West Seattle, Washington
Work will start tomorrow on the 47th/Admiral traffic signal and other pedestrian-safety components.
A week and a half ago, SDOT announced the project could start “as soon as” this week, and now we have the alert with details of what’s ahead:
The Seattle Department of Transportation will begin work to install a new traffic signal, new crosswalks and upgraded curb ramps at the five-leg intersection of 47th Avenue SW and SW Admiral Way at SW Waite Street. Crews will work at this location for up to four months.
Residents, businesses and travelers can expect to see crews and equipment in the area beginning tomorrow, March 10. Construction will begin with survey work and site preparation. Crews will begin saw cutting at the northeast corner of 47th Avenue SW and SW Admiral Way as soon as Wednesday, March 11, with demolition of the northeast corner to follow on Thursday, March 12. “No park” signs will be placed around the work zones prior to the start of work. We will notify adjacent properties prior to the start of work at a given corner.
Crews will begin work to demolish the existing curbs and prepare to set the foundation for new signal equipment. Crews will continue to work in preparation for installation of the signal but there may be a lull of activity between the corner work and installation of the new signal. The existing overhead pedestrian signal will remain in place until the new signal is operational and the crosswalks are marked. No impacts are expected to adjacent Metro bus stops.
During construction you can expect:
· Construction activity from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday to Friday
· Pedestrian and bicycle detours around work areas
· Temporary lane and parking restrictions during off-peak travel times on 47th Avenue SW, SW Admiral Way and SW Waite Street
· Noise, dust and vibration associated with concrete removal and paving
If you have questions or concerns during construction, contact Rachel McCaffrey, construction outreach lead, at email@example.com or 206-615-0925.
According to the city website, the contractor is CA Carey of Issaquah, awarded the contract for $352,026. That’s close to the projected $350,000 cost, but considerably less than expected when the City Council decided in 2013 to fully fund the signal. SDOT says the work will last about three months.
5:57 PM: Just dispatched: “Full response” for a possible house fire – smoke seen from the 4100 block of 36th SW, somewhere a few blocks west. More to come.
6:04 PM: Nothing was seen from that address; one unit thought they might have spotted a possible trash fire somewhere nearby, but for now, the entire call is closed/canceled. Will update if that changes.
6:09 PM: Our crew caught up with a fire investigator who tells us that they traced the smoke to a backyard barbecue. Nothing wrong, no problem, just a late-winter barbecue on a sunny evening.
4:31 PM: Police are just north of Morgan Junction looking for the second of two suspects in an apparent shoplift/robbery. It happened at the Westwood QFC, we’re told, and the robbers got away by bus. One is in custody, one being sought.
4:41 PM: Still piecing together information from scanner plus what police told us at the arrest scene by the northbound California/Fauntleroy RapidRide stop alongside Cal-Mor Circle (photo above). The robbery is reported to have involved pepper-spraying, which has become an all-too-familiar MO in cases like this.
TUESDAY MORNING NOTE: As we also posted in a comment, there’s a followup now – read it here. Toplines: SPD says 5 suspects were arrested, and explains that the robbery happened hours after the shoplifting, and happened at the bus stop itself, not the store (though that was the shoplifting location).
(WSB photo from February, looking at Terminal 5 from east Admiral)
Two developments today in the ongoing controversy over the Port of Seattle signing a lease for Foss Maritime to use a third of closed-for-modernization Terminal 5 in West Seattle to host Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet:
*MAYOR, CITY COUNCIL JUMP IN: The Department of Planning and Development is now under orders to review the plan to see if it complies with existing permits, as the port contends. This started with Councilmember Mike O’Brien drafting a letter and ask council colleagues this morning to sign on; by early afternoon, it morphed into this announcement:
Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council announced today that Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) will review, investigate and determine whether the plans at Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 to host Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling fleet are allowed under the current Shoreline Substantial Development Permit granted to Terminal 5.
Reports indicate that Shell Oil would moor vessels that are returning from drilling in the Arctic. In the past, Shell’s drilling fleet has needed extensive repairs, maintenance and conversions after returning from a season of drilling. These activities may substantially change Terminal 5’s use and require new, different permits than the one currently granted by DPD which could require additional environmental review if the Port wishes to move forward with the lease.
“Any project of this apparent significance to our industrial lands must go through the appropriate review. It’s important that the public and surrounding businesses are informed of all the possible impacts of this lease – both economic and environmental – and that these impacts are sufficiently disclosed and evaluated,” Murray said. “This is why I’m directing DPD to conduct a thorough review of the Terminal 5 proposal and determine if the anticipated activities at the terminal involving the Shell drilling fleet require new permits before it can proceed.”
“I have grave concerns about Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling fleet coming to Puget Sound in a damaged state, discharging oil and other toxic pollutants along our shorelines during transport and repair, jeopardizing the local ecosystem and undoing decades of work to clean up the Sound,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “Shell’s track record with the Noble Discoverer in the Arctic includes eight felony offenses relating to environmental and maritime crimes, such as discharging oil-contaminated water directly overboard, which is simply unacceptable.”
“For years the Port and the City have worked together to develop rational solutions and develop alternative treatment technologies to reduce pollution in the Duwamish and Elliott Bay,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. “While the immediate value of a lease to repair Arctic drilling equipment may appear to be high, we believe this agreement is shortsighted and ignores the long-term costs to our economy and environment.”
The current permit, called a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit, designated Terminal 5 as a “cargo terminal” – usually meaning goods are stored and ultimately transferred from this terminal to other carriers or locations. But if the Arctic drilling fleet is actually being moored and repaired at Terminal 5, there could be significant and adverse impacts on the surrounding environment. As part of DPD’s investigation and fact-finding, the Department will begin working with the Port of Seattle to clarify all of the activities anticipated at Terminal 5, including, but not limited to, the types of vessels to be moored and the maintenance and repairs to be conducted.
*PORT COMMISSION MEETING TOMORROW: A spokesperson for the environmental coalition that filed a lawsuit last week to try to get the lease canceled says they’re expecting a big turnout at tomorrow’s Port Commission meeting. As they did at the February 24th commission meeting, they plan to again ask commissioners to cancel the lease. As quoted here last week, a port spokesperson said they believe they’ve complied with the environmental and permit regulations. The lease is not officially on the agenda for tomorrow’s commission meeting (1 pm, Sea-Tac Airport conference room), but an open-public-comment period is.
No chance for the daily preview this morning but while we have a quick moment before more news rushes in, here are three notes for tonight:
HIGHLAND PARK ELEMENTARY PTSA: Potluck meeting for parents tonight – dinner at 5:30 pm, meeting at 6. (11th/Trenton)
FREE PEACE WORKSHOP: 6:30 pm at the Delridge Uptown Espresso, with experts in peacebuilding, including the Peace Alliance‘s national field director. (Delridge/Andover)
DENNY INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE SCHOOL PTSA: 7 pm in the school library, with topics including “walking safety and the school budget for the upcoming year.” (2601 SW Kenyon)
(And as always, you’ll see more if you browse our calendar.)
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports this morning:
WOMAN ATTACKED, ROBBED: A 20-year-old woman was hit from behind and knocked to the ground during a strong-arm robbery at 14th/Henderson (map) around 9:40 last night. We just obtained the police report and it added that detail to what a reader told us in e-mail, saying the victim “was attacked by two young female assailants. They stole her phone and wallet, using a knife to cut the backpack off her back while kicking her in the face and chest.” We asked how she’s doing: “She is cut up and bruised but otherwise unhurt.” No descriptions in either report.
ABANDONED CAR: From North Delridge, this photo of a suspected stolen car, abandoned at 26th and Graham (map), door hanging open, rear window broken out:
The resident who sent the photo says she has contacted police.
From a two-part briefing on the Highway 99/Viaduct project (and side issues) that just concluded at this morning’s Seattle City Council meeting:
99 LANE CLOSURES POSTPONED, BUT TONIGHT’S CLOSURE STILL ON: The big breaking news came mid-briefing – WSDOT apparently has heeded the observations that the work that was going to lead to weeks of lane closures north of downtown is NOT urgent, and they’ve decided to postpone it TFN. The work was to pour foundations for signs that won’t even be needed until the tunnel opens. However, tonight’s overnight closure of NB 99 north of the Battery Street Tunnel, in order to remove the “Mercer wiggle,” IS still on.
Also on the subject of closures:
INSPECTION CLOSURE: When WSDOT started its part of the briefing, it was revealed that the next major inspection closure of the entire Viaduct will be the last weekend of this month, March 28-29. We’re checking to see if that will be a wall-to-wall all-weekend closure, or a “6 am to 6 pm each day” closure.
TUNNEL MACHINE UPDATES: WSDOT’s Matt Preedy went through the steps of how the machine’s cutterhead will be dissembled.
(Added: 11:38 am screengrab from repair-pit camera)
The main piece is likely to be lifted toward the end of this month, and if all goes well, the machine could restart in August, he said. (See the WSDOT slide deck here.)
CITY BRIEFING: The council-meeting discussion began with an SDOT update on the in-progress “what if the Viaduct had to be closed before the tunnel is open?” SDOT leaders stressed that this is NOT intended to make people think a closure is expected, just that they are continuing to make sure the city is ready just in case. One unsettling point, though – the amount of bus service that would be needed to help mitigate a longterm Viaduct shutdown would take two years to ramp up. (See the SDOT slide deck here.)
Over the weekend, we started getting questions about what happened to the drive-or-ride-up drop-off mailbox at the Westwood Village Post Office – it was suddenly gone, with no sign to say what happened or whether it would return. We checked first thing this morning with regional USPS spokesperson Ernie Swanson, who replied, “The collection box was hit by a car and incurred significant damage and had to be removed. A new one has been ordered.” No word yet on the expected timeline; in the meantime, the lobby maildrop at Westwood is open 24/7, or you can go to the drive-or-ride-up mailbox at the Junction Post Office (4412 California SW).
(Rendering from final Design Review meeting, 11/2014, by Johnston Architects)
One West Seattle project on this morning’s city Land Use Information Bulletin: Land-use-permit approval is in for 3824 California SW, site of the four-years-closed Charlestown Café, where 27 townhouse/live-work units are planned. You can read the decision here, including conditions the project will have to meet, and a parking assessment (26 spaces are planned along the alley on the site’s east side; the study projects the townhouses and live-work units will generate nightly demand for 20+ more spaces, which are expected to be available on the streets alongside the site).
Publication starts the clock on a two-week window for anyone who wants to appeal the decision – the official notice links to this page explaining how. We’ll be asking developer Intracorp if they have a date yet for demolition of the four-years-closed café. Checking county records, we note the sale of the site closed last month, in two parts (different owners), just under $1.8 million for the half-acre on the north side, just over $1 million for the quarter-acre on the south side.
SIDE NOTE: This was not the first redevelopment proposal for the site; a 2006-2007 proposal to build a standalone Petco on the site had big trouble in Design Review and was finally scrapped in 2008; a mixed-use proposal emerged shortly after the café’s closure in spring 2011, but had fallen through within a year; the townhouse proposal was first reported here in June 2013.
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Good morning! As we get going with this morning’s commute watch, several road-work alerts and other transportation-related notes for the week ahead:
53RD AVENUE PUMP STATION: Seattle Public Utilities announced a week of work on the waterfront pump station, affecting the sidewalk and road at 53rd/Alki – here’s the notice.
47TH/ADMIRAL TRAFFIC SIGNAL: The city has announced that work could start as soon as this week – here’s the notice.
15TH/ROXBURY CABLE INSTALLATION: The mobile sign for this work was changed by week’s end, saying it’s been extended through Wednesday (instead of ending by last Friday).
DELRIDGE/ANDOVER/23RD WORK CONTINUES: Here’s the notice.
If you spot major West Seattle road work that’s *not* on our list, please let us know so we can include it. Also of note this week:
HIGHWAY 99 NORTH OF DOWNTOWN: Northbound 99 from the Battery Street Tunnel to Valley Street, the highway will be closed overnight tonight. Then starting Wednesday morning, several weeks of lane closures in both directions will begin, north of the tunnel. It’s all related to the ongoing Highway 99 project; an overall update is expected at this morning’s City Council meeting, just after 10 am, and WSDOT plans to brief reporters at the tunnel-machine repair pit early this afternoon.
HACK THE COMMUTE: If you’re tech-expert or tech-inclined and want to be part of the upcoming local Hack The Commute hackathon on March 20th, sign up fast.
8:29 AM: A little trouble on northbound 5, per WSDOT via Twitter:
A collision has the left lane of NB 5 south of Seneca blocked. pic.twitter.com/TvGdSxEg9c
— WSDOT Traffic (@wsdot_traffic) March 9, 2015
P.S. Just to make sure you saw it – the lane closures on 99, mentioned above, are now ON HOLD TILL FURTHER NOTICE. But the overnight closure tonight is still on.