FOLLOWUP: Long-delayed mile-long Beach Drive gas-line replacement starting soon

Two years ago, we told you about a natural-gas pipeline replacement project that was at the time scheduled to start soon along a mile-long stretch of Beach Drive and two connecting streets. After what Puget Sound Energy describes as permitting delays, it’s finally about to begin.

Thanks to the area resident who recently told us the project notice was being distributed. We’ve since obtained it from PSE (see it here) – here are the key points:

PSE and InfraSource crews will be replacing portions of the existing underground natural gas main. We’re committed to completing our work safely and efficiently, and our crews will do their best to reduce impacts to you and your neighbors.

Project details

Who: Natural gas crews from PSE and InfraSource
What: Replacing a portion of the underground natural gas main
When: Expected to begin the week of May 13, and last for approximately six months.
Typical work hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Beach Drive Southwest, 48TH Avenue Southwest, and Lincoln Park Way Southwest

What you can expect

 There will likely be noise from trucks and heavy machinery
 Traffic control flaggers and signs will guide vehicles and pedestrians safely through the project area
o Beach Drive Southwest,48th Avenue Southwest,and Lincoln Park Way Southwest will be reduced down to one lane near the work area
o A portion of the sidewalk on Beach Drive Southwest,48th Avenue Southwest,and Lincoln Park Way Southwest will be closed. Detour signs will be posted
 Some street parking will be impacted. “No parking” signs will be placed in the area prior to work beginning
 We will work to maintain access to driveways whenever possible, in coordination with impacted neighbors
 Some customers along the project route may experience a temporary interruption of natural gas. We’ll
notify impacted customers prior to beginning work requiring an interruption in service. For customers who will have their service interrupted, work inside customer homes may be required to re-light appliances after the service interruption. Please call 888-225-5773 for more information
 After the construction is complete, you’ll notice temporary patches in the road and/or sidewalk. These temporary patches will remain until a restoration contractor crew returns to complete the final restoration. The restoration schedule is dependent upon weather, permitting and crew availability

We asked PSE about the work phasing; a spokesperson replied, “Crews will start on the north end and move south. PSE will be replacing an older section of infrastructure in order to continue to provide safe and reliable natural gas service to customers. The project will replace the gas main along Beach DR SW to SW Canada Dr.” Here’s another map sketching out what they’re doing and where. As noted above, the project is expected to last about six months (double the estimate given two years ago).

15 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Long-delayed mile-long Beach Drive gas-line replacement starting soon"

  • Lucian Smith May 1, 2024 (2:41 pm)

    [Everything’s bold after the “what Puget Sound Energy>” bit; probably a missed close tag.]

  • anonyme May 1, 2024 (4:22 pm)

    I’m a little confused as to why millions of dollars are being spent on infrastructure to support a non-renewable fossil fuel, especially when SPU and the City of Seattle have declared that natural gas should be phased out…?   So much for green energy.  There is so much hypocrisy around municipal and governmental responses to carbon emissions, Joe Biden being one of the worst.

    • WSB May 1, 2024 (4:30 pm)

      This isn’t a governmental entity. Puget Sound Energy is privately owned.

    • Steve May 1, 2024 (5:04 pm)

      About a third of homes are heated by natural gas in our state. There are more people, more buildings, and more demands on the power grid. And there is a push to remove dams on the Snake river. We can keep innovating cleaner types of energy but the reality right now is that we can’t supply all of the needs without natural gas. Hopefully cleaner nuclear power that uses and reuses all the fuel for it is in the near future.

      • Platypus May 15, 2024 (12:46 pm)

        Heat pumps are a cheaper and more efficient method of heating. The power grid is fine. There are no rolling blackouts, let SCL handle power planning, we should all be moving to electrify everything ASAP. Plus you get AC. Its a win win.

    • Jethro Marx May 1, 2024 (6:02 pm)

      Anonyme, assume PSE tells its customers it will no longer supply them with fossil fuel energy; where would you prefer they source a replacement?

      Steve, there will be waste that cannot magically be reused infinitely. Where will you like to store it forever?

      • Steve May 1, 2024 (6:55 pm)

        Other countries reuse nuclear fuel rods to get more out of it. I said that hopefully this process can be improved on. I just looked this fact up. All the spent fuel rods that have been used since the 1950’s would fill one football field 10 yards deep. Right now it is stored in 70 sites in 35 states. Nuclear power delivers about 20% of our electricity in the US now. I would be more than happy if a new form of energy was developed that could fill all of our needs and made no pollution. But we aren’t there yet. We still need natural gas and nuclear power right now.

      • WestSeattleBadTakes May 1, 2024 (10:42 pm)

        Where will we store the greenhouse gases? Oh wait..

    • John May 1, 2024 (10:21 pm)

      Because despite what they’re trying to claim now gas is actually a relatively green form of energy. In fact less than a decade ago my grandmother put a gas furnace in her home and received a green energy tax credit for it

      • Platypus May 15, 2024 (3:54 pm)

        It is true that burning methane is better than coal and heating oil. However, recent evidence quantifying the leaks associated with “natural gas” both in your house, and the entire pipeline and connection system make it pretty even to coal in some, but not all ways. In every aspect of our lives we need to move away from burning things. 

    • West Seattle Mad Sci Guy May 2, 2024 (1:44 am)

      Probably not the same caliber of gas line, but look up the San Bruno gas line explosion disaster. Gas line going boom led to several dead and one particularly memorable story of a bf watching his gf burn and melt before his eyes and there was nothing he could do when said massive gas line failed and ignited. Yeah. I’m perfectly happy with them maintaining gas lines. Better than that happening… (And like it or not fossil fuels are not disappearing any year soon. It’s be grand if that were possible but…)

    • New Urbanist May 2, 2024 (8:58 am)

      At the very least, Seattle should be taking advantage of opportunities like this where the street gets dug up to redesign the street. A lack of long-term and strategic planning across projects runs up costs. Like, you think we’re not going to have to pay for maintenance on this street again in 5-10 years?

  • anonyme May 1, 2024 (6:38 pm)

     For one thing, I didn’t say that PSE was a governmental entity, only that millions of dollars were being spent. The effects of fossil fuels on the planet are the same regardless of who owns the rights or sells the energy; the damages are the same.  The excuses for perpetuating the use of fossil fuels are predictable and unending by both politicians and the entities that own them, and will continue as long as there are profits to be made – or until they (and/or our species, and millions of others) are gone.  I am quite sure that if fossil fuels became imminently unavailable green energy would become widespread – and profitable amazingly fast.  Combustion engines were obsolete decades ago, but are still prevalent due almost entirely to the overwhelming power of the oil lobby.  Another unpopular truth is that “demand” is both gluttonous and unsustainable; we all have to cut back on excessive and unnecessary waste of resources, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.

  • D-Mom May 2, 2024 (4:02 pm)

    Perfect timing for summer traffic!  This is going to be fun. Can’t wait to see the potential backup mix with the ferry line when it extends past the park. Maybe we’ll get lucky and it won’t take out the 48th/LP/Beach Dr intersection until the very end. 

    • WSB May 2, 2024 (4:47 pm)

      As shown above, they’re starting north and moving southward, so that may be how it goes.

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