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:
The elected officials during the piñata countdown:
The proximity of airports was hard to forget, with frequent flyovers:
South Park’ers were in a jubilant mood:
At virtually every event involving a major public-works project, there’s a labor-group show of strength:
Southwest Precinct’s top two law enforcers, Capt. Steve Paulsen (left) and Lt. Pierre Davis, were spotted talking with Admiral resident Karl de Jong:
A rep for every agency involved in bridge funding got a souvenir from the old bridge:
Two of the Seattle electeds on hand, Councilmember Mike O’Brien and Mayor McGinn, paused to watch the mariachi street performance:
The party was scheduled to continue on into the night.