Water flowing underneath the pavement on Interlaken Drive appears responsible for the large cracks that closed the roadway to traffic earlier this month, city officials tell CHS. The city is still looking into the damage to determine when, if ever, the road can be reopened.
The subsurface water flow washed out supporting soil that kept the roadway structural, said Joelle Hammerstad from the Department of Parks and Recreation. After March 15 rain, the roadway moved as much as an inch in one day, leaving large cracks that appeared practically overnight. The road has been closed since the cracks were discovered.
After going over the boulevard agreement between Parks and the Seattle Department of Transportation, SDOT has now taken over the project.
Seattle Public Utilities has been working with Parks and SDOT to determine if other water sources on the hillside could have contributed to the settling. There has been a large construction project near the cracking pavement during the past year. A hillside between the Seattle Hebrew Academy and the cracked pavement appears to have had landslides in recent years. There were also several Qwest trucks working in the area in days before the cracks showed up — just after a time that included one of the rainiest periods in Seattle history. A commenter on our previous post said Qwest working to restore Internet service that had been disrupted by shifting land after following heavy rainfall.
In the 1890s, Interlaken Boulevard was a popular bicycle and buggy route from Lake Washington to Capitol Hill, according to the Parks website. In 1903, the path became part of the city’s boulevard system.
With the closure, much of Interlaken Blvd is now closed to motor vehicles and serves as a multi-use trail between 19th Ave E and 21st Ave E. In our visit earlier this week, CHS shared the road with bikers, a skateboarder speeding downhill and a woman playing fetch with her dog. Interlaken Drive branches off from Interlaken Blvd and heads south to meet E Galer St at 19th Ave E. There are no driveways or residences within the closed segment but the closure does mean a detour for a new route for people in the area used to being able to take the scenic shortcut between Montlake and north Capitol Hill.
For now, the road remains closed. If you have any doubts, neighbor Carol passes on this note and a picture of an addition to the road closure sign to clarify.
Still closed. Qwest is finally getting around to restoring land line (how ironic!) service to a few customers in Montlake. Lots of people’s phones were down last week.