Transportation 3644 results

FOLLOWUP: Ramp repairs, day 4

(WSDOT photos)

The Washington State Department of Transportation says its crew made more progress today toward repairing and reopening the ramp between the West Seattle Bridge and northbound Highway 99. It’s been closed since Tuesday night, when a 5′ x 4′ hole in the 64-year-old ramp caused tire blowouts for at least five drivers. WSDOT’s latest update: “Today we’ve poured concrete. It usually takes a few days for this type of concrete to cure properly in order to safely reopen the ramp.”

We’ll find out on Monday if that’s altered the schedule – originally announced as 10 days, which would mean reopening by next Saturday. In the meantime, your options for getting to Highway 99 are the 1st Avenue South Bridge or via the 1st Avenue exit on the eastbound bridge, leading you into SODO, where you can get onto 99.

ROAD WORK AHEAD: Roxbury/Olson project starting soon

That map from SDOT shows where work is expected to start soon for pedestrian improvements at Roxbury/Olson [map], which have been in the works for at least three years. The city has sent notices to people in the area, but it’s a busy corridor, so many others who use it need to know too. From the SDOT advisory:

This work will include:

-A new pedestrian signal on the northwest side of the intersection
-Shifting the crosswalks across SW Roxbury St so they’re better aligned
-Curb bulbs that extend the sidewalk corners for people walking on the south side of the intersection
-Curb ramps for improved ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility

Once work begins, it is expected to last six months, SDOT says, with work hours primarily 9 am-3 pm on weekdays. They’ll have flaggers to help with lane closures. Here’s the full construction notice.

FOLLOWUP: Ramp repairs, day 2

(WSB photos, noontime today)

When we went over today for another look under the damaged ramp to Highway 99, we arrived just as that crew was ascending to the ramp’s underside. It’s been two days now since a 5′ x 4′ hole in the ramp took out tires on at least five vehicles before WSDOT ordered it closed. It’s a state-owned structure, as is Highway 99, to which the ramp leads from an exit on the eastbound West Seattle Bridge. WSDOT spokesperson James Poling tells WSB that repairs remain on schedule – that’s the schedule announced yesterday, 10 days, which would mean the work is expected to be done by May 13th. He says the lift we photographed carries workers 38 feet up from ground to ramp. So what exactly is happening now? Poling replied, “Most of the concrete removal is now complete. The next repair step is building forms underneath the deck and sealing the space between the girder webs. This will take about 36-48 hours.”

As we reported yesterday, the ramp was built in 1959 and last inspected in August 2022. It remained open to traffic during the West Seattle Bridge’s two and a half-year closure, still accessible via a ramp from surface Spokane Street, except for a week-plus closure to repair a deck hole about 100 feet from this one.

P.S. We found more information about the ramp via this inventory map – including its official name, E-N Ramp, and confirmation that its inspection schedule is every two years

FOLLOWUP: Washington State Department of Transportation expects 99 ramp with ‘gaping hole’ to stay closed for 10 days

(WSB photos)

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.

SAFETY ALERT: Wednesday is Bike/Walk/Roll To School Day

(WSB file photo from past Bike To School Day)

If you’re on the roads and/or sidewalks tomorrow (Wednesday, May 3rd), expect more multi-modal traffic heading to and from local schools. Genesee Hill Elementary parent Dave points out that it’s Bike/Walk/Roll To School Day and wanted us to share this reminder again: “Drivers, please keep an extra eye out for students biking and walking to school tomorrow, May 3rd. Students will be coming from all directions between 7:30-7:45 AM and arriving in the parking lot on Dakota St.” Any other schools participating? Let us know (or post a comment) – thank you!

READER REPORT: California/Genesee crosswalk light broken again

Last week we heard from Taylor about a malfunction with the flashing beacon signal for the crosswalk on California at Genesee. They reported it to SDOT, and it got fixed. But now we’ve heard from Jesse that it’s broken again: “Just a heads up, the pedestrian crossing signal at California and Genesee isn’t working. I’ve reported it to the city, but if people want to cross they should probably go a block either way to do so safely.” (Besides the Find It Fix It app, you can report transportation-related trouble via 206-684-ROAD or, after hours, 206-386-1218.)

FOLLOWUP: West Marginal Way SW protected bike lane work ‘nearly complete’

After last weekend’s work, SDOT says it’s “nearly” done installing the 2-way protected bike lane along an almost-half-mile stretch of West Marginal Way SW north of the Duwamish Longhouse – jersey barriers are up and lane markings are painted. We drove alongside it this afternoon for a closer look:

Reminder signage is in place at driveways not only on the bike-lane side but also on the northbound side of West Marginal, where the pre-existing Duwamish Trail crosses. It’s been more than two years since SDOT proposed the bike lane, eventually deciding to hold off on installation until after the West Seattle Bridge reopened last September.

ROAD-WORK ALERT: West Seattle Bridge lane closure Tuesday-Thursday

4:23 PM: Warmer weather brings more road work. SDOT says crews will be working on the shoulder of the westbound West Seattle Bridge for the next three days – Tuesday, April 25th, through Thursday, April 27th – between 7 am and 2 pm each day. The announcement was brief so we have an inquiry out asking what exactly they’ll be doing.

8:44 PM: Just heard back from SDOT: This will be a “lane closure for onsite inspection of the high bridge. We have been doing these inspections since reopening the bridge to make sure the structural behavior of the bridge is in good condition.”

FERRIES: WSF’s Walla Walla runs aground on Seattle-Bremerton run

(Photo tweeted by U.S. Coast Guard)

6:17 PM: We’re mentioning this because (a) west-facing West Seattleites might see emergency vessel/helicopter traffic as a result, and (b) the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry route might get busier because of it: A Washington State Ferries boat has run aground while traveling from Bremerton to Seattle. U.S. Coast Guard vessels are at the scene where M/V Walla Walla is grounded in Rich Passage along the south side of Bainbridge Island near West Blakely [vicinity map]. It happened around 4:30 pm, WSF says, adding that initial indications are that “generator failure” was a factor. The Seattle-Bremerton run is out of service until further notice because of the mishap, as Walla Walla (50 years old) was the only boat on the run. No injuries reported, per the Coast Guard.

6:39 PM: The state Ecology Department says neither hull damage nor pollution has been detected so far. … One of the passengers stuck aboard tweeted that they’re “waiting to abandon ship but not clear how yet.”

7:50 PM: As noted in comments, Kitsap Transit has two of its foot ferries standing by to help get the passengers off the Walla Walla.

8:29 PM: And the Coast Guard says that’s happening right now:

(Photo tweeted by U.S. Coast Guard)

10:46 PM: The Coast Guard says the passenger evacuation is wrapping up and: “The rising tide will assist during the slated removal of the vessel from the shoal water. Peak high tide is at 3:23 am.”

ADDED SUNDAY: The boat indeed was refloated on the early-morning high tide and moved to Bremerton, where people were able to go retrieve their vehicles later in the morning. The Bremerton-Seattle run is being handled today by M/V Issaquah so the Walla Walla could be evaluated.

FOLLOWUP: Highland Park’s new signal at 12th/Holden complete

(SDOT photo)

We just heard from SDOT this afternoon that the new signal at 12th/Holden is complete and should be in operation by now:

We have installed two pedestrian crossing signals (slated to be activated today), curb ramps, and a crosswalk, and painted the roadway. This project provides another controlled crossing at SW Holden St for people walking or biking along 12th Ave SW. There will be “new signal ahead” signs to alert drivers of the new signal. This signal at 12th Ave SW is also intended to be part of the Highland Park/Riverview Neighborhood Greenway. Signage on this is to come at a future phase of work.

The flashing lights at 11th Ave SW and SW Holden St will remain.

The 11th/Holden beacon was originally planned for removal until community pushback.

FERRIES: Return of three-boat Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth service not expected before May

(Triangle Route ferry photographed from Lincoln Park by Theresa Arbow-O’Connor)

Thanks to Tom for the tip via this comment. Washington State Ferries now says they don’t expect to restore three-boat service on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run before next month. That’s a change from what WSF said when they announced M/V Cathlamet was returning to service, and also from the Service Restoration Plan‘s projection of trial 3-boat service in early April. The problem, says WSF spokesperson Ian Sterling, remains staffing: “We’re still too short-handed to reliably go to three-boat service. However, we anticipate that by May, the staffing situation will have improved enough to allow us to trial full service, thankfully.”

Seven West Seattle stairway projects planned for this year and next

That’s the stairway between 37th and 38th SW at SW Findlay, recently renovated. It’s one of seven stairway projects in West Seattle scheduled for 2023-2024, according to SDOT‘s Greg Funk. We checked in with him after reader Desiree emailed to report that she’d spotted a notice for one of the upcoming projects, for Bonair at Halleck (here’s the notice). Funk says work should start in mid-to-late summer because right now they’re “in the process of getting a power pole moved before we can start. Other West Seattle stairway projects ahead for 2023-2024:

California Dr SW-SW Cambridge (40% completed)

SW Hudson St-40th Ave SW (Rail upgrade only. Estimated start Nov-Dec)

50th Ave SW And SW Admiral Way (2024; notice)

21st Ave SW & SW Dakota St (2024; notice)

SW Roxbury and Marine View Dr SW (2024; notice)

The stairway-maintenance webpage – which Funk says will be updated with these projects soon – notes that the city has more than 500 stairways in all.

Here’s why the signals changed at Walk-All-Ways and other West Seattle Junction intersections

Thanks for the tips. Readers noticed changes last week in the sequence at California/Alaska (aka Walk-All-Ways) – as Tala, for one, described it, “It used to be walk all ways after the Eastbound traffic signal. Now it’s walk all ways after the North / South traffic signal.” We asked SDOT about the change, and got the reply from spokesperson Ethan Bergerson today:

Last week, we optimized and upgraded traffic signal equipment at several West Seattle intersections. While doing this, we also adjusted walk signal timing to give people more time to cross the street and sometimes made other enhancements for pedestrian safety such as making walk-signals turn on automatically without pressing a button or adding pedestrian-first walk signals which give people a head start before cars get a green light.

Here is a list of all the locations where we have made adjustments:

California Ave SW & SW Genesee St
California Ave SW & SW Oregon St
California Ave SW & SW Alaska St
42nd Ave SW & SW Oregon St
42nd Ave SW & SW Alaska St
35th Ave SW & SW Edmunds St

News of this work apparently also explains why a few of those intersections had malfunctions last week. If you’re still noticing problems – at any of these, or any other, signalized intersections – you can report to SDOT, 206-684-ROAD during business hours, 206-386-1218 after-hours.

‘School Street’ test planned alongside Lafayette Elementary

Genesee Hill Elementary has one, Roxhill Elementary has one, and now Lafayette Elementary is going to test a “School Street.”

Thanks to Anthony for the tip. “School Streets” are an SDOT program that prioritizes walking, biking, and rolling on a section of a street by a school from 7 am to 5 pm on days school is in session. For Lafayette, SDOT is going to start a month-long test on Wednesday, April 19th, for the section of SW Lander that runs along the south side of the school, between California and 45th SW (part of which already has a “streatery” for The Good Society). From the “School Streets” FAQ:

What does this mean for people getting to school?
– When possible, walk, roll, or bike with your child to school
– If you must drive to school, try parking a block or two away and finishing the trip on foot
– Students provided with district transportation or with mobility needs can access the block

What does this mean for drivers?
– People driving who need to get to home and businesses on a School Street are still able to drive on these streets. Drivers should use caution and yield to people.
– People enjoying the street should be mindful of drivers trying to get to homes as well

SDOT collected traffic data before the test and plans to collect data during the test. Here’s the notification flyer. Feedback is welcome at HealthyStreets@seattle.gov and by phone at 206-900-8760.

West Seattle Greenway ‘spur’ to be built

Neighbors on 36th SW south of Providence Mount St. Vincent recently noticed an SDOT crew marking the street for future greenway construction that was a surprise to some. Checking WSB archives, we found a mention five years ago that a Camp Long-vicinity greenway “spur” was possible as part of what was referred to at the time as “Phase 3” of the 35th Avenue SW Safety Project. That reference also suggested SDOT would be talking with neighbors in advance of any such construction, which apparently hasn’t happened yet, so we asked about it. Here’s the reply from SDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson:

We’re extending the West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway on 36th Ave SW to create safer spaces for walking, biking, and rolling in West Seattle. This extension will connect to Camp Long Park via 35th Ave SW, using the recently built traffic signal at 35th Ave SW and SW Dawson St.

Construction is expected to begin by early summer and finish later in the summer (crews visited the neighborhood this past weekend to make pre-construction markings on the pavement). We will send construction notices in the mail before the actual construction work starts.

The extension was listed in our 2021 Bike Master Plan update, and is part of a multi-year, multi-project approach to create safer spaces for walking, biking, and rolling in West Seattle. The end result will look similar to other Neighborhood Greenways, including:

-Speed humps / cushions to ensure drivers travel at a safe speed
-Stop signs for cross-street traffic
-Bike lane markings on the street
-Wayfinding and neighborhood greenway signs

Here’s a map of the project zone.

Electric-vehicle drivers invited to help others learn about EVs on Earth Day

On Earth Day – April 22nd – again this year, electric-vehicle drivers have the opportunity to help others learn about plugged-in driving, and people with questions about it have the chance to get answers. This year it’ll all be happening nearby, at the Duwamish River Community Hub on the southeast corner of downtown South Park’s main intersection, 14th Avenue S./S. Cloverdale. Organizers include the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association and Express CU – different EV models and even test drives will be offered, noon-3 pm on Saturday, April 22nd. If you’re an EV driver interested in participating, the link is on this page (as well as the link for RSVPs).

FERRY ALERT: Triangle Route down to one boat

From Washington State Ferries:

Due to lack of Coast Guard documented crew, the #2 Sealth will be out of service after the 5:20 p.m. Southworth departure. The vessel will tie up at the Vashon terminal and the route will operate on the #1 vessel schedule for the remainder of the evening.

Texter reports a big backup already at Southworth.

From freeway to ferries @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

Two main topics at the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s every-other-month meeting, held online this past Thursday night:

RECONNECT SOUTH PARK: Maria Ramirez from the Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition was the guest to talk about this campaign to either cover or remove the section of Highway 99 that cuts through South Park – and cuts it apart. The idea is picking up momentum, and money. Ramirez explained that this started with one person’s idea about a year ago, suggesting that removing the highway could undo some of the injustices suffered to people in the area. “For some reason, this became sort of a sexy idea,” and drew national attention as one of too-many highway sections that have resulted in environmental and other burdens on communities of color. The state allotted $600,000 for a feasibility study, and two weeks ago, the feds allotted $1.6 million for “modeling studies … and an equitable development plan.” (That was a grant for which the city wrote the application, Ramirez explained.) They’ve had South Park community engagement meetings to start developing a vision of what could be done (not necessarily simply closing the highway – maybe covering it). A bigger community meeting is planned for 1 pm May 13th at Concord International Elementary – the first of at least three such meetings. She’s working with a group of 20 people – from activists to writers, “all people who live and work in the area.” In Q&A, WSTC’s Deb Barker wondered “who are the naysayers” or people who aren’t necessarily on board (yet) with the concept? Ramirez said the port and truckers are high on the list of entities/people they need to talk more with. She also said she welcomes ideas of who to talk to, groups to talk with, who else could get involved. You can reach the coalition, and learn more, at reconnectsouthpark.org.

FERRY-DOCK PROJECT: Mike Dey from the Fauntleroy Community Association was there to ask WSTC to join the community organizations who have sent letters of support for FCA’s position that the ferry dock shouldn’t be expanded when rebuilt later this decade. Dey first recounted history including a 1997 city resolution against expansion. He said ferry traffic is growing p past what a state study decades ago said should be the maximum allowable traffic volume. And he recapped what Washington State Ferries has been looking at – not widening the dock, but potentially lengthening it. While the FCA supports rebuilding the dock/terminal, the group contends the expansion is unnecessary, and that it raises traffic and environmental concerns. Dey said the FCA believes expansion is unnecessary because the backups onto the street are largely caused by the tollbooth bottlenecks in the afternoon – automated fare collection (like Good To Go bridge-toll collection) could eliminate that. Street holding is already enough to hold projected traffic increase, he added, and an expanded dock would be a “very expensive parking lot” empty 21 hours a day. Regarding environmental concerns, he mentioned Fauntleroy Creek’s salmon runs; the creek’s mouth is just south of the dock. WSTC did not commit to sending a letter but will consider the issue.

NEXT MEETING: 6:30 pm May 25, since they’re meeting every other month. They’re still working on in-person arrangements so they can transition to hybrid meetings.

FOLLOWUP: Construction also starting soon on West Marginal Way protected bicycle lane

(SDOT photo of Green Lake bike lane like the one to be built on West Marginal)

Another “construction starting soon” notice just in – this time, for the permanent protected bicycle lane on West Marginal Way SW. It’s a two-way lane that will run just under half a mile on the west side of the street between the bridge and the Duwamish Longhouse. (The temporary bike lane installed during the low-bridge closure is still in place there.) Along with building the permanent lane, SDOT will be “updating all 17 Duwamish Trail / driveway crossings on the east side of the corridor with signs and pavement markings.” All this is expected to start in early April – weather permitting, SDOT hopes to finish the bike-lane construction over the first two weekends of the month. Here’s the construction notice, which notes: “Construction will be on weekends for the bike lane and on both weekday and weekends for the Duwamish Trail driveway crossing treatments. Trail detours in short sections will be noted on signs. Please dismount bikes and walk around wet paint near driveways.”

BACKSTORY: SDOT first unveiled the bike lane as an option in January 2021. Various rounds of discussion ensued (including a February meeting at which attendees were invited to begin with a “moment of meditation and reflection”). Then the department told the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force in July 2021 that it would go ahead with the plan. Here’s the design they showed then:

SDOT promised at the time that construction wouldn’t start until after the reopening of the West Seattle Bridge (which has now been back in service for 6 months, following its 2 1/2-year closure). The department says the change will add a few seconds at most to travel times. Other changes will follow as part of the corridor safety project, as noted on its webpage.

FOLLOWUP: Seattle City Light confirms new EV-charger locations

One month ago, we reported four locations where Seattle City Light had applied for permits to install EV chargers in public parking spaces. Today, SCL released its list of 31 installation locations citywide, including those four in West Seattle, plus a fifth, South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). SCL’s announcement notes the 31 sites were chosen by a panel from SCL and SDOT who reviewed 1,800 community requests received last year, reviewed by a panel from SCL and SDOT. Construction is expected to start soon and SCL believes half of the stations will be ready by the end of May, the rest by the end of summer. The announcement notes, “Each charging site was designed based on its own individual location with 12 planned to be installed on wood poles, 6 on new steel poles, and 13 sites installed on stand-alone pedestals” like the one in the SCL photo above. The full list of West Seattle sites:

4800 block California Ave SW
2100 block California Ave SW
6000 block 16th Ave SW
4800 block Fauntleroy Way SW
7000 block 17th Ave SW

SCL will charge its standard Level 2 charger rates, currently $0.21 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is three miles worth of power for the average EV, the utility says.

ALSO TONIGHT: Reconnect South Park @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

March 23, 2023 5:29 pm
|    Comments Off on ALSO TONIGHT: Reconnect South Park @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition
 |   Transportation | West Seattle news

One more thing to add for tonight, not on our event list published this morning because the announcement just came in this afternoon: The West Seattle Transportation Coalition meets online at 6:30 pm. Two major topics – Reconnect South Park, the proposal to decommission the stretch of Highway 99 that goes through SP, and the Fauntleroy ferry-dock replacement. Here’s the connection information: Video here, or by phone 253-205-0468. For either option, it’s meeting ID 8768293 5206, passcode WSTC.

READER REPORT: New bicycle counter for east end of West Seattle low bridge

Thanks to Joe Laubach for the photos and report:

The old bike counter on the East end of the Spokane Street bridge has been out of order for several years. I’m pleased to see SDOT has installed a new bike counter and it is up and operational!

On a related note, I’m happy to see so many people biking around West Seattle now that the weather has warmed up. Motorists – please drive carefully and be attentive. Thank you.

This is near the site where Robb Mason was hit and killed last July (his accused killer‘s case continues making its way through the court system, with another hearing next month). We have an inquiry out to SDOT for more information about the new counter and will add whatever we hear back. (The stats page is here.)

ADDED WEDNESDAY: SDOT spokesperson Mariam Ali responded to our inquiry: “We have replaced the bike counter on the Spokane St Swing Bridge (West Seattle Low Bridge) to address inconsistencies with the data from the old counter. The previous bike counter was experiencing intermittent issues storing and transmitting data which has led to periodic gaps in our historical data beginning in May 2021, despite multiple repair attempts.”

H LINE: Celebrating West Seattle’s second RapidRide line on eve of its launch

(WSB photos/video)

That’s Metro driver Ermias Mulugeta, a 14-year veteran transit operator who had a starring role in today’s ribboncutting-and-speeches event celebrating tomorrow’s launch of the RapidRide H Line. He drove the newly rebranded red-and-yellow bus into the lot at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center, with dignitaries aboard including King County Executive Dow Constantine and Metro’s new general manager Michelle Allison:

Before the ribboncutting, 26 minutes of speeches – here’s our unedited video:

Allison emceed, with opening and closing remarks. Constantine declared that RapidRide is “the evolution of Metro Transit.” (Long-running evolution – West Seattle’s first RR line, C, launched 10+ years ago.) Route 120, which becomes the H Line tomorrow, carried 1.7 million people last year, he said, and he observed that the new line’s route between Burien and downtown will help people “enjoy more of what this part of King County has to offer.”

It’ll also help with everyday tasks, added the next speaker, White Center Food Bank executive director Carmen Smith.

WCFB’s new location will be close to an RR stop, and that means people carrying food won’t have to hike uphill with heavy loads any more. Other speakers included King County Councilmember Joe McDermott – who is leaving office this year but has helped shepherd the H Line into reality – and Burien Mayor Sofia Aragon (who happens to be running to be McDermott’s successor), who said her city is proud of how this is factoring into many improvements along its main thoroughfare, Ambaum Boulevard. From Seattle city government, executive general manager Adiam Emery reoresented Mayor Bruce Harrell‘s team:

She noted that Seattle had invested (corrected) $90 million in the H Line, as well as projects such as the Delridge repaving/reconfiguration. And District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold noted that the “multijurisdictional project” is an enhancement to what’s already King County’s sixth-busiest bus route. After Allison wrapped up with a few more stats – 51 new stations, 40 new crosswalks, five miles of new bus lanes – it was ribboncutting time:

As reported here Wednesday, the H Line officially begins running with a 5:26 am northbound departure from Burien on Saturday morning. The first coach, we’re told, will be the same one that rolled up at the start of this morning’s event – 6209. The launch comes four years later than the originally announced 2019.