Reminder: South Park Bridge closes tonight; buses already rerouted

June 30th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on Reminder: South Park Bridge closes tonight; buses already rerouted

(Photo courtesy King County Department of Transportation)
The bus reroutes kicked in this morning; the bridge closes tonight. Here is a preview from partner site West Seattle Blog. Note that the South Park community is hoping to have a strong show of support from all over the area as they say goodbye to the bridge tonight – and say hello to an interim time, before a new bridge is built, that they know will be challenging, but survivable with support from neighbors. P.S. A traffic alert from Jim, in WSB comments:

Watch your driving through the area. SDOT has already changed lane assignments as of Noon. You are going to be down one right turn lane off of E Marginal Way southbound.

Also the right lane on Cloverdale is no longer a left turn lane, it is right turn only.

This seems a little premature, and is bound to screw up the afternoon commute.

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South Park Bridge reminder: Shutdown night is almost here

June 28th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, Transportation, White Center news 3 Comments »

Thanks to Gill for the photo – apparently if you catch that sign at just the right instant, half the illuminated words and numbers disappear. The handwritten sign below, however, speaks more loudly. We’re taking the occasion to point you to a news release the county sent around today – for anyone who didn’t already have this burned into their awareness, 7 pm this Wednesday is the moment that the South Park Bridge is scheduled to close for good – more like “open” permanently, as the leaves will be raised so vessel traffic can make it through. The community is planning a 6-10 pm wake with art, music and more, and inviting you to be part of what they hope truly will be just a temporary end to their link across the Duwamish … the push for a new bridge now has $80 million of the $130 million funding commitment that’s neded. P.S. An important part of the reminder is that the bus routes that are changing because of the bridge shutdown will start their new routes at 5 am Wednesday – so tomorrow is the final full day of those routes (explained here) the way they are.

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Yet more money for the South Park Bridge

June 25th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, Transportation 1 Comment »

$10 million more today, according to County Councilmember Jan Drago‘s office. Meantime, counting down to closure of the old one – 7 pm Wednesday, if for some reason you hadn’t heard. The 1st Avenue South Bridge has maintenance closures 5 am -11 am both days this weekend.

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Constantine: “We can, and will, rebuild this bridge”

June 23rd, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, White Center news 3 Comments »

(County Councilmember Julia Patterson, one of the many elected officials who spoke at today’s announcement)
Just back from covering the official announcement of $20 million in state money for the South Park Bridge’s replacement, exactly one week before the current one is closed permanently. A dozen political and community leaders were there to share in the announcement, which brings the financial commitment so far to $70 million, more than half the cost of the replacement. More to come.

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Still not clear on what’s up with the South Park Bridge? Maybe this’ll help

June 15th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, Transportation, White Center news 1 Comment »

King County produced a video explainer of the South Park Bridge‘s impending closure. In case you’re still not entirely clear about the impending 7 pm June 30th shutdown – just two weeks from tomorrow – check it out.

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: New members, and more

June 4th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Crime, North Highline UAC, south park, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: New members, and more

(North Highline council members Barbara Dobkin, Rebecca Lopes, Christine Waldman, Jessica Stoneback, Ron Johnson, Patrick Mosley, Richard Miller, Pat Price, Stephen Porter [not pictured: Heidi Johnson])
Story and photos by Jonathan Stumpf
Reporting for White Center Now

First up from last night’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting at North Highline Fire District HQ: The seven winners of the May 20 election (District 1: Pat Price, District 2: Stephen Porter, District 3: Jessica Stoneback, District 4: Christine Waldman, At Large: Rebecca Lopes, Barbara Dobkin and Richard Miller) were seated for the first time as active council members.

But those who previously served got a moment of recognition too: King County Councilmember Jan Drago‘s executive assistant Holly Krejci recognized, on behalf of Drago, past members for their “timeless work on behalf of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council,” collectively serving 12 years.

Up next, King County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Hancock shared the monthly crime report that included:

* three felony assaults
* 10 misdemeanor assaults
* one stabbing
* two shooting calls
* one homicide
* two robberies
* 25 burglaries, of which two were commercial
* 20 auto thefts

These statistics were alarming to council members and residents, considering just months ago Hancock’s crime report was significantly less. Hancock attributes this to fewer police on patrol, because the Weed and Seed and Byrne grants have finished funding and assisting with a higher police presence. Presently, this unincorporated area of King County has only two officers on patrol, and Hancock agrees that the numbers reflect this.

“We can’t do proactive police work,” said Hancock. “The best thing you can do as residents is be a good neighbor.” However, he did emphasize that should a high priority crime take place, backup is only minutes away from the Seatac or Burien police departments.

Council Member Patrick Mosley did ask about a new drug on the streets called ‘wet’–marijuana cigarettes dipped in embalming fluid — to which Hancock did say they had seen an increase in its abuse.

Also visiting from King County was Paulette Norman from the Roads Division of the Transportation Department, to distribute and discuss the South Park Bridge Final Closure Plan, also found here. Norman emphasized that even if funding was secured tomorrow, the bridge would still close as currently scheduled at 7 pm June 30th, because it would take almost three years to dismantle and rebuild a new one.

She did agree with most in the audience that the area around the bridge won’t look aesthetically pleasing for a while, and she also emphasized they are doing everything possible to help with the traffic diversions, including the installation of new digital message signs to help with communications of any traffic issues to commuters. These are going up along 1st Ave South, Highway 99, 509 and 599, hopefully she said, right around June 30, the day the bridge closes.

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets the first Thursday of every month at the North Highline Fire District Office. Visit www.northhighlineuac.org for more info.

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South Park Bridge: “Final closure plan” now public

May 26th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, White Center news Comments Off on South Park Bridge: “Final closure plan” now public

Its highlights – including the newest changes planned for Metro Route 60, which serves White Center – were discussed as part of a wide-ranging public meeting last night. Here’s the detailed report published on our partner site West Seattle Blog. Bottom line remains, the bridge closes 7 pm June 30th, and the money to replace it hasn’t been rounded up yet.

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South Park Bridge closure-plan meeting tonight

May 25th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on South Park Bridge closure-plan meeting tonight

Tonight is the second of two meetings for the public to hear about the closure plan for the South Park Bridge – now just a month away (7 pm, June 30th). The meeting’s 6-8 pm at the Machinists’ Union Hall in South Park; full details at the SP Bridge Closure page on the King County website.

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Consultant’s report reaffirms plan to close South Park Bridge

May 5th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on Consultant’s report reaffirms plan to close South Park Bridge

From partner site West Seattle Blog: King County says the final consultant review of the South Park Bridge’s condition is in, and it reaffirms the county decision to close the deteriorating bridge on June 30th. Full story here.

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Seattle Channel tells the South Park Bridge story

May 3rd, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, White Center news 2 Comments »

Seattle Channel‘s “Inside/Out” show focuses this time on the South Park Bridge, its impending closure, and the community members who hope it won’t be as devastating as their fear. You can watch the entire program in the video window above (or you can watch it this week on the Seattle Channel, if you have it on your cable system).

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South Park Bridge closure-plan meeting: Full report

April 28th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, White Center news 2 Comments »

If you haven’t already seen it on partner site West Seattle Blog, here’s the link to our full-length article – with one video clip from a particularly impassioned community member – about last night’s meeting on the “draft closure plan” for the South Park Bridge. The plan itself also is available online, and is linked in the story.

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South Park Bridge closure-plan meeting Tuesday night

April 26th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, White Center news Comments Off on South Park Bridge closure-plan meeting Tuesday night

This is the next major public meeting about the impending South Park Bridge closure: 6-8 pm Tuesday night at the Machinist Union Hall in South Park. But this isn’t about the hopes of a new bridge – it’s about the plans proposed to help residents, businesspeople and other bridge users get by once the bridge closes on June 30th. This is the “draft” plan, with tweaks to be made after public comments are heard, so it’s important to be there if this is an important issue: Here’s the official announcement; here’s a map.

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Video: South Park Bridge closure protest on Duwamish Alive! day

April 17th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, Transportation, Video, White Center news 4 Comments »

UPDATED SUNDAY: Our video is from just after protesters stretched into a “human chain” all the way across the South Park Bridge. But thanks to Dale Rowe for sending the photo we added Sunday:

Meantime, the people opposed to the bridge’s closure did get hoped-for media attention during their demonstration today – we saw a couple TV crews. And awareness is what it was all about, according to Bill Pease:

The county’s plan for closing the bridge remains 7 pm June 30th, and there’s no hard-and-fast plan for a replacement yet, though the money search continues. County Councilmember Jan Drago talked about it while speaking before participating in the waterborne work party that was part of the Duwamish Alive! Earth Day effort this morning – this next clip is by visual journalist Cliff DesPeaux, who covered Duwamish Alive! for our partner site West Seattle Blog:

As reported here earlier this week, the first meeting to review the county’s draft closure plan – addressing everything from traffic to business impacts – is set for 6 pm April 27 at the IAM Hall in South Park.

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Dates set for South Park Bridge closure-plan meetings

April 15th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on Dates set for South Park Bridge closure-plan meetings

King County has set the dates for two community meetings on the South Park Bridge closure plan: April 27 and May 25, both meetings 6-8 pm at the Machinists Hall in South Park. These are not meetings about the bridge’s future, but rather, regarding logistics of its closure and resulting traffic/emergency-services effects. April 27, the draft plan will be presented; May 25, the final plan. The bridge is still scheduled to close permanently 7 pm June 30, and so far there is no plan for rebuilding it, which requires rounding up more than $100 million first.

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Update: South Park Bridge rally video

March 28th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, White Center news 1 Comment »

That’s our video from this afternoon’s South Park Bridge rally. A few dozen people stood alongside the south side of the bridge, waving signs, rattling noisemakers, even shaking pom-poms. Before 3 pm, though, it started to rain, hard, and we noticed a few of the demonstrators leaving – though others stayed and simply whipped out umbrellas. ADDED 10:57 PM: Washblog has a story with lots of photos.

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South Park Bridge: Rally on Sunday (and other new developments)

March 27th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, Transportation Comments Off on South Park Bridge: Rally on Sunday (and other new developments)

We’ve gotten a bit behind in sharing links here from partner site West Seattle Blog. Here’s the latest coverage on the South Park Bridge situation, as the June 30th scheduled permanent shutdown edges ever closure:

RALLY TOMORROW:
South Park community members are organizing a rally as high-ranking political leaders come to SP to celebrate health-care reform. Here’s the latest on that – you’re welcome to join and help show support for the fight against leaving SP bridgeless.

SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL PROMISES SUPPORT: Toward week’s end, city councilmembers said they pledge support in helping find money for a new South Park Bridge, and weren’t ruling out a possible city contribution.

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Two updates on the South Park Bridge situation

March 25th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, Traffic, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on Two updates on the South Park Bridge situation

We first reported these last night on partner site West Seattle Blog – but in case you didn’t see them there, we’re linking here too. Multiple agencies sent reps to the first “bridge closure planning meeting” yesterday in SP; after that, we were off to a media opportunity with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, whom we asked whether the city might chip in money for a new bridge, as a county rep had suggested to us might be necessary. Here’s the full story with details on both angles (including video of the mayor’s answer). Meantime, nothing has changed as the county moves toward its plan to close the South Park Bridge permanently at 7 pm June 30th.

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Traffic alert: Early-morning crash closes South Park Bridge

March 25th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, Traffic 1 Comment »

Thanks to the caller on our breaking-news line (206-293-6302, round the clock) – we just got word a crash has closed the South Park Bridge. The KIRO TV traffic chopper showed a vehicle on its side. No word how much longer (it’s 6:28 am as we post this) it’ll be closed.

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South Park Bridge: 2nd meeting; bus-reroute plan

March 11th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Metro, south park, Transportation, White Center news Comments Off on South Park Bridge: 2nd meeting; bus-reroute plan

Two notes about the South Park Bridge situation – First, we covered another emotional community meeting last night; here’s the link to the article on partner site West Seattle Blog. Second, during a briefing with Metro today on a wide range of topics, we asked about bus-rerouting plans if the South Park Bridge indeed does close at the end of June. They said one of the bus routes that would be affected is the 60 from White Center; currently, their reroute plan would take buses down Cloverdale to 8th, with a left turn there. More to come.

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South Park Bridge closure: “How will we survive this?”

March 10th, 2010 Tracy Posted in south park, Transportation, White Center news 14 Comments »

So asked one attendee in an overflow crowd at the South Park Neighborhood Center last night, as county reps – and others – talked about what is now looming as the June 30 scheduled closure of the South Park Bridge. We have a full article up at partner site West Seattle Blogread it here. Also note that there is another meeting scheduled in South Park tonight, this one at 6 pm at South Park Community Centermore at Blogging Georgetown.

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