Park Renovation Pushed Out To 2017

A new schedule for the playground renovation project in Victory Heights Park has construction beginning in the fourth quarter of 2016 and continuing through the first half of 2017.

Read the complete minutes from this month’s community council meeting.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, Frank Robinson and Katie Bang from Seattle Parks talked about the input they had received from the community and the various design choices that are being considered for the playground equipment. But a construction timeline that was distributed revealed that rather than the work being done this summer (as originally announced back in December), it was being pushed back to later in the year and into 2017. This was due to the high demand for construction projects in the Seattle area currently.

The $893,000 budget will include new playground equipment and benches, and separate play areas for ages 2-5 and 5-12. Even choosing colors presents a number of options: In Seattle things have a tendency to go with the “nature” look – an Eddie Bauer color scheme – but there were also a fair number of people who said let’s go with something more brightly colored. A number of residents would like to see a walking path around the park but the budget may not stretch that far. A preliminary plan will be released in a month or so and feedback taken before the final design review is made and the project put out to bid.

The next meeting of the community council will be on March 15, at 7 PM at the preschool.

Work Begins on Lake City Way, 24th Avenue Closed This Weekend

24thAs part of the Lake City Traffic Safety Project, the Seattle Department of Transportation will be closing 24th Avenue NE between Lake City Way and NE Northgate Way this weekend between 4 PM Friday June 5th until 7 PM Sunday June 7th. As work on nearby sewer and water lines begins this week, the bus stop along Lake City Way that was just north of the intersection was moved south just before NE 104th Place. When finished, the intersection of 24th Avenue and Lake City Way will feature a new sidewalk, curb bulb on the SW corner of 104th Place, crosswalk improvements and sewer work. All this is part of the greater Improvement Project along the entire length of Lake City Way from I-5 up to 145th Street.

Road “Microsurfacing” Coming To Victory Heights

Like me, you probably received a door hanger today from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announcing their 2015 Microsurfacing Project in Victory Heights (though they referred to it as “North Maple Leaf”–boo!). This process will “maintain roads by coating them with a sealant which extends their life by approximately 7-10 years.”

On days when the sealant is being applied, residents will be notified to keep the streets clear.  The time table is notifying homeowners with large trees that need to be pruned by the end of April (presumably this has, or is about to happen), a reminder notice to be sent out three weeks in advance of microsurfacing for your block, and then “No Parking” signs being placed 2-3 days before work which is scheduled between July and September this year.

The city advises that “residents, pedestrians and even pets should be kept off the emulsion until it has dried” and will keep streets closed for up to 8 hours when the work is being done.

The map below details the streets that will have the work done.

Fences Gone At Kingfisher Site

Pa230724After months of work, construction of the Kingfisher Natural Area on Thornton Creek (NE 100th Street and 20th Avenue NE) has been completed and the fences removed. Thornton Creek is now wider and more shallow in order to slow it down during periods of heavy rain such as we have experienced this week (see below):

Water level on a typical dry day (Oct. 24, 2014)

Water level on a typical dry day (Oct. 24, 2014)

Water level during heavy rain (October 21, 2014)

Water level during heavy rain (October 21, 2014)

 

Three different stages of progress at Kingfisher: May 29, 2014, June 26, 2014, and October 24, 2014.

Three different stages of progress at Kingfisher: May 29, 2014, June 26, 2014, and October 24, 2014.

The walkway is now open at all times to allow access between Victory Heights at Maple Leaf at 98th Avenue NE.

Knickerbocker Floodplain Work Begins July 1st

The Knickerbocker Natural Area as seen in May 2014. In three months time, it will look much different.

The Knickerbocker Natural Area as seen in May 2014. In three months time, it will look much different.

Construction work on the long-planned Knickerbocker Floodplain Restoration Project will begin in July on Thornton Creek. Last night at the Knickerbocker Natural Area (NE 100th Street and 20th Avenue NE), staff at Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and the Parks Department met with neighbors to update them on the work. The project will relocate about 600 feet of Thornton Creek, create a 1.5 acre vegetated floodplain, and upgrade the pedestrian bridge over the creek. The new floodplain will store more water, wood, and sediment during storms and provide benefits to properties further down the creek (e.g. less flooding). It will also improve the habitat for fish and wildlife in the creek.

Related: Knickerbocker Restoration Would Be First In the NationKnickerbockerPlans

Some construction work will begin in June, while work in the creek will take place during July 1st and August 31st in an effort to protect fish populations. During that time, the creek will be diverted into two 12″ pipes, and the pedestrian path across the area will be closed for those two months. Once the new 80 foot bridge is installed, access will be reopened in time for the school year to begin.

The two and half million dollar project is a joint effort between the two Seattle departments (SPU & Parks) that have purchased parcels over the past several years. Some of the wetlands creation is being paid by Sound Transit as mitigation for construction at Northgate of the Link Light Rail station. After the contractors finish their work this summer, both departments will be responsible for maintaining the floodplain.

Just a mile east of Knickerbocker, another section of Thornton Creek is being updated when 35th Avenue NE is closed at Meadowbrook beginning Monday to install a larger bridge over the creek. The Seattle Times describes the project.

Visit the SPU website about the Knickerbocker project.

 

Tear Down In Progress On 21st Avenue NE

A backhoe demolishes the garage next to the house on 21st Avenue NE

A backhoe demolishes the garage next to the house on 21st Avenue NE

This week, the house at 10024 21st Avenue NE (at the T-intersection with NE 102nd Street) is being demolished by a large backhoe to make way for a new two-story house.  The old house was built in 1945 as part of the original development of Victory Heights. It was sold in February this year to Fortwest LLC, which according to its website, “specializes in the planning, design and construction of custom homes throughout the greater Puget Sound area.”

Knickerbocker Restoration Moved To 2014

KnickerbockerThe Seattle Public Utility (SPU) project to restore the Knickerbocker site of Thornton Creek (at the foot of 20th Avenue NE at NE 100th Street) has been rescheduled to  May 2014.

SPU announced in a letter to residents that,

Construction is planned to begin in late May of 2014 and be complete by October, 2014. City contractors will be on site early this summer to begin preparation for construction next year. They will treat and remove some invasive weeds to reduce re-growth following construction…. Crews will be making follow-up trips to the site in fall of 2013 and next spring.

Related: Knickerbocker Restoration Would Be First In The Nation
Related: Knickerbocker Site History

Originally the project had been announced to be done during summer 2013 but SPU is still working to obtain the completed environmental and building permits by late summer/early fall. Due to impact on fish and foot traffic during the school year, it can only be worked on during the summer months.

In addition, cedar trees in the north end of the project site will be removed, despite requests from the community that they be relocated. The city couldn’t afford to do so because of poor access and the low feasibility of their survival. But they wanted to note:

The project will incorporate the removed trees into the project design as in-stream structure, and more than 500 trees will be planted on the project site, including 265 cedar trees.

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Italian Spaghetti House Remodeling To Be Liquor Store

The old Italian Spaghetti House on Lake City Way which has been closed since 2011 is in the middle of a remodel to turn it into a liquor store. I had thought that after Initiative 1183 passed last year that stand-alone liquor stores (albeit state owned) would be something you’d tell your grandchildren once existed before the advent of grocery stores being able to sell hard liquor. Apparently someone thinks there is business to be had here, presumably catering to a market looking for a selection of alcoholic products not available at every Safeway or Costco. A new two-story addition is being added to the former restaurant on the north side of the building with an extended foundation.

SDOT Proposes Northgate Way Project

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has proposed the 2013 Arterial Asphalt and Concrete (AAC) Program N 105th Street and N/NE Northgate Way paving project.  The project includes reconstructing the existing roadway along N 105th St and N/NE Northgate Way from Greenwood Ave N to Interstate 5. In addition it would involve installation of new signals, closed circuit television (CCTV), license plate recognition (LPR) and digital mapping system (DMS) cameras and signal and street light upgrades along N 105th St, N/NE Northgate Way, and Lake City Way NE between Greenwood Ave N and Lake City Way NE at NE 120th St.

A 14-day comment period begins on September 13, 2012 and will end on September 27, 2012.  A seven-day appeal period will follow. Plans can be viewed at the Planning Resource Center, 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, or the main branch of the Seattle Public Library and the Northgate branch.