Northgate Link update: Big Red crane work on Sunday, UW campus monitoring work

Roosevelt Station

Roosevelt Station construction site at 3:30 PM on Friday, August 15, 2014. (Click to visit the current view.)

Roosevelt Station construction site at 3:30 PM on Friday, August 15, 2014. (Click to visit the current view.)

1. Capitol Hill Station’s big red crane has been disassembled and the pieces trucked up to the Roosevelt Station construction site. Assembly has already begun during normal construction hours; however, Sound Transit will be adding a Sunday work day this weekend, on August 17, to put together the crane’s jib and hoist it into place.

Work will occur during daylight hours and start at 9 AM. And you should totally go check it out when it’s being hoisted because it’s gonna be something to see.

2. As soon as Monday, August 18, construction crews will start work installing a drainage line from the construction site to a sewer line in NE 67th Street. This project is expected to take up to three weeks, with work occurring between 8 AM-5 PM on weekdays.

Crews will work westward starting from just east of Roosevelt Way NE on NE 67th Street. Roosevelt Way will be reduced to one lane from 9 AM-3 PM for approximately two days during the first week of work.

Once the work has traveled to the west side of Roosevelt Way, the sidewalk and parking lane on the south side of NE 67th Street will be closed during work hours. Access to residents and businesses will be maintained, but minor delays during work hours should be expected.

 

U District Station

U District Station construction site at 3:30 PM on Friday, August 15, 2014. (Click to visit the current view.)

U District Station construction site at 3:30 PM on Friday, August 15, 2014. (Click to visit the current view.)

The Northgate Link tunnel boring machines are not yet near the University of Washington campus, but a whole bunch of monitoring equipment is about to arrive.

Sound Transit will start installing equipment for 16 monitoring sites around the UW campus over the next couple months, starting here in August. The equipment will monitor the ground, utilities, and buildings located above the light rail alignment during tunneling on campus.

If you’re on campus during this work, here’s what you can expect:

  • Hours: Activities between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Drilling Activities: Drilling into grass, asphalt or concrete, removing ground material and installing the monitor. Drilling will sound similar to a truck running with occasional hammering sounds. The vacuum truck will make noise while soil material is being removed (during the first few feet of drilling at each location). Drill rigs and support equipment may be temporarily stationed on streets or parking lots overnight during this work.
  • Equipment: Drill rig, trucks, traffic signage and cones, vaccum trucks, ladders
  • Access: Pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorist traffic will be maintained. Some locations may require temporary lane or sidewalk closures. There may also be impacts to street parking. Traffic cones, No Parking signage, roadway signage, and flaggers may be used when travel lanes or parking areas are affected during this work.
  • Stickers on buildings: Building monitoring stickers, called structural settlement points, are 3″x3″ stickers that crews affix to the outside of buildings and check regularly for any movement.

Between the U District Station up on Brooklyn and the University of Washington Station down on Montlake, nearly one mile of tunnel will pass under the university’s campus. TBMs are expected to arrive at the U District Station in late 2015.

Northgate Link update: Capitol Hill’s big red crane a-comin’

Capitol Hill Station's big red crane is on the move northward to start work at Roosevelt Station. (Photo by Capitol Hill Seattle. Used with permission.)

Capitol Hill Station’s big red crane is on the move northward to start work at Roosevelt Station. (Photo by Capitol Hill Seattle. Used with permission.)

Roosevelt Station news

A big ol’ tower crane used to help construct the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station is finished with its job on Broadway and is shortly headed north to the Roosevelt Station construction site. Sound Transit plans to start delivery of Big Red* early Sunday morning on August 10. Due to the size of the loads, the crane parts must be delivered at night to minimize traffic disruptions and such.

Delivery times are as follows:

  • 2-6 AM on Sunday, August 10
  • Midnight-3:30 AM on Monday, August 11 through Wednesday, August 13.

Residents may hear “intermittent truck noise” as the crane parts arrive and are off-loaded at the construction site.

From CHS’s pre-crane-removal coverage:

The Krøll 1800 (Capitol Hill’s is the metric model) was set up with its enormous 250-foot jib about 100 feet off the ground. The model can be as tall as 200 feet. It can lift more than 30,000 pounds at full extension and more than 130,000 when operating at a shorter radius, according to the manufacturer.

Some pictures of Big Red’s assembly can be seen here. The crane was installed at the Capitol Hill Station construction site back in late January, 2011.

Visit Sound Transit’s Roosevelt Station project page here.

*My nickname for the crane. It is big and red, after all.

U District Station news

The U District Station construction site is a busy one. Look for this trend to continue in August.

1. The L-shaped pedestrian pathway between NE 43rd Street and Brooklyn Ave NE (around the NW corner of University Manor) is complete! But it has business hours: 7 AM-6 PM, Monday through Friday. Outside of those hours and on weekends, your options for getting around the construction site are:

  • 12th Avenue NE to NE 42nd Street or NE 45th Street
  • Brooklyn Avenue NE to NE 42nd Street or NE 43rd Street
  • University Way NE to NE 42nd Street or NE 45th Street

2. Drilling along the shoring walls is almost complete! Only the south shoring wall is left (currently 75% finished), and expected to finish up by the end of August.

3. Station excavation has already started on the north end of the site. (Brenda IS on her way, after all.) Trucks are hauling station box dirt and such off-site down Brooklyn Avenue NE. More on station box excavation:

As crews dig down, they will install long nails, called tie-backs, into the soil to secure the underground station walls. Crews will also be installing long metal beams, called struts and wales, across the top and sides of the box. These braces hold the soil during station excavation. Crews will dig until they reach about 95 feet below ground. Excavation will be ongoing through spring 2015.

Visit Sound Transit’s U District Station project page here.

Rollover collision near northbound I-5/Lake City Way exit

Shortly after 3 AM, Seattle Fire Department units responded to a rollover collision near or on the I-5 offramp to Lake City Way.

I5_LCW_MCI

Via scanner, we’ve learned there are six patients: Three patients with life-threatening injuries and three with non-life-threatening All six have been transported from the scene to area hospitals in stable and with non-life-threatening injuries, the fire department said via twitter.

The collision has the two right lanes of I-5 blocked, with traffic slowly moving through on the left. We expect northbound traffic on I-5 through the area to be impacted for some time as the collision is investigated.

You can see current highway conditions and the I-5/LCW WSDOT camera here.

UPDATE (7:06 AM): Washington State Patrol has more information on this incident:

Northgate Link update: Brenda now 500 feet closer to Roosevelt

Today’s Northgate Link Extension news from Sound Transit includes a tunnel boring machine (TBM) update.

Maple Leaf Portal/tunnel boring news


View TBM Brenda’s current position (as of July 31, 2014) in a larger map

Sometime today, Thursday, July 31, TBM Brenda will have chewed her way through 500 feet of Maple Leaf soil on her way south to Roosevelt Station. Another TBM now being assembled at the Maple Leaf Portal will start carving the southbound light rail tunnel sometime in October.

TBM_Brenda_dedication23

I’m guessing Brenda is a bit dirtier these days.

Roosevelt Station news

Station box wall construction now complete, the main work at the Roosevelt Station construction site is now the *excavation* of said station box. Crews are digging down about four feet at a time, removing soil from the station box area, pausing to stabilize the station walls that have been newly revealed, and then digging some more.

The station box needs to be fully excavated by the time Brenda arrives, sometime in early 2015.

And now for some NE 65th Street detour news:

In mid to late August, drivers heading past the Roosevelt Station site on NE 65th Street during the day may be detoured due to a project to install water lines under the road at the intersection of NE 65th Street and 12th Avenue NE. The signed detours will be in place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Westbound drivers can expect detours via 12th Avenue NE, NE 70th Street and Roosevelt Way NE and eastbound drivers can expect detours via 12th Avenue NE, NE 75th Street and 15th Avenue NE. Only one direction of travel will be detoured at a time.

These detours combined with the work on the Rooster Apartments on the west side of Roosevelt Way NE are making travel on NE 65th Street through the Roosevelt neighborhood a pain for all concerned (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, etc.). We urge all travelers in the area to have some patience and practice grace-filled egress in the area.

U District Station News

This week, crews are digging holes in which to place piles that will make up the southern wall of the station: 76 holes, each between 50 to 105 feet deep. To help speed this work along, crews are now on site on Saturdays AND using two drill rigs.

NE 43rd Street east of Brooklyn Avenue NE is still closed to motorists, but what are you doing driving around in that area anyway it is a mess.

Northgate Link webcams

If you’re sitting near internet and wondering how construction is doing at any of the above locations, there’s a webcam (or three) for that:

Each page also has a “Stream Time-Lapse Movie” button on the left-hand side, for those who appreciate more action than a live shot once every 15 minutes.

20140731_SaturdayConcretePourUPDATE (2:17 PM): Just into the Ravenna Blog inbox is a Roosevelt Station construction alert for Saturday.

Saturday morning concrete pour at Roosevelt Station construction site

On Saturday, Aug. 2, construction crews working for Sound Transit will begin work at 7 a.m. for a concrete pour. Residents may notice noise from truck engines.

Crews will do everything within reason to keep noise to a minimum.

Why is this concrete pour happening on Saturday?

High demand for concrete resulted in limited schedule availability for the concrete pour at Roosevelt Station. Doing the work on Saturday morning will help keep the project on schedule by at least two weeks.

Bull Moose Festival this Saturday!

Festival-Logo-website

Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Festival is back! Let’s show the Moose some love and head over to our next door neighborhood’s community party which this year is celebrating aspects of sustainable living.

When: Saturday, July 26th, 11:30 AM-7:30 PM

Where: NE 68th Street and Roosevelt Way NE  Festival Map

Food, music, beer garden, dog show, fashion show, raffle, and more!

In fact, you can print out a raffle card and start getting stamps at participating neighborhood businesses ahead of time. You’ll win a small prize just for submitting your completed raffle card and will be entered in a drawing for $25 prize from the same businesses for things like spa services, food, and fair-trade goods.

You can also donate your unwanted textiles in any condition at the festival. Clothes for the Cause turns these recycled donations into funds which will go to the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association. Just bring them in a tightly closed plastic bag to keep them dry.

The annual-ish festival is coordinated by the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association.

Bull_Moose_FLYER

 

 

 

Roosevelt house fire being investigated as arson (PHOTOS)

Roosevelt_arson4

An early morning house fire in the Roosevelt neighborhood is being investigated as an arson.

From the Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Line:

[SFD crews were] dispatched at 2:09 am to a house near 8 Avenue NE and NE 72 Street for a report of a porch fire that extended to the roof. Firefighters quickly extinguished the visible flames but worked for about an hour aggressively digging out the hidden fire located in the attic void spaces. The home owner discovered the fire and was out of the building by the time firefighters arrived.

After the home was extinguished, fire investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set on the front porch, and the case was turned over to the Seattle Police Department’s Arson/Bomb Unit.

Roosevelt_arson2

Investigators also estimated $100,000 in damage to the house and its contents, with an additional $5,000 damage to the home next door where the siding had begun to melt.

Roosevelt_arson1

If you have any information which could aid detectives in their investigation, please call the SPD Arson/Bomb Unit at (206) 684-8980.

Todd Byers, in yellow, talks with neighbors as they  survey the damage to his home on the morning after the fire.

Todd Byers, in yellow, talks with neighbors as they survey the damage to his home on the morning after the fire.

Vehicle theft leads to hit and run, and ends with foot chase (UPDATES)

At approximately 12:40 PM on Tuesday, June 24, Seattle Police and Fire staff responded to a motor vehicle accident (MVA) call at 12th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street, next to the Roosevelt Light Rail Station construction site.

20140624-132801-48481476.jpg

What was unusual for this particular MVA was the large number of police vehicles near the collision site (at least nine, by our quick count). Turns out that this incident was a hit-and-run by a stolen vehicle, Seattle Police told us via twitter. A witness to the incident said that after the collision, the suspect fled south.

South of the collision area, on the east side of 12th Avenue NE (pictured above) medics were treating an adult male while officers looked on.

We’ll post more details below when we get them.

UPDATE (1:49 PM): We have confirmation by the SPD that the “suspect was detained by Seattle residents while officers arrived.”

UPDATE (Wednesday morning): Q13FOX had a story on the incident during their 11 PM newscast. You can read the summary and/or watch the video here.

UPDATE (Thursday morning): On the afternoon of the incident, we reached out on twitter on the off chance of contacting someone involved in the subduing of the suspect after he fled the stolen vehicle. A man named Shawn (last name withheld by request) replied, not only with his narrative of the events but a very thoughtful setting of his role that afternoon.

We have yet to see an official narrative of the incident from the Seattle Police Department, but the description of the event that Shawn has shared with us matches what other witnesses at the scene observed.

Here is the account, in Shawn’s words, from two separate emails received on Wednesday:

If you’d just like my recollection of events, I was overlooking the intersection there, on the NE corner of 2nd level of the Whole Foods shopping plaza.  I was on break from work at the time, when I heard a loud screech followed by a massive crunch of metal.

I hurried down the stairs located on the NE corner there and looked over to my left to see a car pretty much flipped into incoming traffic.  I began running toward the car to check on the victims when I realized that people were yelling STOP HIM at someone.

I looked over across the street and saw a young guy in a red T shirt and baggy jeans running down the opposite sidewalk.  I shouted, Hey you, stop, and he didn’t acknowledge me or the other people shouting similar things.

It was at that point I shouted at him again, Hey, you, stop right now, and started chasing after him.  I ran across the street and onto the opposite curb; he wasnt a great runner and I caught up to him near the SE corner of the Whole Foods on the opposite side of the street.  He actually tripped himself up mostly, and kind of ditched it into the bushes there along with his bag… I slid him off the bush and onto the ground and tried to get control of his arms.

At that point the level of rational thought I had put into this move was literally zero, and it was about then that he started getting really squirrelly with his left arm, trying to pull it away and use it as leverage or reach for something.  He actually did pull it completely out of my grasp at one point and it was all I could do to keep it pinned underneath him, afraid what he might try to pull out.

Fortunately that was the moment that the driver and another Good Samaritan ran up and helped get better control over him; I kept shouting at onlookers to call the cops not sure if any of them actually had or not.  I was very concerned about the well-being of the driver, who probably should not have been running after this guy after such a serious crash; he was being treated after I finished giving the cops a statement and I was glad to hear he ended up being pretty much ok.

It only took about 5 minutes or so for the cops to show up, by which time we were all wrapped up pretty good with the guy, who was resisting and shouting the whole time.  The cops knew who to go for right away (a small relief) and they pulled us apart and took him into custody.

That was about the point I realized I was probably going to be late back into work, and asked the cop after giving my contact info if he could write me a note for my supervisor.  He gave me his card, and said just give them this, if they have any problems at all, call me.

That was pretty much it.  Tbh I didn’t think about it at all, if I had, I probably would have done nothing.  But I was worried he might try to carjack someone or worse and it just kind of happened. :3

I didn’t even realize it was a stolen car at the time, I just saw him running from an accident that he caused and no one moving in the victims car.

[…]and I just don’t really want any undue attention for such a minor incident.

Ultimately, the only thing I’ve really taken away from this and other similar events is that sometimes we are at the right time and the right place, in life, to affect change or do the right thing.  And in those rare moments, it’s better to go with your gut reaction and act rather than forever wonder ‘what if’.  Being trapped in a box alone with that question can be a deadly curse.

I would just add that we each have far more power than we think, and I truly believe we are all responsible for making the world we live in into the world we’d imagine for ourselves and our loved ones.

On Tuesday afternoon, one man was booked into King County Jail for vehicle theft. We are watching for more documentation on the case (in King County District Court) and will continue to add updates here.

The rumors are true! Toronado coming to Roosevelt.

Rumors have been swirling about the legendary San Francisco temple to microbrews, Toronado, getting a new location here in Seattle.

ToronadoSeattleLogo

The rumors were confirmed today on Toronado Seattle’s Facebook page: “Get ready Ravenna / Roosevelt Neighborhood you have a Toronado 1205 NE 65th St.”

Opening day is in roughly two months.

Saturday, May 17 seems to have been Mutiny Hall's last day of business in its current configuration. A hand-written "closed for maintenance" sign was posted in the following days, and the restaurant has been closed ever since.

Saturday, May 17 seems to have been Mutiny Hall’s last day of business in its current configuration. A hand-written “closed for maintenance” sign was posted in the following days, and the restaurant has been closed ever since.

Matt Bonney, co-owner operations manager of Brouwer’s Cafe in Fremont, Bottleworks in Wallingford and the Burgundian in Tangletown [corrected], is the owner of Toronado Seattle.

Craft Beer Monger (Seattle-based beer blogger Michael Dieterle) writes:

Word recently broke that Toronado was preparing to open a third location right here in Seattle. That information was confirmed in early May, when Matt Bonney shared the [Toronado Seattle] logo above his Facebook page with the caption: “Coming to a neighbor near you!” You might know Matt Bonney from Brouwer’s Cafe, the Burgundian, and Bottleworks. He’s a well known figure in the Seattle craft beer scene, and with him at the helm, I know Toronado Seattle will be off to a great start.”

The original Toronado opened in 1987 on Haight Street and has become a legend for its extensive and exclusive microbrew offerings. The second location opened 21 years later in San Diego. While the SF location doesn’t serve food, San Diego serves up burgers, spicy or smoked mac and cheese, a variety of sausages, among other dishes.

 

So, about those boarded up houses at 15th and 65th…

With Tuesday’s Ravenna-Bryant Community Association spring community meeting roster including City Attorney Pete Holmes, we thought we’d take the opportunity to assemble some reading material about one Hugh Sisley.

We don’t know how much Holmes will be able to say about the city’s plans for collecting the three million dollars in fines owed by Roosevelt’s most well-known landlord. But we do know that there are strong feelings running very deep about Mr. Hugh Sisley, and providing a more focused review of the situation (in terms of current, property-related events) wouldn’t hurt.

urban_decay

Graffiti on one of Hugh Sisley’s properties. The words on the right read. “I [heart] urban decay.”

The following information focuses on Sisley’s properties in and vision for his corner of the Roosevelt neighborhood, his position as a landlord in the area, and his relationship with the City of Seattle.

Map

We’ve spent a few weeks over at the King County Parcel Viewer, looking up publicly-available property information for the map you see below. The cool-colored markers (and accompanying brown shapes) are properties where the primary taxpayer is listed as either Hugh Sisley, Hugh and Martha Sisley, or the Roosevelt Development Group.


View Properties around Roosevelt High School in a larger map

For more information about the map, including the description of the all symbols used, please open the map in a new window.

We will continue to add to it as we find more owners of multiple properties in the area.

 

Seattle Weekly articles

Earlier this year, the Seattle Weekly published a duo of articles on Mr. Sisley and his dealings (or non-dealings) with the city in terms of his housing-code violation cases and fines:

Seattle Weekly (January 10, 2014) “The Reign of Seattle’s Most Notorious Landlord Could Be Coming to an End

The 86-year-old is facing a record $2 million fine that continues to increase at the rate of $1,600 a day, plus 12 percent interest. And now, after years of foot-dragging of its own, City Hall is finally moving to collect the debt. As officials launch a new initiative approved by the City Council to inspect every rental unit in town, City Attorney Pete Holmes is planning to recover what the stubborn rental king owes by confiscating prized Roosevelt properties held by the penny-pinching millionaire.

And then, a follow-up, just 10 days later: “Hugh Sisley’s Slumlord Tab Now $3 Million, City Says After Recalculation.”

Sisley, whose property is concentrated in the Roosevelt neighborhood, has amassed close to 200 code-enforcement cases dating to the 1980s, according to city records. Among them are violations for faulty wiring, unsafe conditions, insect infestation, junk storage, emergency situations, and unfit vacant buildings subject to demolition.

Sisleyville_April_20145

RR Hardware, on 15th Avenue NE. “Total chaos envelopes the customer who bravely ventures into this 1940’s holdover,” says one reviewer on Yelp.

 

hughsisley.com

For a glimpse at Hugh Sisley’s vision for Roosevelt, we need only get on the internet and time travel a bit.

Although hughsisley.com is no longer up and running, the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine has some snapshots stored from the days when it was. Here is the full archived selection, but we’ll point out a couple links to the two different forms the website took while it was live:

View of the progress (and the lack thereof) along NE 65th Street. Taken at 15th Avenue NE looking west.

View of the progress (and the lack thereof) along NE 65th Street. Taken at 15th Avenue NE looking west.

As the Sisleys’ attorney Jeff Grant says in the first Seattle Weekly article mentioned above, “That’s really the story of Hugh and the Roosevelt Neighborhood today. Progress.” This sentiment is echoed strongly on the pages of the old hughsisley.com.

 

Old Fruit Stand block project

Sisleyville_April_20143

Roosevelt High School standing in the background between two of Sisley’s properties on the NW corner of 15th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street.

The Roosevelt Development Group, which has long-term leases with the Sisleys on many of their properties, is currently working with architectural firm GGLO on a project on one of the three small blocks just south of Roosevelt High School (in orange on the map below).


View NE Seattle Large Development Tracker in a larger map

Project #3013244 at 6505 15th Ave NE is described as a “seven story, 220 unit residential building with 8,000 sq. ft. of retail use at ground level. Parking for 267 vehicles will be located below grade. All existing structures to be demolished.”

Roosevelt High School stands in the background between the two buildings proposed for the Old Fruit Stand block. This view is looking north from NE 65th Street through the half public, half private plaza area. Taken from page 30 of the February 3, 2014 design proposal (click to download; 17 MB PDF).

Roosevelt High School stands in the background between the two buildings proposed for the Old Fruit Stand block. This view is looking north from NE 65th Street through the half-public, half-private plaza area. Taken from page 30 of the February 3, 2014 design proposal (click to download; 17 MB PDF).

The project is currently in the Review phase, and has been presented twice at Northeast Design Review meetings (Early Design Guidance meeting on August 6, 2012, and a Recommendation meeting on February 3, 2014).

You can view the project’s current permit activity and associated documents here. The design proposal presented at the February 3, 2014 meeting can be downloaded here (17 MB PDF).

At this time, initial information has been collected for a new construction permit, but not a demolition permit.

Sisleyville_April_20141

A graffito adorns a previously graffitied spot on the recently officially shuttered Funtiques (1512 NE 65th Street). We believe it is missing a question mark.

Brenda the Boring Machine rededicated at Maple Leaf Portal (PHOTOS)

TBM_Brenda_dedication08

On Monday, April 28, the first of two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will carve the underground portion of the Northgate Link Extension was dedicated at Sound Transit’s Maple Leaf Portal site.

TBM_Brenda_dedication01

This was the last close-up opportunity for Brenda as the TBM is readied to start her journey underground to Roosevelt Station in June.

TBM_Brenda_dedication05

Brenda is not Big Bertha’s younger sister. No. Brenda is a veteran TBM, having already carved the paths between between Capitol Hill and the downtown transit tunnel wall in 2011-12.

She looks pristine on the outside now, but…

TBM_Brenda_dedication18

…on the inside, you can see Brenda’s experience.

TBM_Brenda_dedication04

Here’s where Brenda will start her journey: The Maple Leaf Portal, where the elevated light rail track leading south from the Northgate Station will head underground.

The right side of the wall pictured above is the southbound tunnel starting point where Brenda will shortly be moved to and start boring into in June. (Here’s Brenda starting to chew on the wall at the Capitol Hill Station a few years ago.)

TBM_Brenda_dedication02

The TBM’s 21-foot-diameter cutter head (the large green and yellow disc on the front of the TBM) is covered with teeth and holes, turns at a rate of 0.1 to 2.5 revolutions per minute, and can excavate an average of 40 feet of tunnel per day.

It’s also great for posing with.

TBM_Brenda_dedication17

View inside the cutter head. Here the tailings that have passed through the openings in the cutter head will fall, be carried out by this red screw conveyor, and moved through the body of the TBM.

TBM_Brenda_dedication22

This is the “trailing gear” that follows behind the TBM. It carries equipment for the boring machine and helps carry the spoils away from the machine. Altogether, the TBM and the trailing gear stretch out to the length of a football field.

As the TBM and the trailing gear carve the route to Roosevelt and beyond, supply trains will ferry equipment from the outside world down into the tunnels. Chief among their cargo will be the pre-cast concrete segments that compose the finished walls of the tunnel as well as provide a surface for the TBM to propel herself forward.

It is these supply trains, running along on metal rails down in the tunnels, that were judged responsible for the noise and vibrations experienced by residents in Montlake back in November 2011.

Good news for those living and working (and attending the UW) above the Northgate Link Extension tunnels: Vehicles equipped with rubber tires will be used this time around for underground deliveries.

TBM_Brenda_dedication25

Worm’s perspective of the cutter head.

Sound Transit has a great little video showing how tunnel boring machines work. It includes a cross-section graphic of the machine in action, as well as footage from previous excavations.

And here’s where we pause the photo essay to share with the Roosevelt neighborhood some potentially great news.

The old plan for tunneling south was for Brenda to dig one side of the route to Roosevelt Station, be trucked back up to the Maple Leaf Portal, and begin digging the other side of the route. Then a second TBM-to-be-named-later would join her in Roosevelt, where the pair would start their journey south to the University of Washington Station. Muck from the tunneling would travel up to the Maple Leaf Portal site and be hauled away there for Brenda’s solo drilling, but would be hauled out of Roosevelt Station for the remainder of the project.

Sound Transit’s Bruce Gray tells me that this may no longer be the case. Via email:

In the new plan the Contractor has proposed two TBMs going from Maple Leaf.  The performance of the tunneling and the muck haulage will be closely monitored during the initial drive from Maple Leaf to Roosevelt.  If all goes well, the two machines will continue on to UW with spoils removal and haulage continuing from Maple Leaf the entire time.  If the new proposal does not perform as planned there could still be muck haulage and/or a third TBM launched from Roosevelt in order to meet the project schedule.

What this would mean for the Roosevelt neighborhood is that after the dump trucks bearing away the soil from the station excavation are gone, they’d be GONE. Muck from the entire Northgate Link Extension would come out the Maple Leaf Portal and be hauled away there.

Again, this new plan is not a given. And it’s going to be a while before anyone knows the contractor’s final decision. Once Brenda gets digging in June, it will take her 10-12 months to reach Roosevelt Station (via Sound Transit’s Gray). If the second TBM launches from the Maple Leaf Portal five months later in October, the pair won’t see each other in Roosevelt until August 2015 at the earliest.

To be continued…

TBM_Brenda_dedication11

Hey, Roosevelt: Remember when you rallied to bring light rail closer to the neighborhood’s core at 12th Avenue NE (over a station closer to I-5 on 8th Avenue NE)? On January 27, 2005, the Sound Transit board agreed with you, and the Roosevelt Station Alignment was chosen. Here, some stickers from that campaign pose with the machine that’s making it a reality.

TBM_Brenda_dedication03

A fragile bottle of dedicatory Washington apple cider sits in the shade along with TBM-signing Sharpies and commemorative pins.

TBM_Brenda_dedication20

The assembled crowd listens to officials during the dedication.

TBM_Brenda_dedication09

Sound Transit Board Member and City of Everett Councilmember Paul Roberts, and 46th District Representative Jessyn Ferrell, share a laugh during the dedication speeches.

TBM_Brenda_dedication10

Councilmember Roberts anoints the cutter head with a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage.

Then the signing began. Gathered participants were encouraged to write on the machine.

TBM_Brenda_dedication15

Some just signed their names.

TBM_Brenda_dedication16

There were a few drawings. And more than a few children’s names.

TBM_Brenda_dedication12

Stephen’s self-translated message read: “wish tunnel boring success!”

TBM_Brenda_dedication14

Representative Farrell’s signature joins the others on Brenda’s flank.

TBM_Brenda_dedication19

“Go straight. Go on-line. Go safely.” writes this Sound Transit staffer, as photojournalist Josh Trujillo also takes a picture.

TBM_Brenda_dedication21

A selection of signatures and good wishes for Brenda’s journey.

TBM_Brenda_dedication24

Sound Transit workers at the site wanted to get back to work, but didn’t mind standing around for a picture or two.

TBM_Brenda_dedication26

Members of the Sound Transit Northgate Link team pose en masse.

TBM_Brenda_dedication06

Onward.