Work you’ll see soon on 26th SW in Westwood – but not repaving, yet

(WSB photo)

If you’ve traveled 26th SW between SW Roxbury and SW Barton, you’re familiar with its problematic pavement. It’s been an issue for years, with the road serving as a busy bus corridor, and nearby residents complaining the traffic shakes their homes. Some road panels were repaired in 2016. But the problem continues, and resident Richard tipped us that neighbors have just gotten this notice of upcoming testing:

SDOT pointed us to Metro for more information. From spokesperson Travis Shofner:

Those notices went out from our contractor to notify residents of the area of upcoming work. As part of the permitting process with the City of Seattle, before any paving work can be done, we have to perform environmental testing of the existing conditions of the pavement. Our goal is to pave the center travel lanes of that section of 26th as part of the H Line, pending funding availability. Partial funding for the H Line project comes from the Regional Mobility Grant that was impacted by I-976. It’s unclear if those funds will be available or not. However, we’re moving forward with the environmental testing for the project.

The H Line project is the conversion of Metro Route 120 into a RapidRide line, also scheduled to include paving work on much of Delridge, starting next year, although the H Line launch isn’t planned until September 2021.

12 Replies to "Work you'll see soon on 26th SW in Westwood - but not repaving, yet"

  • Jim November 25, 2019 (5:47 pm)

    Why do they need more bore holes. Didn’t they figure this out in 2016 when they replaced the other chunks of this very road in the same area with the same problem?  

    • AMD November 25, 2019 (6:31 pm)

      The comment from Metro seems to imply that they have to do the environmental testing every time they want a permit so new testing, new permit?  I’m glad they’re fixing the road here, but it would be nice if they planned to fix ALL of it, not just the currently-failing part.  It’s just a matter of time before the rest of it is an issue too.

  • 1994 November 25, 2019 (9:07 pm)

    The buses are ruining these concrete road panels. Everywhere you see concrete panels they are sinking.  Look at the bus parking zone on Barton – those panels are sunk in 2 or 3 inches. And further west on Barton the panels are sinking….It really only seems to have started happening with the increased bus service. Prior to the frequent bus runs the concrete panels didn’t have these sinking problems. The testing that should be done is how to prevent this from happening again so they don’t keep repairing the same problem over and over. 

    • Pilsner November 26, 2019 (5:59 am)

      Dont blame the busses, blame th bed the ground the road is built on.

  • JRR November 25, 2019 (9:36 pm)

    Pretty sure the Barton concrete sinking is because it’s all sitting on a bog/wetland area where a creek used to flow and shouldn’t have ever been turned into city grid, but I guess this is what we’ve gotten ourselves into.

  • Rick November 26, 2019 (8:00 am)


  • Quincy November 26, 2019 (6:24 pm)

    The damage to these road panels is 100% directly caused by the enormous weight of articulated buses. To blame the “ground the road is built on” is ridiculous. Is it just coincidental “bad ground” is only found on roads where buses travel?  Bus weight has been a major concern for years. King County should be held responsible to absorb most of the costs of repair NOT the taxpayers in the City of Seattle. 

    • Chiming In November 26, 2019 (7:31 pm)

      Actually Quincy, both you and Pilsner are correct. First it is a matter of the underlying geology, especially in this area. The problem seems to be with incorrect initial engineering assessment of the roads structural needs (busses may have gotten bigger too, your point).  A good profile of the underlying geology (the boring they are doing) should answer those questions. I am not an engineer though, maybe one could chime in.

    • Under_Achiever November 27, 2019 (7:19 am)

      Quincy — the $$ for Metro comes from the taxpayers.  Metro plays with house money with little incentive to spend it responsibly.  

  • 1994 November 26, 2019 (10:34 pm)

    I have lived in WS for 26 years. The roads only got this bad with the increased bus service, the more frequent runs have been hard on the roads. 

  • anonyme November 27, 2019 (7:22 am)

    The water in Roxhill bog disappeared at the same time the new concrete was laid for the Westwood bus layover.  There used to be outlets from the bog on Barton that were paved over.  Where did the water go?   Common sense would dictate that this is an engineering failure due to the combination of geology and heavy buses.

  • Marty2 November 27, 2019 (8:46 am)

    Hopefully they take a look at the Barton Place roadway too (between Westwood and Delridge Way).  It’s not bad now, just some minor displacement; however, with the increase in bus traffic from the future H-Line I expect this roadway will break down like 26th SW if nothing is done.

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