4 years ago, South Park chanted ‘We need a bridge’; now, the community and its neighbors have one againJune 30, 2014 at 6:14 am | In South Park, Transportation, West Seattle news | 6 Comments
(WSB video, 6 am today)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The new South Park Bridge is now officially in service, opened to regular traffic minutes ago.
(Motorcyclist Charles, center, was first in line; that’s bridge project manager Tim Lane at right)
This comes on the morning after an all-day-and-into-the-night celebration. And it comes exactly four years to the day following the closure of the bridge’s 80-year-old predecessor with a wake both boisterous and bitter.
On June 30, 2010, the crowd chanted, “We need a bridge”:
That night, June 30, 2010, it was by no means certain they would get another one. The bridge’s drawspan was raised one last time, and there it stood.
Sunday, there was no chanting. But there were fireworks:
(GALLERY ON THESOUTHPARKNEWS.COM: See it here. And report #2 is in the works for WSB)
— King County, WA (@kcnews) June 30, 2014
4:43 PM: The new South Park Bridge is officially open – if you’re on foot (vehicle traffic won’t be permitted until tomorrow morning at 6 am)!
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 29, 2014
This followed an epic dedication ceremony:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 29, 2014
We have it all on video and will have it in a separate story later (lots of photos too, of course). Most importantly, the street party is scheduled to run until about 9 pm, so you have time to get here, walk on the bridge, enjoy the Lucha Libre masked wrestling that starts around 6 pm …
2:05 PM NOTE: We’re heading back to SP for the heart of the party, but we visited in the noon hour and are already building a gallery on The South Park News.
Scroll down here on WSB, meantime, for helpful advance info if you’re planning to go. And watch the WSB Instagram feed between official updates.
And earlier still:
EARLIER, 10:57 AM: Few planned activities/events on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar today – the city’s biggest event is downtown, the Pride Parade, starting shortly (11 am). But in the “almost West Seattle” category, our neighbors in South Park are celebrating the new bridge today, on the eve of its official opening tomorrow, exactly 4 years after the old one was taken out of service.
(Added: WSB photo taken after today’s bridge party started at noon)
So here’s what you need to know if you’re planning on, or thinking about, going to the party. First, a map (the party’s on the south side of the bridge, on 14th Avenue South)! Now, today’s schedule, from the King County website:
12:00 – 3:00 p.m. — Street party: music & performances, info booths, self-guided tours of the bridge’s south tower, food & drink
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. — Dedication ceremony with elected officials & community leaders; fireworks
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. — Parade [you can walk on the bridge!]
6:00 – 9:00 p.m. — Lucha Libre; street party continues
Elected officials announced so far for the 3 pm event include U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, County Executive Dow Constantine, Mayor Ed Murray, U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott. Info about street closures, parking, and bus changes during today’s party is at the bottom of this page. We’ll be covering the events here and at TheSouthParkNews.com. If you’re just waiting for the chance to use that route across the Duwamish again, take note that the new bridge will NOT be open for regular use until 6 am tomorrow (Monday).
P.S. Browse our photo galleries previewing the new bridge – looking at its exterior (including the new raingarden in the footprint of the old bridge); peeking inside during a behind-the-scenes media tour.
Video/photos: Ups and downs of new South Park Bridge, in advance of Sunday’s party and Monday’s openingJune 25, 2014 at 10:53 am | In South Park, West Seattle news | 12 Comments
(ADDED TO END OF STORY: How Metro service will change when bridge opens Monday)
Ever been inside a drawbridge as it opens? That’s what our video shows, as recorded during the new South Park Bridge‘s behind-the-scenes media tour on Tuesday afternoon, looking ahead to its dedication on Sunday and opening on Monday, which will be four years to the day since the old bridge’s shutdown. While photographers were inside during the bridge opening, your editor here recorded the next clip from the top deck (much quieter!):
Engineers are proud of how fast the new drawbridge moves – as little as 6 1/2 minutes for a full opening/closing (of course, the time will be variable depending on the marine craft moving along the Duwamish below). It’s operated by two 75-horsepower motors:
But the story of the new bridge (located here) is also in what surrounds it, and in reused pieces of the old bridge, on and below the new one. Read ahead to find out about that and to see a dozen more photos (plus another video clip):
South Park Bridge to open on June 30th, 4-year anniversary of old bridge’s closure; big party on June 29thJune 4, 2014 at 11:40 am | In South Park, Transportation, West Seattle news | 11 Comments
(Photo by Long B. Nguyen)
Four days ago, showing that aerial of the almost-complete South Park Bridge, we mentioned it’s close to opening. And now, the date’s just been announced – June 30th, the four-year anniversary of the old bridge’s closure:
King County Executive Dow Constantine today announced that the newly constructed South Park Bridge will open June 30. The previous drawbridge, built in 1931, was closed and dismantled in mid-2010 due to safety concerns.
“I made a promise five years ago that we would build a new, safer bridge to connect our industrial heartland to the rest of King County — and we’re ready to deliver,” said Executive Constantine. “Not only will this help local manufacturers and family-owned businesses, it will reunite working communities in the Lower Duwamish area.”
The new bridge is expected to carry 20,000 vehicles and nearly 3,000 heavy-duty trucks each day. It will also carry an estimated 10 million tons of freight each year, including aerospace parts to local Boeing facilities.
ADDED 11:52 AM: The county has a gallery of images of the new bridge accompanying this announcement on its website, including this one:
(Photo by Ned Ahrens, King County DOT)
See the rest here.
3:20 PM UPDATE: While June 30th will be the official opening to traffic, information that’s come out in the past few hours clarifies that the big party will be on Sunday, June 29th, so mark your calendar for that.
The opening date for the new South Park Bridge isn’t set yet, and King County isn’t offering an estimate (aside from “summer”), but it’s close to completion, as you can see in the two views shared this week by West Seattle photographer/pilot Long B. Nguyen:
The county Department of Transportation says it’s continuing electrical testing – 142 miles of wire in the project, according to an update earlier this spring. The old bridge was shut down in June 2010 after a raucous sendoff, and South Park community members are working right now to plan a grand-opening party they hope will eclipse it.
P.S. If you’re new to the area – here’s a map showing the bridge’s location.
9:49 AM: Over the weekend, we reported on a South Park cottage being moved off a little slice of Duwamish River shoreline to make way for a pocket park, pointing out that you might notice the 95-year-old house floating past West Seattle shores (on the river or the bay) as it’s taken to a new site in the San Juans. Crews from Nickel Bros. started work early this morning and already have the cottage on a barge, as our photo shows. We don’t yet know the timetable from here, but if you see it pass, now you know!
9:54 AM UPDATE: And literally two minutes after we published the first take of this story, the barge and house passed Duwamish Waterway Park, where we had been working in hopes of catching it as it goes by:
Tonight, that 980-square-foot cottage is on the South Park riverfront site where it’s sat for 95 years, at 12th Avenue South and South Elmgrove. In a few days, you might notice it as it floats past West Seattle’s eastern/northeastern shore. It’s up on blocks and wheels, preparing for a move that’s scheduled to start early Monday. The house will be loaded onto a barge by the house-moving specialists at Nickel Bros. (which had listed it here), and taken to its new home on Orcas Island in the San Juans. While the house’s new owner is paying for that, Seattle Public Utilities is the agency clearing the site for future use as a street-end pocket park. The park will fulfill SPU’s obligation to provide something in exchange for taking over a street end elsewhere in South Park to build a new pump station. County records show the city paid $180,000 six months ago for the house and its 2,000-square-foot riverside lot.
It’s just about wrapup time for the spring edition of Duwamish Alive! – a twice-yearly day of volunteer cleanup/restoration work to help the Duwamish River and its watershed/feeder waterways. One of the busiest sites this morning was on the South Park shoreline, at Duwamish Waterway Park. With the help of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and Alki Kayak Tours, volunteers were launching kayaks to head out and pick up shoreline debris. Park habitat and raingarden work was being done at the park, too. (Update: Via Facebook, Soundkeeper says volunteers removed 260 pounds of debris from the river.)
This was one of 11 Duwamish Alive! sites from West Seattle to Georgetown to South Park to Tukwila; the fall edition will be in October. (Any photos from other sites today? We’d love to add more to this story – email@example.com – and thanks to all who volunteered!)
ADDED 6:01 PM: From Rory Denovan:
Roxhill Bog had a dozen hardy volunteers for Duwamish Alive. We filled a dumpster full of non-native invasive plants and picked up almost as much litter.
Plans are in the works to head back out in a month or so for more weeding and mulching. We’re determined to get the Park in shape so people can see how really beautiful and diverse the native bog plants are.
If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening of the new South Park Bridge, looks like the wait is going to be a bit longer. The projected opening timeframe for the bridge has been “spring 2014″ for a while … but today, the county’s detailed invitation to next week’s South Park slideshow presentation on bridge construction says it won’t open until sometime this summer, after extensive wiring work. A cached copy of the project webpage shows it displaying “Anticipated Opening: Spring 2014″ as recently as last Sunday.
The bridge originally was projected to open in fall 2013; as first reported on WSB and partner site The South Park News in fall 2012, that changed because foundation work took longer than planned. We have a request out to the county for comment on what has caused the latest change. The old bridge was closed June 30, 2010, after being deemed unsafe; funding for a replacement wasn’t certain by that point, but was eventually secured, and the new bridge’s groundbreaking was in May 2011.
4:09 PM UPDATE: County Transportation Department spokesperson Rochelle Ogershok says this isn’t the result of a new problem, but rather the re-evaluation of the timeline. Her response, ahead:
Click to read the rest of County now says South Park Bridge won’t be open until summer…
(Click image for larger view)
What’s expected to be among the biggest stories in 2014 is the opening of the new South Park Bridge, almost four years after King County shut down the old one out of safety concerns. West Seattle photographer/pilot Long B. Nguyen has just sent three new views of the bridge project, looking toward the east/southeast. The bridge’s control towers, which are wrapped in these views, are the focus of the county’s December update.
(Click image for larger view)
If you’re viewing this from the WSB home page, click ahead for another, even-more-all-encompassing view (and some backstory):
So much happening in West Seattle today/tonight (as listed here earlier), there are few reasons to leave – but this just might be one of them: The increasingly legendary Art Under $100 sale, on at South Park Community Center until 9 tonight. Above, the neon art is by Koko Jamison. You’ll find West Seattleites there too, not just artists but volunteers – we found Bob Anderton emceeing, Tonya Hennen selling raffle tickets:
Tonya’s husband Bill Reiswig is on the artist roster. Meantime, our eye was caught by Liam, Keely, and the picture of Mojo Jojo:
SPCC isn’t far from West Seattle – head down Roxbury and over 509 to Cloverdale and turn left (north) on 8th; it’s at 8319 8th Avenue S.
We don’t know for sure whether this is the same American White Pelican spotted hanging around Lincoln Park/Lowman Beach two weeks ago (as seen here), but it’s the first report we’ve received since this stormy weekend, so we’re sharing it. Jon Anderson spotted it during one of today’s sunbreaks, in a pond near the South Transfer Station. Their usual range in our state is around the Columbia River.
(WSB photo: Crews mobilizing in South Park)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:39 PM: Just in from Puget Sound Energy:
A natural gas regulator is having some problems in the Highland Park area in West Seattle. More than 1000 customers are currently without natural gas service. There is no safety issue. Work is under way to fix the problem. Once the gas-system pressure is operating normally, PSE personnel will go door-to-door to inspect the meters and gain entry to re-light furnaces, water heaters and other gas equipment. Most of the customers affected are residential. This situation is not due to a natural gas leak. There is no escaping natural gas.
We’re hearing about some customers out in South Park, too, and are asking PSE about that.
3:06 PM UPDATE: PSE’s Ray Lane tells us the bulk of the outage IS in South Park, though some are affected in Highland Park too. Here’s his latest update:
Approximately 1,120 PSE customers in the South Park area are without natural gas service due to a suspected problem with the gas system pressure equipment.
This means there is not adequate gas pressure in the system to operate equipment, such as furnaces, water heaters and other appliances. The situation is not due to a natural gas leak.
PSE is on site to correct the problem. We have 28 technicians in the field and will be working to shut down gas service to impacted customers. This allows us to reintroduce gas into the system safely. We anticipate having all customers shut off by 8:00 p.m. Once we have tested and stabilized the system, PSE personnel will need to enter homes and businesses to relight equipment. This may not occur until late in the evening. Customers wanting gas restored overnight should leave a front exterior light on. Service crews will be available all night and through tomorrow morning until all customers are restored.
As in any situation, call PSE or 911 immediately if you smell leaking natural gas. For updates, follow us on Twitter.com/PSEtalk or call 888-225-5773. PSE representatives will also be able to answer customer questions at the South Park Playfield at 8th Ave S and South Sullivan Street.
Thanks to Scott Miller for the photo of the South Park Bridge‘s second drawspan leaf being lifted into place this afternoon. It’s been three weeks since the first one quietly arrived; this time, King County gave the community plenty of advance notice just in case anybody wanted to watch – and what a perfect sunny afternoon it was. The county says the bridge project remains on track to open next spring, which will be just under four years after its predecessor was closed for safety concerns. The new leaf will be maneuvered and bolted into place over the course of this weekend, as explained here, if you’re interested in a firsthand look (here’s a map).
Thanks to Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark for sharing the photo from South Park’s big event today. He reports: “The Denny International Middle School scholars did an outstanding job today marching in the Fiestas Patrias parade! I am so proud of our scholars, staff, and families for representing our school in such a dynamic way in this important community event. Go, Dolphins!”
The parade and accompanying community fiestas that followed comprise a combined celebration of independence for multiple Latin American countries; the South Park fiesta is on until 6 pm, the one at Seattle Center until 11 pm and again tomorrow – details here.
(ADDED SATURDAY: The burned boat, the “Silly Goose” from Craig, AK, out of the water)
If you’re in Highland Park and other points east, you might have noticed the Seattle Fire response headed eastbound for this – a boat caught fire at a marina in South Park this past hour; we’re there covering it for our partner site The South Park News – updates here.
Another milestone for the new South Park Bridge – the south leaf of its drawspan was put into place this week, somewhat unnoticed until local community activist Bill Pease mentioned it on SP’s lively e-mail list. We went down at midday today to take a look on behalf of WSB and partner site The South Park News (more photos in our report there). In our photo above, you can still see part of the old bridge in the background; meantime, for context, here’s the rendering of what the finished bridge is supposed to look like:
Three years and three months have passed since King County closed the old bridge because of safety concerns; you might recall the farewell “wake” the night it was shut down for good. King County’s current estimate for bridge completion: Spring of next year.
(UPDATED Saturday evening: Scroll down for newest info)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
It’s distribution day at the Providence Regina House food bank in South Park. Hundreds of families – about 2,000 people in all – will be fed with the food picked up today by food-bank clients waiting in a long line that, by opening time, was already wrapping around the corner that holds the South Park Neighborhood Center, where the food bank is a tenant.
But those families – many with young children, since today is also “Baby Day” at the food bank – won’t be getting meat. Somebody broke into the food bank’s walk-in freezer overnight and stole an estimated $4,000 of donated meat.
Paige Collins from Providence Regina House tells us that, adding insult to injury, the thief or thieves busted the locking/latching mechanism in a way that renders the freezer unusable until fixed. So even if someone donated replacement meat, they have no place to put it.
They’ve been hit by theft before, and there have been signs of attempts to get into the freezer, but never before has anyone actually succeeded, she says. The meat is donated over the course of each week by the QFC on Capitol Hill – it’s meat that is perfectly good but can’t be sold past its pull date.
The thieves were picky, Collins adds, taking “the good stuff” – which ranges all the way up to roasts – and leaving behind the lowest-grade items, like ground turkey. They also created a mess to get to it – a mess cleaned up by the time we visited, but one that took precious time from food bank staff/volunteers getting ready for their busy distribution hours.
We found out about the theft because Collins had sent a note to the South Park e-mail list, wondering if any neighbors had seen suspicious activity behind the SPNC building. West Seattleites should be on the lookout too. When we visited, another employee was walking surrounding blocks looking for evidence; the stolen meat would have been in banana boxes or in black bins like these:
Those are apparently unique to this food bank. The theft was reported to police early this morning, so if you have any information, call 911.
It’s too soon for Collins to know what they’ll do next; “I can replace the lock, but what if they just come do it again?” she wondered aloud. And they do have enough food to feed everyone today – it’ll just be less than they would have given out otherwise, and South Park is one of the most poverty-challenged areas in the city.
P.S. Collins’ contact information – and donation information for the Providence Regina House food bank, which runs a clothing bank too – is here.
EVENING UPDATE: Collins tells us they believe they know who did it, after getting word a suspect was out trying to hustle some of the stolen food on the street. They also have learned that some of it was seen at a local laundromat earlier today, and are hoping video surveillance might help identify a suspect.
‘Drug-trafficking conspiracy’ behind raids this morning in South Park, Highland Park, authorities saySeptember 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm | In Crime, South Park, West Seattle news | 23 Comments
(Photos by Scott, taken from inside a bus, showing law enforcers outside Juan Colorado’s [at right] in South Park)
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and Seattle Police have just gone public with more information on raids/arrests this morning. We received scattered tips of FBI/SPD sightings in Highland Park and South Park this morning, and the agencies said they would release information as soon as the raids were over – now, they’ve sent this:
In coordinated arrests this morning, the FBI, ATF, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Seattle Police Department took eight people into custody for a wide ranging drug trafficking conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. Members of the conspiracy maintained drug stash houses throughout the Pacific Northwest. Search warrants were served today in Vancouver, Covington, Puyallup, SeaTac, Tukwila, Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. Some of the drug traffickers conducted their deals at a Mexican restaurant in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle: the Juan Colorado.
The restaurant was closed today while law enforcement searched the premises. The defendants will make their initial appearances at 2:00 PM today in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
The coolest guy in a Mexican-wrestling mask at Duwamish Waterway Park last night wasn’t a wrestler – it was South Park community advocate Bill Pease, who thanked the community for rallying to make sure the Lucha Libre Mexican-style-masked-wrestling showcase could come back for a third year – so last night, it was an afterparty following up the afternoon-long Duwamish River Festival at the park.
(WSB/The South Park News photo from 2012 Lucha Libre)
August 17th will be another one of those HUGE days. Here in West Seattle, the Delridge Day festival (presented by the North Delridge Neighborhood Council with co-sponsors including WSB) is happening 11 am-4 pm at Delridge Community Center/Park, with this year’s Picnic at the Precinct co-locating there the same day. Meantime, our neighbors in South Park host the Duwamish River Festival noon-4 pm that day, with THIS big just-confirmed fun – a third year of Lucha Libre, Mexican-style masked wrestling following at 6 pm – read on for the official announcement:
Click to read the rest of Big day of fun August 17th – including Lucha Libre in South Park…
One more option for tonight besides all the cool things we already previewed in our “West Seattle Saturday” roundup – the World Dance Party, held periodically around the area, is in nearby South Park, and WSB, along with our partner site The South Park News, is co-sponsoring. Here are the details:
The party of parties, the World Dance Party (WDP), is happening tonight! The WDP is a FREE multigenerational and multicultural potluck and dance party. I truly hope you can join us. Here is some more information:
World Dance Party is a fun, FREE event designed to get neighbors to interact and to celebrate each other’s culture and diversity. Everyone from all backgrounds and ages is welcome. It’s a potluck! Several multicultural dances are taught by volunteer instructors in 20-minute mini-lessons, then everyone dances. That’s it. There’s no other agenda. No fundraising. No lectures. Just food and dancing and community.
WHERE: South Park Community Center: 8319 8th Ave. South, Seattle,
WHEN: Saturday, March 23rd, 2013; 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
WHO: Dance Instructor lineup at the World Dance Party 8 includes:
• West African Dance
• Hula Dancing
• Senior Sliders Line Dancing
• Harlem Shake
• Laotian Dancing
• Jarabe Tapatio/La Raspa
• Salsa Dancing
• And more
That’s one of two maps accompanying the last item on tomorrow morning’s Seattle City Council briefing agenda (9 am, City Hall downtown) – an update on possible annexations, as first reported on partner site White Center Now last week. Seattle leaders have a lot to talk about, since White Center and vicinity (“Area Y” on the map above) voters said no to Burien last November, and the Boundary Review Board rejected a bid for the Duwamish Triangle to be annexed by Tukwila. While it’s expected our city will pursue the Duwamish Triangle and the South Park “sliver by the river,” White Center and vicinity remains a wild card – the city has long had dibs on it but elected officials have repeatedly declared annexation unaffordable, and allowed Burien to pursue it first. There’s still an enticement dangling, but not for long – sales-tax credit to offset the cost of annexation, if it’s in the works by the start of 2015. Will the city pursue big, or small, or not at all? If you can’t be there tomorrow (note that it’s not a vote, just a briefing), you can watch live at 9 am via Seattle Channel (on-air or online).
The main west-east route in South Park, South Cloverdale, is closed right now at and around 10th Avenue South (map) because of a deadly crash. Seattle Police say one person was hit by two cars; Seattle Fire says the person has died. Details are on our partner site The South Park News.
Every so often, a thief makes off with a boat on a trailer. The one reported in South Park over the weekend is not your everyday stolen boat on a trailer. We just called Seattle Police to follow up on an over-the-air “be on the lookout” heard on Monday, and here’s what Det. Mark Jamieson told us: The “fast-attack prototype” boat was on a three-axle, 40-foot boat trailer with a red and white 1987 Freightliner cab, taken from a fenced area on the east side of a commercial building in the 1400 block of South Henderson (map). The report says it had been parked there since March of last year and was believed to have been stolen Sunday night; the gate lock had been cut. Asked if there were any other identifying features we could mention about the stolen boat, Det. Jamieson says the trailer was reported to say “Maaco” on the side, and the trailer “might have a white, yellow, orange, and blue cargo box on the back.” As with all stolen vehicles, if you think you’ve seen this, call 911.
Concord Elementary in South Park is part of the West Seattle region for Seattle Public Schools, and one of its fourth-grade classes is asking for your help in getting a $1,000 grant for technology: Marina Pita‘s class made a video to enter in the online vote at changemyschool.com – a quick, no-strings-attached, no-registration-required type of vote: Just go here (and take a minute to watch the video too)!
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
That pile of presents awaits kids at a South Park Community Center celebration today – thanks in no small part to the work of two Chief Sealth International High School seniors. We first told you last month about the toy drive Clint Hewitt and Conrad Hill organized as their senior project, Holidays 4 Hope. On Friday, like Santa Claus, they delivered what they had collected:
That’s SPCC’s Carmen Martinez hugging Conrad as Clint unloads more of the 425 toys they collected, donated by West Seattleites, schoolchildren to shop patrons:
At the center, volunteers were wrapping the presents soon to be received by excited kids:
Decorations were going up too – below right, Maja Hansen was working with volunteers from the Health Perspectives group:
Clint and Conrad had donation bins at 3 local businesses and 2 schools while collecting the toys they just delivered.
Though Holidays 4 Hope’s toy drive is over, lots of West Seattle giving opportunities remain – some listed in the WSB Holidays Guide
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