In a neighborhood full of construction cranes, you might be looking at the Capitol Hill sky a little differently after Saturday’s terrible accident on Mercer. But with a development wave of more than a decade reshaping Pike/Pine and Broadway, reported incidents involving cranes and Capitol Hill construction sites have been few and far between.
Most incidents CHS has reported on over the years have been minor and fortunately there have been few injuries. In 2013, for example, a crane working on the 12th Ave Arts building dropped a bundle of shoring beams. Nobody was reported injured and the project was not significantly delayed by the incident.
Beyond cranes, the neighborhood’s construction sites have only been the location of a handful of significant emergency situations over the years.
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Many have involved falls like this 2010 incident at the Joule on Broadway in which the worker survived. The ambitious project to dig a set of twin three-mile tunnels beneath Capitol Hill for light rail also was “extraordinarily lucky” with the most notable construction mishap being a geyser of grey, foamy mud that burst from below E Pike in 2011 when tunneling in the area accidentally reached an “observation well” drilled along the route to monitor stability.
But 2018 did bring two area construction worker deaths . In one deadly incident, a construction worker fell to his death at the work site for Seattle U’s new dormitory at 12th and Madison. Meanwhile last May, a worker died when his forklift flipped at a Madison Valley housing construction site.
Work, meanwhile, continues for the cranes and their operators currently on the job above Capitol Hill and the Central District. On Thursday where workers are finishing the construction of the six-story, 137-unit mixed-use project that has risen on the former Piecora’s property, one of the largest is scheduled to be disassembled and taken down in an operation similar to what was underway during Saturday’s deadly incident in South Lake Union.
Chinn Construction says 14th Ave between Madison and Union will be closed during the operation as the giant crane is taken apart and lowered section by section.
Given the track record for similar efforts in the past around Capitol Hill, you probably needn’t worry. Save your energy for the terrible TV news helicopters that have been part of the Capitol Hill sky every morning since the Mercer accident.
— 🦃 Northwest Urbanist (@NWUrbanist) April 29, 2019
Seattle, can we get a helicopter curfew? These guys have started up shortly before 6 for the past two days. I get it, but Capitol Hill did nothing to deserve this. pic.twitter.com/uL5NAkUIuu
— Renee (@NotGryphon) April 29, 2019