Utilities 1278 results

Storm recovery, eight months later

August 23, 2007 3:33 pm
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 |   December 2006 windstorm | Transportation | Utilities

South WS drivers beware: Seattle city crews have stepped up the drainage work at the south end of the Cali straightaway (Cali/Thistle) and, a block downhill, next to the Thistle/Northrop sinkhole that opened in the deluge before last December’s windstorm. Heavy equipment tore up more pavement today at Cali/Thistle (photo below) and the Thistle/Northrop bend is squeezed to one lane.


The view from atop Admiral blacktop

August 12, 2007 7:03 pm
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 |   Seen around town | Transportation | Utilities

Went to Belvedere Viewpoint to see how the Admiral paving turned out, among other things. The whole stretch that was closed for nighttime work toward the end of last week (Admiral between Olga and 41st) looks good; here’s a small section shining during a sunbreak:


Looking out toward downtown from the same viewpoint, we enjoyed a great view of everybody out fishing on Elliott Bay:


47 hours till Freeway Fright, 20 hours till Admiral Agony

The latest on the major road projects that are rolling our way like a semi-truck with burned-out brakes:

i5logo2.jpgFREEWAY FRIGHT ’07, aka the I-5 northbound lane closures: We know it’s going to be crunchy but gosh, the handwringing we’ve heard on tv lately … you would think our peninsula is going to be scooped up and flung into the middle of the Pacific, with all this hue and cry over People In West Seattle Won’t Be Able To Go Anywhere. Oh well, maybe it means a few more square feet of sand on Alki for the locals if the weather ever gets nice again. Back to the traffic: WSDOT has launched this very handy new page with specifics about What Exactly Is Happening Right This Minute, schedule changes if any, relevant cameras, and current traffic troubles. We’ll have it linked prominently here on our site every morning along with specifics on what us WSers need to know before heading out (more on that tomorrow).

ADMIRAL AGONY ’07, as in, the paving that will close Admiral Way for two nights between Olga and 41st starting tomorrow night, 7 pm-6 am. This city press release has the bare-bones basics about detours and so forth; the city e-mail update we posted back on Monday has even more information, including the warning for neighbors about possible vibrations from construction equipment.

The other shoe, er, trashcan, has dropped

recyclebucket.gifTen days ago, we were all talking about the city plan intended to lead us all further into the world of recycling, while, by the way, reaching further into our wallets, to pay for upgrading city refuse/recycling facilities. Tonight we know how MUCH more West Seattle’s Most Famous Politician wants us to pay for trash service, for starters: A buck a month for the “average” house (?), $15 more per month for the average commercial Dumpster, among other things. City press release here; Times story here. Not final till the City Council says yes.

Admiral paving update: Prepare for complete closure

Hot out of the inbox, a city update on the Admiral Way paving project, including a total shutdown between 41st & Olga, week after next — here’s hoping it’s finished on time, before colliding with Freeway Fright ’07 — click ahead for the full text of the city update:Read More

Recycling, the final frontier

recyclebucket.gifWe’ve confessed before that food-waste recycling is the one type of recycling we just haven’t quite gotten on board with yet. Looks like we’re going to have to; reports this morning (Times here, Weekly here) say we’re all going to be paying for pickup in less than 2 years. We hate paying for something we’re not using. Like the basic cable channels we don’t watch. Wish tv channels could be purchased a la carte. But we digress. So, we’ll get with the program. Maybe Sustainable West Seattle has advice! (More on the city’s “zero waste strategy” here.)

Outage explained

July 12, 2007 6:37 am
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 |   Utilities

For anyone still wondering about the power problems in south West Seattle last weekend — Scott Thomsen from City Light told us what caused the biggest outage Saturday morning: an underground cable failed and had to be replaced. Apparently this happens from time to time; cables’ insulation can go brittle because of “heat and other environmental conditions.”

Outage leads to overflow

Seattle City Light still hasn’t posted a peep about the power outages on this side of WS Friday night & Saturday morning, but King County has posted a press release noting the bigger outage caused an overflow at the Murray Street pump station @ Lowman Beach. NOON UPDATE: Warning signs (photo below) are still up at Lowman.


Unplugged, the summer edition

Some pockets of power trouble here on the south end of West Seattle in the past 18 hours or so, including here at WSB HQ (so says the early-rising team member, who noted it was out at least as far as 35th and Trenton, for at least an hour until about 6 am). Another outage happened in neighborhoods near Morgan Junction last night; one reader tells us it was out at her house for at least 5 hours. No word yet on what’s going on here (the City Light Outage Hotline only makes mention of something going on right now in Sodo) but it might have something to do with the Morgan substation just north of Thriftway, where several City Light crews blocked off that last stub of Morgan for a while last night (photo below), though our ERTM says they weren’t there this am.


WEDNESDAY: 3 for tonight

June 27, 2007 5:31 am
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 |   Environment | Utilities | West Seattle schools | WS culture/arts

First, the light stuff: Semi-rare midweek in-store live @ Easy Street; Marissa Nadler, 6 pm.

Now, serious business: King County hosts a community meeting for south West Seattle folks (others welcome too, of course) to find out more about the improvements in the works for the Barton (near the Fauntleroy ferry dock) and Murray (at Lowman Beach) pump stations, all in the interest of avoiding future CSOs (combined sewer overflows) which now total 14 million gallons a year just at those two stations. Learn more @ 6 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy.

Last but by no means least, the Westwood Neighborhood Council summons all who are interested in the huge upcoming (right after next school year) Sealth HS/Denny MS project — 6:30 pm, SW Community Center.


About that sinkhole …

Six months after the deluge preceding the December windstorm created the Thistle/Northrop sinkhole (at the end of the 52-y-o hillside staircase) in Upper Fauntleroy, Seattle Public Utilities is finally about to do something substantial in the area. Before we elaborate: Two photos, one looking west into the sinkhole a few days after the storm (before the temporary bridge was built); the next, a recent look east at and below the segment of “suspended” sidewalk that’s been literally hanging there (blocked off from public access) ever since:


Now, the apparent plan: Flyers available at the Thistle/Northrop corner say SPU will start work next weekend on “drainage catch basins and inlets” both at that corner and a block east at Thistle/Cali. They describe the “new drainage structures” as “improved grates with curb openings to help facilitate storm water drainage when debris covers them.” As for the sinkhole itself, which now seems to be dubbed a “gully,” SPU writes on the flyer:

We are continuing to work with FEMA and private property owners to repair the gully that was eroded during the 2006 winter storms. We anticipate that this work, which will include rebuilding the sidewalks to provide access to the SW Thistle St stairs, will be completed later this summer. Thank you for your continued patience.

For walkers/joggers who are wondering (like us), we just sent a note to SPU to ask if the upcoming work will block off the stairs again … we’ll let you know what we hear.

You can’t get there from here

June 17, 2007 9:52 pm
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 |   Transportation | Utilities

Don’t forget — as of tomorrow morning, a major east-west West Seattle route is scheduled to close, and stay closed, for three months. All along 35th (and elsewhere), the signs were in place and waiting as of late today (albeit facing backward, till morning):


The route, if you’re not already aware, is Morgan/Sylvan between 35th and Delridge. The designated detour/alternative is Holden. If you find yourself needing to call someone with questions, there’s a “construction information hotline” in this city news release about the project.

Might as well go buy that generator if you haven’t already

The ’06 Windstorm (preceded by mega-deluge) smacked us exactly six months ago. And the scariest line in this report about another assessment of Seattle City Light’s troubles in its aftermath is the part where SCL boss Jorge Carrasco is quoted as saying “I don’t want our customers to believe we will be at optimal level” before next storm season. Candles! Batteries! Firewood! Start stocking up now!

Beach Drive traffic alert

Big City Light contingent, with flagger and traffic-directing officer, busy a mile or so from the south end of Beach Drive, not too far from where this happened during the windstorm.


Another pump-project permit

May 22, 2007 2:29 am
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 |   Fauntleroy | Utilities

Four and a half months after the Alki pump-project permit, comes a key permit just granted for the Barton Street pump project, just north of the ferry dock. Appears that starting later this year, this will tear up the Cove Park vicinity like last spring’s emergency repair work (followed by the post-windstorm repairs). In all, three pump-station projects are in the works for the West Seattle shoreline; various collateral can be found here.

Down under

If that mess with the busted water main under the University Bridge has you wondering “hmm, how old’s the big pipe under my street” — there’s a city map resource you can wade through to find out.

Unmasked, at last

One month after putting it up, city crews finally pulled the covers off the left-turn light at 35th/Thistle this morning, and it’s up ‘n’ running:


WS scam alert

April 25, 2007 3:25 pm
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 |   Crime | Utilities

If somebody calls you and claims to be from City Light, put up your ripoff radar.

Cali makeover crew moves north

When the city reported that the repaving was moving fast, that was no exaggeration. If you have to drive the north half of Cali, be forewarned that as of this morning, the heavy equipment has all moved north, currently focusing on a stretch from Admiral Safeway to McDonald’s — particularly challenging for drivers, considering there are two schools in that stretch (Lafayette Elementary and WS High). The work this morning is centering on the west side of the street and the crews are still straightening out the traffic flow on the east, so be patient — and watchful — our trip through was a bit of an adventure.


April 24, 2007 4:09 am
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 |   Utilities | West Seattle weather

If you want to be ready for NEXT year’s windstorm, we saw a big pile of small generators @ the nearest Costco, less than $200 each.

Too many antennas?

Neighborhood discontent is brewing on the west end of Alki over a proposal for more cell-phone antennas at the west end of Admiral Way. Details have been posted in the past 24 hours at Beach Drive Blog and on the Alki Beach Community group @ Yahoo, with plans for concerned neighbors to meet this Sunday. According to the property history on the city site (which includes information on this permit application), this has been an antenna site for at least a dozen years. UPDATE: Here’s a photo of the apartment building where the additional antennas are proposed for the roof. If you look hard you can see several of the existing ones (“screened” as they are).


Greener than we were an hour ago

Our endless online search for West Seattle-related people, places, and things just led us to 2People, thanks to a post at WorldChanging mentioning that 2People was founded by “West Seattle transplant Phil Mitchell.” So what makes it more than yet another enviro-info site? As far as we can tell from our first tour around 2People, it not only challenges you to take action — small steps will do — to help fight the climate crisis, it also points you to WHAT you can do — like something we weren’t previously aware of: Easily and cheaply buying “clean electric power” via City Light. You can sign up here right now, for just a few bucks a month. (And if you join 2People, please add us to your network — we’re signed up as, what else, West Seattle Blog.) P.S. Need motivation? Read this.