West Seattle, Washington
11:24 AM: Stay clear of Delridge/Hudson – there’s another natural-gas-leak response, and both Seattle Fire and Puget Sound Energy are responding.
11:27 AM: Per scanner, a 2″ line was broken. SFD is evacuating “one building to the east” precautionarily and having others nearby shelter in place. Delridge is blocked in the meantime.
11:36 AM: Delridge is blocked between Oregon and Orchard as this response continues, our crew reports.
11:44 AM: PSE is still working on stopping the leak but is reported to be closed. It’s described as an “open-air leak” and some of the SFD units are being dismissed.
12:04 PM: Photo added. This is in the road-work zone, and not the first utility problem – we’ve reported on previous gas and water breaks, and we’ll be following up with SDOT to see what their contractor is doing to minimize future problems – the project started in June and still has about a year to go.
12:30 PM: SDOT says Delridge has reopened.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Despite the pandemic, the Delridge Grocery Co-op has grown to reach another milestone – selling fresh food, regularly, to local residents.
Not as a full-fledged store, yet, but the DGC’s in-development store space is the operational base for what’s just emerged from five months of testing: Weekly sales of the “DGC Essentials Box,” 10 pounds of produce for $20.
Starting this week, the co-op is opening up orders for weekly pickup or delivery on Saturdays to the community at large – and even if you don’t need it, there’s a donation program too. We stopped by DGC HQ (5444 Delridge Way SW) this past Saturday as half a dozen safely spaced volunteers assembled the boxes for distribution.
Before we get to the new week, it’s time for an update on the Delridge project paving the way for RapidRide H Line to launch next year. Key points of the week ahead, summarized by SDOT‘s project team, include another try at the twice-postponed work that will close SW Oregon east of Delridge:
We are now planning to start this work the weekend of October 2 – 5, with the closure beginning early Friday morning and lasting up until early Monday morning before morning traffic begins. The work is planned to continue the following weekend of October 9 – 12 with the same work schedule.
Beginning next week, crews will also be working on upgrading some curb ramps at 26th Ave SW and SW Brandon St. There won’t be any closures as a result of this work, but there will be flaggers directing traffic through the intersection. As with a lot of work happening in the corridor right now, this work is weather-dependent and subject to change.
… Beginning next week, we will begin demolishing the roadway between SW Hudson St and Puget Blvd SW on the west side
▪ We will pour concrete in early October once demolition has been completed. This work is weather-dependent and subject to change. …
… Through the end of next week, we will continue paving the sidewalks on the west side of the street between SW Thistle St and SW Trenton St
▪ Select driveways will need to be closed for up to 3 days as a part of this work. Properties will be notified in advance.
▪ This work is weather-dependent and the dates may change
▪ Later this fall, we will move to the east side of the street to complete similar work …
You can sign up for text alerts on the project – usually just one or two a week … by texting DELRIDGE to 33222.
The rain’s not done yet, so SDOT has again postponed plans for its contractor to close SW Oregon at Delridge (south of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center). We asked late today if the closure – which had been scheduled to start Friday morning – was on or off, and the project team replied, “Our team has just determined that the forecast this weekend is looking too wet to fully complete this work. We will have one crew working this weekend on some other items, but SW Oregon St will remain open during this time.” We’re publishing weekly project updates, so we should know soon about a new date.
They expected to hear mostly about side streets, but heard a lot about arterials too – including another one that, like Sylvan Way previously, had been overlooked in earlier traffic-mitigation plans: Dumar Way. It’s a busier-than-ever route taking people from Delridge/Orchard to 16th/Austin, just north of SW Holden on the path to the 1st Avenue South Bridge.
HPAC is the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge, so the focus was on that part of the Reconnect West Seattle plan, which already has these prioritized projects:
The SDOT reps noted that another arterial that was asked about, Roxbury, is addressed in the plan, to some degree. But that street and Dumar are not getting enough attention, residents countered. “They’re underrepresented,” noted Donna Burns.
Also discussed, the Home Zone program, SDOT’s relatively new umbrella name for side-street traffic calming, explained here. SDOT hopes to gather small groups of residents to walk some of the cut-through-plagued streets to get up to speed on where this help is needed. They promised two groups – one north of Henderson, one south.
SDOT’s Sara Zora, who is now the mobility manager for the Reconnect West Seattle program, stressed that RWS is not the be-all end-all of mitigation plans, but just a first installment of sorts, as they continue learning about neighborhood priorities.
Kay Kirkpatrick coordinated the HPAC meeting; community participants included two members of the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force, which met earlier in the day – Colleen Desmond, who represents the area, and Deb Barker from the Morgan Community Association and WS Transportation Coalition. Kirkpatrick also noted the recent announcement of Stay Healthy Blocks and said that if anyone is interested in HPAC support – since the application is limited to community groups and nonprofits for starters – let them know. And if you are interested in one of the Home Zone walks, contact HPAC via its website.
HPAC meets at 7 pm fourth Wednesdays most months – watch hpacws.org for updates.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to go see the newly installed tribute to the “patron saint of the broken bridge” – reported here last weekend – we’re sorry to tell you, you missed your chance. Two people sent us notes this morning, both beginning “This is why we can’t have nice things” … this one (and the photos) came from Lars (who sent us the original announcement too):
The Delridge Maritime Historical Society is saddened to announce that the Rolf Neslund bust lasted less than a week before being vandalized and stolen. Though his time was short, his memory remains strong.
A curse upon the Rolf haters; “a spiritual burning barrel awaits ye!”
Seen in (relatively) happier times:
If you are just catching up, Neslund was the freighter pilot who hit the old West Seattle Bridge in 1978, leading to the chain of events that resulted in the construction of the currently closed bridge.. He gained extra notoriety a few years later as a murder victim.
P.S. This is not the first bridge-side statue theft.
Four weeks after a hit-run driver killed 34-year-old Derrick Lacomb near Longfellow Creek, a suspect is charged, and investigators say he’s the owner of the car found dumped in Highland Park three days later. 37-year-old Steven J. Abrahamson is charged with second-degree murder, though he’s not yet in custody. Court documents say he lives just blocks from the crash scene in the 6500 block of 25th SW. Police were called there the evening of August 24th when Mr. Lacomb’s body was found after neighbors heard the crash.
Security video from nearby homes showed two vehicles possibly involved, and SPD asked for the public’s help in finding them. Three days after the crash, a WSB reader spotted the maroon Crown Victoria near 13th/Thistle; by then, SPD had posted without elaboration that the other vehicle, a silver van, had been found too. The charging documents explain that the van belongs to the suspect’s brother, who talked with police two days after the crash. Investigators say a relative of the victim recognized the van and knew its owner was a friend of Mr. Lacomb.
The charging documents say the suspect’s brother told police Mr. Lacomb was riding in the van that night, with the suspect driving his car nearby. They all stopped in the area, and Mr. Lacomb got out, went to Steven Abrahamson’s car; an argument ensued. The brother said he tried to break it up, then got back in his van, and as he drove away, saw Mr. Lacomb running after him. Then at some point his brother passed him, going very fast. Residents in the neighborhood also reported seeing a man running after the van, not long before they heard a crash. The documents indicate Mr. Lacomb was hit around 5 pm, about an hour before his body was found in some overgrowth. There’s no explanation of the reason for the argument.
A $2 million warrant is now out for Abrahamson’s arrest; court documents say he has no adult felony record, but has misdemeanor convictions including theft, trespass, and resisting arrest. (Thanks to Lee for the tip on the charges, first reported late today by The Seattle Times.)
Though the Delridge repaving-and-more project has always included plans to remove some trees, the big ones outside historic Youngstown Cultural Arts Center were not supposed to be among them. As our photo shows, those trees are as tall as the century-old building. But plans changed – and neighbors are pushing back.
We found out about the tree-removal plan from neighbor Scott Squire, who explained, “Residents here consider these trees critical to our quality of life, providing as they do shade, dust capture, sound deadening, and perhaps above all, visual interest/aesthetic relief from the loud, dusty (and now torn-up) street.”
We contacted SDOT‘s project spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth to find out why plans changed. He acknowledged, “During the design stage of the project, these 5 trees were not planned for removal. While working at this location, the tree roots were exposed and this is when we discovered the conflict that would require us to remove them.”
He explained the “conflict” this way: “While working in the field near the Youngstown Cultural Center, our contractor discovered that the roots and bases of these trees conflicted with the new curb line. As a result of this conflict, the trees would likely need to be removed. We’ve attempted to work around the trees in order to preserve them for the community, but we found that our solutions in the field would cause the trees to become unstable and pose a danger to the community.”
But, Ducksworth says, neighbors’ pushback has the city trying to figure out if the trees can be saved after all: “We’re continuing to hear from the nearby community about how important these trees are to them and are presently looking at a design change to attempt to preserve them. We hope to know if a design change is possible in the coming days. With that said, there is a risk the trees will need to be removed. This is why we needed to post the tree removal notices. Notices typically go up 2 weeks prior to a removal. This timeline gives the community adequate time to comment; which people are doing now, and we thank them for that. If we can keep the trees, the notices will come down.”
If you’re interested in commenting, the project email is DelridgeTransit@seattle.gov, and the Urban Forestry contact on the notice is firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s the full Reconnect West Seattle “implementation plan” from SDOT. Got questions? Wednesday, join HPAC – the all-volunteer community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – in a conversation about what RWS will bring, and other upcoming projects. Beyond that, HPAC plans to “discuss how we want to work with the City to mitigate traffic impacts going forward” and will get a “preliminary introduction to the Home Zone concept – steps that will be taken to keep our area safe, walkable and connected during the WS Bridge reroute traffic.” The meeting is online at 7 pm Wednesday; teleconference/phone information is on HPAC’s website.
P.S. HPAC’s Executive Committee has openings, including chair, with longtime leader Gunner Scott having just stepped down after five years of service. Be at Wednesday’s meeting to talk about that too.
Just in time for Wednesday’s half-iversary of the West Seattle Bridge closure – am announcement and photos, sent by Lars:
The Delridge Maritime Historical Society in conjunction with the CFGA is pleased to announce the erection of a memorial shrine to West Seattle and Delridge’s most unsung hero: Rolf Neslund. Located on the lovely bike trail, beneath the small Pigeon Point park at the North end of 22nd Ave SW,
Rolf gazes out towards the now unused Delridge onramp with steely Viking intensity – pondering his legacy. When in picturesque Northern Delridge, please consider a brief pilgrimage to the memory of a true West Seattle legend.
Just don’t run into it.
P.S. Squinting at the plaque, we note that CFGA = Center For General Annoyance. (If you don’t know who Rolf Neslund is and what he has to do with the bridge … HistoryLink can educate you here and here.)
Today, as mentioned this morning, brought Metro‘s September “service change.” This time next year, the service change will bring the launch of RapidRide H Line, replacing Route 120. In the meantime, the extensive project to prepare for it continues. Here are the highlights of the week ahead:
*SW Oregon closure at Delridge – now scheduled for the next two weekends, Friday morning until Monday morning, September 25-28 and October 2-5, weather permitting. Delridge will remain open to north-south traffic. If you would usually use SW Oregon to get to/from Delridge, SW Andover will be the detour.
*Pipe work near SW Brandon – This has several more weeks to go, but SDOT says night work is complete. Next week will include pipe connections, so if your home/business is near there, watch for notification of water shutoffs.
*Paving will continue on the east side of Delridge in the project’s Zone A (north). Next week, this will focus on the section between SW Genesee and SW Dakota.
*Demolition on the west side of Delridge between SW Edmunds and SW Hudson will start as soon as Wednesday (September 23).
See the project’s full weekly bulletin here.
Two notes related to the Delridge Way SW road project paving the way for the RapidRide H Line:
OUTAGE: SDOT confirms a crew working on the project hit a water line this morning. That caused an hour-long water outage, according to the Seattle Public Utilities map, which says more than 30 customers were affected. The photo above was sent by Josh, who says the crew also “hit our internet.” SDOT spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth tells WSB the department is “investigating the situation.:
POSTPONEMENT: In our exchange with Ducksworth, we asked if this weekend’s Delridge/Oregon closure was still on, since we hadn’t seen a mention yet of preparations such as bus rerouting. No, he said, it’s postponed; they’re aiming for next weekend, weather permitting.
During the planning process for the now-underway project paving the way for the RapidRide H Line, the so-called Brandon Node area was a major focus of concern – some for example wanted to see the RR H stop at Brandon rather than Findlay, since the former already has a signal, as well as a library. Nonetheless, the stop is going in at SW Findlay, and the city is now seeking input on ways to get people to/from there, as well as SW Brandon:
Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) invite the Delridge and High Point communities to participate in creating better pedestrian connections in the Delridge neighborhood. Please take a tour of the site by watching this video:
Visit surveymonkey.com/r/C9HBJCF to provide input.
This design project will provide a plan for improving pedestrian paths along SW Brandon and SW Findlay streets and make trail entries to Camp Long and Longfellow Creek more open and welcoming to the public. One of the goals of this project is to improve access for the future new RapidRide H Line stops that will begin service in 2021 at SW Findlay and Delridge.
Find project info by going here.
(Sketch from 9201 Delridge meeting packet by Atelier Drome)
9201 DELRIDGE WAY SW: Four months ago, we reported on the latest changes for this site – a new developer, new architect, and new plan. The current plan, described as “a 5-story, 71-unit apartment building with retail” and no offstreet vehicle parking, will go before the SWDRB at 4 pm Thursday, October 1st. This is the Early Design Guidance phase, so discussion will focus on the “massing” (size/shape) and other basic comments. The meeting packet is already online, here; details on how to attend the meeting (and how to comment) are here.
(Rendering from 9218 18th SW draft meeting packet by Caron Architecture)
9218 18TH SW: Two weeks later – at 4 pm Thursday, October 15th – the board will get its first look at this similar-size project, described as “a 5-story, 59-unit apartment building with [~5.242 square feet of] retail” and 25 offstreet vehicle-parking spaces. We first mentioned the plan for this site six months ago. The draft meeting packet is already online. Connection information for the meeting will appear here within a few weeks.
Two reader reports:
ROCK INCIDENT: We got multiple reports from Gatewood about someone in a car throwing a rock at a letter carrier on Saturday, as shown toward the end of the short video above, sent by Keith. One of the other witnesses, Carter, reported retrieving the rock afterward and saying it “could have done major damage.” So far as we know, the letter carrier was not hurt.
ABANDONED MOTORCYCLE: We’ve received word of two sightings in the past three days of this motorcycle near Longfellow Creek, which suggests it’s been dumped there:
That photo is from Jeff; there’s a plate on the motorcycle, starting with 2E. We’ve already checked with the person who emailed about a similar motorcycle stolen in Top Hat recently; not theirs. Police also have been notified.
As the Delridge project to pave the way for RapidRide H Line – launching this time next year – continues, here’s what’s ahead. SDOT‘s project staff says these are the highlights for the next week:
On Monday, September 14 we are returning to the Longfellow Creek Green Space neighborhood near 24th Ave SW/SW Graham St to complete some utility work. This will cause some temporary access restrictions to the neighborhood for approximately one week.
On Monday and Tuesday, we will be working overnight with Seattle Public Utilities at SW Brandon St and Delridge Way SW to complete some pipe work. Night work will occur on both nights and working hours are between 7 PM and 6 AM.
We have an upcoming major roadway closure at SW Oregon St and Delridge Way SW. Beginning as early as the morning of Friday, September 18 we will be closing SW Oregon St to thru-traffic for the weekend. People wishing to access Delridge Way SW from Pigeon Point will need to detour to SW Andover St via 21st Ave SW.
This closure is also scheduled to occur the following weekend between Friday, September 25 and Monday, September 28
This work is weather-dependent and may change.
Those are just the highlights – here’s the full list of what’s planned in the week ahead.
9:07 AM: Just got two reports of an unannounced water outage near Delridge/Hudson. If you’re affected, be sure to notify Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800; we’re checking with SPU too.
4:11 PM: From SPU: “Our crews were able to get water restored for customers about 12:30 today after working to repair an 8-inch water main that was damaged this morning at a construction site.”
In general, roadway demolition and paving will continue in Zone A of the project. We are also preparing for some overnight work at SW Brandon St and SW Juneau St beginning as early as the week of September 14. We are planning this work now and a more solidified date will be shared next week.
In addition to that work, we will resume active construction near the Longfellow Creek Green Space again (near the 24th Ave SW/SW Graham St area on Delridge Way SW) next week.
We’ve also recently reopened SW Hudson St to through traffic.
We will not be working on September 7 in observance of Labor Day.
For zone-by-zone specifics on the week ahead, see the full update here.
ORIGINAL SUNDAY MORNING REPORT: Just got word from SDOT Traffic Operations that the south Delridge Way closure is now NOT expected to end tonight as planned. The closure between 18th and Barton is now expected to last through Monday, reopening by 5 am Tuesday. The utility work, involving installing a catch basin, has proven to be more complicated than expected, so they need extra time. The map above shows the detour; in addition to the work zone with the full road closure, Delridge is “local access only” between Roxbury and Henderson.
7:53 AM MONDAY: SDOT spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth tells WSB the crew worked late into the night and was able to reopen Delridge early today after all.
Along with the south Delridge Way closure we’ve been talking about, the intersection of Delridge and Orchard is also going to be a chokepoint this weekend, SDOT warns in the newest update on the project paving the way for the RapidRide H Line:
o We will be working through the weekend to install a catch basin near the middle of the intersection
o There will be flaggers helping to redirect traffic around the work zone. Please plan accordingly and expect heavy traffic and delays.
Catch-basin work is also the reason for this weekend’s closure of part of Delridge:
We will be closing all lanes of Delridge Way SW from SW Barton St to 18th Ave SW beginning tomorrow, August 29. The work will continue through August 30 to allow time for Seattle Public Utilities to complete additional work in the area. Please expect:
• Delridge Way SW to be fully closed from SW Barton St to 18th Ave SW
• Local access only to be allowed from SW Henderson St to SW Barton St and 18th Ave to SW Roxbury St
• Restricted turns from side streets onto Delridge Way SW while the closure is in place
• Access to businesses to be maintained at all times
As for the rest of the project zone along Delridge, here’s the plan for the week ahead.
That video is part of an update today in Monday’s hit-run homicide near Longfellow Creek:
SPD Homicide detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in locating two vehicles believed to be connected to this homicide. Both vehicles were captured on a surveillance camera near the scene. Detectives have asked anyone who might have known the victim – identified as Derrick Lacomb – or have information about the incident to call the Violent Crimes Tipline at 206-233-5000.
Here’s another look at the two vehicles:
We first told you last night about an investigation near Longfellow Creek after a man was found dead. Today, we followed up with police, and they’ve just released this update:
SPD Homicide and Traffic Collision investigators were called to West Seattle Monday evening after a 34-year-old man was struck and killed by a driver.
Around 6 pm, a resident in the 6500 block of 25th Avenue Southwest called 911 and reported a possibly deceased person in some bushes on the street. Police arrived, located the 34-year-old man, confirmed he was deceased, and contacted witnesses in the area.
At this point in the investigation, detectives believe the driver intentionally struck the victim, killing him. The driver then fled the scene.
If you have any information about this incident, please call 206-233-5000.
This happened near where 24th/25th meet, west of Delridge Way – here’s a map.
ADDED 12:30 PM: The not-yet-publicly-identified man is West Seattle’s second homicide victim of the year (not counting the suitcase-bodies victims, who were killed in Burien); the first was 41-year-old Jana Layman, whose roommate is awaiting trial in her January murder.
Police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found near 24th/25th SW [map], by Longfellow Creek. We just went to the scene after a tip from a neighbor (thank you) about a big police response.
SPD at the scene included Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman, who told WSB that this all started with an investigation after a report of a hit-run crash in the area earlier today; near some debris left behind, the body was found. Capt. Grossman said they don’t know yet if the hit-run and death are connected; detectives are at the scene to see what they can find.