Tuesday, October 18, 2016

WSDOT's SR520 Construction October Meeting Summary

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) provided these meeting notes from the October 5th SR520  monthly SR520 construction meeting at the Graham Visitor Center, which was largely attended by Montlake neighbors.  Toff Harrison from WSDOT ran the meeting.

LCC said:

WSDOT explained  how the timeline of construction would occur from the summer of 2017 when the West Approach Bridge North (WABN) is slated for completion through to Stage 1, which is the West Approach South Bridge facing Madison Park and the Montlake Interchange(2018-2023), then Stage 2 through Montlake Interchange to I-5 connections (2020), and finally adding a type of second bascule (draw) bridge across the Montlake Cut (2024-2027). The final phase is estimated to finish in 2028 in its completed form.

Several concerns that took most of this meeting included:

1. Why are the Montlake convenience store and gas station being removed?
WSDOT said because underlying sewer alignment that must join at that point makes it a steep connection-too high and three entrance points would have to be closed due to safety issues which may make the businesses non accessible for business  
2. The long process is of top concern with piles of staging for Montlake neighbors.
WSDOT said that the process is staged due to cash-flow constraints, and they need to preserve the staging areas.

3. Question about lighting of new portion.
WSDOT said that the new sections have lighting low to the surface, facing inwards and low wattage
Question about why WSDOT can't fix current excessive lighting.
WSDOT said it's complicated, and  they are working on it, but need to keep lights on" because people are using the shared use path  (yet it is NOT connected) 

 4. WSDOT said the final designs are yet to come and more public outreach will be had before the bid goes out for construction.

The overflowing room still had concerns about the loss of their central market and gas station and will pursue it since it was not  in the Preferred Alternative that was approved in the Record of Decision (ROD) by Gov Gregoire, but added as a separate, "re-evaluation" submitted at a later date.

5. Question about the traffic back ups as they are now, especially on the off ramp coming from Seattle into Montlake. 
Bernard Van de Kamp, representative  from the City of Seattle said the reason for that is that "there are too many cars trying to use it" (Brilliant observation).

WSDOT information to stay informed during WABN construction:
  • Call the 24-hour construction hotline (206-708-4657) with pressing questions or concerns.
  • Email WABN staff with your questions about the project or construction activities.
  • Join us for our monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Graham Visitors Center.
  • Visit the SR 520 Orange Page for the most up-to-date information on closures and construction impacts.
  • Visit the WABN project website to find general information about the project.
  • Follow us on Twitter @wsdot_520 to get key news and updates about the SR 520 program.
The West Approach Bridge North project is the next funded construction phase of the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program.

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