West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
A year and a half after closing the West Seattle Bridge, SDOT is giving tours while getting ready for repairs. Among those who are being offered a firsthand look, according to an SDOT email shared with us by a source, are “members of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, Technical Advisory Panel, and our governmental partners and supporters.” Plus, this afternoon – the media.
We were up on the bridge five weeks ago, but that was part of a visit by dignitaries from D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. Today’s tour was intended solely to give reporters and photographers (attendance was limited to one person per media organization, so it was one or the other) a firsthand look. That included another view inside the bridge, where most of the upcoming work will happen:
Among the SDOT reps leading the tour, roadway-structures director Matt Donahue, the man who broke the news to city leaders in March 2020 that he’d discovered cracking that necessitated the emergency closure.
Donahue and bridge program director Heather Marx recounted the explanation of “why the bridge broke” (as covered here in August). Once the bridge was stabilized last year, that took care of the cracking problem. Intensive monitoring continues, with a few visible signs on top of the bridge.
Today in fact, some SDOT staff was on the bridge for a monthly monitoring visit (which is in addition to electronic monitors in place that are watched remotely). We talked with Marx about the “early work” that’s been mentioned as starting soon:
We asked Marx for a list of what “early work” is likely to entail:
Ground Penetrating Radar
Carbon Fiber-reinforced Polymer
As was the case when we visited the bridge in August, some work is in evidence now:
SDOT still isn’t getting any more specific about the projected reopening than “mid-2022.” They’ve said that the contractor was providing schedule estimates as part of design milestones; we asked for that proposed schedule and were told earlier this week by an SDOT spokesperson that “it’s part of an active negotiation with our contractor, so we aren’t releasing it.”
Sent by CP:
I’d like to report a theft and ask for the community’s help in recovering the missing items. A fellow Seattle Firefighter who lives out of town spent the night at my house near Lincoln Park before going to Portland for a training. Between 5:30 and 6:30 AM his car was broken into. The thieves took bunking gear (pants, jacket, boots, helmet for firefighting), and several firefighter uniforms. Some of the items were custom-made and irreplaceable, accumulated over a 20-year career as a Seattle Firefighter (he started one week after 9/11). Leather suspenders below.
A police report has been filed. If anyone has information, we ask that they email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an online meeting that just concluded, the Southwest Design Review Board gave unanimous approval to the design proposal for 3201 SW Avalon Way, a mixed-use building planned to replace the Golden Tee Apartments, while keeping the name. Here’s the design packet for the meeting:
Board chair Scott Rosenstock and members John Cheng, Patrick Cobb, and Johanna Lirman were present. Tonight’s review came three years, and one architect change, after the previous one.
A crew shortage has taken the #3 Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry, M/V Cathlamet, out of service. That’s canceled more than a dozen sailings, as listed on the Washington State Ferries website.
4:03 PM: Avoid Delridge/Thistle for a while – a collision is blocking the southbound side; no other details yet.
4:30 PM: Two men involved in the crash are being taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, we’re told at the scene, SFD is clearing out; they’re awaiting tow trucks to clear the crashed cars.
Funeral and Celebration of Life services for Frances Smersh will be held Friday, October 15.
Funeral Service begins at 11 am at St. Joseph Parish, 732 18th Ave E (Capitol Hill — parking entrance on 19th Ave E)
Celebration of Life begins at 3 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California Ave SW (West Seattle — parking entrance on SW Director St.)
Masks will be required at both venues. Guests over 12 years old must be fully vaccinated.
There will be light appetizers and a no-host bar at the memorial celebration beginning at 3p. To help us plan appropriately, RSVP is required for the Celebration of Life no later than September 30 to email@example.com. No RSVP is necessary for the Funeral Service at the church.
In the style of Frances (who always made very not-fancy yet fun arrangements for guests), we invite you to bring a small “bouquet” of whatever happens to be growing in your yard, even if it is just grasses and dandelions! We will be creating an impromptu garden altar at both the church and the hall. Volunteers will be on hand to place them.
We are allowing extra time to get from Capitol Hill to West Seattle in light of the bridge closure. If you arrive in West Seattle early please wait to enter the hall as we will need time to set up.
A livestream is planned – the link will be available soon on this website.
1:24 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a water-rescue response to Seacrest after a report of a person in the water “at the Water Taxi dock.” Updates to come.
1:27 PM: Arriving units are telling dispatch this is a person they believe to be in crisis, an 18-year-old woman, in “waist-deep water” but not appearing to be “in distress.”
1:38 PM: They’re still working to get her out of the water (the challenge, they’re telling dispatch, is that she’s “not quite interested in coming out of the water” so this might take a while). Note that Water Taxi traffic is “shut down” while this continues.
2:07 PM: The woman is now out of the water and on a stretcher, they’re telling dispatch. She’s being evaluated.
2:32 PM: She’s being taken to a hospital.
The Kindie West family-music concert series is returning to the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, two Sundays a month, October through March. The artists are part of Kindiependent, “a collective of like-minded musicians who are passionate about cultivating a vibrant kids and family music scene in the Pacific Northwest.” Here’s the lineup:
October 24 and January 9 – Dani and the Bee
November 7 and January 23 – The Not-Its!
November 21 and February 6 – Harmonica Pocket
December 5 and March 6 – Johnny Bregar
December 19 and February 20 – Eli Rosenblatt
Doors open at 10 am, shows are at 10:30, lasting about an hour. These are ticketed shows, with an admission charge for everyone 6 months and up, but they’re offering discounted family passes too. Free parking behind the schoolhouse; COVID guidelines will be followed.
At last week’s meeting of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force (WSB coverage here), SDOT previewed a rewards program for West Seattleites who try alternative ways to get around. Today – exactly a year and a half after the bridge closure, and as traffic continues to increase with schools and workplaces reopening – SDOT announced the “Flip Your Trip” initiative has launched. From the announcement:
Starting today, people who live or work in West Seattle can visit FlipYourTrip.org to sign up for a comprehensive travel options program that includes a $25 sign-up bonus for free rides on transit and scooter/bike-share, or free vanpool fares. The program also offers trip planning assistance, special informational events, as well as an opportunity to earn more free rides. …
Flip Your Trip West Seattle encourages people to replace car trips with other travel options such as transit, vanpooling, biking, scooting, or staying local. Anyone who lives or works in the West Seattle area is eligible to take a pledge to take the #FlipYourTrip pledge and receive an initial sign-up bonus worth $25 to use on the free rides of their choice. This incentive works on King County Metro buses, water taxis, Sound Transit, Seattle Streetcar and all local scooter and bike share companies (Lime, LINK, Spin, and Wheels).
The campaign will also support vanpooling—covering new King County Metro vanpool riders’ first month of vanpool costs and providing monthly fare beyond the first month for eligible participants. All official King County Metro vanpools can apply for access to use the West Seattle low bridge at all times of day.
The Flip Your Trip campaign features a new partnership with King County Metro, as participants can receive their free rides on Metro’s Transit GO Ticket mobile app (android | ios). Participants can redeem their initial sign up bonus by clicking on the new “rewards” button in the app menu, which will appear as 2,500 rewards points. Additional reward points can be earned by making transit and scooter/bike share trips. …
People who do not have smartphones can choose to receive an ORCA card and program updates through community organizations, instead of using the Transit GO Ticket mobile app.
Information about Flip Your Trip West Seattle is available in nine languages (English, Spanish, Somali, Oromo, Vietnamese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Khmer).
TASTE OF WEST SEATTLE: Today is the fourth day of the weeklong dine-out benefit for the West Seattle Food Bank. 27 food/drink establishments are participating – some by donating a percentage of proceeds, some with specific menu items. The venue list and other info – including details on the “passport” to get – can be found here.
METRO QUESTIONS? Stop by the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon) to talk with Metro reps 11 am-1 pm. Pick up a bus schedule; sign up for a bus-training class.
SOUND TRANSIT BOARD: 1:30-4 pm, online. No specific agenda items related to the upcoming Draft Environmental Impact Statement for West Seattle light rail, but there’s a public-comment period, so in case you want to comment and/or watch, the agenda explains how.
VACCINATION REQUIREMENT INFO: 2 pm, the county presents an online info session geared toward businesses. Register here.
GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING: 3 pm, Gov. Jay Inslee plans one of his periodic media briefing/Q&A sessions about the pandemic and more. You can watch the livestream here.
3201 SW AVALON DESIGN REVIEW: As previewed here, the Southwest Design Review Board meets online at 5 pm for what might be their last look at this 8-story project that would replace the Golden Tee Apartments at Avalon/Genesee. The meeting includes a public-comment period; here’s how to participate/watch/listen.
AT THE SKYLARK: Carl Christensen and the Lake Flora Band, “alt rock with a country flair,” 6:30 pm at The Skylark (3803 Delridge Way SW).
NO TRANSPORTATION COALITION MEETING: The West Seattle Transportation Coalition would usually meet on the fourth Thursday, but the WSTC is skipping September.
Family and friends are remembering Irene W. McCoy and sharing this remembrance with the community:
It is with sadness that the family of Irene W. McCoy share news of Irene’s death on September 10, 2021 at the age of 94. As a long-time resident of Des Moines, WA and West Seattle, a teacher in the Seattle and Highline Public School Districts, and a faithful member of Tibbetts United Methodist Church, Irene was loved by all who knew her.
Born Irene W. Martin on December 25, 1926 in Liverpool, England, she grew up with three sisters and a brother. She enjoyed a happy childhood even though her pre-teen and teen years were greatly affected by World War II, including the consistent bombing of Liverpool and the rationing of food, gasoline and other common items.
Irene became an elementary school teacher and taught both in England and the USA. In 1955 she came to the USA as a participant in a one-year teacher exchange program sponsored by the Fulbright Teacher Exchange. She taught at Gatewood Elementary School in West Seattle. Two teachers from West Seattle met Irene in New York City to welcome her to America. One was Dean McCoy. In 1956 she returned to England, where she continued teaching; in 1957 she emigrated to the USA to marry Dean and thus began a happy marriage of 47 years.
Irene is survived by her daughters and son: Dr. Jennifer McCoy; Ellen Johanson; Clive McCoy; her granddaughter Rachel Johanson; as well as nieces, nephews and cousins in England and the USA.
A private graveside service for family members will be held at Mountain View Funeral Home and Memorial Park in Lakewood, WA and a Celebration of Life Service will be held at a date, yet to be determined, at Wesley Retirement Community in Des Moines, WA. Preceded in death by her beloved husband, parents and four siblings, Irene has lived a joyful and complete life. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that tribute gifts may be made to Wesley Community Foundation, wesleychoice.org, or Tibbetts United Methodist Church, tibbettsumchurch.org in her memory.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
6:01 AM: Today marks exactly 1 1/2 years since the West Seattle Bridge was closed on March 23, 2020. (Today we’re scheduled to be back up on the bridge, five weeks after this visit, as part of a media tour – watch for coverage later.)
Today’s forecast predicts clouds will make way for sun, with a 70ish high.
26th SW & beyond – Northbound 26th SW remains closed between Roxbury and Barton.
25th SW & Barton – As of our check at midday Wednesday, the expected 25th SW closure on the south side of this intersection hadn’t happened yet.
Delridge project – “Punch list” tasks continue.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
548th morning without the West Seattle Bridge – as mentioned above, a year and a half. Here are views of other bridges and routes:
Low Bridge: Automated enforcement cameras remain in use; restrictions are in effect 5 am-9 pm daily – except weekends; the bridge is open to all until 8 am Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Access applications are available here for some categories of drivers.)
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way:
Highland Park Way/Holden – The camera’s back, now pointed west:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
The 1st Avenue South Bridge (map):
For the South Park Bridge (map), here’s the nearest camera:
Trouble on the streets/paths/bridges/water? Please let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.