First Avenue on-ramp to be closed starting May 17

The next major milestone in the South Spokane Street Viaduct Project (the structure that links the West Seattle Bridge to I-5) is the permanent closure of the First Avenue South on-ramp to the westbound lanes of the viaduct, tentatively scheduled for May 17. The ramp closure is required to widen the Spokane Street Viaduct to the north by approximately 41 feet. The new westbound on- and off-ramp will be constructed on First Avenue.

In the year and a half during which there will be no access to the Spokane Street Viaduct from surface streets in SODO, vehicles will be detoured to the low level swing bridge to get to West Seattle. Alternative routes are noted in the attached detour map. SDOT will be monitoring traffic flows along the detour routes following the closure to determine whether changes in signal timing or other measures are needed to keep traffic moving.

Photo credit: 
Seattle Department of Transportation

The permanent closure of the First Avenue South on-ramp to the westbound lanes of the viaduct is tentatively scheduled for May 17.

Last month, February, 2010, the contractor completed the concrete slab pour work on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the new Denny International Middle School. Work continued on the roofing installation for the new Galleria and the new Denny School. The Galleria space will be used by both schools and offers the flexibility of joint, separate or community use. Also referred to as the new Commons, this space will house the dining facilities, student services, student activity spaces and large display areas.

Metal stud framing and HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing work in the new Galleria is now underway.

In the Chief Sealth main building, work continued on the drywall installation, casework installation, and painting. Floor leveling in Chief Sealth continues in preparation for new floor coverings.

Sealth Construction photo.jpg
Photo credit: 
Photo by Patrick Robinson

The contractor is scheduled to complete the floor leveling and preparation for new floor coverings in the Sealth main building this month.

The southbound, right lane of the Ballard Bridge will be closed from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 1 to March 5.

Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation plan to make repairs on the underside of the bridge.

This work is subject to change in the event that crews are called away to perform emergency work at another location.


On Feb. 25, a Seattle Department of Transportation crew will make emergency repairs to an expansion joint on the Ballard Bridge.

The north bound right lane will be closed at the north end of the bridge where the roadway crosses over Northwest Leary Avenue. The left lane northbound will remain open to traffic.

The work will begin at 9 a.m. and wrap up by 2:30 p.m. If necessary, the crew will return and do additional work in the same location on Feb. 26 between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Motorists should expect slowing at the north end of the bridge and use added caution when passing the work zone.


Sink & Toilet Plumbing 101


Join Seattle's favorite plumber, Big Jim, as he resuscitates a RE Store toilet and sink. Big Jim, an old and antique plumbing specialist, will show you how to bring new life to salvaged bathroom fixtures. Bring your plumbing inquiries and quandaries. Free, but please RSVP to


The RE Store
1440 N.W. 52nd St.

The Ballard Boys & Girls Club completed its application to the Department of Planning and Development for a 5,400 square foot, two-story addition to the community center Feb. 9.

The renovation plans also include parking for 52 vehicles, new street trees along Northwest 64th Street, the relocation of the playground, and a reconfiguration of the play field.

In September, Executive Branch Director Mark Hendricks told the Ballard News-Tribune the renovation would double the number of youths the club could serve as well as give each class its own room.

"Our main focus is probably to add about 75 to 100 kids on a daily basis," Hendricks said in September.

There will be a neighborhood meeting to discuss the renovations at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 15 at the Ballard Boys & Girls Club, located at 1767 N.W. 64th St.

Public comments are due to the Seattle Department of Planning and Development by Feb. 24.

Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Ballard Boys & Girls Club

A sketch of the Ballard Boys & Girls Club's proposed renovations. CLICK IMAGE TO SEE A SECOND SKETCH.

Ballard resident John Barker has a thing for projects, especially fixing up old houses. He has restored Magnolia homes from 1906 and 1928, a 1900s farmhouse, and a number of old homes in Bellevue.

Barker has now set his sights on a the large 1909 house on the corner of Northwest 68th Street and 30th Avenue Northwest, which he purchased in December.

Barker said decided on the house because he wanted to be near Ballard High School for his 16-year-old daughter and his offices at Barker Landscape Architects, which recently worked on Ballard Corners Park.

The site has a nice view, good sunlight and is a blank slate in terms of landscaping, plus it is a buyer's market, he said.

"It was the right location and the right project," he said.

Barker said he hasn't been able to locate the original building permit with the architect and first owner yet, but the house was part of the Jennings Addition to Ballard in the early 1900s.

He said be believes a welder lived in the house in the 1960s, which may have resulted in a lot of the metal work on the interior.

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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

John Barker poses with a historical photo of the the 1909 Ballard house he bought in December and plans to restore. CLICK IMAGE TO SEE THE CURRENT HOUSE AND BARKER'S PLANS FOR IT.

On Jan. 27 and Jan. 28, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development issued notices of violation to the property owner and tree removal company responsible for removing a monkey puzzle tree from the corner of Northwest 60th Street and Ninth Avenue Northwest Jan. 21

Though the tree was on private property, it met the requirements for an exceptional monkey puzzle tree, with a diameter greater than 22 inches on a lot larger than 5,000 square feet.

Exceptional trees on private property can be removed, but only after a Department of Planning and Development-approved risk assessment.

Bryan Stevens, spokesperson for the Department of Planning and Development, said in addition to a fine, the notice of violation includes a reforestation agreement. The agreement is negotiable but aims for the planting of a tree with similar canopy cover, he said.

The removal of the tree, which some residents put at more than 60 years old, caused distress among a group of neighbors who said it was a neighborhood landmark.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

The removal of this monkey puzzle tree Jan. 21 has resulted in fines being issued by the city to the property owners and tree removal company.

Ramps leading to West Seattle Bridge from northbound I-5 and Columbian Way will be closed this weekend

Work to widen the South Spokane Street Viaduct – the 60-year-old elevated roadway that connects I-5 to the West Seattle Bridge—will continue this weekend. Crews will again close two ramps leading to West Seattle:

· The northbound I-5 off-ramp leading to the West Seattle Bridge.
· The ramp from Columbian Way (from Beacon Hill) leading to the West Seattle Bridge.
These ramps will be closed from 10:00 p.m., Friday, January 29, until 5:00 a.m., Monday, February 1. In case of rain, crews may reschedule some of the work for the following weekend.

You can download the detour map at the link above.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will detour traffic on surface streets through the south of downtown area using the route shown on the map shown above and available for download. Drivers should expect congestion on I-5 near the Spokane Street Viaduct and in the SODO area Friday night through early Monday morning. This phase of the project should have minimal disruptions for King County Metro Transit bus service, but there could be delays if there is traffic congestion.

Photo credit: 
Seattle Department of Transportation

The northbound I-5 off-ramp leading to the West Seattle Bridge and the ramp from Columbian Way (from Beacon Hill) leading to the West Seattle Bridge will be closed this weekend.

PNA Home Design & Remodel Fair

The 13th Annual Phinney Neighborhood Association Home Design & Remodel Fair will feature 95 exhibitors, presentations, door prizes and consultations by City of Seattle permit specialists. A strong emphasis will be placed on green building, green remodeling and sustainable living.

Call 206.783.2244 for more information.


Phinney Neighborhood Center
6532 Phinney Ave. N.
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