News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

“No.” Feds on $15 million for Northgate pedestrian bridge

October 27th, 2015 by Mike

Bad news for the pedestrian/bike bridge between North Seattle College and the Northgate light rail station.

The Seattle Times posted a story tonight beginning:

The federal government has decided not to contribute $15 million toward a Northgate Station pedestrian-and-bicycle bridge over Interstate 5. Local taxpayers would need to fund the entire $26 million project themselves.

Nor will Uncle Sam donate $10 million to help Seattle expand the Pronto bicycle network, which currently serves the University District, downtown and places nearby.

The Times story is here.

Earlier posts of ours are here and here.

The Times adds:

Bridge funding still remains within reach.

Sound Transit already approved $5 million, and the Legislature $10 million, along with $5 million already pledged by Seattle. That leaves a gap of $6 million.

If voters pass this fall’s $930 million Move Seattle property-tax levy, the city’s plan would allocate $15 million to Northgate, pushing it past the goal line.

As others have noted, however, that is not a firm commitment from the city.

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First Ave. N.E. to close nightly for weeks

August 1st, 2015 by Mike

Crews working overnight to relocate utility lines will close First Avenue Northeast between Northeast 95th and Northeast 100th streets for several weeks.

The closure is from 7:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. A detour will be marked to Fifth Avenue Northeast.

That section of First is already heavily impacted by preliminary work on light rail, and the utility relocation is necessary before beginning construction of Northgate Station early next year.

From Sound Transit:

This work is expected to take approximately two to three weeks to complete. No high impact noise activities (such as jackhammering or saw-cutting) are scheduled to take place after 10 p.m. Access to homes and businesses will be maintained.

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Silver Platters leaves Maple Leaf for Lynnwood

July 21st, 2015 by Mike

Movie and music specialist Silver Platters has moved its Maple Leaf store to Lynnwood.

Northgate Station –  the strip mall that houses Silver Platters, SAS Shoes and several other stores, was purchased last year by Sound Transit.

The site, just south of the Northgate Transit Center on First Avenue Northeast and across from Interstate 5, will become a part of the link between the Maple Leaf Portal and the Northgate Light Rail station.

Silver Platters closed in Maple Leaf on July 12, according to its Facebook page.

It also has locations in south Seattle and Bellevue.

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Quick update on the Northgate pedestrian bridge

February 10th, 2015 by Mike

The story thus far:

* There WAS a plan to spend around $20 million to connect the neighborhoods across Interstate 5 to Maple Leaf and the Northgate transit center and light rail station via a pedestrian and bike bridge from North Seattle College to the station. Got that? (It entirely avoids the word “interagency.”)

* It ran out of money. Specifically, Sound Transit set a July 2015 full funding deadline, after which it would withdraw the $5 million it committed. Seattle failed to get a federal grant, leading to a cliffhanger going into the new year….

* Now the Seattle Bike Blog reports:

In a recent response, Sound Transit staff say they will recommend that their Board extend the deadline to February 2016. While not a huge amount of extra time, it will give leaders more opportunities to identify funding options.

That letter from Sound Transit is here.

As Charles B. commented late last month: “Stay tuned….”

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Silver Platters, SAS Shoes, others to leave Northgate Station for light rail

August 4th, 2014 by Mike

Sound Transit got back to us today, confirming it will acquire Northgate Station –  the strip mall that houses Silver Platters, SAS Shoes and several other stores.

The site will instead become a part of the link between the Maple Leaf Portal and the Northgate Light Rail station.

“As the station and guideway construction plans moved past 90% it became apparent that we would not be able to maintain reasonable access for the businesses for at least two years while we build the guideway through the area,” emails Bruce Gray, public information officer for Sound Transit.

“Four of the large columns supporting the guideway will be on the property and as the designs progressed, it became clear that we can’t put them in while maintaining access to the tenants.”

The mall is immediately south of the Northgate Transit Center, and just east of First Avenue Northeast and Interstate 5.

Gray said that by now all the businesses in the mall should have been contacted.

Sound Transit will pay for all moving expenses and up to $50K in costs associated with reestablishing their businesses at a new location. Our people will also help the businesses find suitable new locations and work closely with them throughout the process.

In other light rail news, Sound Transit emailed on Thursday:

The first of two tunnel boring machines that will build the Northgate Link tunnels between the University of Washington Station and Northgate Station is having a good start. Today it will have travelled 500 feet since crews began mining south from the Maple Leaf Portal near NE 94th Street in early July. Crews expect the first TBM to reach Roosevelt Station in early 2015.

The light rail line here is set to begin operating in 2021.

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Two nearby news items – a shooting and a TBM (the T stands for tunnel)

July 9th, 2014 by Mike

Two press released arrived this afternoon. One is on a shooting nearby in Victory Heights. The other is the launch of Brenda – the Tunnel Boring Machine heading for the University District.

From Seattle Police:

Police are investigating after a man was wounded in a shooting in the Victory Heights neighborhood Wednesday afternoon following a dispute over an apparent drug debt.

Police responded to the 1700 block of Northeast 103rd Street, where they found the victim, who had been shot in the foot. Medics transported the man to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

At the scene, witnesses told officers two men had fled the scene in a black Lincoln Town Car. Police are now searching for the two men, described as a white male, 5’8, wearing a black tank top, and a white male, 6’0, wearing a blue dress shirt.

From Sound Transit:

The first of two tunnel boring machines that will dig new twin light rail tunnels from the Northgate neighborhood in Seattle to the University of Washington began mining today.

That would be Brenda. You can read more here.

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Crow’s eye view of the Maple Leaf Portal dig

March 14th, 2014 by Mike

A reader sent us this link to a construction cam atop the Maple Leaf Portal work site.

(Sometimes we can get it to work. Sometimes we can’t. Go figure.)

He also says First Avenue  Northeast at the site, which is currently one-way southbound, may not reopen in both directions as scheduled at the end of this month.

“The contractor just requested that they keep it one lane through May. (Sound Transit) hasn’t decided yet if they’re going to grant that yet, and part of that decision will be up to SDOT.”

A different reader, who clearly knows a lot more about the light rail project than we do, emailed the below last week.

Glossary (by editor):

TBM =  Tunnel Boring Machine (we think).

ST = Sound Transit.

Brenda = TBM named after a project manager’s wife, according to comments on an earlier post. Brenda is not Bertha, the whopping big TBM stuck on its way under downtown.

North Link = light rail that will run from Husky Stadium to Roosevelt Station to Northgate. It should reach Northgate in 2021.

Togo and Balto: From the same comments: “The two TBMs that are digging from UW to Capitol Hill were named Togo and Balto after famous Huskies – the four-legged kind.”

The fact sheet regarding tunneling in the North Link document archive notes that one TBM will be launched from Maple Leaf toward Roosevelt, where it will be trucked back to Maple Leaf for re-launch. Two TBMs will be launched from Roosevelt toward UW.

Brenda’s remnants are definitely at Maple Leaf, ST noted that in an earlier press release. Probably fitted with a new shield assembly and cutter head. I believe the original shield was left in place in the tunnel near the Paramount. I’m guessing Togo and Balto will likely be reused on the Roosevelt to UW segment, as that would be a cost effective move for the contractor and probably figured into their bid. Maybe rename them Brendaborg, Togoborg and Baltoborg. 🙂

Looking forward to this group trying to beat the ULINK bar for cost and schedule, but we shall see, hopefully no immovable objects stand in their way.

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Crow's eye view of the Maple Leaf Portal dig

March 14th, 2014 by Mike

A reader sent us this link to a construction cam atop the Maple Leaf Portal work site.

(Sometimes we can get it to work. Sometimes we can’t. Go figure.)

He also says First Avenue  Northeast at the site, which is currently one-way southbound, may not reopen in both directions as scheduled at the end of this month.

“The contractor just requested that they keep it one lane through May. (Sound Transit) hasn’t decided yet if they’re going to grant that yet, and part of that decision will be up to SDOT.”

A different reader, who clearly knows a lot more about the light rail project than we do, emailed the below last week.

Glossary (by editor):

TBM =  Tunnel Boring Machine (we think).

ST = Sound Transit.

Brenda = TBM named after a project manager’s wife, according to comments on an earlier post. Brenda is not Bertha, the whopping big TBM stuck on its way under downtown.

North Link = light rail that will run from Husky Stadium to Roosevelt Station to Northgate. It should reach Northgate in 2021.

Togo and Balto: From the same comments: “The two TBMs that are digging from UW to Capitol Hill were named Togo and Balto after famous Huskies – the four-legged kind.”

The fact sheet regarding tunneling in the North Link document archive notes that one TBM will be launched from Maple Leaf toward Roosevelt, where it will be trucked back to Maple Leaf for re-launch. Two TBMs will be launched from Roosevelt toward UW.

Brenda’s remnants are definitely at Maple Leaf, ST noted that in an earlier press release. Probably fitted with a new shield assembly and cutter head. I believe the original shield was left in place in the tunnel near the Paramount. I’m guessing Togo and Balto will likely be reused on the Roosevelt to UW segment, as that would be a cost effective move for the contractor and probably figured into their bid. Maybe rename them Brendaborg, Togoborg and Baltoborg. 🙂

Looking forward to this group trying to beat the ULINK bar for cost and schedule, but we shall see, hopefully no immovable objects stand in their way.

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Deadline tomorrow for Northgate design feedback

September 29th, 2013 by master

The arrival of light rail isn’t the only thing that’s coming to Northgate in the next eight years.

The city is also in the process of developing the appropriate urban framework to support a new and improved transit center in the area, which means the chances it will affect Maple Leaf are about 100 percent.

Luckily, your opinion is sought on the draft of the so-called Northgate Urban Design Framework, but you only have until tomorrow, Sept. 30, to submit feedback. The draft plan:

  • Identifies key design concepts for Northgate’s Urban Center to create a healthier, more livable, and denser mixed-use community with more houses and shopping opportunities
  • Illustrates recommended street improvements for pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and transit users
  • Identifies design advice for the area closest to the light rail station, where future development will add to the growing area

Goals of the plan are to: [Read more →]

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Share your vision for Northgate Urban Design

July 17th, 2013 by master

How would you like to see the Northgate urban area evolve as we move closer to the completion of the neighborhood’s light-rail station in 2021?

You’re invited to share your thoughts at the upcoming Northgate Open House from 6-9 p.m. July 30 at Aljoya Thornton Place, 450 N.E. 100th St. Based on your feedback at previous meetings, Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development already has drafted an Urban Design Framework for the neighborhood, but it’s seeking your help before it finalizes the plan in the fall.

The plan encompasses the station area and expands throughout the Northgate Urban Center, and includes such features as “urban plazas, active and green streetscapes, and a more complete neighborhood district near the light rail station.”

Your feedback is sought on:

  • Pedestrian and bicycle connections to the station
  • Public spaces in the vicinity
  • Other community amenities
  • Creating an active, healthy and sustainable neighborhood
  • Getting more green improvements
  • Getting more affordable housing

For more information or to comment online, go to the Northgate Urban Design website.

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