Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Beware Of Uncovered Deep Manhole On Surber Drive

The Laurelhurst Blog has received many concerned emails from residents on and near Surber Drive about a manhole that is over a foot deep without a cover.   

A Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) Board Member contacted SDOT Traffic Safety two months ago, however still nothing has been done to cover the manhole.

The manhole, which is about 2 feet wide and 2 1/2 feet long, is just off of NE 41st Street and is located on the parking strip between the pathway and the road heading south into Surber Drive NE .  It is about ten feet south of the street sign at the intersection of NE 41st Street and Surber Dr NE, a Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) Board Member said.

One nearby resident commented:

The uncovered manhole is right next to a crosswalk. I imagine a parent with little kids, waiting at the corner to cross, especially in poor lighting conditions, and the child running right into the hole.

Another resident said:

What makes it really dangerous is when it is dark and there is no orange cone in it.  When the orange cone was missing for several days it was really dangerous. And actually the hole was a lot worse before I cut away a lot of the weeds and grass about three weeks ago.

An LCC Board Member sent Jim Curtin, SDOT Traffic Safety Coordinator, an email on November 5 saying:

Several weeks ago I sent you an email concerning a deep hole, about 24” x 30” in size, at the north end of Surber Drive NE.  
The hole, which appears to be a water meter, has an orange cone in it to keep folks aware due to the thick weeds and grass growing out of the hole. SDOT then installed a red and white trestle over the hole the give even better protection.  
Yesterday I went to have another look at it because I noticed the trestle was missing and there was still no cover or manhole installed.  
Could you please give me some idea of when SDOT will fix this problem? It’s a potential leg breaker in the current condition.

Jim Curtin responded on November 12 saying:
We coordinate with SPU on these issues and it sounds as if they have not responded to this issue just yet. I will have our crews go back out there to reinstall the temporary barrier. I’ll also ask SPU to expedite the repair of the cover.
On December 10, LCC again followed up with Jim saying:
I dropped by this site today and noted that there is no change. Just the orange cone and lots of weeds and grass.  No temporary barrier has been installed.  
On December 15, Jim Curtin responded:
Thanks for the update.  I’m guessing that the massive amount of rain that we’ve received lately has something to do with the delay. I’ll ping my contacts and see if we can get some action out there sooner rather than later.

As of yesterday, the LCC Board member said that Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has still not shown up to make changes to the open manhole saying:

I’m still waiting to hear or see any action from SDOT or SPU on this problem.  What I don’t understand is the hole has water meters in it so, if they are still active, SDOT or SPU should install a new cover over the hole or, if the meters are no longer in use, fill the hole in will dirt an be done with it. It’s a one hour job in my opinion.   
Anything the Blog can do that you think can help get some action would be really great. This has been going on long enough and is very dangerous for our neighbors.
The Laurelhurst Blog contacted Jim Curtin this morning and is awaiting a response.



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