Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) began erecting “temporary” fencing around the Knickerbocker Thornton Creek site today in order to keep out “people and dogs” to allow the young vegetation a chance to grow. When construction was completed in October for the floodplain project and the construction fencing was removed it was assumed the site would remain open with clear sight lines to the newly restored creek. Alas, worries about foot traffic (both human and canine) around the sensitive new tree plantings on either side of the creek has altered plans, and new fencing will be erected around the entire site except for a gap to allow access to the pedestrian bridge. The fencing will probably remain through the winter and possibly be replaced by trees or some other type of wood barrier eventually.
UPDATE Dec. 10th: John Crawford-Gallagher, SPU’s Community Outreach Specialist, responds:
- The fencing will be around portions of the site, rather than the whole thing. There will be fence along NE 100th and a small section of fence on the south side of the creek.
- When we remove the fence will depend on how quickly the plants become established. It may be at the end of winter, but it may be longer.
- We don’t plan to replace the temporary fencing with trees or another type of wood barrier.
The Seattle Public Utility (SPU) department has posted a video on YouTube about the recently completed Knickerbocker Floodplain Project on Thornton Creek.
The Knickerbocker Floodplain Project at Thornton Creek continues with the building of a new pedestrian bridge this week to link 20th Avenue NE with Maple Leaf. The old bridge was demolished in July as part of moving and widening the creek and creating a floodplain.
Previous: Kickerbocker Floodplain Work Begins July 1st
Work has been delayed at the site by the large rainstorms, adding several weeks to the project. Originally it was to be completed by the end of August in time for the fish runs, as well as school beginning (many students cross here to reach Sacajawea Elementary school). The plan now is the have the bridge open by September 3rd although construction around the area will continue into October. Safety measures will be added which include:
-Fenced walkways on both ends of the bridge to keep students separate from construction work.
-A flagger at each end of the bridge to alert crews when students are present and guide students safely through the pedestrian path.
-Large equipment will pause when students are present.
The bridge will be open only during school commute times:
-Morning: 8:00-9:00 a.m.
-Afternoon: 2:45-3:30 p.m.
The bridge is scheduled to reopen to all pedestrians when construction is complete at the end of October.