Light rail meeting notes: Get ready for Broadway’s new color, 8 trucks per hour

Construction on the Capitol Hill light rail transit station is well underway and the construction walls are rising. Soon, those walls will be painted red.

D.K. Pan has been selected as lead artist on the five-year construction wall art installment. He chose a brick red as the base color of the walls to signify the “heart” of the city, Capitol Hill. Pan was introduced to the community Wednesday night at the Sound Transit Capitol Hill station meeting.


“[The red color] represents […] the place where new and old blood mix, the geographic heart of the city and the bold spirit of the neighborhood,” said Pan. “And ultimately, this project for me is all about love.”

Pan envisions a portion of the wall devoted to the history of Capitol Hill in what could be a multi-media retelling with interviews, photographs, historical pieces and a neighborhood timeline. Another portion of the wall will be a “memorial,” a place where community members and local non-profits can contribute shared stories and memories of loss and grief. You can read more about Pan’s art and the lead artist selection process in one of our earlier posts.

“It will be a tribute to place, memory and imagination,” said Pan.

The first-round deadline to apply as a participating commissioned artist is this upcoming Monday, April 19. Applications can be submitted to Sound Transit art program manager Barbara Luecke. These artists, when chosen, will be commissioned and “pre-approved” and could be called upon at any time in the next five years to contribute.

Most of the questions raised by community members surrounded the concern of noise levels and increased amounts of traffic that the neighborhood will experience as soon as June. Sound Transit said they would take citizen concerns into consideration but they are “not sure” how they will solve the truck route issues once drilling begins.

There will be increased truck activity when excavation starts, which will be sometime in May or June. Right now, about 25 trucks a day move through Capitol Hill. When excavation starts, that number will multiply to 8 trucks an hour.

“Construction is more of an art, not a science,” said Sound Transit Community Outreach Specialist Jeff Munnoch. “We’ll have to figure it out as we go along.”

Additional notes:

  • Decision on Noise Variance: April 22
  • The Olive Way I-5 offramp will reopen sometime in May, depending on the weather.
  • Finish site preparation: Excavation begins in May
  • North link kickoff meeting in May
  • Pike Street Preparations: Summer
  • Tunnel Boring Machine Assembly: early 2011
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7 thoughts on “Light rail meeting notes: Get ready for Broadway’s new color, 8 trucks per hour

  1. Blood red seems a bit bold for background – but better than gray or black.

    The heart thing is hack and not very creative, he said “clutching his breast.”

    I have the feeling we will be under whelmed … surprise me please.

    Can’t we do Andy Warhol replica on the whole thing?

    The space covers a half acre, 25,000 sq. feet … vast space.

  2. Isn’t there any way to get the tunnel done sooner? I’ll help dig in my spare time if it gets me on those trains any sooner!

  3. Well – here is some folk lore.

    In a bad economy those workers will make this job last as long as possible. Brace for the LONG haul.

    (and stay out of the way of those trucks – many tons of dirt and muck – avoid them, they will be lethal)

  4. if its an 8 hour workday? if ST gets permission to extend the working hours could we potentially be looking at 90+ trucks per day? boyoboy, that truck route is gonna be dusty and unpleasant–esp when it stops raining here on july 20…good luck cap hill, I’ll be dealing with my fair share of construction noise down here by REI, but jesus, that’s a helluva lotta trucks/danger for the peds and bicyclists…argh.

    This will be an interesting idea for the “art” retrospective. i look forward to seeing the new grafitti every morning on my ride to work.

    Seriously, that’s a lotta dirt to move out of here, perhaps this shoudl illustrate how difficult it is to retrofit a neighborhood for mass transit, it might almost deal CHers a near fatal blow, but it must be done….

    I always thought the station did not have to go directly on broadway, coulda be on 12th at the cop lot, saving a ton of dough and a lot of businesses.

  5. And replicas of Andy Warhol is inventive?

    Give DK Pan a little credit – he’s one of the artists behind Moore Inside/Out and the Motel Bridge one night installation. Since most of his work has been in performance art and one-offs, I can see how the transition to 2D might be rough. But judging from his past work, it will certainly be surprising.

  6. I’m very happy that SDOT finally got around to the pedestrian crossing improvement (ie curb bulbs) at Denny and Boylston – crossing that street has been a concern at least since the Neighborhood Plan was written, and it was only going to get worse with the giant dirt trucks barrelling through. Though a few more feet doesn’t seem like much, I’ve definitely had a better time crossing that street (way better line of sight) since the bulbs went in.

    If only they could find the money to make the crossing better at Olive and Boylston…

  7. If they tried to put the light rail station on the lot, they’d be stuck with the same problem that Capitol Hill Housing has been stuck with for about a decade – paying for the police’s replacement parking and then some. Since the parking would have to be underground, and a whole lots worth plus a bit more, it would not be cheap – I think the rule of thumb for underground parking is $30K per space.