To be able to read well is a gift so many of us take for granted. You can celebrate that gift by sharing it with local students — become a literacy volunteer. Jennie Morrison e-mailed us with news that she is facilitating volunteer training tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon/evening, 3:45-6:15 pm at Concord International School in South Park – part of Seattle Public Schools‘ greater West Seattle service area – along with district literacy coach Dan Coles and Washington Reading Corps member Laura Rodriguez. They’d love to see you too. Jennie explains, “The goal of the training is to support community volunteers at local schools with resources and best practices to use as they work with struggling readers. We are doing outreach to our existing volunteer pool, but would also like to connect with the West Seattle community about this opportunity.” If you have the time and inclination, here’s the flyer with more information, including how to RSVP.
(Click for larger image)
With our recent traffic woes, more than a few West Seattleites might have wondered how things are going with the new South Park Bridge. Gatewood photographer/pilot Long B. Nguyen answers the question by sharing these two views from over the project. What’s left of the old bridge – closed a year and a half ago, its drawspan removed – is right next to where the new one is being built; the squares you see in the water are the “main bascule piers” for the new bridge, according to its official county webpage. It’s expected to open in mid-2013. Here’s the view from directly overhead:
P.S. If you’re interested in ground photos, King County Road Services is working with a photographer to document the progress – you’ll find plenty of photos, including some from just two weeks ago, here.
Meet the Flying Eagles, who are hoping you can and will help with this tomorrow:
Title: Baby Drive at PCC Sunday 11:00-12:30
Sunday 1/22/12 11:00 am-12:30 pm
West Seattle PCC
The Flying Eagles Camp Fire Group is doing a Baby Drive collecting items for South Park’s Providence Regina House food bank.
We are collecting:
Diapers size 1-5
We will also accept new or gently used baby clothes, toys & board books. The kids will participate in handing out baby food at the food bank’s monthly Baby Cupboard Day which serves about 130 babies! [Note: We are not collecting any actual babies at this time.]
Four weeks ago, we got word from Joan about a toy drive with a collection box at Husky Deli, to benefit kids in South Park. Tonight, Joan shares the news that “we did really well,” with local donations resulting in more than 250 presents, distributed at a party attended by more than 450 kids and 350 adults (that’s where the photos are from).
Joan wanted to publicly say “thanks” to everybody who helped out.
So how did we wind up inquiring about Seattle Marathon recycling practices? It all has to do with that photo, taken Sunday at the South Transfer Station in South Park, where WSB’er Shellie was disturbed by what she and her husband saw: “2 large Penske trucks showed up and dumped SEVERAL cases of bottled water, unopened with plastic still wrapped around cases, into the large waste hole instead of recycling them.” She said her husband was told they were from the marathon earlier in the day. After she sent us the photo and note on Monday, we inquired with marathon management, which replied yesterday, promising to look into it, and then forwarded this response from the course cleanup coordinator today:
I recycle every day at home and at work but with the marathon this year it was almost impossible to separate the recycling from the garbage. Your reader did see plastic bottles still in the plastic wrapper which is not recyclable but they were all empty. That is how the water stations open and leave the bottles. They definitely were all empty as I was the one at the transfer station.
For next year my recommendation will be to have all water stations separate recyclables and garbage. We would need clear plastic bags to know the difference. We use two trucks now so one could be garbage and one could be recycle. It definitely bothered me also to not recycle but once it was all mixed I just didn¹t have any choice but to dump everything so that we could get the trucks back to memorial stadium for equipment pick up.
Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the management to make this happen. I am confident we can do a better job next year without incurring a lot of extra costs with the separation of waste and recycling at each and every water station.
Just added to the list of holiday helping/giving on the WSB West Seattle Holidays page: A toy drive starts today to collect presents for more than 500 kids in the South Park area, and there’s a collection site at Husky Deli in The Junction. It’s the Rick’s Toys for Kids drive, and they’re collecting through December 10th. Full details on this flyer!
If you have driven by the South Transfer Station project just southeast of West Seattle, and wondered why it looks like it’s being taken apart – you’re not seeing things. After tips via e-mail and Twitter, we checked this morning with Seattle Public Utilities, and spokesperson Susan Stoltzfus acknowledges, yes, “there is some disassembly.” She explains that a more-durable paint was found during construction – after some of the framework had already been painted – and, “once we found we could save $3 million in maintenance costs over the life of the structure, we decided it was worth the upgrade.” She says the overall project will still be finished on time and within its budget, and they are “using three different paint shops” to accelerate the process of sandblasting off the original paint and applying the new paint. The reason paint matters so much, she says, is because the transfer station is considered a “wet environment.” (Our photo at right is from this July story; we plan to go by this morning to see how much “disassembly” is visible.)
That’s Alki Kayak Tours‘ Greg Whittaker in the hat, coaching would-be paddlers at last weekend’s Duwamish River Festival. Your chance to explore the river, from that same starting point, is tonight – one of the highlights from the WSB Events calendar:
2ND-TO-LAST COMMUNITY KAYAK TOUR OF THE DUWAMISH: Every two weeks, all summer, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition has presented the tours, in partnership with Alki Kayak Tours – meets 5:30 pm at Duwamish Waterway Park, 7900 10th Avenue S. in South Park; RSVP to (206) 953-0237. Tours cost $45 per person; $5 donation per person to DRCC also requested. All equipment, instructions, and guiding are provided. More info.
(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand, added 10:47 am)
NEW STATE LIQUOR STORE NOW OPEN: As of minutes ago, it’s the first day of operation for the new Junction liquor store, on the northwest corner of 41st/Alaska (here’s our video-tour preview from yesterday).
METROPOLITAN MARKET WINE TASTING: 5:30-7:30 pm at the Admiral store, taste wines to complement the fruit offered at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) during the ongoing Peach-O-Rama.
JAPANESE ARTISTS PERFORM ON ALKI: Word of this came in late last night – note the weather caveat:
4 very talented artists and entertainers will be performing at Alki Beach, August 31 6:00pm near the Statue of Liberty.
They said they would like as many people to view their performances since they are here for only a short period of time.
1. Bosshiko is a high-profile artist in Asia winning various awards. He will be performing a live painting using black sumi ink on Japanese washi paper. The painting will be enourmous and will be done in 30 minutes.
2. Sayoko Hirano is an artist from Kyoto learning under Bosshiko. She will also be performing a live painting.
3. Chiaki is a professional dancer and will perform a powerful martial arts inspired contemporary dance.
4. Gon is one of the few traditional Japanese storytellers left even in Japan. His storytelling always gets the crowd laughing even if you don’t understand Japanese.
They will cancel the performance if it rains.
BUY IT WHERE THEY GROW IT: High Point Market Garden farm stand, 4-7 pm, 32nd Ave SW and SW Juneau. This is a weekly Farm Stand selling seasonal fresh organically grown produce right in the garden where the produce is grown.
BUDGET-CUT CLOSURES: Seattle Public Schools is on a systemwide furlough day, and district employees aren’t even supposed to answer e-mails … Seattle Public Library‘s now-annual budget-cut closure continues today (the system reopens next Tuesday, after the Labor Day holiday following the closure week).
SEASON EBBING AT COLMAN POOL: Colman Pool continues its 7-day-a-week summer operations through Monday, and then, after one last “post-season weekend,” it’s closed till next year. Pool schedule/other info here.
EARLY REGISTRATION DEADLINE FOR CAR SHOW: If you want the early-registration $15 fee for the West Seattle Junction Car Show (co-sponsored by WSB) on September 18th, you have to get your registration in by tomorrow – details here.
Our neighbors to the east in South Park are continuing to roll out the welcome mat while they cope with a dead end where a bridge was, and will be again – and last night, the welcome mat came in the form of a wrestling ring, for a celebration of Mexican masked wrestling, “South Park Espectaculo: Lucha Libre” (if you haven’t heard of it, here’s an explanation of the sport). While we had to get back to West Seattle before the matches, we caught this demonstration of some key moves by Luchadores Independientes of Washington:
Here’s why handstands are important, when you’re in the ring with an opponent:
A drawing for those in attendance included distinctive masks like these, worn by luchadores:
South Park, of course, would love to see you any old time, special event or not. Their new catchtheculture.com website makes that point (and offers ideas). But guess what – they have something else big NEXT weekend; it’s been in the WSB Events calendar a while, but if you haven’t heard yet about the annual Duwamish River Festival, it’s next Saturday, with lots of info here (and consider joining the Walk/Bike/Paddle to get there from West Seattle!).
Besides the southbound Alaskan Way Viaduct closure from 11 pm Friday night through 5 am Monday morning (at the latest), there are other traffic advisories around the city this weekend – so as usual, we’re sharing the official SDOT roundup (which includes, in West Seattle, Picnic at the Southwest Precinct, 1-4 pm Saturday, and in South Park, the “Lucha Libre” Mexican-wrestling spectacular street party 4-8 pm Saturday) – read on! Click to read the rest of SDOT weekend traffic alerts, including West Seattle/South Park…
Tonight while checking out the truck-crash scene near South Park, we also took this photo of a nearby project that we’re often asked about: It’s Seattle Public Utilities‘ new South Transfer Station for trash and recycling. Ground was broken on a frosty day last fall; the facility is expected to open in about a year. The city’s official info page for the project is here; we found additional details and renderings on the architects’ website, including the big stats: Nine acres, 141,000 square feet of structures.
From our partners at the Seattle Times: Isaiah Kalebu has been found guilty in the 2009 South Park murder/rapes case. The woman he killed, Teresa Butz (right), had heroically taken action that saved her partner’s life, before losing her own. His sentencing in August is a formality, as the aggravated-murder conviction automatically means life in prison with no chance of parole, since the death penalty was not sought because of his mental-illness history. Details in the Times report here.
(Photo courtesy Erik Walum)
A business fire in South Park this afternoon sent one person to the hospital with burns (not believed to be life-threatening). We checked it out after notes from several people who either saw the smoke – visible from east West Seattle – or heard the sirens (responding crews included some from West Seattle stations). The business address, in the 7900 block of 2nd South (map) – between Highways 509 and 99 – is listed as a recycling firm. The fire was mostly out when we got there – a pile of charred debris was visible outside the building:
Investigators had just arrived; fire crews told us they were still sorting out the circumstances, including how it started, and how the victim was burned – they say he had been in a motorhome on the business’s property.
ADDED MONDAY: The fire was declared accidental – SFD Lt. Sue Stangl says it actually started in the engine compartment of that RV, spreading to the adjacent warehouse area, and that the victim was not seriously hurt – burned fingertips.
Just over the ridge in South Park, an exciting day at the community food-gardening site known as Marra Farm. First, a soccer star from the Mexican national team – which is in Seattle to play the Ecuador national team on Saturday – stopped by to meet fifth-graders from nearby Concord International School. 44-year-old Luis Roberto Alves, known as Zague, hung out for a while with the students from Linda Martinez and Kate Ayers’ classes. Besides autographing, he also dropped into a pickup game of keep-away:
The students had walked over from Concord to join in on the final part of a work party with about 50 Home Depot employees from around Seattle:
Their volunteer work included donations of strawberry plants and materials for new garden beds; the West Seattle/Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) facilitated the project through its programs at Concord (which is considered part of the West Seattle region for Seattle Public Schools), where the Y supports Head-Start preschool, Community Learning Center programs with after-school academic/enrichment classes, and before- and after-school child care.
We’re in South Park, where 45 minutes of speeches and presentations – ending with the opening of part of that 26-foot (horizontal) piñata – were only the beginning of the new-bridge-construction/Cinco del Mayo party. King County Executive Dow Constantine hosted the “official” celebration, with state, county, city, Port, and federal reps, plus a full regional-media contingent, and got a surprise toward the end – above, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott presents him with a photo of the South Park spot where Constantine signed his name on the now-demolished County Line building, promising a new bridge. More to come – we’ll put up video of the entire event (added – here it is):
And South Park invites you to come down and celebrate, as their restaurants are opening the doors for a late-lunch celebration right now (Muy Macho, Jalisco, and Napoli in particular), and other events are set to unfold as the afternoon and night go on. The schedule is here (and you can still see that big piñata – it was partly opened but not destroyed).
4:16 PM: Added a clip from the piñata chaos at the end. It’s not too long but watch till the end, when you see what Constantine picked up and brought over to the governor. A look beneath the piñata beforehand:
More photos – the devil dancers, also seen at last year’s old-bridge closing:
And the mariachi band Ayutla, performing in the business district after the speeches and piñata-phase-1:
And here’s the official county news release with the basics on where the project stands – the new bridge is projected to be open “in mid-2013.”
ADDED: 8 more photos after the jump, if you’re interested: Click to read the rest of South Park Bridge celebration: The party begins…
Quick reminder since we didn’t have the standard morning-preview roundup today: The celebrating starts at 1:30 pm in South Park, with ceremonial groundbreaking for the new bridge, and continues into the afternoon and evening. Here’s the preview we published yesterday; here’s information from allaboutsouthpark.com. It’s clear they would love a show of support from their West Seattle neighbors (and everywhere else!). We’ll have updates from SP this afternoon as it unfolds.
Just before the old South Park Bridge closed permanently last June 30th, we recorded that video of the crowd on the bridge chanting “We want a bridge/we need a bridge” – at that time, the replacement plan was by no means finalized. Now it is, and tomorrow’s the day that the start of work will be celebrated. We have already told you about the huge piñata (here’s our April 24th report) and the official groundbreaking tomorrow as bridge construction gets going. But the party (starting at 1:30 pm) has become REALLY big – and while our mailbox overflows with “official” announcements of what’s happening where and when (plus there’s tons of info here), the liveliest invite we’ve seen came from longtime South Park community advocate Bill Pease, via the SP community e-mail list. He granted our request to republish it here:
In case anyone missed the memo…
South Park is getting a NEW BRIDGE! The construction trailers are assembled on the old County Line lot, and the official ground-breaking is going to happen this Thursday, May 5th at 1:30 pm at the end of the red brick section of 14th Ave S.
Now: Ground-breaking ceremonies are normally dry, stuffy events… and there will certainly be some of that. But this is South Park, and we march to beat of a different drum! Before the pictures of politicians posing earnestly with golden shovels, there will be a performance of the Danza de los Diabolos. Do you think Microsoft had Devil Dancers perform at the ground breaking for their new bridge? No. They did not!
Next comes the speech-i-fyin’. Lots of people have been working long and hard to make sure we got the money to rebuild our link to Seattle so I will gladly listen and clap for everyone who wants to speak. Next comes a quick photo-op with the golden shovels (if you’ve never used a golden shovel, don’t feel bad… they are very heavy, and they bend easily.) But then, THEN… they wheel out the BIG photo-op… A 26′ long piñata in the shape of the new bridge. Suspended by a crane! Did the bridge movers on I-405 have a giant piñata? Not even close!
OK. By 2:30 the whole she-bang is normally winding down, but we live in South Park, so we want to kick it up a notch. Our elected officials have committed to dining at the local South Park establishments, and will be having a Meet & Eat for anyone that wants to join them. Don’t be shy. They get paid for this, and it is your chance to speak one on one with the very people who can affect the positive changes we are asking for. Be polite, be direct, be funny, but for gosh sakes, be there!
Got kids? Bring them to the crafts tent between 3:00 and 5:00 and they will create their own works of art that they will want to keep forever, seriously. They will receive a certificate that proves that they were at the ground-breaking event, complete with their own photo… and they get to make it their own with custom decorations.
By 3:30 the atmosphere will begin to change. Mariachi Ayutla will arrive and It won’t just be a celebration anymore, it becomes a Fiesta! The 5th of May is not an arbitrary date, it is the Cinco de Mayo. The anniversary of the day that a small group of Mexican soldiers –fighting for the independence of their fledgling country– defeated a much larger and better equipped French army at the Battle of Pueblo. While this skirmish was not the final battle for their independence, it showed that a scrappy, dedicated force could prevail over seemingly insurmountable odds. Just as a scrappy, dedicated community did to get the funding for our new bridge. This is our victory, all of us, and we deserve to celebrate!
At 4:30 we really start to feel the happy feet-a-tappin’ and it’s no wonder, Banda Gozona is giving us a taste of Oaxacan dances, reels and marches. Bailar!
If you can only make it to one event on Thursday, then show up at 5:00 for the second showing of the giant piñata. Did I mention that it was on a crane? Well, at 5:00 it makes it’s second appearance, only this is no photo-op. This is the real-deal where a rumored 100 lbs. of candy will rain down on the suspecting crowd below. Keep all hands and feet away from the mouths of children! But wait! There’s more! For those of us in the crowd that envy the exuberance of the children… there will be an adult piñata drop that will contain gift certificates from local businesses, T-shirts, prizes, seed packets and Dog only knows… there is some really fun stuff to be had.
6:30. The kids are in a sugar coma, the politico types are home writing letters to their local op-ed columns, and the seedy underbelly of South Park emerges. That’s right… Artists! They confront the two evils that strike fear in the psyche of every artist: A deadline, and a live audience! Five brave souls will pit their skills against each other and the clock to create works of art that must be completed within 1 Hour. While they are working, they will be in full view of the audience, and the audience gets to bid silently on the works while they are in process. All proceeds from the silent auction will go to support Arts & Cultural experiences for the teens at the South Park Community Center. All bids must be in by 7:30! *As a side note: All five artists will be starting with the same canvas… doors reclaimed from the historical “Witches Hat House” on 7th Ave S.
Time for another change in tone. Beginning at 8:00, the band Hamanah Don will beguile you with West African rhythms and a traditional 20 string harp. Their siren call will lead the crowd to the final event of the day.
All through the ages, there has always been one element that can evoke a response from even the most jaded individual. Fire. At 9:00 PM on Thursday, Rusty Oliver and Spinergy Arts will use fire as their medium to create a performance art piece that will quite literally burn itself into the memories of all that see it!
Come on out on Thursday, South Park is fine!
See you there.
(Photo courtesy Brandi Lane)
Construction is about to begin on the new South Park Bridge, now that the money’s been rounded up, and the contract’s been awarded. And as was the case with the closure of the old bridge last June (WSB coverage here and here), one huge party is in the works. One with a construction project of its own – a 20-foot pinata is under construction, to be suspended from a crane.
According to Brandi Lane, “This one-of-a-kind piñata is a replica of our beloved 16th Avenue Bridge and will be filled with candy and prizes – a treat for all who attend the bridge groundbreaking and community celebration on Cinco de Mayo.”
That’s the date for the official celebration of the start of construction – 1:30 pm May 5th, to be precise, as noted on King County’s official South Park Bridge project website: King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Councilmembers and the community will gather at the south end of the 10-months-shuttered old bridge. Here’s the official flyer – but for more details on the community party, you have to dig a little deeper. Brandi says piñata master Alex Lopez (photo above; more on Facebook) is building the huge creation with community help and that there’ll be an all-day decorating party next Saturday, April 30th – everybody welcome – at the Green Compound Garage at 8120 Dallas Ave South.
If you can’t pitch in, at least mark your calendar for the May 5th celebration in South Park – Cinco de Mayo plus bridge groundbreaking.
(King County rendering of design for new South Park Bridge)
(King County rendering of new South Park Bridge design)
Two months after they were requested, bids were opened this afternoon for the new South Park Bridge, and the county has announced that the “apparent low bidder” is Kiewit-Massman. The joint venture of Kiewit Infrastructure West Company (Kiewit, by the way, helped build the West Seattle Bridge) and Massman Construction Company bid just over $96 million dollars, less than the county’s estimate ($98 million-$108 million). In the official county news release, King County Executive Dow Constantine called it an “excellent bid”; it needs to be evaluated before it becomes the official winning bid. Construction is expected to start in May, about 11 months after the old South Park Bridge was permanently closed, and the new bridge is expected to open in mid-2013. On the eve of the bid opening, the county threw a “Thank You, South Park” party last night at the Machinists Union Hall in SP (celebrants posed for the group photo below, including Constantine and King County Councilmember Joe McDermott)
(Photo by Ned Ahrens, courtesy King County DOT)
(King County rendering of new South Park Bridge design)
You’ve heard a lot about the Highway 99 tunnel today (we’ve added more to our ongoing coverage, with still more to come). But that’s not all the City Council did today – they also finalized agreements related to the new South Park Bridge, for which they’re forking over $15 million. Here’s their announcement. As reported here last month, the bridge-replacement project has gone out to bid; one week from tomorrow, on March 8th, the resulting bids are to be opened – construction then could start as soon as May, per the county’s website for the project.
Remember Michael Merta, whose anti-litter letter was published here three weeks ago? He’s mustered some support and is now – with one local leader’s encouragement – inviting you to join in a cleanup, among other things. Here’s his update:
About three weeks ago I wrote an open letter about the worsening problem of litter in the Seattle area. I’ve received many responses to that letter from other concerned citizens since then. I have still not heard back from any of the city, county, or WSDOT officials that I complained to, about their plans if any, to deal with the problem.
I have been contacted by King County Councilman Joe McDermott’s office, and they have asked me to organize a cleanup through the Facebook page that I created around this issue.
The Councilman’s office has contacted Waste Management to provide support, tools, and supplies for the effort, and we are tentatively planning it for Saturday March 5th between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Please see the Facebook page for further details, or contact me at email@example.com
It is unclear to me, and it is also unclear to officials in Councilman McDermott’s office, just who is responsible for routine litter patrol, and in which areas of town. There may be areas where indeed, no agency is currently responsible. Since I first complained about this to the various agencies, there has been no litter removed from the sites I’ve identified. It seems as if our local government does not have the resources, or has not allocated the resources to solve this problem, so we as citizens need to figure something out here.
Obviously, one cleanup event cannot solve this problem. In my opinion, it’s going to take a comprehensive effort involving frequent citizen cleanups, state and local government organized cleanups, increased fines, and increased code enforcement. A kind of full-on campaign, we could call it “Keep Seattle Beautiful.” I’d like some help with getting such a campaign started. We could all start by writing about our concerns to our local politicians. mayormcginn.seattle.gov, Dow.Constantine@kingcounty.gov
In a city that prides itself on being “green” and environmentally friendly, it seems we have allowed plain old litter to make a comeback. Today, as I was driving across the First Avenue bridge (one of the areas I first complained about) I noticed someone decided to drop off an old couch on the side of the road (see photo above). Funny thing about litter, you leave it there and it seems to multiply.
(Photos courtesy Michael Merta. Here: “Olson Place SW going up toward Roxbury”)
It’s easy to see a problem and gripe about it. Getting something done – doing it yourself – not so easy. Michael Merta says he’s figuring this out, as he tries to rally support to fight littering and other blight. He asked if we would publish his open letter and a few photos. He lives in White Center but is challenging folks throughout the West Seattle/White Center/South Park/Georgetown areas, and beyond:
I’m wondering if anyone else has noticed an increasing amount of graffiti and litter on our West Seattle and South Seattle roadways and public places lately? I have, and I decided to try to write to the appropriate departments to see what was happening. I emailed the city of Seattle and received a polite thank you and acknowledgement, though no specific reply stating that anything would be done.
I wrote to WSDOT about litter all along SR 509 which seems to have been accumulating for quite some time with no noticeable effort to clean it up. I have not had a reply to that complaint.
When I wrote to King County I received a very prompt reply from Dinah Day with the King County Illegal Dumping hotline, who wrote “I do have to warn you that there have been many budget cuts and how often and how much litter gets cleaned up has been significantly reduced in the last few years.” Those were her exact words, and at least they serve as confirmation that I have not been imagining things.
Personally, I feel at a loss to figure out where to go next. I’ve created a Facebook page where people can post photos, discuss the problem, and try to come up with some solution:
One person complaining probably won’t get much attention but if we all get together maybe we can make some positive change.
We all know there have been budget cuts but I don’t think it’s acceptable to just say “budget cuts” and not do anything. Aside from looking terrible, its a matter of public safety if you subscribe to the broken-windows theory of crime prevention. There are always going to be people that litter and paint graffiti; we pay taxes to assure that it gets cleaned up. If the city, the county, and WSDOT do not have the money to take care of it in a timely fashion, perhaps we as taxpayers need to remind them that for us, it’s a priority.
(King County rendering of new South Park Bridge design)
Three months after government and community leaders gathered by the west end of the old South Park Bridge to announce funding was in place for a new one, another milestone – the project has gone out to bid. It was officially advertised today. The bidding documents list the “engineer’s estimate” cost at $98 million to $108 million, with this included:
Scope of Work: This project provides for the replacement of South Park Bridge over the Duwamish Waterway in King County by constructing a new drawbridge (bascule) downriver and approximately parallel to the existing South Park Bridge, intersection improvements, roadway, drainage, and utility construction, approach spans and retaining wall construction, riverbank mitigation, incorporation of historic and art elements, illumination with decorative luminaires, demolition of the remaining portion of the existing bridge, and other work …
Bids are to be opened March 8th.
Two government notes of interest from today:
REZONING FINALIZED: The rezoning of a block-plus along California SW between Hinds and Hanford (and a little beyond) was approved unanimously by the full City Council this afternoon, two weeks after a council committee recommended approval. This means the zoning along that block will change from NC1-30 to NC2-40, meaning future redevelopment could include larger business spaces (businesses as big as 25,000 square feet) and taller buildings (up to 40 feet instead of 30). Neighbors along the adjoining single-family-residence blocks on both sides had been fighting the proposal since it emerged more than 3 years ago. Our archive of coverage along the way is here.
SOUTH PARK BRIDGE MONEY: An update from County Councilmember Joe McDermott:
This morning the King County Council reaffirmed our commitment to the South Park community by committing $30 million to replace the South Park Bridge. This money, however, is contingent on a legally binding agreement with the Port of Seattle and the City of Seattle. The Port of Seattle has already committed $5 million to the project, and I am certain that the city will as well. Our region’s economic competitiveness relies on the South Park Bridge; it serves an area that is home to 32,000 jobs and is an entry point to a community where 76 percent of the businesses are minority owned. I will continue to work with the City of Seattle, the Port, the State and the Federal government to ensure we replace the South Park Bridge under our current timeline.
This comes two months after the announcement of a federal grant completing the pledged funding (WSB coverage here), and five and a half months after the old bridge was permanently closed (WSB coverage here). The county expects to start building the new bridge next April.
We’re in South Park, where the official announcement of the $34 million federal TIGER II grant completing the pledged funding for a new South Park Bridge has just concluded. King County Executive Dow Constantine was joined by U.S. Senator Patty Murray, who spoke first:
Also there: U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, King County Councilmembers Jan Drago and Larry Phillips, Mayor Mike McGinn, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond, State Sen. Joe McDermott, Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton, and South Park business owners and community leaders including Dagmar Cronn of the SP Neighborhood Association, who co-chaired the New South Park Bridge Coalition:
The new bridge will go out to bid “as soon as possible,” said Constantine, adding that “a few approvals” are needed, but expressing confidence that all the pledged funding from various levels of government will come through. The bridge should open in May 2013, the county says, though South Park community activist Bill Owens told WSB he’s hoping that can be accelerated; he also said he’s thrilled. a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.kingcounty.gov/exec/news/release/2010/October/15southpark.aspx”>Here, meantime, is the full news release.
(King County rendering of design for future South Park Bridge)
11:14 AM: Just got word that King County Executive Dow Constantine and U.S. Senator Patty Murray promise a big announcement at the South Park Bridge at 2:30 this afternoon. This is about when news was supposed to come in about whether a federal grant via TIGER II would be available for all or part of the rest of the money needed to build a new bridge. 11:23 AM: $34 million grant, per sources cited by seattlepi.com. 11:37 AM: More evidence that TIGER II announcements are coming out – found this East Coast story about a bridge-replacement project there getting $. And more here. 11:50 AM: The Seattle Times (WSB partner) is on the story too. 12:37 PM: News advisory from U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott‘s office says he’ll be there too. It’s been three and a half months since the old bridge was shut down for safety concerns. The county has called the replacement project “shovel-ready” but says it would still take about 2 years to build once all the money’s in. 1:20 PM UPDATE: The Times story is updated with confirmation of the $34 million, from Sen. Murray’s office.
A nearby project needs your help today, and/or tomorrow, and/or Sunday:
This coming Friday / Saturday / Sunday (Oct 8,9,10th) from 10 am to 4 pm, Concord International Elementary School is looking for volunteers to help assemble their new Play Structure. … We have a new play structure for the school body and local community that we will be assembling this weekend under the supervision of the structure manufacturer. All tools will be provided. Volunteers are much appreciated. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you can help us out.
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