TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: California SW reopens after tower crane goes up at PCC/Luna Apartments site

8:47 AM: Thanks for the tips! One week later than originally scheduled, the tower crane is going up right now at 2749 California SW, past and future home of the West Seattle PCC store (WSB sponsor), which will be beneath the Luna Apartments. Because of the installation, California SW is closed between Lander and Stevens.

This is West Seattle’s third current tower crane, along with The Foundry on the northeast Fauntleroy/Edmunds corner and the YMSA project at the former Alki Tavern site in the 1300 block of Harbor SW. PCC says it’s expecting to open the new store in mid-to-late 2019 (and is delivering to West Seattle in the meantime; the new Burien store is expected to open in “late spring” this year).

P.S. Although buses are being rerouted around the closure, as Kim pointed out via e-mail, there are no Metro alerts.

ADDED 12:20 PM: Progress report – the view from about 15 minutes ago as we passed through the area again:

We’ll check back by mid-afternoon.

7:38 PM: We’ve been going back and forth to check on the status. By early evening, the crane arm was going up:

Heading back that way one more time in a few minutes.

8:16 PM: Not open yet but many of the vehicles are gone.

10:35 PM: Just went back to check. Now open.

34 Replies to "TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: California SW reopens after tower crane goes up at PCC/Luna Apartments site"

  • Sandal45 April 14, 2018 (10:19 am)

    Traffic on Walnut behind the community center comes in droves and is white knuckle driving, lots of cars, metro buses, one lane due to parked vehicles. Not well planned …… imagine that

    • WSB April 14, 2018 (10:37 am)

      While this is the first crane installation affecting California SW since the 4730 project four and a half years ago, it won’t be the last (as we have reported, there are two early-stage proposals for The Junction, one at 4508, another at 4747), and I’ll be asking SDCI what the notification requirements are supposed to be. This wasn’t on the weekly SDOT “look ahead” list (which does include for example a downtown closure yesterday for a crane removal) nor on the Metro alerts list. – TR

    • My two cents ... April 14, 2018 (6:47 pm)

      @sandal45 – what would have been the solution? cut/divert traffic off at Admiral & California for those going southbound? 

      OK – it took another 90 seconds to get around – and I don’t think it was quite the “white knuckle” experience you stated.

      Give the planners/construction people a break!

      • newnative April 16, 2018 (11:36 am)

        Actually it didn’t just take “90 seconds to get around” for all. One bus driver was confused by the sign at Admiral and California and skipped the stop altogether, leaving any people waiting at the stop. There was a barricade that blocked the southbound lane of California  until someone went out and moved it. I was on a bus going northbound and we were stuck on the reroute at Hanford because one bus driver got confused and scared of driving past our bus. A passenger had to get out of that bus and assist him because he refused to go forward. It was insane. 

  • Lisa April 14, 2018 (10:44 am)

    Bummer that this wasn’t better planned/announced. I feel bad for West Seattle Runner as they are trying to celebrate their anniversary and drive traffic to the store…

  • neighbor April 14, 2018 (12:13 pm)

    PCC Burien is opening in May, according to this Seattle Times article. YAY!

  • MJ April 14, 2018 (12:25 pm)


    Welcome to the world of SDoT.  It seems that restricting parking on Walnut for a few hours during the California street closure would make sense


  • KT April 14, 2018 (12:55 pm)

    You can count on SDOT saying they learned something and similar such BS on Monday after everyone complains.  Same old story.  Developers cannot be inconvenienced, residents can.  

    • My two cents ... April 14, 2018 (6:48 pm)

      What would YOUR plan have been for getting people headed in a southbound direction?

  • Dissapointed small business owner April 14, 2018 (1:56 pm)

    As a business that is heavily affected by this closure, we received no notice this was happening. The only thing that tipped us off something was going on was coming to work a few days ago and seeing the no parking signs. We were not told about any of the construction plans and certainly were not notified the entire block would be closed to traffic.
    I spoke with the police officer at the north end closure and he told me that the construction company told him they spoke to all the businesses.  As the owner of the business next door to the construction, I assured him that no one told me anything. I also spoke to the business a few doors down, and they were not told anything either. 
    If we had known this was happening, we would have picked a different weekend to celebrate our stores anniversary.  This is disappointing on many levels, as they had the opportunity to talk to us but never did. If we had been aware of the plans, we could have done things differently. 

    • Sandal45 April 14, 2018 (2:31 pm)

      That completely stinks!!  Not only the traffic diversion through a neighborhood/Park. So sorry. I say celebrate your anniversary again (if you can). 

    • Tsurly April 14, 2018 (2:37 pm)

      It appears they were required to give you notice.

      • My two cents ... April 14, 2018 (6:51 pm)

        Thank you – maybe this will help dispel some of the knee-jerk reaction against the SDOT. Are they perfect? No. Do they do everything right? No. Do they make everyone happy? No. 

        Do they try and establish a process to alleviate these issues? Yes.

        • best policy April 14, 2018 (8:11 pm)

          Thanks for that, voice of reason.  Too often hyperbole and drama rule the day in these forums.  Much appreciated.    

    • Huck April 14, 2018 (11:07 pm)

      We are business owners on California and we were notified well in advance of this, so I’m not sure why the complaints. 

      • Business owner April 15, 2018 (2:25 pm)

        May I ask what business you own? And may I ask how you were notified? Was your business affected, and if not, what steps did you take to not have any issues with a street closure in front of your business? 
        I ask because this is going to happen again when they remove the crane, and you clearly have insight that I do not.

      • I Call BS April 16, 2018 (2:38 pm)

        I can only assume you own either the construction company or the crane company. 
        No one else seemed to know, business or resident.

  • Realdeal April 14, 2018 (3:47 pm)

    Developers have always taken priority over us. They have very effective lobbying groups. Nothing new. Back in ’95 a friend of mine was going to build a deck on his house in Maple Valley. He went in to get his building permit, sitting waiting for 2 hours. While there he saw many men going straight in. When he finally had his number called and went in to get his permit he asked the guy about all those he saw. The county guy told him “those guy’s are the builders and developers. They can’t afford to wait”  

    • KT April 14, 2018 (5:28 pm)

      Obviously nothing has changed.

  • Chris April 14, 2018 (5:19 pm)

    How long will the street be closed?

  • chemist April 14, 2018 (10:43 pm)

    I just made a run up California to the Safeway.  Northbound, the sign at Charleston is sort of in the road and directing to detour signs over to 49th.  It’s a long detour.  I was in the store for only a short while and decided to just risk going southbound on California on my return, having seen one of the Metro buses heading southbound on my leg to the store.  It turns out the construction site was inactive with some stuff still in the parking lane on the West side of the street, but no other activity interfered with the road.

    Maybe I was in some magical moment where the detour signs were in the process of being removed, but I’m rather disgusted with the crane erection crew for leaving the signs out like that, even along the detour route.  I hope SDOT fines them, heavily.

    • WSB April 14, 2018 (10:51 pm)

      I went through at the time stamped on my update above, 15 minutes ago, all clear both ways. But yes, the sign warning of a now-nonexistent detour was still up facing NB traffic at Charlestown.

      • chemist April 15, 2018 (12:11 am)

        Yes and coming north, my issue was if I should obey a sign about a detour that was in a parking lane/not fully blocking the travel lane or if I should ignore it entirely because I could squeeze by.  I’m fairly sure the signs are supposed to be entirely obscured by a cover/removed when not “active”.  The smaller detour signs were all still setup in parking lanes of the road along the NB detour route around 10:10 pm.

    • Dude April 15, 2018 (8:54 am)

      It is not the Crane Erection company’s job to notify people or remove signs and barricades. It’s up to the Site developer and in this case it is Chinn construction. 

      • chemist April 15, 2018 (9:47 am)

        Sure, ultimate responsibility is with the GE and property owner, but I would think a company that cared about how they operate would also consider how the traffic closure ends to be a part of closing down their operations for the day.

        Info about complaints for 2749 California Ave SW is available at

        • Dude April 15, 2018 (8:36 pm)

          They are there to do the part they are hired for. I am sure we all would enjoy having to stand and do that intense physical work up there for 12hrs in that weather. Then come down and spend another 45min waiting to make sure the other responsible who’s task it is of barricade removal.

          They build your schools, offices, apartments and public works, so you have a job and community and life. Try not to be so hard on a blue collar person for something they are not a part of. You could live in a city of falling decreped buildings.  

          • chemist April 15, 2018 (11:34 pm)

            I guess I have an old-fashioned idea of professionalism.  If your job entails work that often requires closing down a street, you go outside your strict responsibility to do it with compliance to city laws.  Sort of like how I think the once-charged “Does” who actually clear cut the trees in the WS greenbelt should have some culpability for not using tools to check land ownership of the area beyond backyard fences.

  • Resident April 14, 2018 (11:06 pm)

    Not only were the businesses not told, neither were the apartment residents. I was awakened at 515am to the noise of them setting up. I filed a complaint with DPD. 

  • carole April 16, 2018 (9:13 am)

    Detour sign was still at California/Charleston 9am Monday.  I called Chinn offices in Redmond and they said they would  send someone from the job site to remove it.

    • carole April 16, 2018 (2:53 pm)

      Sign was gone by noon.

      • WSB April 16, 2018 (3:06 pm)

        I should note, we are working on a followup, though I don’t expect to have gathered all the information by day’s end so more likely tomorrow.

        • chemist April 19, 2018 (10:43 am)

          FWIW, SDCI left a message saying that the street closure was under SDOT’s purview rather than an SDCI issue.

          • WSB April 19, 2018 (10:47 am)

            Yes, a street use permit. SDOT says they issued a citation to somebody but they won’t make it available without a PDR so that is in progress.

        • chemist April 20, 2018 (8:01 pm)

          I was e-mailed earlier today the citation was to chinn construction with warnings to inform the public/neighbors related to future street use.

Sorry, comment time is over.