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FERRY ALERT: Southworth dock maintenance next week

August 21, 2020 7:50 pm
|    Comments Off on FERRY ALERT: Southworth dock maintenance next week
 |   Fauntleroy | Transportation | West Seattle news

Early heads-up from Washington State Ferries:

The Southworth terminal facility must close early on Thursday, August 27 for maintenance. This requires the cancellation of the last three sailings of the day between Fauntleroy and Southworth. The following late-night/early morning sailings will be canceled:

• 11:45 p.m. (Thursday, 8/27) Fauntleroy to Southworth
• 12:30 a.m. (Friday, 8/28) Southworth to Fauntleroy
• 1:00 a.m. (Friday, 8/28) Fauntleroy to Southworth

This will not affect sailings between Fauntleroy and Vashon Island. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we maintain our ferry system.

THE OTHER BRIDGE: Updated schedule for 1st Avenue South Bridge’s panel-replacement work

We checked in today with WSDOT on the status of the ongoing nighttime work to replace deck panels on the northbound 1st Avenue South Bridge. Here’s what spokesperson Tom Pearce tells us:

Our contractor has used five nights of full closures on the NB SR 99 Duwamish River Bridge. Per our agreement, the contractor is allowed to have nine more full closures. They are scheduling three more for Sept. 8-9-10.

During the next two weeks, the northbound bridge will reduce to one lane nightly Sundays through Thursdays, 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. No work on Friday or Saturday nights. These do not count against the nighttime full directional closures.

They have replaced six panels on the bridge; they still have eight to do.

As a reminder, if you have to cross the Duwamish late at night/early in the morning, the West Seattle low bridge is open to all 9 pm-5 am.

SCOOTERS: White Center arrivals; Seattle discussion details

Suddenly, scooter-sharing is front and center, after a while on the back-burner.

WHITE CENTER PILOT PROGRAM BEGINS: We were in White Center as Lime delivered its first scooters this morning, on the first day of its pilot program, following Friday night’s announcement. More on our partner site White Center Now.

Meantime, Seattle is suddenly gearing up for its own launch, and we know more about the West Seattle component:

SEATTLE DISCUSSION WEDNESDAY: That is a page from the slide deck accompanying the agenda for Wednesday morning’s City Council Transportation Committee meeting, at which the city’s long-proposed scooter pilot will be discussed. Though it’s been in the works since long before the West Seattle Bridge closure, it’s now being partly spun as a WS mobility solution. The discussion of the overall plan and accompanying legislation is set for the committee’s 9:30 am Wednesday (August 19th) meeting; the agenda’s cover page explains how and when to sign up for public comment, as well as how to watch/listen to the meeting. The slide deck linked above, meantime, answers some FAQs such as where you can ride/park them.

From White Center Now: Scooter program ready to roll

(Photo courtesy Lime)

8:06 PM: A year after first word that e-scooters would likely arrive in White Center before they showed up in the city, word came tonight that the North Highline pilot program starts Monday. Details are on our partner site White Center Now.

9:51 PM: Meantime, SDOT posted on its site tonight that it’s hoping the city’s pilot program will launch this fall. The post notes, “We also will require scooter share companies to pay special attention to West Seattle, South Park, Delridge, and Georgetown so that scooters can become part of the solution to the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure.”

FOLLOWUP: 1st Avenue S. Bridge work going more slowly than expected

(Reader photo)

The overnight northbound closures of the 1st Avenue S. Bridge will continue longer than first expected. We’ve been asking WSDOT about the status of the project, which is replacing 14 of the bridge’s deck panels, and finally got an update this afternoon. The work hit a glitch, explains WSDOT spokesperson Bart Treece – some trouble getting the new panels fastened to the bridge. So even though the work started July 26th, with a five-nights-a-week schedule, Treece says they’ve only completed two panel replacements so far. So at this point it looks like the Sunday-Thursday overnight northbound bridge closures (10 pm-5 am) will continue through next Wednesday; WSDOT is still working out the schedule, which might include some lane closures beyond that. (For more project/bridge background, see our story from last month.)

FOLLOWUP: Still time for your thoughts on ‘Stay Healthy Streets’

From Constellation Park …

(Beach Drive south of 64th, late Sunday afternoon)

… to Highland Park …

… three areas of West Seattle remain host to what the city calls “Stay Healthy Streets.” They are streets closed to through (vehicle) traffic, so there’s more room for bicycling, walking, running in these social-distancing times. Though there’s been an intention voiced for the inland stretches – including High Point/Sunrise Heights and Highland Park/South Delridge/Puget Ridge – to be permanent, no final decision is in yet. Supporters of making the Alki Point stretch permanent have an online petition going (you can’t miss the banner on the waterfront railing at 64th/Beach). The primary official method the city’s been using for feedback on the entire program is this survey, which has been extended through August 21st.

THURSDAY: Learn about West Seattle’s streetcar-driven days

(Heart of The Junction, 1926. Photo courtesy SWSHS)

Among other things, streetcars are why The Junction is The Junction. Though they’ve been gone for many decades, streetcars play a big role in West Seattle history, and you can learn more about it Thursday. Here’s the preview:

Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s monthly speaker series will host local transportation enthusiast Mike Bergman in his presentation of “To West Seattle by Streetcars: 1916 to 1940” at ‘Words, Writers & SouthWest Seattle’s’ next digital event, which will be hosted via Zoom at 6 PM on August 13th.

Bergman’s talk will explore the history of West Seattle’s streetcar system in the first half of the twentieth century, including its construction and the influence the streetcar system had on the area’s development and growth. Showcasing numerous historic photos, Bergman will address the evolution of three segments of the West Seattle corridor: Youngstown (Spokane & Avalon to the bridge), the West Waterway bridge itself, and the elevated streetcar trestle between the bridge and downtown.

Advanced registration is required at Registered participants will be emailed a Zoom link to the presentation on the date of the event.

Born and raised in Seattle, Bergman has been interested in Seattle Transportation history from an early age, especially the city’s bridges, railroads and public transit systems. He has a degree in Geography from the University of Washington, and was employed as a transit consulting firm, then moved to King County Metro in 1980. At Metro, he worked as a transit service planner, project manager and communications specialist. He took a new position at Sound Transit in 2000, where he produced the agency’s annual service plan and developed schedules for ST Express buses, Sounder commuter rail and Link light rail.

Following his retirement in 2016, Mike maintained a strong interest in local transit and transportation history. He is a volunteer at the Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive (PNRA), a non-profit educational organization developing a repository of Northwest rail history, including city streetcar systems. Mike has organized PNRA’s large collection of material on the Seattle Municipal Railway and has developed and shown powerpoint presentations on Seattle streetcar history to various community groups. He is the president of the Tacoma Chapter- National Railway Historical Society, and regularly contributes articles of local historical interest to The Trainsheet, the chapter’s monthly newsletter.

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society has been sponsoring this free speaker series regularly for the past seven years. Future presentations for following months are planned to be shown live via Zoom to continue observation of safe, social distancing. Corporate sponsorship is being sought for this series and donations are welcomed.

Next month’s event will be by former presenter Eric Wagner, and is titled, “After the Blast: The Ecological Recovery of Mount St. Helens”. For videos on these and other speakers’ presentations, check out “Events” at This series is open to hosting any author or speaker addressing historical issues relating to the Puget Sound/Duwamish Peninsula and/or the general public.

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: Metro goes public with ‘transit action plan’

In recent weeks, Metro has previewed the “action plan” it’s been working on for West Seattle, post-bridge closure. The plan, which details both what’s been done and what’s ahead, has just gone public. See it in its entirety here or below:

Some of what’s in it has been discussed already at meetings we’ve covered – but if you want every single detail of what’s been discussed and what’s ahead, plus costs and even communication plans, this is your document. This includes the Water Taxi as well as buses and vanpools.

A few excerpts – first, its origins:

A Metro Core team (“WSB Response Team”) was formed immediately following notice of the West Seattle Bridge closure to develop a Metro Transit Action Plan (Plan), which would address the Peninsula’s mobility needs. The closure affected all WS routes that used the West Seattle Bridge (RapidRide C Line, 21, 21X, 37, 50, 55, 56, 57, 116, 118, 119, 120, 125) plus those routes that use the 1st Avenue South/ South Park Bridges (60, 113, 121, 122, 123, 131, 132) which will see extremely congested conditions once traffic approaches pre-COVID levels.

And an overview:

As of the time of publication, Metro and the City of Seattle have identified five high visibility mobility improvements that the two agencies will jointly plan for based on potential availability of third party or other funding. These concepts, including detailed descriptions, annual costs, and transportation benefit will be developed over the course of summer 2020 and would be ready to implement upon a return of demand and identification of funding.

High-Visibility mobility service improvements:

1. Water Taxi service upgrades: up to two boats all-day (peak, off peak, weekend) year round, roughly corresponding to the 5am-9pm daily period when SOVs are not allowed on the low bridge
2. Route 773/775 Water Taxi shuttle improvements: new route(s) and/or substantially increased frequency
3. RapidRide C Line service frequency upgrades: add additional peak and off peak trips
4. All day fixed route service between Admiral and Downtown: such as and all day Route 56, which historically provided this all-day service until 2012)
5. Route 50 service frequency upgrades: add additional peak and off peak trips as far east as Sodo Station

Note that phrase “third-party funding.” The plan refers to the expiring Seattle Transportation Benefit District funding, but it should be noted that a new 6-year STBD funding plan to pay for “extra” Metro service, including some money earmarked for West Seattle, is going to city voters in November.

The ‘action plan” also addresses the current pandemic-specfic challenges:

Currently Metro monitors passenger loads daily and identifies trends in which routes and trips experience crowding beyond COVID-based thresholds. Overcrowding is tracked using per vehicle-based crowding thresholds for social distancing (e.g. 12 passengers on 40’, and 18 passengers on 60’ coaches). Service Development and other teams support the effort. Additional trips are then deployed as needed, and as possible within workforce and budget constraints. The typical turnaround is approximately one week, but we have the ability to move faster if needed, and because these added trips are not published publicly, we do not need to add extra time for customer communications. In general this turnaround time is needed to distinguish between trends and one-off occurrences. We will be further identifying resources available in Metro’s upcoming 2021/2022 budget, but do currently have the ability to add service to quickly meet demand.

The plan also addresses routing alternatives that would be needed if the low bridge was out of commission for either bridge-repair logistics or high-bridge collapse. And it recaps Metro’s plans to expand some service in September:

Table 4 highlights Metro’s fixed route service plan beginning with the September 2020 service change, on Monday, September 21. Most all-day route in West Seattle will operate without temporary reductions or suspensions. Due to reduced funding from the Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD), many routes will operate at reduced service levels compared to pre-COVID levels. Peak period service that is currently suspended will resume at reduced service levels due to reduced STBD funding on the following routes:
• Admiral, Alaska Junction, Genesee Hill, Alki (55, 56, 57)

Service suspensions will continue on several West Seattle routes:
• Peak-only downtown-bound Vashon and Fauntleroy service (116, 118 Express, 119 Express)
• Peak-only Alki bus service (37)
• Route 22 service in Arbor Heights, Gatewood, and Alaska Junction (intra-West Seattle)

Additional supplemental service will be available to deploy and quickly respond to crowding issues on West Seattle service as it arises.

One more excerpt of interest – Metro has four park-and-ride lots in West Seattle now but has pondered expanding:

Steps could be taken to expand park & ride capacity serving West Seattle transit routes by:
• Reconfiguring existing lots to yield more spaces. In particular, additional parking spaces could be striped at the Spokane Street park & ride
• Leasing additional parking capacity, concentrated around major bus transfer points. An initial analysis identified up to 93 locations throughout West Seattle that could be appropriate for leasing, including lots serving commercial properties, churches, public parks and residential complexes. This analysis identified up to:
o 550 spaces within walking distance of Seacrest Park
o 375 spaces within walking distance of bus stops at the Admiral Junction
o 430 spaces within walking distance of bus stops at the Alaska Junction
o 130 spaces within walking distance of bus stops at the Morgan Junction
o 315 spaces within walking distance of bus stops and the ferry dock at Fauntleroy
o 1200 spaces within walking distance of bus stops at Westwood Village
• Partnering with technology platforms that match drivers with reserved parking spaces. Metro’s Innovative Mobility group is in talks with Spot Hero and other companies that allow travelers to reserve and pay for parking spaces operated by private owners ranging from retailers to residential property managers. This model could be adapted to help travelers access transit, and could potentially be used to offer TDM incentives

A lot of this is “could” rather than “will,” not just because of funding, but also because they’re just not sure what’ll happen with ridership – many employers, private and public, have extended teleworking until at least the start of next year.

DELRIDGE PROJECT: Road work for the coming week, including closures and night work

August 2, 2020 5:04 pm
|    Comments Off on DELRIDGE PROJECT: Road work for the coming week, including closures and night work
 |   Delridge | Transportation | West Seattle news

The Delridge road work to pave the way for RapidRide H Line continues. Here’s what SOOT says is ahead this week, in all three zones:

Upcoming closures

Temporary weekend street closure at SW Genesee St and Delridge Way SW
For the weekends of August 7-9 and August 14-16, please expect no through access to Delridge Way SW from
SW Genesee St while crews reconstruct half of the intersection

SW Genesee St will be closed between 25th Ave SW and Delridge Way SW

The closure will be from Friday at 9 PM to Monday at 5 AM and work hours will not be past 10 PM
Local access to SW Genesee St will be maintained from SW Avalon Way, drivers will not be able to cut through to Delridge Way SW

Drivers will need to detour at SW Andover St or SW Findlay St to get to and from Delridge Way SW

Route 50 will detour from Delridge Way SW to SW Avalon Way. Please visit King County Metro’s website for more information on rider alerts.

Sidewalk closures and detours between SW Orchard St and Sylvan Way SW

The sidewalk on the west side of Delridge Way SW is closed for construction. Please follow posted detour signs.

People walking will need to cross at the marked intersections at SW Myrtle St or SW Holden St

Access to some driveways at or near the SW Orchard St intersection may be impacted. Businesses will be open during construction and access will maintained at other driveways.

Rescheduled to the weekend of August 7 – August 9

Driveway closure for the northern parking lot at the Delridge Community Center

Next weekend, we will begin demolishing and rebuilding the driveway into the parking lot entrance between SW Genesee St and SW Oregon St

People driving will not be able to access the parking lot for several weekends starting August 8. You will be able to access the parking lot on weekdays.

Please plan to park in the southern parking lot near SW Alaska St during our closure

You may access this parking lot by taking 26th Ave SW to SW Alaska St

Overnight waterline improvements at SW Genesee St and SW Edmunds St

We will work overnight in collaboration with Seattle Public Utilities to connect pipes at the SW Genesee St and SW Edmunds St intersections on Delridge Way SW from Thursday, August 6 to Saturday, August 8

You can expect pipe cutting, steel plates, and trucks near SW Genesee St and SW Edmunds St

Ongoing closures

Temporary driveway closures near 21st Ave SW and Delridge Way SW

Expect intermittent delays to driveway access. Driveways will be covered with a steel plate when work is not occurring.

We will work our way south towards SW Thistle St in the next few weeks. Properties will be notified in advance of this work occurring.

Temporary access restrictions at 24th Ave SW/SW Graham St near the Longfellow Creek Greenspace

We are excavating a trench across 24th Ave SW/SW Graham St to complete utility work in the roadway

Access to 24th Ave SW, 25th Ave SW and SW Graham St will be interrupted during this work

If you need to exit at 24th Ave SW onto Delridge Way SW, please plan for delays of up to 30 minutes to exit and enter your street during working hours

You can coordinate with crews onsite to have a steel plate placed over the work area as needed to allow access

New work by zone

Zone A (West Seattle Bridge to SW Findlay St)

Paving work from SW Charlestown St to SW Dakota St
Foundation and sidewalk work will begin Monday August 8

Demolition work from SW Alaska St to SW Genesee St
Starting next week, we will be paving the roadway on the west side of Delridge Way SW between SW Alaska St, SW Oregon St, and SW Genesee St

Driveways between SW Alaska St to SW Genesee St will be temporarily impacted while we complete this work
Zone B (SW Findlay St to north of SW Orchard St)

We will be demolishing the sidewalk between SW Orchard and SW Sylvan St on the west side of the street. Please follow posted detour signs at SW Myrtle St

Questions or concerns? The project team is at or 206-775-8739.. You can also sign up for texts about last-minute changes, especially night work and closures – text DELRIDGE to 33222.

LANDER STREET BRIDGE: Long-in-the-works SODO overpass close to completion

(SDOT photo)

With the West Seattle Bridge closed, more people are using 1st and 4th to get into downtown, and that means the Lander Street Bridge – to get people over the tracks inbetween – will be even more useful than envisioned, once it opens. That’s finally in view – this fall, says SDOT in a new update. (Pre-construction, it was estimated for early 2020, and that was after it had been on hold for a decade, until the city committed to build it as part of the Move Seattle levy.) Here’s what SDOT sent as a “mid-summer update”:

Update on pedestrian path

We shifted the pedestrian path onto the Lander St Bridge in late July. Now that the pedestrian path is on the bridge, people walking and riding bikes will no longer be able to cross over the railroad tracks at “ground level”. As we work to install features of the mixed-use path, we ask that all pedestrians pay close attention to active work zones, fenced-off areas, and minor shifts to the pedestrian path and pedestrian signage. We also ask people riding bikes to dismount and walk their bikes over the bridge.

Note to pedestrians with accessibility needs

The new bridge is sloped to get over the railroad tracks. We advise those that usually experience difficulties with similar slopes elsewhere in Seattle to plan ahead and consider other options that may be available. Those who experience difficulties with slopes could use the next parallel streets – S Holgate or S Horton St – or employ resources made available through King County’s Access Transportation or ADA Paratransit services. You can learn more about these services by calling (206) 263-3113 or by visiting (this link).

Cycling through SODO

With our project wrapping up in the next couple months, we want to preview how the Lander St Bridge integrates into the surrounding bicycle network. Check out the map below to see how the bridge connects people riding bikes to the broader Seattle bicycle network.

Schedule update

We are on pace to reach substantial completion of the Lander St Bridge this fall. At that point, we will have completed bridge work and intersection connections, opened the S Lander St Bridge to vehicle traffic, and crews will be working on a few remaining items on our punch list.

Upcoming work:

We are currently working on the signal configurations and road connections at 1st Ave S and S Lander St. This work will last several weeks. Please pay attention to temporary lane shifts as you navigate the area. We will continue pouring concrete for walls and sidewalks in the coming weeks. This work is weather dependent.

DELRIDGE PROJECT: What’s happening soon – and what isn’t, thanks to neighbors’ pushback

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

While the major road project under way along much of Delridge Way right now is officially the RapidRide H Line conversion project, that doesn’t quite cover what’s happening – rebuilding miles of street in concrete, replacing old water pipes and other utility connections … and, eventually, installing high-tech bus stops.

The work began in June and has more than a year to go. We met with SDOT project-team members online Wednesday to talk about major work coming up.

But first – the story of what’s not happening, thanks to neighbors’ pushback. It’s a reason to pay close attention to what shows up in your mailbox or on your doorknob. Residents were surprised last week to get flyers like this about a plan for “diverters” on 26th at Genesee and at Brandon:

Read More

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CLOSURE: 3 days to ‘Reconnect’ deadline

(WSB photo, this morning)

While stabilization work continues under the West Seattle Bridge, there’s something you can do here on the ground right now – tell the city how you can, and can’t, get around without it. The Reconnect West Seattle mobility survey is open until Friday (July 31st), as are the “prioritization” lists of potential projects in four areas affected by detour traffic. The main survey is here; the neighborhood-prioritization surveys are here (Highland Park/Riverview/South Delridge/Roxhill), here (South Park), here (Georgetown), and here (SODO). Prefer a paper ballot? Call 206-400-7511 or email

P.S. Questions? SDOT’s “virtual office hours” noon-1 pm tomorrow and 6:30-7:30 pm Thursday might be able to help – details for connecting are on this page.

ELECTION 2020: Here’s the Seattle Transportation Benefit District tax that’ll be on your November ballot

checkbox.jpgFrom today’s City Council meeting, late today – the plan to renew extra bus funding via the Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD) is officially headed to the November ballot. The six-year measure that’s expiring this year is a .1% sales tax and a car-tab fee; because of I-976, the renewal just has a sales tax. While there was a proposal to double it to .2%, councilmembers decided on .15% (that means 15 cents on every taxable $100 you spend). They also decided to keep it as a 6-year plan, though there had been a proposal to shorten it to 4 years. With the increase in the proposd tax rate, District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold proposed an amendment to increase the “emerging needs” amount expected to help pay for extra West Seattle transit while the bridge is out – that will now be a $9 million fund rather than $6 million, commensurate with the increase in the proposed tax rate. A majority of councilmembers approved that amendment; the final proposal passed unanimously.

5 MORE DAYS: Answered the Reconnect West Seattle survey(s) yet?

While SDOT says they’re “thrilled” that more than 10,000 people have answered the Reconnect West Seattle mobility survey in the first week, that still leaves tens of thousands more voices to be heard, and Friday’s the deadline, both for the main survey, and for the “prioritization” lists of potential projects in four areas affected by detour traffic. So if you haven’t offered your opinions yet, this might be prime time, before the new week begins. Our original story is here; the main survey is here; the neighborhoo-prioritization surveys are here (Highland Park/Riverview/South Delridge/Roxhill), here (South Park), here (Georgetown), and here (SODO). Other languages? Go to the Reconnect West Seattle site. Paper ballots? Call 206-400-7511 or email Just get it done by Friday (July 31st).

VIDEO: Talking transit, current and future, plus bridge updates, @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Though Sound Transit‘s planned-for-2030 West Seattle light rail was the announced spotlight topic of this month’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting, the discussion traveled over many roads.

More than 40 people had called/clicked in by the time Thursday night’s meeting got going, announced WSTC chair Michael Taylor-Judd. Here’s the WSTC recording of the meeting:

First guest: ST board member and King County Executive Dow Constantine, who got the leadoff spot because of time constraints. Veering beyond the stated topic, he noted the overall transit challenges posed by the “lousy revenue system” and “god-awful tax system.”

Read More

WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: Sound Transit spotlight @ WS Transportation Coalition on Thursday

July 21, 2020 1:50 pm
|    Comments Off on WEST SEATTLE LIGHT RAIL: Sound Transit spotlight @ WS Transportation Coalition on Thursday
 |   Sound Transit | Transportation | West Seattle news | West Seattle online

Another big meeting Thursday- here’s the announcement from the West Seattle Transportation Coalition about their plans for 6:30 pm that night (July 23rd):

We have a great lineup of guests on tap this month:

King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Council Vice Chair Joe McDermott, Seattle Deputy Mayor Shefali Ranganathan, and representatives from Sound Transit will be joining us to discuss the current state of Sound Transit 3 to West Seattle.

Heather Marx from Seattle Department Of Transportation will also be on hand with a West Seattle Bridge update.

Zoom Meeting ID 831 5795 4582
On the web:
Via phone: +12532158782,,83157954582#

You can check out the past few meetings via the WSTC YouTube channel. You’re also invited to save the date for their August 27th meeting, with our area’s U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal scheduled to talk about federal funding for the West Seattle Bridge.

FOLLOWUP: Highland Park traffic-calming, round 1, almost done

Even as the Reconnect West Seattle feedback process continues, Highland Park already has had some traffic-calming measures in the works. Last week, Cindy sent us a photo of a sign that’s already installed and waiting along 9th SW – though the speed bumps it mentions aren’t in place yet:

We checked with SDOT on the installation status, and they sent us the map above, saying, “We have completed installing all of the traffic calming measures everywhere except 9th Ave SW, which we are still working to schedule.” As noted on the map, the 9th SW installations are planned as “speed cushions” – here’s the difference, as explained by SDOT:

Speed humps are designed to slow traffic speeds on low volume, low speed streets. They are a solid hump across the travel lane and are installed near streetlights where they will be visible to people driving and biking.

Speed cushions are typically installed where average speeds are 5 mph higher than the speed limit. Speed cushions leave space for emergency vehicles to pass through quickly and are used on designated fire and emergency routes on residential streets.

This project also included the Highland Park Way/Holden traffic signal that was rush-installed right after the West Seattle Bridge closure, after local residents had worked for years to get safety upgrades at that intersection.

P.S. If you live/work/travel through the area, be sure to give your feedback on the neighborhood-specific list of more potential projects, before July 31st.

CLOSURES AHEAD: 1st Avenue South Bridge project starts this weekend

(Reader photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Many West Seattleites have become a lot more familiar with the First Avenue South Bridge in the almost four months since the West Seattle Bridge was suddenly shut down. With this week’s update on the West Seattle low bridge, some have asked about the condition of this bridge. As we’ve been previewing for weeks, it has some major work coming up: During 14 nights spread across three weeks, the northbound side will be closed for replacement of 14 of the bridge’s 96 deck panels.

The First Avenue South Bridge is actually two drawbridges – a little over half a mile long, built 40 years apart; northbound opened in 1956, southbound opened in 1996. And you should also keep in mind that it’s a state-owned-and-operated structure, so to find out more about the bridge itself, we talked with bridge-preservation engineer Evan Grimm at WSDOT (which has an FAQ page about the bridge here).

The state has ~3,000 bridges to maintain, and 40 inspectors who keep track of them – crawling under them, dangling off them, clipboards in hand. The bridges are routinely inspected every two years (that’s the federal standard, we’ve learned since the West Seattle Bridge closure). Bridges like this also get specialized inspections – underwater, for example, every five years. The state also has a full-time maintemance crew that Grimm says is “constantly out greasing gears, fixing broken wires,” etc., on bascule bridges. Even before the upcoming deck work, WSDOT was wrapping up a project upgrading mechanical and electrical equipment on the 1st Avenue South Bridge.

As for the project that starts this weekend to replace deck panels, Grimm says it’s necessary because some of the deteriorating panels are “giving us fits.” They’re trying to extend the life of the bridge – again, this is on the northbound side, now 64 years old, and Grimm notes that when it was built, they might have considered 75-80 years as a likely lifespan. “But as we look to the future, it might be a lot longer,” due in no small part to the cost of replacement.

Of those ~3,000 WSDOT bridges, by the way, only a handful are this type – primarily in Seattle and out in Aberdeen, Grimm noted. But he says with pride, this one is “a really cool bridge.”

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ... about the upcoming work on the 1st Avenue South Bridge:

-Starts Sunday night (July 19th)
(corrected) 10 pm-5 am each night of work
-Northbound full closure – you won’t be able to get onto NB 509/99 from the West Seattle/South Park onramps
-Southbound remains open
-14 nights of work are planned, Sundays-Thursdays (no work on Fridays or Saturdays)
-West Seattle low bridge is open to all traffic during those hours, and you can cross the Duwamish River via the South Park Bridge, too

UPDATED – EXTENDED: Got something to say about Stay Healthy Streets?

10:56 AM: Three weeks ago, the city launched a long-promised online survey about the no-through-traffic Stay Healthy Streets set up citywide this past spring. Today is the final day – so if you have something to say about these streets, whether they should be temporary or permanent, go here to tell the city what you think. So far, they’re in three areas of West Seattle – two that are along mostly pre-existing greenways in High Point and Puget Ridge/Highland Park, and a stretch of Alki Avenue and Beach Drive around Alki Point. The city says it will also seek “public engagement” in other ways but the survey is the first step.

12:58 PM: As noted in comments, SDOT has just announced it’s extending the survey deadline a week, to July 22nd.

BUSES: Transportation Benefit District sales-tax renewal proposed for November ballot

You might recall recent coverage here with Metro warning that the service funded by Seattle’s Transportation Benefit District tax is in danger of going away because the tax was expiring. Mayor Durkan has just announced a proposed six-year renewal – via a news release (see it here) that mentions West Seattle 13 times, though without any specifics – aside from the last line on the provided graphic below. The proposal would continue the 0.1 percent sales tax, and the city says that “is projected to generate between $20 and $30 million annually over the next six years,” broken down as follows:

The current TBD funding also includes a $60 car-tab tax, but that’s not possible now because of I-976. If approved by the City Council, this will go to voters in November.

(For context, here’s how the expiring TBD measure was presented by then-Mayor Ed Murray in 2014.)

City to resume time-limited street-parking enforcement, and paid parking

Announced today by the city:

Starting Monday, July 13, we’ll reinstate on-street paid parking and hourly time-limited parking enforcement.

Paid parking and hourly time limited parking enforcement were suspended in early April in response to the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order. With King County’s transition to Phase 2 of the Safe Start Plan, businesses are reopening, and reliable access at the curb for customers is critical for recovery.

Parking will be $0.50/hour in all paid areas; the minimum rate allowed according to the Seattle Municipal Code.

The rate will remain unchanged for at least a month while we review data to determine parking activity and occupancy in our neighborhood business districts. Further adjustments could come later in 2020. We are committed to following a data-driven process.

Parking Enforcement Officers will begin enforcing paid parking requirements, as well as enforcement of free, hourly time limited parking (think 2-hour parking signs) on July 13. For the first two weeks, they will be focused on education and voluntary compliance of paid parking as customers return to our neighborhood businesses.

The full announcement is here. (West Seattle does not have paid on-street parking but does have many time-limited spaces.)

ROAD-WORK ALERT: What’s planned for the Delridge Way project next week

July 2, 2020 5:34 pm
|    Comments Off on ROAD-WORK ALERT: What’s planned for the Delridge Way project next week
 |   Delridge | Transportation | West Seattle news

Lane closures continue along much of Delridge as the project paving the way for the RapidRide H Line continues. Here’s SDOT‘s preview of what’s ahead next week:

What to expect the week of July 6

We will work in all three zones at the same time, from north to south on Delridge Way SW. No
Parking signs will be posted on both sides of the street in each phase of work to shift traffic
around the work zones.

Work by zone

Zone A (West Seattle Bridge to SW Findlay St)

o Demolition work from SW Charlestown St to SW Dakota St
 We will be completing demolition, concrete and electrical work in the roadway and sidewalk between SW Charlestown St and SW Dakota St. Lanes will be shifted around the work zone.

 Next week, we plan to begin moving to the east side of Delridge Way SW to demolish curb ramps at SW Andover St. We will then pour and install new curb ramps later this month.

o Waterline improvements at SW Genesee St
 Next week, we will begin preparing for improvements to the waterline at SW Genesee St. This work is expected to last through July.

 Water may be shutoff temporarily during this work. Please contact Seattle Public Utilities for information on impacts.

o Concrete work for bus pads throughout Zone A
 We will begin installing bus pads and completing electrical work to prepare for the arrival of RapidRide on the corridor

 This work will include demolishing and pouring concrete in the roadway, as well as some electrical work, at bus stop locations

Zone B (SW Findlay St to north of SW Orchard St)

o SW Findlay St to SW Juneau St
 We will continue installing utility pipes. Please expect traffic to be shifted to one side of Delridge Way SW.

Zone C (North of SW Orchard St to White Center)

o We will continue connecting catch basins throughout this zone

If you experience issues with your water service during construction, please contact Seattle Public Utilities’ 24/7 service line at 206-386-1800.
Also in SDOT’s update, a preview of what’s ahead beyond next week:

 Demolition of the roadway median between SW Dakota St and SW Genesee St will begin later in July. This work is expected to last for several weeks. Please follow posted traffic signs.

 Upcoming overnight closure of the intersection of Delridge Way SW and SW Genesee St for several nights to install and connect a new water line. We will provide notice before this closure takes place.

 Upcoming temporary driveway closures near SW Juneau St. We will notify specific properties prior to this work starting.

For an overview, and contact info, see the project website.

STATE FERRIES: Execs explain pandemic’s toll on fleet, staff, riders, and revenue

(Fauntleroy ferries inbound and outbound: WSB file photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The pandemic has hit Washington State Ferries hard, and that’s likely to affect service for a long time to come.

So warned WSF executives including assistant transportation secretary Amy Scarton in tonight’s systemwide online meeting.

But before we get to that – some news about the Fauntleroy ferry terminal.

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