Traffic alert: Delridge-area detour ahead, but not what it seemed

Got a note this morning from Pete M, who wondered about a sign (photo added 5:57 pm) he had seen while heading north on Delridge near SW Alaska (map) – he thought it suggested a big closure ahead, and wondered if we’d heard anything. We in turn checked with SDOT, whose Marybeth Turner has been investigating. She reports back that there IS a closure ahead, but not what the sign apparently implied:

A contractor for a private developer installed a misleading sign on Delridge Way SW. He is taking it down, and will replace it with a more accurate sign that indicates that SW Oregon Street (which turns into 23rd Ave SW) [map] will be closed. The developer is extending a sewer line for new homes.

Traffic going to South Seattle Community College coming from the north will be detoured to Delridge Way SW. The closure will start at approximately 9 a.m. on Feb 22 and is expected to reopen by Apr 5 (six weeks).

At Delridge, SW Oregon Street (which turns into 23rd SW) will be closed to all traffic. At the other end, 22nd SW (which turns into 23rd SW) will be closed to through traffic where 22nd SW meets 21st SW. 23rd will be closed to all traffic (including local) where it meets 22nd SW (this would be SW Alaska if Alaska cut through at this location).

Hope that all makes sense to area residents. She also included a word of thanks for the heads-up on the sign – so we’ve passed that on to Pete.

44 Replies to "Traffic alert: Delridge-area detour ahead, but not what it seemed"

  • Pete February 10, 2010 (4:33 pm)

    Let me see if I have this correct….a private developer can close down a very busy seattle city street for six weeks? Are you serious?

  • jsv February 10, 2010 (4:46 pm)

    Thanks, I saw these this morning too and was worried.

  • Rick February 10, 2010 (5:03 pm)

    Sure wish I could close my street down for six weeks at a time. Every six weeks and a day.

  • CarolPB February 10, 2010 (5:21 pm)

    Sign was still there on my way home around 4:15 this afternoon. Must not be a big priority to correct the error.

    • WSB February 10, 2010 (5:40 pm)

      Yes, we noticed that and took a photo that I’m about to add. If it’s not gone by this time tomorrow, we’ll make sure SDOT knows …

  • mark February 10, 2010 (5:59 pm)

    Actually, you can close the street down, but you need a permit. Its super easy to find if they have one.

    And the local DOT Inspector is David Ryles, 206 684 8565

    • WSB February 10, 2010 (6:18 pm)

      Thanks, Mark, although we have a problem with that site … “Mac OS not compatible”? Excuse me? Yikes.

  • Cecelia February 10, 2010 (6:12 pm)

    While I can understand that road closures are inevitable sometimes, I would like to know why such a measly little sign is the only allowable notification for all the people affected by this.

    The 125 will be on detour route yet there hasn’t been anything posted yet on the bus.

    In addition signs need to posted on the street actually affected in both directions as I normally don’t turn up SW Oregon coming from south. Which means had I not seen this on the WSBlog I would not know that this was going to happen.

  • mark February 10, 2010 (6:19 pm)

    Funny, because McGinn is a Mac guy!!!!

    Maybe if you start at the city DOT Web site? Its easy to navigate…..

  • Aim February 10, 2010 (6:54 pm)

    Sign still there as of nearly 6pm. The southbound lanes sign is every bit as misleading as the NB one. And what of the 125? Will riders have any advanced warning? Having to catch the bus at a different stop can severely impact commutes. Many people don’t have jobs where “the bus was rerouted” is an acceptable excuse for lateness.

  • sam February 10, 2010 (7:54 pm)

    is the closure during contractor hours/ working hours or is it closed during the weekend too? (as in- will they put down steel plates when their not there)
    I’m also curious about the 125 re-routing. the re-routing during the road repair work up on 16th was crazy (far away from this area of the route)

  • mary February 10, 2010 (8:48 pm)

    When will we get more information about this? We live in this area and the description is very confusing. The only sign I have seen is on our block at the north end of 23rd Ave SW. I have sent an email to the DOT inspector. Thanks for that information.

  • SpeakLoud February 10, 2010 (9:16 pm)

    Oh this is so annyoing. I hate that they are building houses along this road anyway and now this! Ah-not cool dude.

  • Megan B February 10, 2010 (10:21 pm)

    Yeah- this is my main route out of our neighborhood. Six weeks seems a bit excessive with very little warning. Not happy about this, but we will obviously have to deal with it now, eh?

  • chas redmond February 10, 2010 (10:49 pm)

    So it seems the sensible thing to report on is why SDOT hasn’t done neighborhood notification – and even if KCMetro has been notified. I’d recommend calling SDOT’s new Director Peter Hahn and leaving him some questions to answer. This is the only easy way to get to and from SSCC – all other routes are a waste of time if you’re coming from the north end or any other section of the city. This sounds like something which is really unacceptable. I’m actually surprised, I thought the Street Permitting unit had recently improved things for pedestrians and now this?

    • WSB February 11, 2010 (12:42 am)

      Yup, followups in the works. If anyone who’s posted here lives ON the to-be-closed stretch of road and has not seen a doorhanger etc., would like to hear it, because that’s usually the answer we get back when we pursue these kinds of things – “the contractor alerted people within xx yards” …

  • pdog February 11, 2010 (6:15 am)

    From the West Seattle bridge you can take the first left onto SW Andover St and from what I can tell avoid this.

    I’m also interested in the 125 information. It might be time to dust off the bike…Alki B&B here I come.

  • Thistle February 11, 2010 (8:24 am)

    Our apartment is right on the corner of Oregon and Delridge and we have not received ANY notice at all of the street closure. Our garage entrance faces Oregon so it would sure be nice to know if they are going to allow neighborhood access or if we are going to have to park street side on Delridge for the next six weeks. I take the 125 to work as well, and there have been no notices about re-routes. Thanks to all of our naighbors and this blog for keeping us updated!

  • Chris February 11, 2010 (8:52 am)

    6 weeks to hook up 3 homes? Come on. To top it off they are the usual cookie cutter crap we see sprouting up everywhere. When they started the project I called the City to complain about their lack of erosion control on the site, which it doesn’t look they have addressed. No silt fences or any other measures are visible.

  • sam February 11, 2010 (9:04 am)

    It seems like the ‘coming from north to SSCC’ blockage on the 16th Ave repairs took 6- 8 weeks also. but, that was completed before fall quarter started.

    (the horror ! I said “their” instead of “they’re” in my old post I’m kicking myself)

  • HSG February 11, 2010 (9:51 am)

    This is totally unacceptable in my book. I live off SW Dawson and with the lack of through streets in this area detours are long and require quite a bit of extra time and mileage. Since this closure is only for the benefit of a private party, can all affected parties bill the contractor for excess milage and time lost during the duration of the closure?

  • Chris February 11, 2010 (9:59 am)

    Sam, that was for a pretty major street rebuild. Extending a sewer line to private residences shoud not take as long in my book.

  • Kevin February 11, 2010 (10:02 am)

    I also find it amazing that an important arterial street can be closed so easily and for so long without any public input. This is going to be a major headache for many of us residents and for quite a few students.

    I did some research. At SDOT, Rick Sheridan is the community relations guy, but he is out of town till 2/18 and his voicemail says to call Marybeth Turner. Her phone number is 206-684-8548. I called and left her a message asking for information. She called me back and said this:

    1. she is new to this issue and is just now learning more about the project
    2. they have to make a big hole on a narrow street and it must be closed to do the job
    3. the street will be open to pedestrians
    4. the street will be open to residents who live on 23rd

    She closed by saying that she is going to do more research into the issue of detours and traffic mitigation. She said she would get back to me with that info. I suggested that she also contact the West Seattle Blog and she said she would do that.

  • sam February 11, 2010 (10:43 am)

    Chris- I don’t disagree that it is an obnoxiously long closure for a private development. My point was just that people have been forced to adapt before.
    IMO, SDOT and Metro consider Puget Ridge the red-headed stepchild of the area, one example being that during the snowpocalypse, Metro detoured Rt. 125 around this windy, hilly arterial (Oregon/22nd/21st/Dawson) for a couple weeks, even though SDOT had plowed it all the way to 16th and down to White Center.

    getting in and out of the area due to closures like this is complicated by the topography and the distance between and scarcity of east/west connections to Delridge.

    but regarding bus re-routing- I do have neighbors that only bus to work, and walking up and over that hill down to Delridge isn’t easy or fast, especially if you’re in your 60’s. but I imagine people will do whatever they did during the 125 re routing last fall.

  • Rob J February 11, 2010 (10:48 am)

    Add me to the list of people who will be negatively impacted every day for six weeks, going to work and back on the 125.

    what a mess…. how many people who go to SSCC will be delayed?

    that a private developer can run roughshod over an entire section of a city, is astounding.

    who the hell is in charge of this? Why do i need to have word-of-mouth via a BLOG to get critical information like this???

  • Kevin February 11, 2010 (11:16 am)

    i honestly think that someone did not dot their i’s and cross their t’s here and that it may be possible to push this off until SDOT does more work groundwork to prepare for the closure.

    but, that means, people, that you have to complain!

    get on the phone, call your council members, etc. make them and SDOT accountable for being prepared for a closure like this. that means informing residents accurately and timely, setting up detours, dealing with the traffic that is going to go thru residential neighborhoods, etc.

  • or DPD map not updated ? February 11, 2010 (12:33 pm)

    strange- checked DPD’s activity locator map to check out the permits for this project.
    there was a land use permit application (application date 11/18/2009), but no construction permit identified on the map at this location. which seems strange because 2 of the houses are almost done. (even checked permit status for the new addresses created by the sub-plat land use application)- unless DPD’s website is not up to date or if I’m searching wrong- seems strange that they could apply for a street use permit without a construction permit.

    • WSB February 11, 2010 (12:39 pm)

      Or DPD map … The map is not always the ultimate source; I always use this:
      Assuming you have an exact address. For that, I usually wander around maps, and then take the address to the permit status search.

  • Kevin February 11, 2010 (12:59 pm)

    would it be part of the SIDE SEWER permit for 4544 23RD AVE SW?

    but when i go to that permit, i don’t see anything that seems to correlate with an arterial being closed off.

  • or DPD map not updated ? February 11, 2010 (1:24 pm)

    Kevin- that looks right- did not extend permitting dates to include that- looks like # 6117399

    Chris- it looks like there’s been TESC inspections, and they’ve passed.

  • Kevin February 11, 2010 (2:15 pm)

    marybeth turner called me back and told me:

    1. the permit is an SDOT permit and it is # 96082
    2. the builder is going to make the signs more informative by the end of the week
    3. the builder is paying $3000 to have 23rd closed for 50 days
    4. there will be two detour routes signed
    5. one detour route (north) is indeed to andover street along 21st ave sw
    6. the other detour route (south) is via sw orchard st
    7. locals are welcome to use hudson to get around the construction
    8. the road is too narrow to allow use of steel plates for off-hours access on 23rd

    she also said that she had sent additional information to the west seattle blog about this.

    • WSB February 11, 2010 (4:15 pm)

      Yes, I’d published a followup 25 minutes before your comment (1:49 pm) … I’d contacted her first thing in the morning with multiple questions. The signs already are “more informative” as I noted in comments on that story – at least, they both say 23RD SW at top.

  • Kevin February 11, 2010 (2:29 pm)

    sorry if this is TMI.


    Permit #96082

    Permit #: 96082
    Category: UTILITY PERMIT
    Permit Status: Open
    Permit Stage: License Issued
    Applicant Name: JOHN RISER
    Party Responsible for Future Permit Charges: JDR DEVELOPMENT, INC
    SEATTLE, WA 98106-
    Inspection District: WESTSEATTL

    Conditions of Use
    ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS: Install 200′ of new 12″ storm line and 210′ of 8″ sanitary sewer line in 23rd AVE SW between SW Oregon and SW alaska St.

    ARTERIAL PERMIT: ARTERIAL STREETS shall be open to its full driving width between the hours of 7-9:00am and 4-6:00pm weekdays. At all other times it may be reduced to one lane in each direction. Permittee shall contact King County/METRO Transit (684-2732) five days prior to starting any work which may affect bus stop zones or other bus operations. Maintain a 4-foot wide walkway for pedestrians around the work area. Permittee shall contact all residents who may be affected by this work at least 72 hours before the start of work. A minimum of one week’s advance notice shall be given by permittee to the affected businesses/residents when driveway or delivery access will be restricted. Access to all businesses shall be maintained during construction. All driveways will be cleared and accessible at the end of every work day. Permittee is responsible to have parking restriction easels up a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the need to clear parking within the construction zone. Parking restriction easels must show either the permittee’s or contractor’s name and phone number. Permittee shall coordinate this work with any other contractors working near its work zone to avoid conflicts. Tree roots 2″ or more in diameter shall not be cut or damaged. Permittee shall contact the City Arborist Office (684-7649) a minimum of two working-days prior to digging within the “drip line” of any street trees. No permanent restoration of street or alley pavement shall be done by permittee or its contra

    AS-BUILT DRAWINGS: Permitee agrees to provide to SDOT STREET USE INSPECTOR two sets of as-built drawings within 7 days of substantial completion.

    STREET RESTORATION: Cuts made in brick or decorative pavement shall be restored “in-kind”. Also, all concrete pavement cut or damaged by permittee will require the replacement of the entire concrete panel that has been damaged or cut. Permittee agrees to guarantee the integrity of its contractors’ backfill and permanent street/sidewalk restoration work for the period of time stipulated in the City of Seattle “Street And Sidewalk Pavement Opening And Restoration Rules” (SeaTran Director’s Rule 94-8). Permittee’s contractor shall immediately capture the concrete/water sludge produced from saw-cutting of sidewalk and street pavement to prevent the said sludge from: 1) flowing into the paths of pedestrians and vehicles; and, 2) entering the Seattle Public Utility’s storm water inlets and catch basins. Permanent restoration of an asphalt or asphalt overlay street, alley or other public place shall be completed in a manner acceptable to the Director of TransporTation. Permanent restoration shall include, at a minimum, the following, unless the Director of TransporTation determines that the permittee can otherwise make an equivalent restoration of the street, alley, or other public place: For any asphalt surface three(3) years old or less, new asphalt for the length of the cut and width of all lanes affected by the construction or other activity is required. For any asphalt surface where thirty percent(30%) or more of the width of any lane is affected by the construction or other activity, new

    INTEGRITY OF BACKFILL: Permittee also agrees to guarantee the integrity of the backfill and permanent street restoration work done in conjunction with this permit for the period of time stipulated in the City of Seattle “Street And Sidewalk Pavement Opening And Restoration Rules” (SDOT Director’s Rule 94-8). No permanent restoration of street or alley pavement shall be done by permittee or its contractor until a City of Seattle/SDOT-Street Use inspector has marked the periphery of the pavement to be repaired and/or replaced. The use of Uretek or materials similar thereto in the backfill will not be allowed without prior review and approval of the use of this material by the owners the underground utilties in which the backfill will come in contact with.

    BMPS AND RULES FOR USE 51: Construction Stormwater Control Technical Requirements Manual (Seattle 2009) E1.15 – Mulching and Matting Apply mulch to protect exposed soils and promote plant establishment. E1.40 – Permanent Seeding and Planting Install temporary surface runoff control measures prior to seeding or planting to protect the surface from erosion until the vegetation is established. Establish permanent vegetation (e.g., grasses, legumes, trees, and shrubs) as rapidly as possible to prevent soil erosion by wind or water. E1.45 – Sodding Establish permanent turf for immediate erosion protection or to stabilize drainage pathways where concentrated overland flow will occur. E1.50 – Topsoiling Preserve and use topsoil to enhance final site stabilization with vegetation and to provide a suitable growth medium for final site stabilization with vegetation. E3.25 – Storm Drain Inlet Protection Install storm drain covers on stormwater structures less than 12 inches deep during construction. Install catch basin filter socks in stormwater structures greater than 12 inches deep. Place the storm drain or catch basin grate on top of the catch basin filter sock to hold it in place. C1.20 – Use of Chemicals During Construction Use only the recommended amounts of chemical materials and apply them in a proper manner. Neutralize the pH of concrete wash water from concrete mixers, if necessary. C1.35 – Sawcutting and Paving Pollution Prevention Vacuum slurry and cuttings during the activity to prevent mig

    RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGE: Any damage to structure during and/or after installation shall be permittees responsibility to repair by procedure approved in writing by SDOT.

    STEEL PLATE REQUIREMENTS: Steel plates placed over cuts in the street and sidewalk shall have a non-skid surface; subject plates to be of sufficient strength and thickness to provide H-20 loading. Plates shall be anchored in accordance with the SDOT “Street And Sidewalk Pavement Opening And Restoration Rules”. Edges of all steel plates shall be shimmed with MC250 asphalt mix to provide for smooth transition. Asphalt shim shall not extend higher than the top of the steel plate. Where more than one steel plate covers a cut, subject plates shall not be overlapped or stacked on top of one another.

    TRAFFIC CONTROL REQUIREMENTS: Permittee shall submit traffic control plans to the SDOT-Traffic Control Programs office for any work necessitating the closure of one or more traffic lanes; subject plans to be submitted for review and approval a minimum of ten working days before the start of work.The traffic control plan shall include the following: 1. Vehicular and pedestrian routing, including lane closures, detours and time restrictions. 2. Proposed street closures and detours. 3. Proposed location of barricades, signing, temporary striping and other traffic control devices. 4. Arrangements for access to buildings or property within and immediately adjacent to work areas. 5. Anticipated traffic, bus zone and driveway blockage, and relocation resulting from construction operations. Include anticipated loss of bus, passenger, and truck loading zones. 6. Relocation or removal of on-street parking. 7. Use of flaggers and off-duty, uniformed, police officers. 8. All restrictions listed in traffic specifications. Access to all businesses shall be maintained during construction. Permittee shall contact all businesses, parking garages and lots, and residents who may be affected by the work to be done under this permit at least one week before the start of work. Temporary traffic lanes created during this work shall be a minimum of eleven feet in width. Along with having parking meters and load zone signs hooded, permittee is responsible to have parking restriction easels up a minimum of 48 hours in advance

    USE FEE CONDITION: As of January 1, 2004, all arterials will be assessed a “Use Fee” based upon square footage occupied at the rate of $0.10 per square foot per 10 days. This rate will be in effect in three (3) ten (10) day units for thirty (30) days; thence after thirty days the rate will increase. Permittee shall submit area of usage in all arterials and after 30 days in all non-arterials based upon lane width and length of work area.

  • 3dogslater February 11, 2010 (3:58 pm)

    Kevin you are on it. MY neighbor was freaking out. I actually live on 22nd so…still confused how this will work for garbage collection and our entering and exiting. $3,000 for 50 DAYS to close the street? 60 dollars a day seems like a really low amount for a Large inconvenience. I wonder how he swindled that good deal at our expense. Everyone that is directly impacted by the “builders” connvenience should consider an attorney and charge the contractor an “INCONVENIENCE FEE” and the city for not posting on local resident doors not everyone reads the WS blog.

  • Kathryn M February 11, 2010 (4:55 pm)

    I called Marybeth Turner. She was concerned, listened to what I had to say, and agreed to get back to me with the re-route details for Metro’s Route 125. I take this bus to and from work M-F and am (putting is mildly) disturbed by the possible service interruption.

    Marybeth said she thought the re-route would be something other than the snow route, but she would check to be sure. Friday (2/12) is a city furlough day and Monday is a holiday so the best I can hope for is a response on Tuesday. I will post whatever information I can get as soon as possible.

    • WSB February 11, 2010 (5:28 pm)

      The reroute information will come from Metro, whether it comes from Marybeth or not. I hope that KCDOT’s media liaison will answer my inquiry sooner, if they have determined it – TR

  • Kathryn M February 11, 2010 (5:25 pm)

    Post script: The closure being discussed here does not compare to the closure during the July-August rebuild on 16th Ave SW from a bus standpoint…it was inconvenient but route 125 still ran one way (uphill for me thank goodness). So only inbound riders were affected. And it was summer!

  • 3dogslater February 11, 2010 (5:48 pm)

    Who is the person who reviewed the permit for JDR DEVELOPMENT,INC Obviously the did not take into consideration the transporation issue and access for the elderly and disabled that libve at 22nd Ave… and what about Emergency vehicle access? That may need to access these area? It would make some sense if 23rd was open for the residents who lived on 22nd to cut across…I wonder why this wasn’t a consideration? I bet DOT Ron Angeles would be the man on campus for this answer I have left a vm in hopes of an answer. This city has allot of problems that maybe reforming to budget dollar bribery from anyone.
    Hey Kevin-
    Perhaps Mr.Block Scout Michael Dady would know why 23rd isn’t part of the access plan(oh but wait that will impact him)…his overuse of street signage for 22nd and 23rd is redundant and still people turn left onto 23rd..we have to look at all the ugly signage Thanks Mike D! Kinda Funny he isn’t involved in this uproar…

  • sam February 11, 2010 (9:01 pm)

    3dogs/ Kathryn M- regarding the bus- you’re right, I forgot the closure this past summer only affected the 125 in one direction.
    and then for people who take 125 from 18th Dawson, it’s uphill both ways ! – to Delridge and back (no ‘back in my day’ joking either).

  • Mike D. February 12, 2010 (5:43 am)

    3dogslater –

    -You are always welcome to engage in neighborhood issues such as traffic and pedestrian concerns, land use issues, transit issues, public safety, youth engagement, etc. via the North Delridge Neighborhood Council. I am no longer serving as a volunteer in any leadership capacity and am thrilled that there is leadership much savvier than I that volunteer their time to make North Delridge a better neighborhood for everyone.

    -The traffic pattern change, curb island and signage that occurred at the intersection of 22nd and 23rd Ave was designed by SDOT Engineering staff and was not what those of us that engaged in the 3.5 year long process wanted to see built. We had suggestions that we made to SDOT staff, but for various reasons, namely traffic site line and curbing radius safety codes our ideas were not able to be incorporated into the final design. The signage is something we had no control over. As the years go by you will see the plants that volunteers planted in the traffic island/choker give life to the intersection and help to soften the signage. Those of us engaged have also spoken of doing some landscaping in the Right Of Way across from the traffic island/choker, you are most welcome to join in this effort if you wish.
    -FWIW Even though there are lawbreakers on Puget Ridge, Pigeon Point and North Delridge that make the illegal turns, the overall volume of vehicles making the turns and speeding down this very narrow little road has decreased immensely. The result is that there are now regular dog walkers and children playing on what was once a racetrack void of people. All in all, I believe the end result, while not perfect was worth the effort. It is unfortunate that you apparently feel differently.
    Mike Dady

  • rob February 12, 2010 (8:34 am)

    More homes and still no grocery store on Delridge! Property values will slide unless there is more availablity and easy access to Food stores on one of West Seattle’s main vehicle routes.

  • mike February 19, 2010 (5:04 pm)

    I live on 20th, just north of Pathfinder (formerly Cooper). I came home from work and found No Parking Feb 22-Apr 8 easles all along this street and some others nearby. I don’t think I’m that close to the construction area, though. Can’t understand why these signs are on 20th. Some people, like myself, don’t have a driveway. I don’t know where we’ll park. Thanks for the 72 hour notice, SDOT.

    • WSB February 19, 2010 (5:13 pm)

      Hi, Mike. We published the no-parking info two days ago
      as one of several followups to our first report last week after an eagle-eyed commuter spotted the first sign about all this.
      If you are not already on the Pigeon Point Neighborhood e-mail list, I heartily recommend you sign up – while we will continue to cover this, since it affects people beyond that immediate area too, they are discussing it in granular detail that is of most interest to immediate-area residents like you – and the PP Neighborhood Council’s leadership is also pursuing answers and voicing concerns to SDOT.

  • mike February 19, 2010 (5:45 pm)

    Good advice, WSB. Thanks. Anybody else looking to join the Pigeon Point Neighborhood email list can find it here:

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