West Seattle, Washington
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:
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.
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.”
(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!
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.
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!
The 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! firstname.lastname@example.org – 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
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.
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!!!
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:
(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:
South Park Bridge update: Problem narrowed to faulty pump under warranty. Identifying how to lower bridge for vehicles.
— King County Roads (@kcroads) February 21, 2015
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.
(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!
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 – email@example.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
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.
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).
(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 – firstname.lastname@example.org – $45/person unless you’re bringing your own kayak, in which case, it’s by donation). Here’s the flyer with full details (PDF).
(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.
(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):
(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.