For anyone waiting to see construction crews pour the first drop of concrete for the new Capitol Hill light rail station, you’ve got a long fall ahead of you. It’s done….at least for now. They tore it down, covered it up, and now, as we expected, Broadway’s newest addition is 3 acres of open asphalt.
Before getting into what to do with it, I contacted Bruce Gray from Sound Transit to figure out why we’re stuck with this eyesore for the rest of the year. “Everything is still on schedule,” he said, adding that the three month break was all part of the plan. According to Gray, the gap in construction is another way Sound Transit can cut costs. More individual projects means more bidders, which in turn lowers the cost as contractors undercut competition to get the job. This tactic worked, as Gray reported the bids received last week were under budget.
Also, before crews can start drilling from the Hill to Downtown, ST must first reinforce I-5. The ground underneath I-5 is being prepped for drilling as well as the area around it. Crews have already installed “sheet piles”, a barrier of thin interlocking steel sheets that will separate drivers from the construction site when excavation begins for the tunnel.
Now for the what. In a recent newsletter, ST addressed the currently open space, saying it was “in contact with Capitol Hill Chamber and other community organizations to discuss various potential uses for the paved site.” They mentioned the possibility of a temporary art display remnant of the demolished buildings there, but were open to suggestions. Some ideas from our comment section…
- Fundraising for R-71 campaign
- Roller skating party
- Swat meets/community garage sales
- Farmer’s markets
- “North America’s largest dodgeball court”
- Paint it white
Gray welcomed and praised our previous discussions, so keep it up! Anyone is free to submit an idea to ST, so anyone with serious interest should contact Jennifer Lemus: 206-398-5314 or firstname.lastname@example.org.