West Seattle, Washington
Keep an eye out for Jordan‘s pickup truck:
Our truck was stolen last night from the street in front of our house on 16th Ave SW near South Seattle College. It’s a red 1997 Ford Ranger, with a white canopy with stickers on it.
Plates are B19866L, and the police report is 22-146801.
In the past hour and a half, firefighters have been working to extinguish a fire at a house near 32nd SW and SW Juneau in High Point. SFD says one person was home at the time and got out OK, but one firefighter suffered what are described as “minor injuries.” Some of the initial large response has been dismissed, but the incident log shows 10 units still on scene, including fire investigators working to find out how this started.
4:12 PM: Just announced by SDOT: The West Seattle Bridge is expected to reopen in September. From the written version of the announcement made during the Community Task Force meeting:
“We expect the West Seattle Bridge to be open to traffic during the week of September 12. Sharing that today is a relief since our focus has always been on safely getting everyone back on the bridge ASAP. It’s been hard having to wait for this update, but we did need to get through the concrete work to understand exactly where we were schedule-wise. Thank you for being so patient, Seattle,” SDOT Program Manager Heather Marx said.
The disruptions caused by the regional concrete strike have had an ongoing impact on the project schedule. SDOT’s construction contractor originally planned to begin pouring concrete at the beginning of the year, but ultimately had to wait until mid-April to start pouring the structural concrete, which is essential to strengthening the bridge. Today’s announced schedule shift is about equal in length to the extra time spent waiting for concrete to arrive.
During the concrete strike, SDOT adjusted the sequence of work activities to minimize delays and keep the project moving forward in other ways. Crews never stopped working to repair and strengthen the bridge, and continued working on epoxy injections and carbon fiber wrapping during the wait for concrete.
Specialized structural concrete is an essential part of the plan to strengthen the bridge. Crews finished pouring structural concrete on May 26, 2022 and it takes 28 days for the concrete to fully harden and become strong enough to hold the 20 million pounds of force associated with the new post-tensioning system. Crews are currently in the process of installing ducts and threading steel cables through the concrete blocks, but must wait for the concrete to finish hardening before they can tighten these cables to strengthen the bridge and prevent future cracking.
Since the final structural concrete pour was completed, SDOT has worked with the construction contractor to finalize the sequence of the remaining work. SDOT will continue to hold its construction contractor accountable to meet their updated timeframe. Remaining repairs for completion of the project require challenging and complex work. SDOT released a tentative schedule today in the interest of transparency, and stressed that a project of this scale may still encounter additional unforeseen challenges outside the City’s control. SDOT will continue to provide ongoing construction updates and notify the public if the schedule changes. …
Final repairs to the bridge include three key repair procedures: epoxy injections to fill cracks, carbon-fiber wrapping to add strength, and post-tensioning with steel cables to compress the concrete.
After the post-tensioning is complete, crews will complete a final round of epoxy crack injections and carbon-fiber wrapping. They will also complete other work to prepare the bridge for reopening to traffic. This work includes replacing expansion joints, restoring the road by closing crew access holes, replacing overhead signs, replacing concrete panels east of 35th Ave SW, installing a concrete overlay on the Fauntleroy Expressway, and removing detours and adjusting traffic signals in West Seattle.
If this timeline holds, the bridge will reopen after 2 1/2 years of closure, dating back to its shutdown – with only a few hours of advance notice to the public – on March 23, 2020. Three weeks later, SDOT warned the bridge wouldn’t reopen before 2022. Seven months after that, then-Mayor Jenny Durkan announced her decision to proceed with repairing rather than replacing the bridge. Stabilization work had already been done; one year after the mayor’s announcement, “final repairs” began.
Below, our continuing coverage of the Community Task Force meeting at which today’s announcement was made:
4:01 PM, MEETING BEGINS: Two years and two and a half months after the West Seattle Bridge‘s emergency closure began, its end may finally be in sight. We’re expecting news of a reopening date during the Community Task Force meeting that’s just under way – we’ll be chronicling the meeting live below this video window you can use to watch:
The meeting began with a mention of two traffic deaths in West Seattle and SODO last month. Task Force co-chair Greg Nickels then offered reflections, and thanks, noting it’s been two years since then-Mayor Jenny Durkan convened the advisory group. He talked about the group’s advocacy for ensuring people in need of life-saving medical treatment could use the low bridge – noting he and his wife Sharon Nickels needed that as she underwent months of cancer treatment.
SDOT interim director Kristen Simpson also offered gratitude to the CTF members.
4:11 PM: Bridge program director Heather Marx says the bridge
will is expected to reopen “the week of September 12th.” We’ve now added the written announcement above, but will continue chronicling the meeting here. She says “structural concrete curing,” epoxy injection, carbon-fiber wrapping, post-tensioning, and other work remains. “A precise date” is expected with one month’s notice, Marx says. She warns there are still risks to even that schedule.
4:17 PM: City Councilmember Lisa Herbold asks if there’s any way the bridge could open sooner – like, before school starts. Marx says the bridge crews “are already working 60 hours a week” so adding to that isn’t feasible, but they’re looking at other options. How’s the falcon nest doing? asks CTF member Deb Barker. Fine, says Marx.
Next, CTF member Dan Austin says he’s astonished (not in a good way) by the September date. Marx tries to explain that the delay, saying, “When I heard September, my heart sank.”
4:28 PM: CTF member Anne Higuera says this would still be in the third quarter, and she’s OK with that. Marx warns that “schedules are malleable” and “this might still be something of a roller-coaster in the next few months.” Then she goes into a recap of what’s been done so far and what’s yet to be done.
4:38 PM: Now on to the low bridge, which also has repair work planned. Some closures are anticipated, no dates yet. Marx also reiterated that low-bridge restrictions will be lifted once the high bridge reopens. She also discussed the sequencing of testing and finishing touches at the end of the process. “The bridge you’re getting back is going to be better,” she insisted. … What kind of monitoring is planned in the future? she was asked. “The bridge is (now) all wired up,” Marx noted, adding “it’s a little more expensive taking care of a repaired bridge than a new bridge” – more repainting will be needed, because some of the repair components are UV-sensitive, for example. That’ll require financial support for more bridge maintenance, it was noted.
4:51 PM: Co-chair Nickels notes that this remains the last scheduled meeting of the CTF, though the bridge won’t be reopening for (at least) three months – unless something major happens. He mentions there’ll be some kind of ribboncutting before it reopens (that would be separate from the celebration that a community coalition’s been planning). Co-chair Paulina López offers her reflections too, asking CTF members to share their thoughts on how their part of the process has gone.
5:06 PM: What ensued was more a round of thanks and acknowledgments, and now the meeting is over. Bottom line again: SDOT does not expect the bridge to reopen before “the week of September 12th.”
Our area’s largest political group finished its pre-primary endorsements last night, but voting members didn’t have a clear choice in this year’s biggest local race, so that wound up with a dual endorsement: Two Democrats are among the three candidates seeking to succeed State House Rep. Eileen Cody, and after three rounds of voting last night, the 34th DDs had endorsed both of them, Emily Alvarado and Leah Griffin. The group’s rules reauire 60 percent approval for an endorsement, and while Griffin came close — 58% on the first ballot – that wasn’t enough. Two other contested races went to multiple ballots, both Seattle Municipal Court judgeships; Position #7 resulted in a sole endorsement for incumbent Judge Damon Shadid, while Position #3 ended up in a dual endorsement. The 34th DDs also endorsed a slate of candidates on a unanimous vote, pulling out one of those candidates – Leesa Manion, the West Seattleite running for King County Prosecutor – for a standalone vote, also a unanimous endorsement. The online meeting was attended by more than 100 people, with just under 90 voting. The primary election is Tuesday, August 2nd.
Thanks for the tips. One of West Seattle’s most visible tent-encampment sites, at Rotary Viewpoint Park (35th/Alaska), has been swept, the city confirms, saying campsites at nearby West Seattle Stadium were swept too. This notice was still up on a pole by Rotary Viewpoint Park when we went over Wednesday for a look:
Several tents had been in view around the park’s totem-pole plaza for at least the past several months, but as of yesterday, they were all gone:
The grassy area around the plaza had a few obviously cleared spots in view:
The question is, what kind of notice did people living at the park get? Keith Hughes, who runs West Seattle’s only severe-weather shelter barely a block away, says the park’s residents did not get notice: “No prior notice posted. No warning on the day of. No first thing in the morning while the residents are there to gather their personal belongings. Middle of the day. More police on site than residents – suddenly the police have nothing to do?? – No offers of alternative shelters/living spaces for their stuff to be moved to. Just everything confiscated and thrown into compacting type garbage trucks and hauled away, and huge red ‘Park Closed’ signs put up.”
The city says it did give notice. We sought comment yesterday and received this statement from Seattle Parks and Recreation this morning (published below exactly as received – we are asking for clarification on the notice date, as Monday was June 6th, not 3rd; 6/3 is the date on the notice we showed above, but we have no independent verification of when it was actually posted):
On Monday, June 3, 2022, the City posted a notice at West Seattle Stadium (4 tents) and Rotary Viewpoint (1 tent) that all personal items must be removed by June 7, 2022, when tent obstructions were removed.
The HOPE Team, a City of Seattle program within the Human Services Department that coordinates homelessness outreach and referrals to shelter, and outreach providers intensified outreach to these two locations to connect those residing onsite with offers of shelter and services. They began visiting these sites on May 26 and visited several other times leading up to the removal.
On the day of the removal, the HOPE Team identified four people experiencing homelessness onsite, all were offered shelter, and resulting in three referrals to 24/7 enhanced shelter options.
Any personal items remaining on June 7, 2022, were stored per City policy. People can retrieve their items by calling 206-459-9949, and we will work with individuals to make arrangements for delivery.
Though the city statement says one tent was at the viewpoint, we’ve consistently noted a higher number when driving by in recent months. Meantime, this sweep came exactly one week after Mayor Bruce Harrell went public with a new “dashboard” for data including “verified” and “closed” RV and tent encampments; it’s clearly missing some West Seattle sites but lists a “tent encampment” at Roxhill Park as having been swept last month.
Several people asked about a SWAT-type response early Wednesday morning in the 38th/Juneau vicinity – described by one neighbor as including bullhorn announcements and at least one flashbang explosion. The scene had cleared by the time we got to there, and it took a while to run down some information since it wasn’t a Seattle Police case, but we have a bit today. A spokesperson for Renton Police confirms theirs was the lead agency, and that it was a warrant service. The person for whom the warrant had been issued, in a drug case, was arrested. We don’t know their status – though we’re trying to find out – but did want to let you know what we had learned so far.
First on our list today, the biggest event:
WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE UPDATE: Will we hear a reopening date, or just an update on progress toward one? A “timeline update” is promised during what’s expected to be the final meeting of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, online starting at 4 pm – here’s the livestream link; here’s the agenda. We will of course be covering it live here.
Here’s what else is happening this morning/afternoon/evening:
‘BUY A MEAL, GIVE A MEAL’: 11 am-8 pm, Chef Gino Williamson of The Home Skillit is selling food outside Roxy’s (2823 SW Roxbury) to raise money for meals he’ll be serving to unsheltered people downtown this weekend – here’s the flyer.
PRIDE MONTH WORKSHOP: 4-6 pm at Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon):
This special presentation and Q&A led by GenPride will include an overview of gender, gender identity and respectful language/personal pronouns used with the trans and non-binary community. Learn about 2SLGBTQIA+ people through personal storytelling and a historical context of the discrimination that this community has faced.
Call 206-932-4044 (extension 1).
WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: 5-9 pm, dozens of venues are offering art and/or food-and-drink specials, for this month’s second-Thursday West Seattle Art Walk. Here’s the list, as featured in our preview earlier this week:
Preview many of tonight’s featured artists on the WSAW website!
THE ART OF MUSIC: During tonight’s Art Walk, two free live musical performances will be featured, both 6 pm-7:40 pm – see Sue Quigley at KeyBank Plaza (California/Alaska) in The Junction and Paul Gerard at West Seattle Grounds (2141 California SW in North Admiral).
GRADUATION: The first of four West Seattle high-school-commencement ceremonies in four nights – 12th-graders from Summit Atlas in Arbor Heights will graduate at 6 pm at Brockey Center on the South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor) campus.
BOARD GAME NIGHT: Come try something new at Meeples Games (3727 California SW), 6:30-10 pm.
PIANO PERFORMANCE: 7 pm at Otter on the Rocks (4210 SW Admiral Way), Bettie Spangenburg plays piano. 21+, no cover.
OPEN MIC: 7 pm at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).
BINGO! 7 pm at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW), Richard Moore hosts “the sassiest bingo party” around. Free to play.
If you have an event for our calendar/daily lists, please email email@example.com – thank you!
Outside Madison Middle School, it’ll be a temporary donut shop for a while tomorrow – the Madison PTSA is again selling Krispy Kreme donuts as a fundraiser. They’ll be sold by the dozen between 8:15 am and 9 am, and again 3:45 pm-4:30 pm on Friday (June 10th), $15/dozen, cash preferred. The school is at 3429 45th SW.
6 AM: Good morning; welcome to Thursday, June 9th.
Rain returns today, and the high is expected to drop into the 60s.
*Seattle Public Utilities‘ pavement-restoration work at California/Myrtle continues.
BUSES, WATER TAXI, FERRIES
Metro is on its regular weekday schedule; watch @kcmetroalerts for word of reroutes/trip cancellations.
The West Seattle Water Taxi is on its regular schedule.
Ferries: WSF continues on the two-boat schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth. Check here for alerts/updates.
BRIDGES AND DETOUR ROUTES
809th morning without the West Seattle Bridge, but later today we expect an update on the reopening timeline.
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.)
1st Avenue South Bridge:
South Park Bridge:
West Marginal Way at Highland Park Way (one of four new cameras!):
Highland Park Way/Holden:
The 5-way intersection (Spokane/West Marginal/Delridge/Chelan):
Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Text or call us (when you can do so safely) – 206-293-6302.