West Seattle, Washington
Another round of tidal extremes has arrived – if you’re up for a late-night low-tide walk, it’s the lowest tide of the month just after 11 pm (-2.7), and almost that low tomorrow night (-2.5) at quarter till midnight. The morning high tides this week are the “king tides” awaited each year, and the <strong>National Weather Service has a Coastal Flood Advisory out for some possible overflow tomorrow: The predicted high tide is 12.6 feet at 6:19 am tomorrow, building toward 13.0 high tides at 7:39 am on Christmas Day (that’ll be the morning high tide for the two days afterward, too). Read more about it on the city’s Convergence Zone website.
That’s the Davis house at 4152 46th SW (map). Duane Davis shares photos and datapoints:
We have 10,000 lights with mix of traditional and LED. Come enjoy the Cotton Candy trees and drive up the block for more lights from our neighbors. The last picture was taken of our Hawks flag flying among the Christmas lights:
It was taken by my daughter following the Hawks win in Phoenix. Go Hawks! Merry Christmas from the Davises.
And another bold and bright display – this next photo’s from Valerie:
This one’s at 3431 48th Ave SW (map). Any other lights folks should see, yours or others’? Send a photo and address! firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
Another “pit” update tonight – this time, for the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project‘s million-gallon-tank pit across from Lowman Beach. As tank construction begins, King County Wastewater Treatment says the next two major concrete pours – with half the truck volume of the big one earlier this month, but sizable nonetheless – are now postponed until after Christmas. Click (if you’re on the home page) or scroll for the full update:
That’s an estimate made by the contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners BEFORE the recent discovery of “settling” in the area; WSDOT just disclosed the date today, as part of a general pre-holiday update. The update also says that while no new settling has been detected near the pit being built to retrieve the cutter head of the broken-down tunneling, machine, settling elsewhere “is greater and farther reaching than anticipated. Engineers are still evaluating whether other factors are involved that could explain the discrepancy. We will continue to conduct daily inspections of the viaduct and watch the survey data closely as STP moves forward with their work. As we write this, we’re on a conference call with other reporters and reps from WSDOT and STP – we’ll be adding more details shortly.
ADDED 3:19 PM: The conference call is over; from WSDOT, it included project executive Matt Preedy and spokesperson Laura Newborn, and from Seattle Tunnel Partners, executive Chris Dixon, plus local/regional/national reporters.
Among the many points of note:
-The August 2017 date that debuted today was described as coming from the “October update” by STP. We asked why it wasn’t mentioned before, not even during the official stakeholders’ briefing (at which we were the only news org on hand) in early December. STP explained that these updates – which WSDOT now plans to make public – take several weeks to assemble, so the “October update” is just being parsed now. (Which means, they acknowledged, we won’t know full details of the “November update” – which would still not include this month’s turbulence – until January, and so on.)
-The schedule will remain “dynamic,” said WSDOT’s Preedy, until the tunneling machine is back in operation. (In other words, even the new August 2017 date is nowhere near set in stone.)
-Excavation of the pull-the-cutter-head-out-for-repairs pit is on hold now for two weeks, and not expected to resume until early January. Digging stopped on Friday, about three days after WSDOT had said it could resume. Some non-structural pilings, explained in the official online update, are being pulled out before they start going to the next level. STP’s Dixon explained that digging had been done in stages, about six feet at a time, before an evaluation of where everything stood. At the completion of the most recent stage – to 90 feet in pit depth, aka “-74 in elevation” – they decided to pause for piling removal.
-Would it have been quicker, in hindsight, to approach the tunnel-machine repair project from the south/interior? STP insisted it’s happy with its choice to build the pit to try to hoist the cutter head out, even though it’s of a magnitude that has never been done before, given the machine’s record size, etc., and has “been more difficult than anticipated.”
-The settlement of the Viaduct itself, when recalculated as explained in the online update, will likely be a bit less than estimated, but the settlement causes in the area remain a mystery, and an investigation continues.
-As for the big issues – who pays for all this unanticipated work? – the state continues to point out that this is a “design-build contract” and that STP is expected to do whatever it takes to fulfill that. Pressed on certain specifics, WSDOT’s Preedy said he didn’t think it “appropriate for either party to speculate” on how it’s all going to be worked out.
-About the “70 percent complete” recent proclamation, today’s answer seemed to mostly boil down to, that’s the percentage STP has been paid.
P.S. To see the “October schedule” from which the August 2017 open-to-traffic projection was pulled, go here. WSDOT also has published the September schedule, which also seems to project that same month (albeit a couple weeks earlier than the Oct. “schedule”).
When 37-year-old Admiral resident Duane Atwood was charged last July in connection with an indecent-exposure incident on Beach Drive, prosecutors said they expected to charge him “soon” for alleged telephone threats against an acquaintance. We’ve been watching court files ever since. This month, he was charged with one count of felony harassment, and his bail was doubled to $500,000.
When the Seattle Design Commission gave its qualified approval last year to The Whittaker, West Seattle’s biggest development project ever (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW), they told the project team they’d have to come back when certain aspects of the project finished taking shape.
That return visit happened on Thursday, and revealed more details of the art and landscaping that will surround the building. We’ve since obtained the full slide deck shown at the meeting (see above), which resulted in some suggestions by the commission, whose role in the project is related to the fact it required an alley vacation (subsequently approved by the City Council this past April).
BLOOD DRIVE IN GATEWOOD: If you can donate blood, consider stopping by Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood sometime between 1 and 7 pm (except for the 3-4 pm break time) to donate during today’s drive. Details here. (39th/Thistle)
ART EXTRAVAGANZA FOR TEENS: First day of no school & looking for a teen-friendly activity? 2-4 pm at Delridge Branch Library, jump into an arts/crafts project during today’s Teen Space. *Note that city libraries are closed Christmas Eve & Day. (5423 Delridge Way SW)
SANTA CLAUS: Find him today at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), 3 pm-7 pm. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)
SHOP LOCAL! Even if your favorite local store isn’t usually open Mondays, today it just might be. Example: Thunder Road Guitars at 3916 California SW, open 11 am-5 pm. Some stores might be open later than you think – Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW) is open 10 am-8 pm. Curious Kidstuff at 4740 California SW is open 9:30 am-7 pm on Monday. (All 3 are WSB sponsors and just a sampling of many stores we think you’ll find open today!) We have other local-shopping notes in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, where you’ll also find links to our Christmas Eve/Day restaurant and grocery info. (Anyone with local-shopping info to add for tonight/tomorrow/Wednesday? Please e-mail us ASAP – email@example.com – thanks!).
(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:57 AM: Today marks the start of what we’ll call holiday week #1 – first week of winter break for schools, meaning more people on vacation overall, which should mean lighter traffic.
Metro service is normal (except for the “no UW” cancellations) today and tomorrow, and then reduced service kicks in through New Year’s Day; the “reduced weekday” schedule starts Wednesday (Christmas Eve) and continues through the first Friday of the year (except for Christmas and New Year’s Days, both Sunday schedules).
11:29 AM: If you are headed this way via I-5 northbound, from somewhere to the south, be forewarned there is a 2-mile backup because of an incident just south of the exit to the West Seattle Bridge, per WSDOT.
Zippy’s Giant Burgers proprietor Blaine Cook was expecting today to be one last full day of business before an early closure Tuesday for the staff party, and then a long holiday break. Instead, Zippy’s will be opening a bit later than usual today because he has to buy a new cash register – to replace one stolen by burglar(s) who broke a door to get in. He told WSB he’s not sure what time it happened; a family member who comes in to clean around 4 am discovered the broken glass and missing register.
The cash register is
the only thing taken, according to Cook (update – Zippy’s Facebook post says, a safe too) – the burglar(s) didn’t even take the champagne that was awaiting the staff party. No surveillance video – no camera – but that, he says, will have to change. Since Zippy’s is in the unincorporated area (9614 14th SW), the King County Sheriff’s Office is investigating; deputies were just leaving as we arrived. You’ll recall the Greenbridge area had a spate of business burglaries last month; Zippy’s is several blocks west of there.