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High Point, South Park libraries to soon be open Fridays, too

High Point and South Park are two of four neighborhoods whose Seattle Public Library branches will get Friday hours back as of July 1st. Here’s the SPL announcement:

Thanks to funds from the seven-year, 2012 voter-approved Library levy, The Seattle Public Library will restore Friday operating hours to four neighborhood branch libraries whose hours were reduced during recession-related budget cuts.

The High Point, International District/Chinatown, South Park, and University branches will all have restored Friday hours as of July 1.

“We are so glad to be able to restore hours at these four branches,” City Librarian Marcellus Turner said. “Expanding Library hours in neighborhoods that currently have limited access continues to be a priority.”

When the levy passed in August 2012, 15 of the Library’s 27 locations were closed on Fridays and Sundays. In 2013 the levy funded the restoration of Sunday hours at all locations and the expansion of the Columbia and Northgate branches into branches operating seven days a week, but patrons often tell the Library they wish more branches were open on Fridays.

Last year, the Library Board prioritized adding open hours at several branches when a limited amount of funds became available from inflation savings from the levy. The $378,000 in levy funds to restore Friday hours at the four branches were approved as part of the Library’s 2016 Operations Plan.

The branches were selected after an administrative review of traditional Library statistics, community demographics, income distribution, transportation links, key partnerships, internet and Wi-Fi sessions, and review by a Library staff team involved in the city’s Race and Social Justice Initiative and more.

The new open hours at the four branches will be: 1 pm-8 pm Monday and Tuesday, 11 am-6 pm Wednesday through Saturday, and 1 pm-5 pm Sunday. The HP and SP branches’ Friday closures started six years ago, this archived WSB story reminds us.

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Interested in rowing? Duwamish Rowing Club wants to see you Saturday

April 28, 2016 8:58 am
|    Comments Off on Interested in rowing? Duwamish Rowing Club wants to see you Saturday
 |   South Park | West Seattle news | WS & Sports

DRC Youth Rowers
(Photo courtesy Duwamish Rowing Club)

Our area’s only rowing club, based in nearby South Park, has an invitation for you this Saturday (April 30th):

Duwamish Rowing Club continues to grow. Last season we added 3 “new” racing shells. They are new to us but not totally brand new, although they are all very fine raceable boats. The funding for the new boats came through the Duwamish River Opportunity Fund grant. None of the new boats came with names and so it’s time to name them and have a dedication party.

We will be honoring several of our donors and supporters including Bob and Dagmar Cronn, and Pacific Medical Centers. The dedication ceremony will be held at the 12th and Elmgrove Park across from the DRC boathouse at 4 pm on Saturday, April 30th. Refreshment to follow.

We hope that you all can make it and help celebrate the new rowing season and DRC’s success, as well as help us thank some of the folks who have supported us. For additional information about the DRC, check our website, find us on Facebook or Instagram, or email us at duwamishrowingclub@gmail.com.

P.S. While the photo above features some of the DRC youth rowers, the club is for all ages.

See the permanent ballot-dropbox locations just proposed for West Seattle, White Center, South Park

dropboxes

Tonight we know the locations where King County Elections is proposing to add more than three dozen fixed ballot dropboxes, including West Seattle (where the last one was removed more than five years ago), White Center, and South Park. Each would get one dropbox before primary voting starts in mid-July, if this plan is approved. Read the full news release here.

Toplines for our area:

In West Seattle, the location would be High Point Library (35th/Raymond); in White Center, it would be the White Center Library (the address listed in the county report is for the current one on 16th, though the new one on SW 107th is scheduled to open soon, so we’ll be doublechecking on that tomorrow). The South Park Library is proposed for a dropbox by the November general election. A 132-page report including how and why these locations (and the others around the county) were chosen – and why some other locations were not chosen – can be seen here.

The county says it will spend $239,695 to have the boxes made, wrapped, and installed. Assuming approval is received from the King County Council and all property owners, this would put 91.5% of the county’s population within three miles of a dropbox, the county says. A public hearing is planned before the County Council’s Government Accountability and Oversight Committee at 9:30 am Tuesday, April 26th, in the council chambers downtown.

Reader rave: ‘Employee who went above and beyond’

We would usually suggest something like this be posted as a “rave” in the WSB Forum‘s Rants and Raves section, but it’s nice to end the weekend here on the main page with a story of kindness, so here’s the one we received via e-mail tonight from a reader who didn’t want to be identified. Yes, it happened just over the WS line, but close enough to qualify:

I was at the South Transfer Station this afternoon and I saw an employee who went above and beyond and deserves to be recognized. I pulled in and saw another patron hung over the side of one of the metal bins. I thought it was a bit strange, but when I climbed up the small ladder, I noticed an employee digging around in the bottom.

I continued about my business and a while later I heard the guy who was hung over the edge give a huge sigh of relief. The employee (I think I heard say his name was “Alfonso”) dug in the bottom of that stinky dumpster for the guy’s wedding ring and found it! When he climbed out, I told him I thought that what he did was awesome, and he humbly replied, “I was at the end of my shift anyways, so I said a little prayer for him and hoped for the best.”

City suing Monsanto over Duwamish River contamination

brubeckduwamish
(Recent nightscape at the industrial mouth of the Duwamish, by Don Brubeck)

This story was breaking just before other news of the day took precedence, but we did want to make note of it in case you didn’t hear elsewhere – a lawsuit over pollution in the Duwamish River. Announced by the office of City Attorney Pete Holmes this morning:

The City of Seattle is suing three “Monsanto” corporations to make them pay to remove cancer-causing chemical compounds known as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) from the City’s drainage system and the Duwamish River. Monsanto was the sole producer of PCBs in the United States from 1935 to 1979.

PCBs — found globally in bays, oceans, rivers, streams, oil and air – are an equal opportunity toxic that destroys populations of fish, birds and other animal life as well as harming human immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems.

At issue in the complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Seattle is PCB contamination in 20,000 acres that drain to the Lower Duwamish, a federal Superfund site, and in areas that drain to the East Waterway adjacent to Harbor Island, a separate federal Superfund site. PCBs were detected in “82 percent of samples of sediment in drainage pipes” and in “73 percent of samples collected from catch basins in street right-of-ways” in Lower Duwamish drainage basins.

Here’s the full lawsuit document, provided by the CAO:

The news release continues:
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Holiday giving: Sun shines on Lunches With Love volunteers

Chalk signs pointed the way when we stopped by to see how the pre-Thanksgiving “Lunches With Love” volunteers were doing this afternoon in South Park. Steps from that sign, a garage was already filling with an estimated 400 sack lunches:

Upstairs, in organizer Lashanna Williams‘s sun-splashed kitchen, the all-ages volunteer crew continued making sandwiches and filling bags to deliver around the Sound tonight:

This is the third year for this day and night of pre-holiday giving:

You can still help – lunch-making was scheduled to continue until 6 pm, and then delivery starts around 9 – see our preview for location and other info.

PHOTOS: Denny, Concord International in Fiestas Patrias parade

September 19, 2015 7:35 pm
|    Comments Off on PHOTOS: Denny, Concord International in Fiestas Patrias parade
 |   South Park | West Seattle news

Thanks to Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark for sharing photos from today’s Fiestas Patrias parade in South Park – during which the Denny contingent celebrated a special anniversary for the academic-support program Proyecto Saber:

I am proud to share that the Denny Dolphins had a great time celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Proyecto Saber as we marched in our favorite parade, Fiestas Patrias in South Park!

A special thank you to our superstar Proyecto staff, Liz Olsen, Herman Garcia, and Diana Burga! Our Dolphin Scholars did an excellent job representing their school as a part of the special neighborhood celebration.

A big shout out to our friends at Concord International Elementary School, Ms. Nestor, Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Bautista from El Centro de la Raza, and Ms. Clausen, who danced in her Salvadorean attire.

Go Dolphins! Viva Proyecto!

The parade featured hundreds of participants – also including custom cars and horseback riders!

As explained online, the Fiestas Patrias parade and subsequent festival in South Park – along with a festival continuing downtown at Seattel Center tomorrow – celebrate “the Latin American countries that celebrate their independence throughout the month of September. Belizeans, Brazilians, Chileans, Costa Ricans, Salvadoreans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, Mexicans, and Nicaraguans from all over the Pacific Northwest come to enjoy their beautiful cultures with great food, dance, music, and more.”

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates & alerts; 14th Ave. S. in South Park reopens after fire response

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! No West Seattle incidents right now, but if you use 14th Avenue S. in the South Park area, note that a house-fire response TheSouthParkNews.com coverage here is blocking at least part of the road, just south of the SP Bridge, between Cloverdale and Director.

ROAD WORK ALERTS FOR TODAY: As announced last week, the Seattle Public Utilities project near Westwood has repaving work scheduled starting today, to “pave 22nd Avenue SW between SW Barton Place and SW Barton Street on August 17-18, from 7:30 am until as late as 6 pm. This work will require intermittent lane restrictions on SW Barton Place where it intersects 22nd Avenue SW, and on SW Barton Street between 21st Avenue SW and 23rd Avenue SW.” SPU’s paving work on Orchard east of Delridge also is scheduled to continue today, with “closure of the westbound lane on SW Orchard Street (east of Delridge Way SW) between 7:30 am and 4 pm.”

6:45 AM: The closure zone in South Park has extended south to Concord to give vehicles more room to turn around, per scanner traffic.

LOOKING AHEAD – TWO CLOSURES TO REMEMBER: Highway 99 will be closed both ways from the Battery Street Tunnel north to Valley St. in lower Queen Anne next weekend, Friday night (August 21) to early Monday (August 24) – details and maps here. Also, Alki/Harbor Avenues will be closed for a few hours next Sunday morning (August 23) for the Alki Beach 5K.

7:27 AM: 14th Avenue S. has reopened in South Park. SFD is still at the fire scene but has moved off the arterial.

8:32 AM: Quiet commute so far, otherwise. We continue to monitor via a variety of sources – your tips are much appreciated (if on the road, of course, wait until you get where you’re going, unless you’re a passenger) – that’s how we first heard about this morning’s South Park fire, for example: 206-293-6302 is our 24/7 hotline, text or voice, for whatever’s happening *now*. Thank you!

From the ‘in case you wondered too’ file: Another ‘Duwamish Revealed’ installation

(WSB photos)
A midday call today sent us over for a look at the South Park Bridge, where someone wondered what was being hung off its west side. The photos show what we found – another installation for the Duwamish Revealed art project we’ve been covering recently. This is “Cultivate: A River Tapestry,” described as follows on the DR website: “A colorful installation made of recycled materials, Cultivate represents the river’s rebirth and has been created with assistance by community volunteers.”

The artist is Catherine Grisez; the installation even has its own Facebook page. We published an overview of Duwamish Revealed last weekend, after checking out one installation at West Seattle’s Jack Block Park, and also stopped by the Friday night opening at and around its biggest creation, the “Estuary” arrangement of cargo containers. You can explore the locations and creations all summer; they stretch from West Seattle to Tukwila, as shown on this clickable map with pop-up descriptions.

Election 2015: Your next 2 chances to see/hear City Council District 1 candidates

May 25, 2015 9:19 pm
|    Comments Off on Election 2015: Your next 2 chances to see/hear City Council District 1 candidates
 |   Pigeon Point | South Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

Made a decision yet on who you’re voting for in the first-ever City Council District 1 race? Still lots of time to decide, with primary ballots due August 4th, and your next two chances to see and hear the candidates are coming up within the next two weeks:

MAY 27 (THIS WEDNESDAY): “South Park Shows Up!” is not your standard candidate forum, South Park community members promise. They are planning a pop quiz on South Park facts, in fact. But West Seattleites are invited too – and kids’ activities are promised as well as food. 7 pm Wednesday at the SP Neighborhood Center, 8201 10th Avenue S.

JUNE 8 (2 WEEKS FROM TONIGHT): Most local neighborhood councils have had visits from several City Council candidates. The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council is planning a full-fledged forum, 7 pm June 8th at Pathfinder K-8 (1901 SW Genesee), all welcome.

Any other D-1 forum dates locked in? Please let us know – editor@ westseattleblog.com – thanks!

City Council District 1 race: Next candidates’ forum announced for May 27, first one to be held in South Park

April 30, 2015 10:32 am
|    Comments Off on City Council District 1 race: Next candidates’ forum announced for May 27, first one to be held in South Park
 |   South Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

checkbox.jpgThe next candidates’ forum for City Council District 1 will be the first one in South Park. Just announced on the SP community mailing list, a 7 pm forum on Wednesday, May 27th, at the South Park Neighborhood Center (8201 10th Ave. S.). Organizers promise an “exciting and interactive event” with unique features including Spanish-language interpretation, voter registration, on-site child care, pizza, and a visit from a fire engine. It’s being organized by a committee of South Park community volunteers. This will be a week and a half after the filing deadline, so the final slate of candidates for the August 4th primary will be set.

P.S. Anyone else have a forum coming up in West Seattle/South Park? This is the only one we’ve heard of, but if others are set/planned, we want to get them into the calendar ASAP! editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks.

P.P.S. WSB coverage links from the three forums held so far, all in West Seattle (all of which we recorded on video):

–April 8th, presented by the 34th District Democrats @ The Hall at Fauntleroy
–March 14th, presented by VIEWS @ Senior Center of West Seattle
–February 5th, presented by WSB @ Highland Park Improvement Club

Plan ahead! South Park Bridge overnight closures ahead; plus, details of upcoming Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection closure

March 12, 2015 1:47 pm
|    Comments Off on Plan ahead! South Park Bridge overnight closures ahead; plus, details of upcoming Alaskan Way Viaduct inspection closure
 |   South Park | West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

From SDOT‘s weekly “lookahead,” just out:

SOUTH PARK BRIDGE OVERNIGHT SURFACE-TRAFFIC CLOSURES: Thanks to the tipster who let us know this morning that a mobile sign had gone up on the South Park Bridge with news of upcoming overnight closures. That put us on the lookout for the details that are in the “lookahead” – Monday through Friday nights (technically Tuesday-Saturday mornings, March 17-21) next week, the bridge will be closed to surface traffic 12:01 am-5 am. The closures are scheduled to repeat a week later, same times, March 24-28. (added) As explained by the county: “The closure will be confined to the overnight hours and will allow the contractor to complete bridge painting and finishing work in areas accessible only when the bridge is partially open. While work is underway, the waterway will remain open to recreational vessels that don’t require full openings to clear the bridge. Because the work will be performed overnight, traffic impacts should be minimal.”

ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT INSPECTION CLOSURE: When first word of the March 28-29 closure emerged last Monday, WSDOT wasn’t able to tell us whether it would be a full weekend closure or “all day Saturday plus all day Sunday.” Looks like it’s the latter; the “lookahead” lists the closure as 6 am-6 pm each day, Saturday 3/28 and Sunday 3/29, at least for the stretch between the West Seattle Bridge and the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel. However, it also mentions that both directions of 99 will be closed between the north end of the tunnel and Valley Street from 10 pm Friday 3/27 to 5 am Monday 3/30 for utility work.

Crime Watch: Safety alert after student approached; car prowl

Two Crime Watch notes this afternoon:

STUDENT APPROACHED: This happened in South Park, but the student attends Pathfinder K-8 in West Seattle, and the alert is being circulated among parents in both communities, so we were asked to share it:

My 14 year old daughter was approached by a man on Trenton Street while she walked to her school bus stop this morning. This guy obviously had no good intentions! My daughter describes him as Hispanic, thin with dark hair. His car was a gray 4-door sedan of an older (1990s) model. She believes that he was using or on some sort of substance.

His intent was to get her into his car!!! She avoided his questions, got to her bus stop and called the police. She has since given a statement to police (at her school) and her school has been made aware of what happened this morning.

I want to be clear: My daughter felt threatened by this man and that he was very intent on getting her alone. Please help keep an eye out for this person and help keep our kids safe!!!

Via Twitter, the police log indicates this was near 10th Avenue S./S. Trenton (here’s a map).

CAR PROWL: Two car prowls are on the police log so far this morning. One was reported in the 7300 block of Delridge Way, and we learned of the other one in this reader report from David:

My car was broken into in the Gatewood area just west of 35th sometime between 1100 PM and 0700 AM. A window was broken and some items removed. It has been reported to the police.

SPD shared car-prowl-prevention/deterrence advice a month ago; we published it then but it bears sharing again:

South Park Bridge update: Back in service as of very early Sunday – for now

(What’s shown above is the newest image from the SDOT camera in South Park – refresh this page for an update)
10:57 AM: The South Park Bridge remains “stuck in the open position,” according to both SDOT via Twitter and a check of the 14th Ave. S/Cloverdale traffic cameras (including the one above). No ETA for repairs so far. So if you have to get across the Duwamish River, use the West Seattle bridges or 1st Avenue South Bridge. We’ll update when it’s fixed.

(P.S. Refresh this story/page for the newest image – what you see above is pulled directly from what’s on the SDOT site.)

1:52 PM UPDATE: SDOT now says the bridge might be closed “until Tuesday.” As you can see in the image above, there are now barricades to keep surface traffic entirely off the bridge.

3:47 PM UPDATE: From King County Roads, which operates the bridge:


6:23 PM: Another update from KC Roads:

King County has determined that the cause of this morning’s South Park Bridge mechanical malfunction was a faulty transmission pump that will need to be rebuilt or replaced under warranty. Replacement parts are expected to arrive Tuesday. In the meantime, the county is evaluating whether the bridge spans can be safely lowered to allow for vehicle traffic.

Until the bridge reopens, motorists should use the 1st Avenue South Bridge as a detour. The county understands how important the bridge is to the community and motorists – every effort is being made to get the bridge reopened to both vehicle and marine traffic as quickly as possible.

The new bridge has been in use for eight months.

2:38 AM SUNDAY: Now King County reports the bridge is back in service, and KING 5 confirms it, though the repairs haven’t made yet, so we’ll keep close watch on this.

‘King tides’ later this week: Times, heights, viewing events

January 20, 2015 3:12 pm
|    Comments Off on ‘King tides’ later this week: Times, heights, viewing events
 |   South Park | West Seattle beaches

(WSB photo, taken Saturday)
We noticed those sandbags at Alki Bathhouse over the weekend, apparently awaiting the next round of “king tides,” the very-high high tides that happen a few times in winter. They’re coming up later this week; according to our favorite tide chart (aside from the short-range one on the WSB Weather page, that is), they are:

* 12.8 feet, 5:54 am Wednesday, January 21
* 13.0 feet, 6:31 am Thursday, January 22
* 13.2 feet, 7:10 am Friday, January 23
* 13.2 feet, 7:50 am Saturday, January 24
* 13.0 feet, 8:32 am Sunday, January 25

The Alki/Beach Drive/Harbor Avenue shores are classic places to go see the high water in West Seattle; you can also see the tides’ effects on the Duwamish River by joining either or both of two events, Friday and Saturday mornings – details are on our partner site The South Park News. Right now, the forecast is rainy, but not windy, so you’re not likely to see anything too dramatic, certainly not like last November!

Sunshine returns tomorrow; get out on the Duwamish River!

Forecast promises sunshine returning tomorrow (and continuing through the weekend). We’ve just found out from the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition that there’s room for more to join tomorrow night’s Community Kayak Tour of our city’s only river – what a way to enjoy the evening. This time, the tour leaves from Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park (7900 10th Avenue South), just minutes east of West Seattle, 6 pm Thursday (bring your picnic dinner!). You don’t have to have your own kayak, or even experience; everything is provided, through DRCC’s tour partner, West Seattle’s own Alki Kayak Tours, $45/person. But you do need to RSVP ASAP – tours@kayakalki.com is the best way. If you DO have your own kayak, you’re welcome to join the tour too, by donation. Find out what all the buzz is about, with ongoing campaigns like riverforall.org and the newly announced city/county coordination

Happening now: 9th annual Duwamish River Festival

August 23, 2014 2:34 pm
|    Comments Off on Happening now: 9th annual Duwamish River Festival
 |   Fun stuff to do | South Park | West Seattle news

Big turnout for the Duwamish River Festival, on until 4 pm at Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park! It’s a chance to learn about what’s happening on, in, and near the river …

… and to experience the river!

(Kayaks courtesy of West Seattle’s own Alki Kayak Tours/Mountain to Sound Outfitters.) There’s live entertainment too (see the schedule here) – during our visit, the Sounders FC band Sound Wave was performing:

The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition organizes the festival; many organizations and businesses sponsor it (including WSB and partner site The South Park News). Check it out until 4 pm at 7900 10th Avenue South.

Duwamish River Festival: Who you’ll see onstage and when

August 22, 2014 1:59 pm
|    Comments Off on Duwamish River Festival: Who you’ll see onstage and when
 |   Fun stuff to do | South Park | West Seattle news

The entertainment schedule is out for tomorrow afternoon’s 9th annual Duwamish River Festival in nearby South Park (with co-sponsors including WSB). For all four hours of the festival, 12-4 pm at Duwamish Waterway Park, you can check out kayaking/boating on the river as well as booths featuring community groups/organizations. If you want to time your visit depending on who’s onstage, here’s the info:

12:20 pm – 12:40 pm Âu Lạc Vovinam Lion Dance Team performance

12:45 pm – 1:05 pm Trio Dulces- Afro Latin Band

1:30 pm – 1:50 pm Seattle Sounders FC Band: Sound Wave

1:55 pm – 2:10 pm Tlaloktekuhtli – Aztec Dance

2:15 pm – 2:35 pm Zumba – Fitness class

3:00 pm – 3:50 pm Orquesta Cambalache

The park is alongside the river at 7900 10th Avenue South (map).

Your chance to explore the Duwamish River: Kayak tour series set

(WSB file photo)
The Duwamish River, along West Seattle’s eastern border (and beyond), is in the spotlight more than ever this year. Some cleanup is under way and plans for more are in the works. A high-profile awareness campaign by the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition has even brought a high-profile supporter, Seattle-based hip-hop superstar Macklemore (who wrote about it here).

But you don’t have to be a star to help the river. You can do something as simple as taking a tour. And DRCC has just announced this year’s series – every other Thursday night, 6-8:30 pm, starting this week (July 31st), through the end of September. Three tours leave from T-107 Park on the West Seattle side of the river – July 31st, August 14th, September 11th – while the other two leave from Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park – August 28th and September 25th. And they’re all in partnership with West Seattle-headquartered Alki Kayak Tours (with whom you need to RSVP – tours@kayakalki.com – $45/person unless you’re bringing your own kayak, in which case, it’s by donation). Here’s the flyer with full details (PDF).

4 years ago, South Park chanted ‘We need a bridge’; now, the community and its neighbors have one again

(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:

Read More

Celebrating (and walking on) the new South Park Bridge, report #1

(GALLERY ON THESOUTHPARKNEWS.COM: See it here. And report #2 is in the works for WSB)


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)!

This followed an epic dedication ceremony:

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 …

Earlier:

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 opening

(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):

Read More

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