Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Uncovered Manhole On Surber Drive Now Finally Covered

Long-time uncovered manhole 
near Surber Drive 
finally covered February 4th

Last month the Laurelhurst Blog reported about a very long time uncovered manhole in a parking strip, about 2 feet wide and 2 1/2 feet long,  just off of NE 41st Street at the intersection of Surber Drive.

Residents in the area sent the Blog Staff many concerned emails about the danger of pedestrians and dogs walking in that area:
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. 
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. 
For a good decade or more there has been insufficient cover for the manhole near the Yesler swamp area.  For a number of years they had just plywood.  Now they have an orange cone.  I tried to see who is responsible for this.  I got nowhere with the University or the City.  If a car goes up on that grassy strip, it would damage a tire or axel.  A cyclist on the sidewalk could get hurt if not paying attention and wandered into that hole.  I wish the responsible party would put a proper iron cover over it. 
If the cone blows away, there is a big square hole there and someone could fall in and get hurt. Plus, it’s ugly.  

The Laurelhurst Blog contacted the City and was referred to SDOT Street Maintenance, who said they checked with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), who verified it was not their box.  

Roxanne, SDOT Street Maintenance Manager, worked to determine ownership of the utility box for a couple of weeks and was unsuccessful.   

She said:
We are going to just go head and take a measurement and our North District Supervisor is working on finding a replacement cover.  Since the UW has not taken care of the repair of their box, we will go out and purchase a top for the box and get it installed. 

On February 4th Roxanne notified the Blog Staff that they were able to purchase a new box top for the damaged irrigation box and had installed it.  

She added:
Hopefully this will resolve the problem.  Again, I apologize for how long this has taken but it has been difficult to determine who actually owns this facility.  We will continue to try to locate the owner of this box in case it needs attention in the future.

LCC emailed the Blog Staff confirming the new manhole had been installed saying:
Really excellent persistance on getting this safety hazard fixed. Every time I walk by, it will remind me of the Blog Staff's commitment to the neighborhood.

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