-replacement work beneath the bridge)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Another big road project is on the way. This one isn’t new – but it’s a year later than first planned. It’s the re-replacement of earthquake-safety cushioning under the Fauntleroy Expressway of the West Seattle Bridge, expected to happen last year, delayed until this year, now set to start in a few months.
If you don’t recall the backstory: Back in 2014, we reported on the revelation that 600 “bearing pad” cushions had been installed two years earlier on the Fauntleroy Expressway end of the West Seattle Bridge with a design flaw that made them too soft. The city caught the flaw; the design consultant didn’t fix it, and they paid almost $2 million for that error. In the meantime, the city decided that since the pads were going to be re-replaced anyway, they should be built to a newer standard of toughness.
The city insists the too-soft pads are not a safety risk; it’s just a matter of how long they will last.
We lost track of the project until it came up at the Southwest District Council meeting earlier this month, with a mention that SDOT was about to start community outreach about the work. The brief discussion that ensued involved some confusion – others at the meeting thought the re-replacement had already happened, and wondered if this were a round of re-re-replacement.
So we went to SDOT, which confirmed this is the work that was expected to start in April 2015. “City crews were on site for several weeks around that time doing some early preparation work for the installation,” acknowledged SDOT spokesperson Marybeth Turner. But – “We didn’t begin the installation when we had first planned because it took longer than anticipated to reach agreement on the design for the new and improved replacement pads, to work through the related design implications, and to reach agreement on the construction cost with the contractor.”
674 pads are to be re-replaced, and that will require up to 50 nighttime closures of the Fauntleroy Expressway – toward the west end of the bridge. Turner says they’ll probably be 9 pm-5 am weeknight closures, and more information will be available when scheduling is finalized. The work involves – as shown in the 2012 photo atop this story, from the original replacement work – jacking up sections of the bridge to remove the existing pads and place the new ones.
We have asked a followup about how – or whether – these closures will be coordinated with the eventual expected two-week Alaskan Way Viaduct shutdown, when the Highway 99 tunneling machine goes under the AWV. No reply yet.
ADDED: That reply is in now. SDOT’s Turner says, “We are aware the construction schedules for SR99 closures (for tunneling under the viaduct) and work on the Fauntleroy Expressway may coincide. We are now assessing the traffic impacts of the Fauntleroy Expressway project.”
(Alki eagle, by SurferLucas, from the WSB Flickr group)
Continuing with our daily highlight lists (our comprehensive calendar will return along with our full website, whose overhaul has gone into overtime) – here’s your preview for the rest of this rainy Wednesday:
HARBOR SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 6:30 pm at K-8 Harbor School (WSB sponsor) on Vashon Island, with this special invite for West Seattle families:
For West Seattle families interested in attending, please RSVP by phone at 206-567-5955 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Shuttle service will be offered to West Seattle attendees walking on at the Fauntleroy ferry terminal and arriving on Vashon. Attendees wishing to utilize the shuttle must RSVP prior to the event.
(15920 Vashon Hwy. SW)
FREE IRISH SET DANCING: 6:30 pm at Kenyon Hall:
Join us for an evening of Irish Set Dancing (Irish square dance). From 6:30 to 7 pm there will be instruction in the basics, then traditional dancing 7 pm to 9 pm. No partner is necessary. Jim Belcher will teach and call. Call Connie with questions; 206-935-5648. Sponsored by Puget Sound Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann.
(7904 35th SW)
34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS: 7 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy. Tonight’s agenda (see it here) for our area’s biggest political organization looks ahead to the rest of this big election year and features a panel on youth homelessness. (9131 California SW)
ROO FORREST AND FRIENDS: Live music at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)
TREEHOUSE LOUNGE OPEN MICROPHONE: Sign up at 7:30 pm, music at 8, hosted by Alan Sobel – come perform at tonight’s edition of the twice-monthly open-microphone event at Treehouse Lounge in The Admiral District. (2206 California SW)
TRIVIA: 8:30 pm, the famous Talarico’s Pizza trivia night hosted by Phillip Tavel. (4718 California SW)
Please continue to send upcoming events, as we will be catching up the calendar once it’s back in service. firstname.lastname@example.org – plain-text information in the body of your e-mail, NOT attachments – at least a week in advance. Thank you!
Just announced by Seafair: U.S. Navy Blue Angels jet #7 will visit Seattle tomorrow for a planning meeting looking ahead to next summer’s air show. It’s expected at nearby Boeing Field around 11:30 am, with two pilots, #7 Lt. Tyler Davies and #8 Capt. Corrie Mays. Dates for this year’s airshow, by the way, are August 5-7.
No matter what school your kid(s) go to, the Madison Middle School PTSA invites you to its meeting next week to find out what parents should know about “cyberbullying” and social media.
As a followup to the Finding Kind program for our students in December, school administration has put together an expert panel of representatives from Seattle Children’s, Seattle Public Schools, OSPI (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction), and UW to help our families navigate these difficult years. Let’s have a high turnout for this panel! Everyone is busy but it is important to take time to tool yourself with the advice and input from our experts.
Here’s the flyer, shared by Madison PTSA president Carla Rogers. The event is at 7 pm Wednesday, January 20th, in the Madison library (45th SW and SW Spokane).
6:45 AM: Good morning. So far, no incidents in, or outbound from, West Seattle – we’re keeping watch as usual at this time of the day.
EARLY-DISMISSAL DAY FOR SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Classes are out two hours early today. (And, looking ahead to next weekend, school’s out next Monday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.)
7:04 AM: Emergency response to a crash at 17th SW and SW Roxbury. No details, but be aware, if you travel that way.
7:21 AM: Seattle Fire has cleared the crash scene, which indicates no major injuries.
7:44 AM: More crashes to report – no details, but just FYI: 37th SW and SW Austin in Gatewood; 1st S. and S. Jackson in Pioneer Square (since 1st is an alternative way to get into downtown, we keep an eye on it, and also 4th). Significant rain right now, too.
8:30 AM: Just went out briefly and there’s lots of street flooding, so be careful. Meantime, if you’re headed this way from north of downtown, be aware of a crash blocking one lane on southbound 99 just south of the Battery Street Tunnel.
8:42 AM: Multiple reports of a crash at Delridge and Orchard. On Delridge, just south of the intersection. No major injuries, apparently – no Seattle Fire dispatch – but it’s a “T-bone” crash per one message, so might take a while to clear. (Thanks to Jason and Randall for sending word of this!)
8:55 AM: And now – a crash reported at 9th and Roxbury.
10:32 AM: Now there’s a crash response on the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct at Seneca. (Added: “Big backup,” per commenter.)
11:09 AM: Speaking of the Viaduct, Mike just e-mailed to warn, “Just hydroplaned my way down WA-99 S and thought you might want to mention that the typical standing water problem just before you reach the WS Bridge is a bit worse than usual, and I encountered a first (for me) a puddle just S of the viaduct as it flattens out that was deep enough to be a problem.”