4 bridge notes as the 16th week of its closure appraches:

RECONNECT WEST SEATTLE: Tomorrow’s the aay that SDOT has said it will go public with ballots to vote on potential projects that can help with bridge-closure-related traffic in four areas – Highland Park/Riverview/South Delridge/Roxhill, as well as South Park, Georgetown, and SODO. Each area’s ballot will ask you to choose up to 10 of the projects; voting will be open until the end of the month.

COMMUNITY TASK FORCE: This advisory group’s fourth meeting is scheduled for Wednesday (July 8th), noon-2 pm. We’ll publish the link for real=time viewing as soon as we get it from SDOT.

FEDERAL FUNDING? Our area’s U.S. House Rep. Pramila Jayapal – a West Seattle resident when not in D.C. – says she’s pushing for it. Last week she mentioned the bridge on the House floor, and tweeted the clip:

In her latest weekly newsletter, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold says she’s working with Rep.Jayapal on that.

SPEAKING OF $: Seen on the city website, another “request for statement of qualifications” – this time for a consultant to handle communications, although the description targets “qualified engineering firms,” not communications firms. Whoever’s hired is expected to get $5 million over three years.

40 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: 4 notes"

  • Zander July 5, 2020 (10:17 pm)

    I think what I read was ‘REPAIR BRIDGE’ not ‘build a new tunnel’

    • ScubaFrog July 6, 2020 (10:26 am)

      A repair may give us 1 lane of traffic each way, who knows so far.  We just don’t know yet.  We’re still waiting for all of the data to be able to make an informed decision this summer, and there seem to be a few options open.  A tunnel being 1 of the few potential solutions.

  • Shadowtripper July 6, 2020 (7:35 am)

    Why is it that every time we need something done it gets shipped out to a outside firm that gets paid millions of dollars to do what we pay our local government to do with tax dollars?   Why are we asking for public votes on issues that the City should be making and held responsible for their decisions?  What has happened to our park maintenance employees?   Have we furloughed them for the last 4 months shutting down the simplest jobs like mowing.   Edging a lawn must not be mandatory anymore & weeding is too much labor I suppose.  Good examples are the traffic dividers on Admiral & on Alki Ave.  doesn’t anyone care anymore?  SDOT May have that responsibly on traffic dividers which reflects on the how they handle current bridge/traffic issues.  If someone can’t do their job find someone that can.  Stop filling the government with people that fail to take responsibility for their actions.  We tax successful business’ and wash those dollars into the unsuccessful local government. Taxing without representation seems unAmerican.  Oops I’ve forgotten we aren’t Americans anymore.  

    • DRC July 6, 2020 (10:31 am)

            You are so right in your comment except,  for the American part I am still a American in fact a Native American I was born here.

    • wscommuter July 6, 2020 (10:41 am)

      In your ranting, you forgot to mention that we should also Make America Great Again.  You wouldn’t want to forget that.  But to address the first (ignorant) question you pose … because no governmental agency anywhere maintains the engineering expertise to design and construct large complex bridges … such projects are one-offs so state and local governmental entities routinely hire the experts who design these things around the world.  If you are under the delusion that SDOT should have that kind of expertise in-house with some savings in costs associated with that, you’re truly uninformed about how the real world works.     

    • max34 July 6, 2020 (11:42 am)

      holy jesus, first time seeing how government works?   every single city government hires consultants to do the work that they (the city) manages.   they cannot possibly have the staff available for all projects.   do you think we have all the national experts in structural engineering locally?  its smart practice to do what they’re doing.   plus, government pay is terrible, you’ll never have the best people working there.  only those who A) care very much about the city and want to right or B) know it’s generally safer in terms of job-stability than being in the private industry.  and yeah, i think weeding and edging are pretty low on the list of priority actions right now.  

    • HappyCamper July 6, 2020 (12:59 pm)

      Hiring experts is a good idea to get it done “right” and also mitigate risk for the city. The city doesn’t have bridge repair experts hanging out on the payroll and if something goes wrong the liability rests on the engineers who stamped it not the city.The surveys sound like a nice gesture but yeah I agree get some “expert” opinions and make a decision. But then people will complain they didn’t get opinions. 

    • David Lakey July 6, 2020 (8:52 pm)

      Mostly agree. Let’s get mowing! Genesee Park and dog park also look like 3rd world country. Where is the basic admin of the city? Where is the management team??

  • Mike July 6, 2020 (8:27 am)

    We should build a tunnel like Detroit did. It’s prefabricated and then sunk into river bed.

    • b July 6, 2020 (8:59 am)

      Also, why does this need to be an either or choice. Why not build a tunnel? In a number of years when the bridge goes out again(and will) we could use the tunnel… The low bridge is not a good option for anyone that lives nearby.

      • bill July 6, 2020 (1:31 pm)

        B: Sure, we could also build a tunnel. And not connect it to the street grid. If you want it connected, at the same time the bridge is in use, that will be an interesting problem to solve. 

        • Michael A. Monteleone July 6, 2020 (6:44 pm)

          Perhaps you could explain that statement with more detail. It appears you’re saying neither choice would work?

    • Also John July 6, 2020 (9:10 am)

      @Mike……..    An Immeresed Tube Tunnel has been talked about for months.  A local retired engineer has been kind enough to host online presentations about the efficiencies of ITT construction.

  • B July 6, 2020 (8:57 am)

    Advisory votes are a typical Seattle thing. They ask for everyone’s opinion on a matter, and typically do exactly the opposite. See Safeco(T-mo park) Field for example. The last thing West Seattle needs is an advisory vote, we need action.

    • bill July 6, 2020 (1:38 pm)

      B– Get your history straight. The vote against replacing the Kingdome was county-wide. The state legislature decided the Mariners needed a free stadium and imposed various taxes in King County to pay for it. Nothing Seattle-specific was involved, apart from the traffic impacts we have to live with.

  • Mj July 6, 2020 (8:59 am)

    Repairing the bridge needs to be priority one, all indications are that it is fixable.  As a parent of a toddler the bridge closure makes afternoon jaunts to the zoo unworkable, afternoon hiking in North Bend not doable due to the significant time impact of the re-route.  

    Further the City still has not identified a mitigation plan to provide all day bus service throughout WS when things open up.  I do not want to hear budget constraints, the City has money and simply needs to allocate it accordingly.

    • Question Authority July 6, 2020 (12:28 pm)

      It’s jaunts like yours that add to the traffic and wear out the roads and bridges, ever think about that?

    • Ookla the Mok July 6, 2020 (12:49 pm)

      It just took me 25 mins to get from Gatewood to Lower Queen Anne (five mins longer than with the bridge).  If you are going to the north end (or even I-90) during off hours, the lack of the bridge shouldn’t really be a deterrent.  I really think people need to look at a map and take a detour other than the one that takes you down Highland Park Way.  As for the prioritization, I think the city has demonstrated that they view this as serious and is giving it the priority it deserves.  

      • Dunno July 6, 2020 (8:23 pm)

        Just wait.  Herbolt and Jayapal are now on it.   It’s going to get done now.

  • anonyme July 6, 2020 (9:03 am)

    Shadow, I completely agree about the multiple, expensive surveys that pass the buck by asking unqualified opinions on how to fix traffic issues.  Just one more way that SDOT shirks responsibility while spending the max $$$$ possible.  SDOT has taxpayer-paid employees to do this job.  If they don’t (and they should) then they need their bureaucratic budget slashed.  They outsource EVERYTHING, which does not appear to be either efficient or cost-effective.  Enough voting, more professional accountability.

  • Matt P July 6, 2020 (10:16 am)

    $5 MILLION over 3 years to handle communications?  That seems absurdly high.  Couldn’t they hire 2 communications directors and some interns for for $500k per year and save a bundle.  Better yet, let the already existing city communications department handle it.  It bet it costs them more than that just searching for the firm.  The scope doesn’t seem to warrant that much:”This communication and outreach effort will engage a wide variety of residential and business stakeholders including historically underserved communities.  This effort also includes coordination and facilitation of advisory groups created to inform and guide the City’s decision making, including the Technical Advisory Panel, Community Task Force, Maritime/Industrial Stakeholders and Employer Resource Group.”

    • metromiss July 6, 2020 (2:20 pm)

      I had the same question about why 5 million dollars needs to be spent on communications when the only thing that needs communicating is the timeline for #FixTheBridge. They want to spend $5 million dollars on putting a good spin out there to appease everyone who is affected. Don’t fall for this tactic, it is a distraction and a horrible waste of taxpayer funds.#FixTheBridge

    • Rick July 8, 2020 (12:08 am)

      It’s the Seattle way.

  • WestJack July 6, 2020 (12:48 pm)

    Rep. Jayapal is  being completely useless in this bridge matter. She should be figuring out a way to get money for the project from the Federal gov’t. Not just ‘speaking about’ it on the house floor then tweeting. Neither of those get’s anything done. This is a BIG problem for her district and it should be her #1 priority. It may be that with her ‘progressive’ politics she has alienated house members who could help her obtain money to fix the bridge. IMO she has too much of a national focus and doesn’t do much for us, her constituents.

    • Michael A. Monteleone July 6, 2020 (6:53 pm)

      Is it an acceptable strategy to push your anti-progressive agenda by making accusations based on just your opinions? Are you secure in your knowledge of congressional protocols? Do you have a record of the Congresswoman’s schedule? Can you prove any of what you stated?.

    • Dave July 6, 2020 (7:33 pm)

      You might remember that earmarks in the federal congress were done away with. This is not like when Warren Magnusson funded the Hood Canal bridge with the stroke of a pen. Tax rates were higher then. Tax rates are lower and earmarks are gone. This is now a city issue. Its not a state highway or federal highway

  • Rick July 6, 2020 (1:27 pm)

    Everybody out! Problem is we would only replace them with more of the same.

  • Nancy C July 6, 2020 (1:38 pm)

    Tracy,  I would like to see you have that communications job.  You are certainly qualified and are doing a great job with informing the community.

    • WSB July 6, 2020 (1:57 pm)

      Thanks for the kind words, but we’re not a “qualified engineering (firm)” and that aside, I have no interest in government (or corporate) communications … TR

  • Bowlbe July 6, 2020 (1:41 pm)

    What could get stirred up in the Duwamish if a tunnel is built? Isn’t that a superfund site with the potential to kill Elliott Bay’s populations of marine life?

  • Mj July 6, 2020 (5:24 pm)

    The City better not say they do not have money to provide all day bus service throughout WS, $5,000,000 certainly could pay for adding transit service! 

    I expect the 56 and 57 to be operating all day once the economy opens up.

  • anonyme July 6, 2020 (6:17 pm)

    Bowlbe, the same is true of the Terminal 5 expansion, which is underway despite environmental concerns.  Money won.  What a surprise.MJ, Metro is King County, not City of Seattle, but your point is still a good one.  Millions are being spent on nonsense; meanwhile, many areas of West Seattle have no basic bus service.

  • Kyle July 6, 2020 (7:42 pm)

    Did SDOT post the survey today?

    • WSB July 6, 2020 (8:54 pm)

      Nope. Despite multiple announcements that July 6th would be the day. No explanation, not even a simple reply “it’s going to be a day later than we have planned.”

      • morealex July 9, 2020 (9:58 am)

        Did SDOT ever post this? Can’t find anything clicking on the SDOT link.

        • WSB July 9, 2020 (10:19 am)

          If you mean the project lists, we have reported separately, twice, that they delayed the release. Now saying Friday.

          • morealex July 9, 2020 (10:22 am)

            Ah. Thanks very much! I still happened to have this tab open from the other day and just came back to it to try the link again.Best,AM

  • OnlyPoorsCommute July 6, 2020 (8:34 pm)

    The bridge closure has seriously lowered my quality of life, which is a pretty bleak statement considering COVID had already sunk it pretty low. Apparently those of us not working from home in our million dollar homes don’t matter one bit. It’s remarkable how badly the City and SDOT have handled this situation. After being stuck in traffic trying to make my way back on Myers Way to then turn onto the mess on Deldridge where the the road has been reduced to one lane at times is mind boggling. Get your act together, Seattle—looking at you Herbold and Zimbabwe! The tepid leadership that was once annoying is now absolutely enraging. You’re out of your depth and it’s hurting your community. 

  • ScubaFrog July 7, 2020 (12:01 pm)

    I really dig Herbold.  I think Sam’s been working hard to try and give us data and options.  Durkan’s absent, but she’s always been for the spotlight imho, I didn’t vote for her.  If this were an emergency declaration, and treated as such by all involved (and it is for local businesses/commuters/emergency responders), perhaps we’d get quicker funding and more personnel to help get data quicker and respond to the situation.  Who knows.  Durkan said she’d do “everything she could”, more bs from a woman who blamed whites for all violence in all riots during BLM (her twitter), then backed police force against BLM, then backed CHOP (4 homicides), and should now resign or be forced out — that’s my only contention with Herbold, that she and the Seattle Council hasn’t impeached durkan.  Naturally when the protesters got to durkan’s home, chop came down the next day and durkan screamed for investigations into Sawant.

Sorry, comment time is over.