By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
While the major road project under way along much of Delridge Way right now is officially the RapidRide H Line conversion project, that doesn’t quite cover what’s happening – rebuilding miles of street in concrete, replacing old water pipes and other utility connections … and, eventually, installing high-tech bus stops.
The work began in June and has more than a year to go. We met with SDOT project-team members online Wednesday to talk about major work coming up.
But first – the story of what’s not happening, thanks to neighbors’ pushback. It’s a reason to pay close attention to what shows up in your mailbox or on your doorknob. Residents were surprised last week to get flyers like this about a plan for “diverters” on 26th at Genesee and at Brandon:
The neighbor who sent us that photo of the flyer said, “They are supposed to help calm traffic and help bicyclists, but the larger impact will be on residents in the area: Once installed, the diverter on Genesee will prevent residents on 26th south of Genesee from turning left [west] to head up to the commercial and services areas of The Junction and Admiral District–among others. In addition, residents heading west on Genesee will no longer be able to turn left [south] into their neighborhoods along 26th SW.”
The diverters were not in the original plan; SDOT’s project spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth says it was a relatively late addition. Nonetheless, he also tells us that SDOT heard neighbors’ concerns loud and clear and have dropped the plan. He says the West Seattle Bridge closure and COVID-19 teleworking have reduced the North Delridge cut-through traffic anyway – the traffic that was the target of the now-scrapped diverters.
As for the project overall, Ducksworth says it’s on schedule so far, with its 15-month first phase proceeding in multiple zones simultaneously. Some weekend and night work will start up soon. On the weekends of 8/8 and 8/15, for example, SW Genesee will be closed between 25th and Delridge (with traffic limited to “local access only” on Genesee east of Avalon). Delridge will remain open both ways; Metro Route 50 will be rerouted.
The weekend of August 8th, there will also be some nighttime water work at SW Edmunds.
One more project point: Businesses remain open, and SDOT says they are working with the city Office of Economic Development to ensure people are aware of this. Ducksworth says crews are ensuring that there’s always a way to access the businesses in the work zones, so don’t let the sight of construction chase you away from any of the restaurants and other small businesses along Delridge.
Watch for project updates every Friday; for a refresher on the full plans, the project website is here, with info on how to sign up for project updates, as well as how to reach the project team with questions/concerns.