Blessed with some clear skies and lovely spring sunlight, we set out on Friday, March 21 to take some photos of the two Northgate Link sites seeing the most action right now: The Maple Leaf Portal and Roosevelt Station construction sites.
We’ve done our best to explain each scene and the work being done to the best of our knowledge. We will, of course, add additional information for more expert sources if possible.
Each of the photos below can be enlarged with a click of the mouse (or tap of the finger, mobile users).
Maple Leaf Portal
View from the NW corner of NE 92nd Street and 1st Avenue NE, looking north through the length of the Maple Leaf Portal (MLP) construction site.
View east from the same corner. Double dump truck headed to I-5 up NE 92nd Street.
View to the north from the NE 92nd Street overpass. The nearly reassembled tunnel boring machine (TBM) patiently waits its turn. (Here’s a Sound Transit picture of the inside of the TBM during reassembly.)
Zoom from the same location. Sound Transit recently set up webcams at the active Northgate Link construction sites. The camera surveying the scene at the MLP can be seen on the far left side of the photo above. To see what’s happening from the camera’s viewpoint, visit this here EarthCam page.
View from the NE 92nd Street overpass of northbound I-5 drivers all wishing they could be riding a train instead of driving. Another double dump truck headed out with muck from either the MLP or Roosevelt Station sites is traveling with them.
On 1st Avenue NE now. No construction wall here to obscure one’s view of all the equipment and work being done. Looking south a bit here at the TBM.
Looking north at a very large excavator depositing soil into a double dump truck.
Close up of the TBM’s teeth, catching the spring sunlight.
View of the whole cutter head of the TBM, with a worker conveniently seated on the ground nearby for scale.
Street sweeper in action. Common sight, cruising near both the MLP and Roosevelt Station construction sites. Part of the overall construction mitigation plan (457 KB PDF).
One of the pleasant side effects of doing reporting with a toddler around is that sometimes the construction folks wave and/or make faces. Thanks, guys.
Should you have any of your own small children or other construction vehicle fanatics in your circle of friends, there is a lovely viewing point on 1st Avenue NE at NE 95th Street which includes a cement wall perfect for sitting on. Perhaps with a sack lunch. Or a froyo.
Another nice side effect of carrying a cute kid around and using a big zoom lens is that people walking by say HI and ask what you’re doing. And sometimes these people are nice and understanding, and help you get even better pictures from their four floor apartment building. (Thanks, Tom!)
This is looking southwest at the “head wall” of the Maple Leaf Portal. You can see the NE 92nd Street overpass in the background. This head wall is where the TBM will begin its journey down to…
Red crane “rabbit ears” behind the Dwell Apartments. This shot is taken from the parking lot of Roosevelt Square, looking north. We’ve been able to spot these red cranes from all over Northeast Seattle.
Hugh Sisley sighting.
Red cranes again. We’ve seen these machines used to move assembled slurry wall rebar cages from one area of the construction area (the Roosevelt Way NE side) to the others.
This is a large hydromill, used to dig the 130-feet-deep-plus slots into which the rebar cages are later lowered. Then cement is pored in, creating the “slurry walls” that make up the outer walls of the underground station. The walls of the station are built underground BEFORE excavation happens!
One of the rebar cages in some state of assembly.
Unlike the Maple Leaf Portal site, the Roosevelt Station area has many thick and tall construction walls up already. This is great for local residents — part of the construction mitigation which lessens noise and reduces dust — but not so great for taking pictures. Looks good, though. A Roosevelt High School-inspired green.
O HAI, double dump truck. Looks like you forgot to cover your load. *wags finger*
Construction-related vehicles have two entrances/exits at the Roosevelt Station site: One on 12th Avenue NE, and the other on Roosevelt Way NE. Above is a large truck backing out of the Roosevelt Way NE side with the help of a flagger.
A little local flair/signage on the site’s chain link fence. This temporary fencing along 12th Avenue NE will be replaced by more thick, green construction wall in the future.
Excavation work being done at what will be the southern entrance to the finished light rail station, on the NW corner of NE 65th Street and 12th Avenue NE. The piles of soil were steaming in the cool spring sunshiny air (though we suspect that part of this is due to heated water used in the excavation process — looking into it).
Another, smaller hydromill, working in the NE corner of the construction site (near where the northern station entrance will be located). Here, the jaws just emptied a load of soil into a mostly hidden dump truck.
Close-up, post dump. Look at those chompers!
Lots of cement trucks on this day. They were queued up three or four deep, waiting to their turn to pour.
Cement truck during a pour near the center of the construction site.
All vehicles leaving the site get a wheel washdown, another piece of the construction mitigation package.
Close up after the pour was finished.
Happy little cloud.
Cozy bit of sidewalk along the east side of 12th Avenue NE. The cement wall on the right side is the west side of the Roosevelt High School track and field.
Another part of the construction mine field that is now the Roosevelt neighborhood is a new 42-inch sewer main under 12th Avenue NE. You know those metal plates you drive over? This shot shows you how deep the hole goes underneath your tire.
Soil excavation at the southern end of the construction site, along NE 65th Street.
Excavated soil being transferred into an awaiting dump truck.
View from the east side of the site of the rebar cage construction.
More steamy soil, moving out.
Close-up of steamy soil. (It looked really neat in real life, as the clouds of steam were carried away by the breeze. Trust me.)
The NW corner of NE 65th Street and 12th Avenue NE. Decidedly closed sidewalk, but that doesn’t always stop Roosevelt High School students trying to cross the street at open campus lunchtime.
An empty double dump truck headed up 12th Avenue NE, ready to fill up with another load of excavated soil.