West Seattle, Washington
The flyer’s for another Seattle Public Utilities project that’s getting ready to start in West Seattle: Drain and pipe replacement along a section of 57th SW in Alki. SPU’s Brian Mickelson says work will begin in about two weeks. We asked for a few more details:
The project will replace 240 feet of 18-inch diameter storm drain, which will enable 6 side sewers to be reconnected to the existing 12-inch diameter sanitary sewer without sumps. Additionally, 40 feet of the existing 12-inch diameter sanitary sewer is deteriorated and will be replaced.
The 57th Ave project is part of SPU’s Sewer Rehabilitation Program, which focuses on repairing and rehabilitating sewer mainlines throughout the city, generally in city-owned street rights-of-way or city easements on private property.
As noted on the flyer, the work should take about a month.
SIDE NOTE: Reminder, SPU’s on-site info session about the SW Spokane Pump Station project in East Admiral is tomorrow (Wednesday, September 20th), 4:30-6:30 pm, as previewed here.
5:03 PM: Second West Seattle power outage of the day – and this time, it’s blamed on a tree. Seattle City Light says 22 homes/businesses are out along Delridge between Findlay and Juneau, with restoration estimated by 8 pm.
5:27 PM: This one also was restored long before the estimated time – outage map shows the power’s back.
3 PM: From the Seattle City Light outage map, that’s the area where 302 customers (homes/businesses) are affected – plus a couple spots along West Marginal Way SW – by a power outage that started about 20 minutes ago. Thanks to Billy for the tip; we’ve heard from others that the power flickered in some other areas. No word yet on the cause; restoration is estimated around 9 pm but again, as in all outages, that’s just an estimate, could be sooner, could be later.
3:55 PM: SCL says “equipment failure” is the cause, and has moved the restoration estimate to 7:34 pm.
4:44 PM: Power restored. Thanks to Dee for the update, saying the electricity was back in time to see the Seahawks win!
In case you’re not among the nearby residents to whom that flyer was sent – Seattle Public Utilities wants you to know that an informational session is coming up next week (Wednesday, September 20th) for improvements planned at the SW Spokane St. Pump Station in East Admiral. If you can’t see the embedded flyer above – read it here (PDF).
9:33 AM: Thanks to Ron for the tip. He says a “loud explosion” preceded the power outage that Seattle City Light‘s map says is affecting 81 customers. It started about 10 minutes ago; while the restoration time is estimated to be 5 pm, keep in mind that’s just an estimate and will likely change.
2:20 PM: Still out, according to the map, which updated the estimated restoration time a while back, to 3:40-ish pm. We passed a City Light crew on the west side of California near the outage zone while heading southbound a short time ago – don’t know if it’s related and couldn’t stop, but we’re checking for updated info.
ADDED TUESDAY: The power was restored Monday evening. SCL spokesperson Scott Thomsen tells us that the cause was failure of an underground transformer.
Announced late today by Seattle City Light – work that will close the eastbound bridge ramp to NB 99 for about five hours tonight, starting at 9 pm:
1:42 PM: Thanks to Mark for the tip: A power outage on Alki is affecting 146 customers, according to the Seattle City Light outage map – all residential, given the area that’s shown as affected. The outage is attributed to “bird/animal”; Mark reports that “a crow shorted out high-voltage wire, according to a contractor.” SCL currently estimates the power will return around 3:13 pm, but as always, keep in mind that’s just an estimate – could be sooner or later.
2:37 PM: The SCL map shows the power’s back. If yours isn’t, be sure to call to let them know – 206-684-3000.
If this water-service shutdown tomorrow affects you, Seattle Public Utilities says, you should already have been notified via a door-hanger. But just in case, here’s the full announcement:
About 103 customers in West Seattle will be without water for about 11 hours (Thursday, July 27th) while SPU performs water-meter replacement work. The shutdown is expected to last from approximately 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Affected customers have been notified of the shutdown by door hanger. The sections of main to be shut down are indicated below:
1. The 24 inch main in SW KENYON ST from 9TH AVE SW to 5TH AVE SW
2. The 8 inch main in SW CLOVERDALE ST from EAST TO THE END OF THE MAIN to
3. The 3-8 inch main in STUBS AT SW KENYON ST from NORTH TO END OF MAIN to
4. The 24 inch main in 5TH AVE SW from SW KENYON to GATEHOUSE ASSET NUMBER 7377
5. The 4/6 inch main in 4TH AVE SW from SW THISTLE ST to TO THE END OF THE MAIN NORTH OF SW ELMGROVE
6. The 8 inch main in SW Thistle ST from 4th Ave SW to 5th Ave SW
7. The 8 inch main in SW Elmgrove st from 4th Ave SW to 5th Ave SW
8. The 8 inch main in 5th Ave SW from SW Kenyon st to SW Thistle St
9. The 8 inch main with PRV on it SW Kenyon to the West
10. The 8/2 inch main in SW Kenyon st to the East
Sorry, no SPU map to accompany this – looking at Google Maps, the areas mentioned are north of Westcrest Park – but hopefully the SPU list above will help.
2:42 PM: Thanks to CJ for the tip – 81 homes/businesses are out of power in the Morgan Junction/west Gatewood area, as shown on the Seattle City Light map. No word yet on cause or estimated restoration time.
3:43 PM: The restoration estimate – keep in mind, this is not scientific, and it could come back much sooner or much later – is 7:28 pm. We’re told the problem involves a utility pole (City Light lists it as “equipment failure”) and have a crew in the area working to find out more. West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) tells us they’re not affected. But just to the south, the Shell station is – its pumps are currently taped off – as are the neighboring business New Teriyaki & Wok and Domino’s. McDonald’s has power, as do the businesses on the west side of California.
7:27 PM Three-fourths of those affected are reconnected – 21 still out.
12:51 AM: And those 21 are still out, with restoration now estimated around 4 am. Via comments and e-mail, we’ve learned more about what happened. The next two photos are from David Newell:
Another neighbor told us that City Light crews explained that the outage was “related to a rotten power pole that broke off while a Comcast crew was pulling new lines. The pole came crashing down in the alley and across the patio areas of the condos behind the strip mall housing Domino’s and the mini mart. So lucky no one was injured. The electrical hookup for one the condo buildings was severely damaged.” We’ll be following up with City Light later this morning.
7 AM NOTE: The rest of the customers did get their power back in the early-morning hours.
If you’ll be out late Friday night/early Saturday morning, and possibly Saturday into Sunday, you’ll want to avoid the east half of the West Seattle Bridge (aka the Spokane Street Viaduct). Here’s the alert:
Seattle City Light crews plan to improve electrical system reliability by pulling new wire over the top of the Spokane Street Viaduct near 2nd Avenue South.
To work safely, traffic will be reduced to one lane and the speed limit dropped to 25 mph in both the east and west bound directions of the Spokane Street Viaduct between 1st Avenue South and 6th Avenue South. See the work zone map below. Work will occur on Friday, July 14, and, if necessary, Saturday, July 15.
Drivers should expect slowdowns during this time.
Lane reduction details:
The nights of Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15 (if needed)
· Traffic will be reduced to one lane and speed limits dropped to 25 mph in both directions from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
· Washington State Patrol and extra City Light equipment will be positioned in the work zone to promote safety.
· Access to 1st Avenue South and 4th Avenue South ramps will be maintained.
Once energized, the newly installed electrical wire will improve system reliability and add capacity to the South of Downtown (SODO) area.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:04 AM: Back in September 2015, we reported that Seattle Public Utilities wanted to turn the bus yard at 4500 West Marginal Way SW [map] into its future Drainage and Wastewater South Operations Center. At the time, the city was looking at leasing the land. We hadn’t heard anything more about the project since then, but a notice in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin shows the project has been proceeding. The notice includes this description of the project planned for the six-acre site:
The DWW South Operations Center Project would replace or upgrade the main building’s roof and exterior walls and mechanical systems, including heating and cooling, plumbing, and electrical systems. Exterior space improvements are expected to include installation of new buried utilities, repairs to existing stormwater piping and sanitary sewer facilities on and off-site, retrofitting paved areas with stormwater bioretention areas, adding a 40-foot-tall radio tower adjacent to the main building for dispatch and emergency services, installing solar energy and rainwater harvest systems, constructing several lightly loaded structures that would be used primarily for storage and parking, and removing and replacing existing paved surfaces in areas to facilitate site and utility improvements. New structures would likely be supported with new shallow foundations. Additional site improvements would include enhancing safety at an existing railroad and bike path crossing at the site entrance, planting additional trees, and adding up to four electric vehicle charging stations. The completed DWW South Operations Center would operate seven days every week, would be completely fenced, and would be accessible only to those individuals having required authorization.
An online timeline says construction is expected in 2019. The notice published today advises that there’s been a Determination of Non-Significance for the project, meaning SPU believes an environmental-impact statement is not needed. The notice includes two deadlines for the public – comments on the DNS are due by July 24th, and if anyone wants to appeal it, that has to be filed by July 31st.
The notice points to a website for the project but it has few details, so we’re asking SPU for more, including the site’s purchase price and the project’s estimated cost, as well as the “environmental checklist” to which the notice refers, which isn’t on that site yet, though the notice says it should be. Meantime, you can see a bit more about the design on three pages of the SHKS Architects website.
6:24 PM: Since our morning report, the checklist link has been added to the project website – scroll down this page. Also, SPU says the property was purchased for $11,550,000, and that’s included in the project’s estimated cost of $54.2 million.
10:09 AM: Thanks to Diane for the tip – 33 homes are without power in southeast Admiral, centered around 37th SW/SW Hinds. The Seattle City Light outage map says it went out around 9:12 am and that they’re still investigating, hoping to have power back on by 12:30 pm or so. (And as we always note, could be sooner, could be later.)
10:34 AM: And – everybody’s back on, ahead of that prediction.
Several people have asked about this, and we found confirmation on the Seattle Public Utilities website: Yes, if you are a Tuesday customer, there WILL BE regular solid-waste pickup tomorrow. The South Transfer Station is open, too. (Not its counterpart in the north, though – too close to the all-day-and-night Gas Works Park event.) We’ve added this info to our West Seattle 4th of July infopage.
Thanks to the person who just called to let us know: She’s seeing brown water in Seaview (she’s near 45th SW/SW Juneau), and it’s because Seattle Fire crews are continuing to test hydrants. She’s already contacted Seattle Public Utilities (their hotline is 206-386-1800) to be sure they know too. (Yesterday, it was west of The Junction; the day before, Arbor Heights.)
That’s the photo an Arbor Heights resident sent earlier today, wondering why their tap water was discolored. First thing to do if this happens to you: Call the Seattle Public Utilities hotline at 206-386-1800. We suspected it might have been related to hydrant testing, since Seattle Fire had tweeted this back on Friday:
Station 37 firefighters are out testing fire hydrants along 35th Avenue SW today. Join in by checking your home smoke alarms today. pic.twitter.com/ZBvMvYUJSJ
— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) June 23, 2017
And that indeed is what the resident was told. But there could be other causes, so they want to hear from you any time there’s something unusual with your water supply.
The city’s Utility Discount Program is expanding, adding help for more seniors, as announced by Mayor Ed Murray in a media briefing today at the Senior Center of West Seattle, with Councilmember Lisa Herbold and Seattle Public Utilities general manager Mami Hara.
This has to do with seniors receiving Social Security and being on Medicare – 3,000 are not getting “the help they need or the help they deserve,” because some benefits are being counted as income even though they’re not, so the city is changing eligibility rules to make sure they can get it. This can save more than $1,000 a year per household, “making their lives a little bit more affordable.”
The city already had a push under way to make sure more people eligible for the program took advantage of it, and participation has more than doubled in the past three years.
Herbold – who chairs the committee that oversees SPU – said she first heard about this eligibility problem last fall, and is glad it’s been fixed. “Another change we made was for folks to qualify for time payments when they have past-due bills” – more people can get some time to do that. She says it’s a matter of “connecting problems that constituents face on a day-to-day basis with the policy work we do in the office.”
Hara said that SPU bills can be discounted 50 percent under the discount program, and for City Light bills, it’s 60 percent. The utilities are working to be “responsive,” she said. And those who sign up for this program only need to renew their registration every three years. Signing up also gets you free passes for transfer-station use, worth up to $145 a year, and free backyard collection of trash and compost for those who can’t get theirs to the curb because of mobility issues.
You can find out more about the Utility Discount Program by going here. Councilmember Herbold also said that the city will be retroactively reviewing those who have been turned down for the program to see if they’re now eligible.
SIDE NOTE: And if you’re a senior with other resource problems/questions – or have someone in your family who is – West Seattleite Irene Stewart from the Age-Friendly Seattle program tells us you can call the free Community Living Connections hotline, 844-348-5464.
The two buildings at Arrowhead Gardens that were without water after Monday’s pipe break will get it back this afternoon, if it’s not back already, according to a spokesperson for AG’s parent nonprofit Senior Housing Assistance Group (SHAG). We followed up after commenters raised concerns in the discussion following our original story. SHAG’s Karen Lucas tells WSB that water was expected to be back around 3:30 pm. While it was off, she says, those affected were able to use facilities in the two buildings that weren’t affected, and water and meals were provided. Eight units were evacuated and the Red Cross was brought in to help; Lucas says those who didn’t have relatives/friends to stay with were put up in hotels. Lucas confirms that the broken pipe is on their property so it’s their responsibility to fix, not Seattle Public Utilities (which is what SPU told us, too), and she said they’re still not sure why the pipe broke, flooding the underground parking area after, she was told, breaking through concrete like “a geyser.” She also wanted to thank the Seattle Fire and Red Cross crews who responded, for doing a “fabulous” job.
11:28 AM: Thanks for the tips – we heard from two people in Highland Park/Riverview before this big power outage even appeared on the Seattle City Light map. More than 2,000 customers (homes/businesses) are out.
11:37 AM: As the map shows, the outage also stretches into parts of White Center and South Park. The SCL map now has a restoration-time “guesstimate” of 2:31 pm – but keep in mind, could be sooner, could be later. We haven’t yet heard what caused it – if you’re seeing SCL trucks, please let us know, since that’s usually a clue. // And remember that dark traffic signals = all-way stops. Someone just messaged us to say there’s already been a crash at 8th/Roxbury.
12:07 PM: West Marginal/Highland Park Way is another major intersection with the lights out, and people “driving recklessly” as a dispatcher relayed a little while ago (monitored via scanner). SCL says a crash is what caused this and they’re still hopeful of having the power back on by 2:30ish.
12:38 PM: Added two photos from 8th/Roxbury – above, SPD is helping with traffic there (there’s a crash and a stalled vehicle); below, SDOT working with the signal box (and a generator).
12:43 PM: At least part of the area has the power back, per comment and texts, after about an hour and a half.
12:54 PM: The SCL map has updated and says the outage is about two-thirds of its original size – now 1,300+ customers, mostly south/east of West Seattle.
1:08 PM: Now down to 560+ customers out.
1:35 PM: And now just a handful.
Until noon, you’re invited to come tour the new Murray combined-sewer-overflow-control “Wet Weather Facility” across from Lowman Beach Park – where a million-gallon storage tank is underground (where the people in the top photo are standing), ready in case a big storm sends too much stormwater and sewage to the Murray Pump Station (named for Murray Avenue SW) across the street. The King County Wastewater Treatment Division built the facility and we’re about to hear from its director Mark Isaacson as well as project manager Marla Coles, King County Council Chair Joe McDermott, and Deputy County Executive Fred Jarrett.
There are treats, informational stations, and tours, right where 48th SW meets Lincoln Park Way and Beach Drive.
ADDED 4:34 PM: Here’s our video of the speakers, who voiced pride in the project and thanks to the neighbors for putting up with years of construction:
Still a bit more to add later!
P.S. Those who took tours today got a look inside the building – if you missed that, here’s the story of our tour last Monday.
Stepping away from the scanner for a few minutes to run an errand late last night, we missed the news that many people had called in about a loud boom and flash, audible/visible from northeast West Seattle. The Seattle City Light map didn’t show any outages. But this morning via Twitter, SCL says it was indeed a power-line situation – across the Duwamish River – “a bird got into the wrong place” at East Marginal and Oregon. A one-customer outage resulted – not shown on the map, but SCL reminds us that a few areas of their service territory remain off-map – and was repaired within three hours.
8:44 PM: Thanks for the texted tip – 53 homes are without power in Gatewood, the Seattle City Light map confirms. No word yet what caused the outage; the estimated restoration time is after 2 am, but remember that those times are “guesstimates” at best – could be sooner, or later. (Let us know if you see a repair truck – text or call 206-293-6302, our 24/7 hotline – thanks!)
10:30 PM: The map is now updated to attribute the outage to “bird/animal” – which is in line with the first comment below. No change in the restoration guesstimate, though.
5:39 AM: Power was restored early this morning – see comments.
(WSB photo, January 2015)
Two and a half years ago, that was the view into the then-under-construction million-gallon combined-sewer-overflow-control tank at what’s now called the Murray “wet weather facility” across from Lowman Beach (named for Murray Avenue SW).
Today, that’s the view from atop the site – which we just toured with a delegation from the King County Wastewater Treatment Division, which runs the facility, where you’re invited to a community celebration next Saturday (June 10th, 10 am-noon). The $47 million facility has been operational since last November – when it handled an overflow situation; now the exterior’s complete, too, and it’s party time. This has been eight years in the making, dating back to community meetings in 2009 to talk about options for reducing combined-sewer (the system that takes both stormwater and sewage) overflows into Puget Sound in two areas of central/south West Seattle, part of a wide-ranging court order. The Murray project – which replaced a block of residential buildings – ultimately was designed to include viewpoint, seating space, and art atop and alongside its support building. What looks like lawn, for example, is actually part of a green roof.
You might already have seen the exterior – people were there on this sunny morning doing yoga and walking the stairs. The tank itself is off-limits but we got a look at what’s inside the support building:
12:18 PM: Seattle Public Utilities tells WSB that a six-inch water main has broken on Prescott Avenue SW in northeast Admiral [map], and repairs will require shutting the water off for at least four hours. SPU’s Cornell Amaya says about 45 services (households, etc.) will be affected, on Prescott SW and Prescott Place. If you’re in that area, you might already be experiencing lower pressure and/or discolored water. He adds that the water mains in that area are “pretty old, and sometimes they just break.”
1:43 PM: Update from SPU – the crews worked so fast, the water’s already back on.