West Seattle Bridge updates and more @ Morgan Community Association

The Morgan Community Association has met for the first time since the pandemic wiped out in-person gatherings, convening via teleconference and phone this past Wednesday. Busy agenda as always for the MoCA quarterly meetings, starting with the peninsula’s biggest topic of the year:

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE/RECONNECT WEST SEATTLE: Madison Linkenmeyer and Michael Harold from SDOT were guests. Harold, noting that he is a Morgan Junction resident, started by recapping the newest info about the low bridge, while insisting it is NOT believed to be at “imminent risk.” The strengthening plans are a “take no chances” precaution, Harold said. He also said they’re considering expanding access – even though the low bridge is already “exceeding capacity” at times:

As for the closed high bridge – a quick recap, with something we haven’t noticed before – a defense that the bridge was built “to the standards of the day.”

Harold reiterated that the high bridge has to be stabilized “no matter what” the eventual decision – repair or replace – is. That’s not even a two-option decision, Harold noted – “there’s so much happening,” a multitude of repair/replacement options; timetable for that decision is still likely “late this summer.” The stabilization work will enter a new visual phase soon, with a platform being hoisted early next week from a barge. (The Community Task Force was told the previous week that would happen this past week, but that turned out to be a premature estimate.) And he explained Reconnect West Seattle, which aims to move people across the Duwamish River while the bridge is out with a “mode-shift” plan. MoCA vice chair Phil Tavel asked about SDOT’s vision that 500 daily trips could be handled by walking. Could be people living near the low bridge, could be park-and-ride users. In other traffic-mitigation discussion, SDOT noted a few things they’ve done at 35th/Morgan:

Neighbors from Sylvan Ridge – about a mile east – chimed in there because of the recent crashes. “We are very aware” of those problems,” Harold said, which is why SDOT has done some tree-trimming,”and we’re going to be taking some additional action,” he added, without elaborating.

(This meeting was one day before the bridge emergency declaration – something MoCA president Deb Barker had long advocated for – was announced, so it was not discussed.)

Other quick updates:

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE NOW: Tavel said the coalition continues to work to be a “collective voice” for advocacy.

WEST SEATTLE COVID RECOVERY: Tavel also updated this effort, with almost 100 volunteers involved and more than 30 acts of assistance. If you know about people who need help – shopping, paying rent, other types of help – and don’t know where to turn, point them that way. Cindi Barker noted that the District 1 Community Network has a subgroup working on a bigger project for longtime relief. Morgan is sending the city a letter asking for staff help to support grass-roots efforts like this.

DEVELOPMENT HALT? MoCA also is sending the city a letter asking that development permits for West Seattle be put on hold until traffic is returned to the West Seattle Bridge.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Meantime, D1CN has a long-planned conversation coming up on July 20th to discuss affordable-housing with those who build it, focusing on the question “what are the barriers to creating it in District 1?”

SHOW MORGAN SOME LOVE: The group continues to advocate for shopping and dining locally, with this catch phrase, which you might have seen on large signs in Morgan-area businesses’ windows.

NEW LOCAL BUSINESSES: Autumn Lovewell and Monica Colgan, owners of Youngstown Coffee Company and HeartBeet Organic Café, introduced themselves and were welcomed.

BLM MARCH: The June 6th march to join the big Black Lives Matter demonstration at The Junction was recapped.

WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: Morgan businesses joined the Art Walk in June, some with in-person openings in July. Local participants include West Seattle Wine Cellars, Mailbox West, and Northwest Encaustics in The Building.

MORGAN JUNCTION COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: June 19, 2021, is the date for the next one. Planning starts in January. Volunteers needed!

MORGAN PARK EXPANSION: Though the park development is on hold, remediation plans continue, Deb Barker said.

LOWMAN BEACH SEAWALL: This project is proceeding and expected to go to bid by fall. As part of the project, the tennis court is being removed, but a community group is using grant money to study possible relocation – maybe a pickleball court instead – and is hoping to have a community meeting in August.

The Morgan Community Association meets third Wednesdays, 7 pm, in January, April, July, and October.

1 Reply to "West Seattle Bridge updates and more @ Morgan Community Association"

  • WGA July 19, 2020 (7:43 pm)

    They are claiming that the bridge was built to the standards of the day. Is that to be taken literally?
    They are not claiming that the bridge was DESIGNED to the standards of the day (although the “computation methods” point towards design and not construction). Who would design a bridge that only lasts 40-50 years?
    Perhaps the standards of the day where higher 20 years earlier when the Ship Canal Bridge was designed and built. That may be possible. The Romans after all had a standard in their day which allowed for their bridges and aqueducts to stand to this day.
    It seems to me the statement is misleading and a poor defense of the situation.

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