West Seattle Blog… | Bridge update, draft cargo lane plan, more @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition
the West Seattle Transportation CoalitionThe monthly meeting of included a deck briefing, a first look at a proposed dedicated freight lanes, light rail feedback and big news from group leadership. This is where we’ll start:
WSTC MANAGEMENT: The two chairs Michael Taylor Judd and vice president Marty Westerman say they intend to give up those roles and leave the WSTC board entirely after about a six-month transition. Both have been involved with the WSTC since its inception in 2013. Along with other departures, the board has five openings in its upcoming elections, so if you want to get involved in West Seattle transportation advocacy, now is the time. .
SEATTLE WEST BRIDGE REPAIR: SDOT Heather Marx submitted an update. It was largely a replay of what West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force was informed a week earlier, except for the structural-concrete schedule – she said the third of six deliveries was expected the next day (Friday April 29), and indeed SDOT confirms that this happened. Here’s a time-lapse video from early last week as they removed the wooden forms from some of the interior concrete:
She said the project can’t control when the concrete supplier can deliver, so they still don’t know when the final pour will be. (As for the next one, SDOT has since told us that the fourth pour “should hopefully take place within the next week.”) At the meeting, Marx repeated that they would know the reopening date approximately a month ahead, but they’re not out of the woods but regarding concerns – supply chain issues, COVID, weather, now even wildlife (with peregrine falcons nesting). Overall, “we know a lot about this bridge, but there are still ways it can surprise us.” Q: How long after the last concrete pour? The concrete needs 28 days to harden and then other tasks need to be done. “After this last pour we will have a date for you” – both a “completed with construction/start of testing” date and an “opening date”. Q: When will falcons fly? They hatch in May, fledge in June. “The work goes on, it’s just a bit slower,” Marx said.
FREIGHT WAYS ONLY? Radcliffe Dacanay and Chris Eaves from SDOT were there to talk about a draft plan for dedicated freight lanes as well as transit lanes that allow freight. They stressed that these lanes would be “tested as pilots” and repeatedly said it was a draft plan. The slide deck outlines the key points – see here.
A few key points: Larger vehicles will be a focus for beginners. They would only locate freight lanes in manufacturing industrial hubs – Duwamish Valley and SODO in this general area. They don’t know when they might try this pilot. Eaves stressed that they wanted to be careful before proceeding with this. The WSTC’s Taylor-Judd said he supports the idea of testing something before it becomes official in its own right. SDOT representatives stressed that this is “what we think”, at a very early stage. Lots of conversations, notifications, and information would occur regarding any location that is actively considered. Meanwhile, the Freight Advisory Board and other voluntary boards/commissions are also consulted.
WSTC COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT LIGHT RAIL EIS: The meeting took place on the day that comments closed for Sound Transit’s draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Seattle/Ballard Light Rail Extensions West. The WSTC sent a letter – here is an excerpt:
In light of what we have learned over the past 2-3 years, the WSTC strongly encourages consideration of bringing certain previously rejected prior alternatives back into the scope of this EIS process for study and review. more in-depth.
• We urge that the so-called “long tunnel” option along the Yancy route be further explored to avoid the destruction of many single-family homes and possibly even some taller multi-family structures in the Yancy neighborhood. Avalon.
• We also call for reconsideration and further study of the so-called “Purple Line” alternative which involved crossing the Duwamish River at a point further south, tunneling through Puget Ridge approximately along the SW Genesee alignment, then following the current alignments of stations and elevated guideways along this street before entering a tunnel under the Avalon neighborhood and continuing underground into the West Seattle Junction.
You can see the full WSTC letter here.
NEXT MONTH: The provisional guests, pending confirmation, will be the mayor Bruce Harrel and city council members from across the city. The WSTC meets most months at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday, which means May 26.