Unlike Seattle and its Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project, there will be no tunnel controversy in SeaTac--the Port of Seattle has opted for a bridge.

SeaTac City Council members approved April 12 an interlocal agreement with the Port for a bridge crossing over South 188th Street in the vicinity of 28th Avenue South. The aerial crossing would be part of the Port's South Access Road connecting to the state Route 509 Extension.

Of course, the SR-509 Extension has been delayed for years and no one can predict when it will be approved. SR-509 was slated to extend beyond its present dead end at South 188th Street to connect with Interstate 5. The connection was planned to expedite freight traffic between Seattle and the Kent Valley.

But, although much of the design work and right-of-way acquisition have been completed to the point where many consider the 509 project "shovel-ready," construction funding has been elusive. That leaves the freight truck-free SR-509 through Burien as a private freeway for Highline residents.


Residents and businesses along Ambaum Blvd S.W. between S.W. 112th and S.W. 156th St, can expect to be disrupted this week and next as noisy grinding and repair work continues. Work is being done at night to have the least impact on traffic and to complete the work quicker.

Grinding and pavement repair on Ambaum Blvd S.W., started April 5 at S.W. 112th St. and is working south, finishing at the intersection of 4th Ave. S.W. and S.W. 156th St.
The segment to S.W. 140th is expected to be completed by Friday, April 8. Grinding and repair will take place from S.W. 140th south to S.W. 156th St. the week of April 11. During the nighttime repair work, traffic is being channeled to one lane, and also detoured in some areas. No parking will be allowed on the street and driveway access may be temporarily affected during these times. Use of alternate routes is recommended.

Council approves legislation detailing County's contribution to replacement span

The residents and businesses dependent on the disabled South Park Bridge are a step closer to a replacement with the unanimous adoption Monday, March 7, by the Metropolitan King County Council of agreements to fund construction of a new structure.

"Our region failed when the South Park Bridge closed last June. Today's votes take a significant step towards righting that wrong for South Park residents and our region's businesses," said Councilmember Joe McDermott, whose district includes the South Park Bridge. "Replacing the bridge will create jobs in the present and support a regional economic hub into the future."

"The Council wants to assure tax payers that we can afford this project," said Councilmember Julia Patterson, Chair of the Council's Budget and Fiscal Management Committee. "Now that the Port and the city of Seattle have firmed up their commitments to help pay for the project, we have the money we need to go forward with the construction of the new bridge."


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The Ballard Boys & Girls club is undergoing its third remodel in 25 years and invited BNT to come take a look.

“This past summer we had 50 kids on the waiting list,” said Mark Hendricks, Executive Director. “The remodel will almost double the space we have now.”

The $2.1 million remodel adds an additional 5,000 square feet of classroom space. The parking lot is also being renewed, which will have an entrance on 63rd street instead of 64th street.

“We’re not necessarily looking to increase but to give the kids more elbow room,” Hendrick said, adding that 130 to 145 kids make use of the club’s rooms on a daily basis.

“We try to maximize every inch of space on this property,” he said pointing out that the gym doubles as a breakfast space in the morning, a playground during the day now that construction is moving the playground, and a training ground for the many basketball teams and leagues in the evening.

The club has not closed any of its programs and is making the best out of the construction period.

The $2.1 million Boys & Girls Club remodel is well on its way; promises a bigger, better facility
Photo credit: 
Anne-Marije Rook

Construction is well on its way at the Ballard Boys & Girls Club.

At the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement hearing on Wednesday opinions among attendees differed but they were there for a common purpose: to get informed.

In an educational setting, attendees moved from station to station, asked questions and submitted their comments.

“We do these stations a lot because it lets people go around and find what they’re interested in whether that is the construction process, the tolling, the environmental process or the building settlement,” said Travis Phelps from WSDOT Communications.

“These are complex ideas but here they’re written and explained for the average person not engineers.”

Ballard resident Anthony Boscolo attended the hearing to get informed.

“The average person can’t follow up on the many stages of the process. I’m just here to figure out what stage they’re on,” he said.

Boscolo commutes around town on his bicycle but said he still relies on the viaduct for trips to the airport or to get out of town.

“As long as bicycle travel isn’t impacted, I’m for below ground,” he said.

“I think it will have a positive impact on the city as a whole. It will make it more livable and attract more tourists.”

Ballardites unsure about bored tunnel, interested in learning more.
Photo credit: 
Photo by Anne-Marije Rook

Locals come out to get informed at the SR 99 bored tunnel hearing.

The Seattle Department of Transportation is taking advantage of this week's favorable weather and using paving crews to repair the roadway beneath the underpass where Seaview Avenue Northwest meets Golden Gardens Drive Northwest.

Crews plan to grind the old surface off Nov. 4 and pave on Nov. 5, weather permitting. The work will take place within the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.

While the crews are working, no through traffic will be allowed, only motor vehicles going to the park. Pedestrians, but not bicycles, will be able to get through.

The roadway will be reopened on Nov. 4 when the crews are finished and closed again when work begins again on Nov. 5.


Swedish Medical Center/Ballard’s new Emergency Department and medical office building, located at 5350 Tallman Ave. N.W., will be open for public tours and a slew of other fun and beneficial community health activities on from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 6.

Here is what’s planned:

Tour the Emergency Department and Medical Office Building (11 a.m.-3 p.m.)

The best time to see an ER is when you’re not a patient – and also when there’s someone there to point out all the cool stuff to see.

Ask the Doctor (11 a.m.-3 p.m.)

Have a medical question you’ve always waned to ask? The doctors from Swedish Medical Group’s Ballard Primary Care clinic will be on hand so you can do your asking for free.

Take a Baby Bite of Ballard (11 a.m.-3 p.m.)

Some of Ballard’s favorite restaurants will be on hand, serving bite-sized samples of their most popular menu items. Restaurants include Ballard Brothers Seafood and Burgers, Great Harvest Bread, India Bistro, Plaka Estiatorio, Ray’s Boathouse, Scandinavian Specialties, The Hi-Life, The Counter and Thai Siam.

Get a Free Soccer Scarf

Swedish hosting open house for new building
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Swedish Medical Center

Swedish Medical Center/Ballard will be hosting a slew of activities for the neighborhood during a public open house for their new medical office building and emergency department Nov. 6.

On Oct. 4, the city gave approval to the Compass Housing Alliance to move forward on Ballard's Urness House, with conditions, in terms of the design and environmental impacts of the housing development for formerly homeless men and women.

The project, located at 1753 N.W. 56th St., is a seven-story building containing 80 low-income housing units above first and second-floor office and medical space. The project includes 13 parking spaces within the building.

City approves Urness House design, environmental impact
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Weinstein A|U

The city decided in favor of the design and the environmental impact of Compass Housing Alliance's Urness House, clearing the way for its construction.

With a dedication ceremony Sept. 25, Crown Hill officially got its new Fire Station 35, replacing the outdated 80-year-old former station.

Fire stations, which must serve as places where firefighters both live and work, are challenging to build, and the opening of Fire Station 35, located at 8720 15th Ave. N.W., is the culmination of two years of work, said Fred Podesta, Seattle's Finance and Administrative Services director.

The old station had sloping floors, was not up to seismic codes and lacked room to properly decontaminate equipment.

The new $7.2 million Fire Station 35 features added space, including room for decontamination, gear storage and another firefighting vehicle, and has been seismically upgraded.

Seattle Fire Chief Gregory Dean thanked Seattle voters for passing the $167 million Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy in 2003 to allow the rebuilding or upgrading of 32 neighborhood fire stations.

Podesta singled out Crown Hill residents to thank in particular.

Dedication of new Crown Hill fire station
Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Seattle Fire Chief Gregory Dean welcomes attendees during the dedication ceremony for Crown Hill's new Fire Station 35. CLICK IMAGE FOR A TOUR OF THE STATION.

After news was leaked to the media in August that Fred Meyer was scrapping its decade-long plan for a sunken, mixed-use Fred Meyer, store officials met with the Greenwood Phinney Chamber of Commerce Sept. 10 to further explain that decision and expand on the new remodel plan.

Tom Gibbons, Fred Meyer director of real estate, reiterated that Fred Meyer moving away from the planned redevelopment is strictly an economic decision. The economy is in bad shape, and the development would have cost as much as two standard Fred Meyer stores, he said.

The scrapped plan was for a $91 million multi-use development, including a 170,000-square-foot, underground Fred Meyer topped with additional retail and residential space, as well as a three-story parking garage.

In addition to the high cost, the project was over budget by as much as half the cost of a new Fred Meyer, said Melinda Merrill, director of public affairs for Fred Meyer.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

After scrapping a new, mixed-use Greenwood Fred Meyer development, the company has decided to remodel the current store and expand into the Greenwood Market building.

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