South Transfer Station: Why it looks like it’s being taken apart

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.)

10 Replies to "South Transfer Station: Why it looks like it's being taken apart"

  • TeeTaw September 16, 2011 (10:28 am)

    It is my understanding that the WRONG paint was applied in the first place and that is why they are having to tear it down. That info based from a contractor who is working on sight.

    Just sayin’.

    • WSB September 16, 2011 (10:33 am)

      TT – we do the best we can with the info we can get. This isn’t even technically in our coverage area but since so many people from here drive by it, and because there’s no neighborhood site in that area – we do cover South Park to some degree, anyway, since like WC it’s another WS neighbor – people asked us about it, so we asked SPU. Anyone who wants to go on the record with that contention is welcome to contact me and I will go back to SPU with it … – TR

  • RobertSeattle September 16, 2011 (10:38 am)

    Seems like if they had 3 Million in spare change putting some solar on that huge roof would have been a good idea as well.

  • DMH September 16, 2011 (10:59 am)

    I think the $3 million that was referred to was in reference to the amount of money that would be saved in the long term not the actual cost of switching to a new paint.

  • WTF September 16, 2011 (11:59 am)

    I think TT is right. This city has a very hard time doing it’s du-diligence FIRST. We *get* that the $3 mil is amortized over the life of the structure, but wonder what that life span is, how it was determined, how maintenance costs were attributed within that life, and if they deducted the costs to tear down and rebuild. Just sayin’, too.

  • metrognome September 16, 2011 (1:42 pm)

    want some cheese and crackers with that whine? If you can do better, go to work for the city. Just sayin’

  • Cascadianone September 16, 2011 (3:14 pm)

    I would guess that the contractor is a friend of somebody important and is just pushing the costs up to the allowable cap per the contract (assuming there is a cap). SPU’s spokesperson is just spinning a tale to calm ruffled feathers. As long as they are employing a bunch of people at a good wage, it probably doesn’t benefit us to dig too deeply on this one… Never know when you might really need to paint a steel girder for the fifth time to keep your house or feed your kid. *sigh* I kind of hate that I even wrote that, but we are in that ole prisoner’s dilemma.

  • Sweoda September 16, 2011 (5:24 pm)

    Oh, I wondered what they were building. Must have missed the story, but can’t miss the construction.

  • Donn September 21, 2011 (7:06 pm)

    So sit all those idle construction workers probably on unemployment while they wait for this to get painted. I also doubt they would have spent $3 million on maintenance for some paint choices. That is why we have the highest rates in the nation for SPU.

  • julesr October 9, 2011 (1:42 pm)

    If the project is still going to be completed on time, there will be some overtime happening to get back on schedule. I just wonder how much it is costing to save $3 million; if it was the wrong paint put on in the 1st place then the contractor gets the privilege of footing the bill of the deconstruction. The final audit should be very interesting indeed.

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