New expected completion date for Alki pump station: November

You’ll be looking at that scene along Alki for two more months, because the expected completion date for the 53rd Avenue Pump Station expansion project on Alki has moved back a few more weeks. Two recent notes asking us for updates led us to contact King County Wastewater Treatment spokesperson Martha Tuttle, who says they’re now expecting the project to wind up in early November, instead of the October date discussed when we published an update in late spring. She explained:

Although the construction is substantially complete, the new pump station must go through significant testing to be fully functional. … We will not be clearing away the barricades/signs/ materials until the pump station is fully operative, which is around the first of November. Sorry for that news. We know the walkers, joggers and bikers are really tired of our presence.

Work on the pump station began 19 months ago (here’s our first report from February 2008). The county website explains what’s being built – tripling the size of the underground pump station.

17 Replies to "New expected completion date for Alki pump station: November"

  • rlv September 1, 2009 (8:08 pm)

    For what it’s workth, the neighbors are tired of it too, Ms. Tuttle.

  • nants September 1, 2009 (9:22 pm)

    Job security???

  • Jose September 2, 2009 (12:13 am)

    What a crock.

  • Jack Loblaw September 2, 2009 (6:18 am)

    November of what year ?

  • jw September 2, 2009 (6:38 am)

    So the Lowman Beach pump station project will take 20 months too?

  • big gulps,eh? well, see ya later. September 2, 2009 (7:33 am)

    Are their any additional details why this has taken so long? It seems crazy a project of this size could drag on as it has.

  • owen September 2, 2009 (8:23 am)

    WSB’s first report in Feb 2008 said construction would take 20 months. Now it looks like it’ll be 21. That doesn’t seem like an unreasonable delay to me.

    I don’t know why it takes 20 months to rehab a pump station (maybe because you can’t take it off line?), but at least the project duration was communicated early.

  • wseye September 2, 2009 (8:56 am)

    Incredible! Somehow it is acceptable to cut off the single most used pedestrian and bicyle trail in all of West Seattle for two years. This is the kind of thing that made me fed up with Greg Nickels. He could talk all day about making the city more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, but when it came down to it, that was all for show. Glad we are getting a new mayor soon, two terms of this nonsense has been long enough.

  • flynlo September 2, 2009 (9:13 am)

    What’s interesting to me is that nearly all of the time during the construction, a temporary path/walkway was maintained on the beach side of the road. Now that “…the construction is substantially complete, the new pump station must go through significant testing to be fully functional….”, that temporary path/walkway is closed and all foot/bike traffic must cross alki ave twice to get thru the construction area. Either the construction is not really “substantially complete” or the testing is so dangerous that all foot/bicycle traffic must be kept away??

  • Chris September 2, 2009 (10:02 am)

    wseye…you can’t be serious blaming Greg Nickels for a one month delay of a sewer project? That is what I call nonsense! How sad to lose a nationally respected mayor over such poor voter judgement. With our two choices we are looking at an unknown trail through wilderness…thanks alot!

  • wseye September 2, 2009 (11:54 am)

    Chris: The path should have been kept open, it wasn’t that hard to provide 3 feet of pavement, for Pete’s sake. The construction didn’t close the street for motor vehicles, why wasn’t the same consideration to pedestrians and bicyclists? I do blame our mayor for being completely absorbed with policy and image, instead of practical matters that really count. He surrounded himself with loyal cronies who have become perhaps the most arrogant bunch of (un)civil servants I have ever seen. This is just one small case in point, I could write a book of other situations that are similar.

  • Chris September 3, 2009 (12:30 am)

    Realistically, if the mayor was involved in the minutae of a bicycle path around a sewer project, what on earth could he possibly ever get done? Your standard of what is expected of executives is just unreasonable. You have every right to have issues with Nickels. On this matter however, you, in my opinion are out of line.

  • WSB September 3, 2009 (12:51 am)

    Do note that while obviously the street and sidewalk are city of Seattle right-of-way, the pump station itself is a COUNTY facility.

  • AceMotel September 3, 2009 (1:13 am)

    Oh, for cryin’ out loud. Some people will complain about anything. They told us at the beginning that this project would take close to two years. It’s a major construction project, and it’s all taking place underground, at considerable inconvenience to the workers, just to keep the road open at all. King County has bent over backwards to be responsive to the public. The people who live nearby will be grateful not to have the sewer smell in their neighborhood. Infrastructure improvements are not optional. And uuuuh, some are blaming Nickels??!! OMG. Unbelievable! If you don’t want the sewer capacity improved, hold it in! sheeeesh.

  • wseye September 3, 2009 (8:26 am)

    WSB: The facility is owned by the County, but the building permit is issued and administered by the City of Seattle. The Department of Development and Planning is the agency involved, and it is directly under the control of the executive, also known as the Mayor. The pedestrian/bicycle path in that area is controlled by the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, which is also under the direct control of you know who. Therefore, Greg Nickels is where the buck stops, I speak no lies.

    As for the people who think that cutting a four mile uninterrupted pedestrian/bicycle trail for two years is no problem, it is because they don’t use it. I do, several times a week, and it has been a major pain. That construction project has been managed with complete disregard for the public. It could have been built in half the time and with a maintained trail if someone competent was managing the project.

  • on board September 10, 2009 (6:36 am)

    Thanks WSB for following up on this. I missed the post on 9/1 and am just now reading.

    I don’t think the delay is undue, but I am fascinated at how it can take now 21 months or almost 2 years for this project. I mean, the Spokane St project which is huge is going to take that kind of time, but a pump station?

    This has been a major disruption. I use this at least twice a day and would like to know if they would consider opening up the narrow ped path that was open for a period of time. This is probably the second most used pedestrian and bicycle path in the city next to the Burke Gilman Trail, and perhaps tied with Greenlake in terms of use, although no one commutes on the Greenlake Trail I don’t think. If the Burke gilman Trail were blocked off for 21 months we would have heard a lot more about it.

    I wonder if WSB or someone with a connection to the project manager could inquire as to whether opening a narrow passage again is feasible, since they seem to be “testing”.

  • on board September 17, 2009 (1:02 pm)

    I sent an email to Martha Tuttle as the website indicates, but did not get a reply. I guess they are non-responsive unless you are the media.

    when you look at the work site, they have ample room to move the barriers back to where they were. I will try emailing again.

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