West Seattle, Washington
8:10 PM: It would have been hard to believe when we heard it minutes ago, except that we had just been warned by @WestSeaWx on Twitter, that “scattered thunderstorms” are drifting this way, south/southeast to north/northwest.
8:17 PM: Lightning too! This is a few hours ahead of the National Weather Service‘s note about “slight chance of thunderstorms after midnight.”
10:13 PM: Thanks for the lightning photos! The one above was sent by Satori Noël. The one below is from Scott Collins:
11:27 PM: More photos! John Skerratt sent these from Fauntleroy:
And this one’s from Aaron Brethorst:
ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: Kevin Freitas sent his skycam video:
3:26 PM: The day after that “gaping hole” opened in the ramp from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge to northbound State Highway 99, the Washington State Department of Transportation, which owns the ramp, says it’s likely to stay closed at least 10 days. We first reported on the hole starting at 6:41 pm Tuesday evening, when police suddenly found themselves dealing with multiple drivers pulled over on 99 because the hole had punctured their tires. The ramp was closed a short time later, and WSDOT crews responded. Today they are working both on and beneath the ramp; we checked out the scene at ground level. One task there is to set up a debris-containment area:
That’s both for debris that already has fallen from the hole, measured at 5 feet by 4 feet, and anything more generated by assessment and repair work. It’s a hard-hat zone, emphasizes WSDOT spokesperson James Poling, who tells WSB that crews on the ramp have been checking other areas around this one today to ensure they’re stable, and so far haven’t found anything notable. We talked with Poling at the scene below the ramp at noontime (as well as twice by phone). He says the state built this ramp in 1959 (same year as completion of the now-demolished Alaskan Way Viaduct to which it connected). We’re awaiting answers from WSDOT to questions such as when it was last inspected and what the regular inspection schedule is, as well as whether they’d had reports about this hole before, as WSB commenters say they’ve seen it for weeks.
This hole is not in the same spot on the ramp as the one for which the ramp was closed for repairs last year, says Poling – it’s about 100 feet from that one. (Added: This February 2022 WSB story includes a slide with three images of that hole.) That brings up another clarification this ramp was NOT closed during the West Seattle Bridge’s 2 1/2-year-long repair closure – except for the repair work a year ago, it remained open to traffic, accessible via eastbound Spokane Street. Poling says that while they are still working on a timeline estimate, they are certain this is not going to be a West Seattle Bridge-magnitude length closure. He’s expecting to have another update and some answers for us later today, and we’ll update this story.
DETOURS: If you need to get to northbound 99, use the northbound 1st Avenue South Bridge, or the 1st Avenue South exit from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge/Spokane Street Viaduct, then head north and connect to NB 99 in SODO.
IF YOUR VEHICLE WAS DAMAGED: WSDOT provided this link for filing a claim.
4:30 PM UPDATE: Just talked again with WSDOT’s Poling. He says 10 days is now the official expected duration of the closure – no longer “at least” 10 days, just “10 days.” He says crews right now are preparing for the repairs by chipping away at “unsuitable” – failed – concrete around the hole, and from there “it’s a standard bridge-deck repair.” He says the ramp was last inspected in August of last year, and while he doesn’t know its regular inspection schedule, he says it’s at least every two years. Poling also says that WSDOT maintenance crews were not previously aware of this hole – he said an emergency closure would have resulted if they had been.
1:29 PM: Thanks to Eddie for the photo. That stalled semitruck is still blocking the westbound low bridge, which is down to one lane as a result. It’s been there more than an hour.
2:59 PM: Police have just told dispatch “the bridge is open both ways.”
That’s the sign on the door of Wanna Charbroiled Burger and Teriyaki at 1513 SW Holden in Highland Park. After a tip late Monday night about closure plans, we went over at what would have been opening time Tuesday, but they already were shuttered – no sign then, but when we went back in the afternoon, the sign had since been placed. We’ve been unable to reach the restaurant’s ownership by email or phone, and their website has gone down since it was last cached on Sunday, but staff at the SeaMart convenience next door told us that Monday was Wanna’s last day. The restaurant had been open almost a decade; among its predecessors there was the original home of the late, lamented Zippy’s Giant Burgers, which opened in the 16th/Holden spot exactly 15 years ago, moved to White Center three years later, and closed last year.
11:50 AM: Thanks for the tip. Just added to the Seattle Public Utilities water-trouble map, an outage in Admiral, affecting at least 124 customers. The cause is listed as “emergency repair”; we’re asking SPU for details.
12:18 PM: The SPU crew that’s working on this is on 44th SW north of Holgate (44th is closed as a result). They confirm it’s a water-main break and they’re starting repairs.
1:16 PM: SPU spokesperson Sabrina Register says service was restored around 1 pm. What broke was a “service line,” but the water main had to be shut down for repairs.
This week brought the annual GiveBIG campaign encouraging you to support local nonprofits. Mode Music and Performing Arts, based in North Delridge, is making a special request to help build its scholarship fund, to provide music lessons to students who otherwise couldn’t afford them. Received today from MMPA:
Meet Harper, one of Mode Music and Performing Arts’ students! She has been taking private vocal lessons through our scholarship program.
For Harper, singing is part of life; ask her a question, she’ll sing her answer! Harper’s moms, Krystal and Kim, told us that “Harper has literally been singing since the time she could make noise.”
Kim added, “I’m just excited to be able to encourage her to just do whatever she wants to do, and to be able to offer that experience to her, you know? It’s just so great to see her learning and becoming whatever she wants to become with doing it.”
MMPA is dedicating 25% of our GiveBIG donation total toward our private lesson scholarship program, so students like Harper can achieve their musical dreams.
That means, if we reach our GiveBIG goal of $10,000, we can allocate $2,500 to music lesson scholarships.
The remainder of what we raise for GiveBIG goes toward making our pay-what-you-can programming possible, helping to cover the operating costs of our programs so that we can continue to offer free and discounted arts education.
Harper is one of the many students we reach through our arts programs. In 2022 alone, we served 234 kids and offered over $15,000 in scholarships to our group classes and camps at our location in Delridge! We also served nearly 100 students in our after-school arts programs in Fall 2022.
Your support for MMPA on GiveBIG matters so much! You will make a difference for our after-school programs, group camps and classes, and private music lesson scholarships. Take a moment today to make a gift to support accessible arts education in West Seattle. Click here to donate! Thank you for giving big and supporting accessible arts education today!
Here’s what’s happening today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
FREE INDOOR PLAYSPACE: Ages 2-6 welcome to drop in and play, weekday afternoons at the Salvation Army Center (9050 16th SW), 3:30-5 pm.
TRIVIA x 6: Here’s where to play tonight. At 6 pm, Locust Cider (2820 Alki SW) now offers trivia … at 7 pm, you can play trivia at the West Seattle Brewing Mothership (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW); Larry’s Tavern (3405 California SW) hosts Wednesday-night trivia starting at 8 pm; there’s 7:30 and 8:30 pm Sporcle Pub Quiz at The Lodge (4209 SW Alaska); trivia starts at 8 pm at Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California SW); at 8:30 pm, trivia with Phil T at Talarico’s (4718 California SW).
LIVE MUSIC AT THE LOCOL: 6:30 pm. 21+. Rotating performer slate. (7902 35th SW)
BASEBALL: Chief Sealth IHS hosts Ballard in a postseason game, 7 pm at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle).
MUSIC BINGO: Play weekly at The Good Society (California/Lander), 7 pm.
SKYLARK OPEN MIC: 7:30 pm signups @ West Seattle’s longest-running open mic – no cover to watch. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
KARAOKE AT BENBOW ROOM: 9 pm-2 am – info in our calendar listing. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
Planning an event – presentation, meeting, performance, reading, tour, fundraiser, sale, discussion, or … – that could be featured on West Seattle’s only comprehensive event calendar? Tell us about it! Please email info to email@example.com – thank you!
Family and friends are remembering Keith Holsman and sharing this with his community:
Keith Holsman passed away April 12, 2023, at age 81.
Keith was born in Bigfork, Minnesota, September 24, 1941, to Marie and Spencer Holsman. Spencer was an officer in the Boilermakers union and was deployed to Kennewick, Washington, then to Seattle, where the family settled near Schmitz Park. Keith met his lifelong partner, Donna Huntley, at Madison Junior High School. The pair started their courtship and held hands as they crossed the street to West Seattle High School, where they graduated in 1960. Keith and Donna married in 1962 and had their first child, daughter Kelley, in 1964, then son Jeff in 1967. The family of four settled in Fauntlee Hills and have remained in West Seattle.
Keith started his career as a Boilermaker at Todd Shipyard, then changed trades to Sheetmetal Local 66, where he worked as Journeyman. In the 1970s, Keith had several stints in Prudhoe Bay Alaska working on the oil pipeline which he termed as the “wild west.” Keith retired from Local 66 in the mid-1980s and began to purchase apartment buildings with Donna. Keith was a jack of all trades and could do all tasks involved with managing the apartment buildings. He loved his tools and bought the best, the biggest, and the most powerful. “Tim the Toolman” from the TV show Home Improvement would have been envious.
Keith was loved by his three grandchildren, who were lucky enough to have him in their lives into their adulthood. Sadly, on April 5, 2023 Keith had a heart attack and passed away a week later with his family at his side. Keith is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Donna, their two children Kelley Porter (Mike) and Jeff Holsman (Marianne), and their three grandchildren Amanda Dray (Matthew), Chris Porter and River Porter (Schantell).
The family wishes to thank the staff at Cherry Hill Swedish Hospital for their care and support.
We will miss his great one-liners that will live on in our family and keep us chuckling for years to come. Life is not the same without him.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
6:00 AM: Good morning. It’s Wednesday, May 3rd. We start with a continuing closure that started Tuesday evening:
The ramp from the eastbound West Seattle Bridge to northbound Highway 99 is closed until WSDOT – which is accountable for the ramp, as it’s a state structure – can repair a large hole that started blowing out tires during Tuesday’s pm commute (WSB coverage here). WSDOT had hoped to fix it quickly but realized it was a bigger job than first believed. We will find out more later today about the timeframe. Meantime, if you have to get to NB 99, use the 1st Avenue South Bridge, or take the WS Bridge’s 1st Avenue South exit and get onto 99 in SODO.
9:22 AM UPDATE: Longer story later, but we just spoke with WSDOT again, and they say it’s closed “until further notice” as they evaluate how to repair it and whether the ramp itself is “structurally sound.” They also say the hole is not in the same spot as was fixed a year ago – it’s about 100 feet away.
11:59 AM: WSDOT expects the ramp to be closed for at least 10 days. We’ve just been over to the scene beneath the ramp. (added) Here’s a closer look at the underside of the 5′ x 4′ hole:
Metro – Downtown-bound buses that usually take the high bridge to NB 99 will have to detour while the ramp is closed. Otherwise, regular schedule, but trip cancellations are still happening.
Water Taxi – Continuing the spring/summer schedule.
OTHER SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):
Low Bridge – east-end vicinity:
1st Ave. S. Bridge – another route across the river:
Highway 99: – the northbound side at Lander.
BRIDGE INFO: Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed to see if the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.
WEATHER & SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
Clouds making way for sun, high in the upper 60s. Sunrise was at 5:49 am; sunset will be at 8:24 pm.
If you see trouble on the bridges/streets/paths/bay, please text or call us (when you can do it safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities). Thank you!