WSDOT’s 520 ‘Montlake Project’ construction moving forward with open house updates, new plan for neighborhood market

“This project, with a $455 million contract cost, is part of the remaining $1.6 billion in SR 520 improvements from Lake Washington to I-5 – the ‘Rest of the West.’ These improvements are funded by the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation legislation.” (Image: WSDOT)

Some things, like speeding tickets issued near Montlake Elementary, will never change — also, apparently, the presence of the Montlake Market.

The new plan for keeping the store operating in the neighborhood — and the several construction elements that make up the Montlake Project of the state’s 520 replacement effort will be on the docket at two WSDOT open houses: Continue reading

Mapping Sawant’s 2019 win shows continued strength of District 3’s political divide

Sawant again performed strongly in the southwest core of District 3

It was a tale of two districts.

To the east and north were the wealthier homeowners of North Capitol Hill, Madrona, Montlake, and Broadmoor, where voters picked the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce-backed Egan Orion.

Meanwhile, in the more densely populated Broadway and Pike/Pine cores and the Central District, residents sided with the re-election of socialist Seattle City Council incumbent Kshama Sawant.

While the path to victory in 2019 included a dramatic shift from Election Night totals, Sawant’s win, in the end, looks extremely familiar.

To Erin Schultz, a consultant that worked on the Orion campaign, the voting distribution of District 3 looks like what Sawant saw in 2015 as she defeated Pamela Banks for the seat.

“The mapped results are similar to results Sawant has gotten in every election, but we were obviously hoping to close the narrow gap, especially after the Primary performance,” Schultz said in an email. She believes that Amazon’s late $1 million contribution turned the election into a “referendum on corporate influence in elections rather than solutions to addressing homelessness, improving affordability, and the many other issues our city is struggling with.”
Continue reading

The story of the Trick or Treat House of Montlake

What started as a Pumpkin Witch conversing with a scarecrow belonging to two children across the street, has morphed over 18 years into a low key Halloween block party in James Sutherland’s Montlake front yard. This is the story of the Trick or Treat House of Montlake.

Sutherland has lived in his home since 1996 and noticed over the early years how few kids showed up to his house on Halloween.

“I love Halloween” James said, “ever since I was a kid. When I grew up and moved here, it didn’t seem like there was a lot of Halloween happening. I ended up in a cute little house in a sweet neighborhood and it seems like there should be kids knocking at the door.”

18 years of decorating later, Sutherland and his husband Don now expect 800 to 900 kids this year.

“This is the 18th Trick or Treat House Anniversary,” Sutherland tells CHS on a visit to the Montlake Hauntlake neighborhood. “It started with 20, then 50 to 75, then the elementary school found out about it and so, it became a couple hundred and stayed there for a while. I think word got out elsewhere because we see van loads of people parking and coming to trick or treat on our street.” Continue reading

Seattle City Council won’t back second Montlake Bridge

A 10-year-old rendering of what a second Montlake Bridge could look like — via Madison Park Blogger

The state has the funds to build it but the Seattle City Council won’t — yet — back a resolution supporting a second bascule bridge connecting through the transit chokepoint between Montlake and light rail at Husky Stadium.

Tuesday afternoon, the council’s planning and land use committee took up the resolution brought by interim City Council member Abel Pacheco representing the University District and District 4 but no vote was cast. Chair Mike O’Brien wouldn’t second the vote, saying he “adamantly” opposed the resolution and disagreed with Pacheco that adding the bridge would help address the city’s climate goals.

Pacheco’s resolution calls for the city to reverse a previous resolution against a second drawbridge as part of WSDOT’s 520 replacement project: Continue reading

Here’s why WSDOT paid $1.9M for this Montlake house — UPDATE

(Image: WSDOT)

In the middle of the Montlake neighborhood bracing for big changes and years of construction as WSDOT completes the replacement of SR 520, one building got a lot of attention as the landowners finally struck a $16 million deal to sell the Montlake Market property to the state. But it wasn’t the only private property in the neighborhood to change hands for the 520 project.

Turns out, in May, the state also struck a deal to pay $1.9 million for a two-story, three-bedroom, single family-style Lake Washington Blvd E home. The property will be unveiled Saturday to start a new chapter in its life as the state’s Montlake Project Information Center:  Continue reading

23rd Ave Vision Zero work ready to move into fifth year of construction — including 23rd and John overhaul

We’re still almost a year away from the start of construction on the northern segment of 23rd Ave. When it’s done, expect some big changes to the intersection at John Street, and lots of other little upgrades scattered about.

If it feels like some kind of construction has been happening on 23rd Ave for a long time, that’s because it has. Major roadwork began on 23rd back in 2015, with the section between Madison and Jackson streets. That phase wrapped up in 2017, and then work started on the stretch between Jackson and Rainier. While the work is largely done there, there are still some bits left such as intersections and sidewalk ramps.

The stretch from John to Roanoke is next in line for a series of upgrades. In 2018, the city put that stretch of 23rd (which is actually 24th for most of its length) on a road diet, leaving two southbound lanes, but changing one of the northbound lanes into a turn lane.

But the project is far from over. In the next couple of weeks, the city plans to install High Friction Surface Treatments at Lousia, Lynn and Helen streets. The treatments, a layer of a rough, granular coating, should provide some extra grip to help cars navigate the road without skidding. The hope is that crews will be able to install the treatments over a weekend, probably the weekend after Labor Day, if the weather cooperates. Continue reading

Montlake prepares for years of new 520 construction, life without market

WSDOT’s “artistic rendering of the transit hub on a planned SR 520 highway lid in Montlake.”

The Montlake Market won’t stand in the way of progress to complete the replacement of SR 520. The state has agreed to acquire the property for $16 million as it prepares for the start of construction on the “Montlake Project” to create an improved Montlake Boulevard interchange, a landscaped lid over SR 520, a bicycle and pedestrian “land bridge” east of the lid, and a three-lane West Approach Bridge South over Union Bay for eastbound traffic.

Thursday night, WSDOT will hold a pre-construction open house hosted by the SR 520 project’s contractor from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. The meeting will cover the latest project designs, construction schedule, and management plan for limiting construction effects in Montlake.

But the fate of the market destined to make way for the project became much more clear with the $16 million deal. Continue reading

State Rep. Macri calls for WSDOT to keep Montlake Market open — for now

State Rep. Nicole Macri has responded to survey results that show some Montlake residents — and their supporters across Seattle — would do pretty much anything to save the Montlake Market from being torn down and eliminated during construction of new SR-520 improvements through the area.

Macri announced a new limitation on 520 construction spending in the House transportation budget that requires WSDOT to “work with the Montlake Market to keep it open through the year.” Continue reading

Should the state spend $20M more to save the Montlake Market?

Some Montlake neighbors are calling on the Washington State Department of Transportation to add some 45 days and $20 million of construction to a key SR-520 project in order to save the neighborhood’s grocery and quick stop market.

Thursday is the final day of an online survey process WSDOT is using to gauge public interest in three main possible scenarios — preserve the Montlake Market but close it during construction, preserve the market and allow the store to continue operating through construction, or tear it all down. You can take the WSDOT survey here through 5 PM Thursday. Continue reading

WSDOT to present Montlake Market ‘preservation options’

Washington Department of Transportation officials are holding a public meeting Wednesday to discuss its $455.3 million “520 Montlake Project” and community calls for solutions to save the much-loved Montlake Market.

CHS reported in October on the higher construction bid for the project to create an improved Montlake Boulevard interchange, a landscaped lid over SR 520, a bicycle and pedestrian “land bridge” east of the lid, and a three-lane West Approach Bridge South over Union Bay for eastbound traffic.

Construction is slated to start in early 2019 start and the work could wrap up as early as 2023. Continue reading