Tag Archives: light rail station

Blue wall removal begins; schedule and details announced

The station site sans wall, looking roughly southeast from 16th and Beacon. Photo by Jason.
The station site sans wall, looking roughly southeast from 16th and Beacon. Photo by Jason.
In December, Sound Transit told us the big blue noise wall around the light rail station site would be coming down in “February or March,” and suggested that it would more likely be earlier than later. In February we saw the first section of the wall come down. Now, just barely still in March, the removal of the rest of the wall is finally happening. Sound Transit says:

“As early as Tuesday, March 31, Sound Transit’s contractor, Obayashi Corporation will begin removal of the blue noise wall that surrounds the site of the Beacon Hill light rail station.

“The first phase will include the removal of the blue noise wall starting with the northernmost sections along Beacon Ave S., 17th Ave S and S. Lander Street… The second phase will include removing the remainder of the blue noise wall on the south end of the property. The second phase is currently scheduled for the middle of May to early June. Once the blue noise wall is down, the site will be secured by a chain link fence. As a result, residents may experience increased noise from construction activities.

“Pedestrians should use caution while using the sidewalk on the eastside of Beacon Ave (that borders the blue noise wall) as pedestrian access will be moved safely around the work site.

“The noisier activities (such as jack-hammering) will take place during the day, and will be restricted to the hours of 7:00 am to 5:00pm.

“Construction activities expected between the hours of 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm include the installation of brick veneer, site and roadway (S. Lander St.) restoration, plaza paving and landscaping.

“No surface-level construction activity is expected between 10:00 pm and 7:00 am.

“Sound Transit will continue to monitor construction noise levels and any activity whose noise is outside of acceptable limits will be restricted to the hours between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm.

“If you have any construction-related concerns, please call Sound Transit’s construction hotline at 1-(888) 298-2395.”

A map of the affected area is located in Sound Transit’s PDF.

Some portions of the wall already seem to be coming down, as seen in Jason’s photo above.

Real estate agents buzz about Beacon Hill

Is the rumored increase in demand for property on Beacon Hill (particularly around the North Beacon light rail station) starting to kick in? Two local real estate blogs have recently touted Beacon Hill as the place to be.

In Seattle Homes and Life:

“When people ask me where I think it would be wise to invest, I point their sights south to Beacon Hill. Otherwise known as NoBeHi or SoBeHi, North/South Beacon Hill has incredible values and views with unbelievable proximity to downtown’s core. With the Light Rail on its way, it is one more reason this much overlooked neighborhood needs a second chance.”

In DealsInSeattle.com:

“One ingredient that makes a deal a deal is knowing about something that is going to be popular before it becomes popular. Right now there are not a lot of people, even in Seattle, that know much about North Beacon Hill. It is one of the few undiscovered neighborhoods left in Seattle. It is my opinion that very soon that is all going to change. The main reasons for this upcoming change is its location to Downtown Seattle (5 minutes away – and no need to use the freeway), I-5, and I-90 (easy access to the Eastside), and the soon to open North Beacon Hill light rail station.”

Will Beacon Hill be “discovered”? People have been predicting it for years, but now that the light rail is opening there may actually be some new momentum. Time will tell.

Commentary: Is It neighborhood planning?

(The existing neighborhood plans for the Beacon Hill, Othello, and Mount Baker light rail station areas are in the process of being revised. Frederica Merrell attended the recent Othello neighborhood plan update and has some things to say about the process, and the upcoming North Beacon Hill meeting.)

By Frederica Merrell

The City held its first “neighborhood planning” update meeting for the Othello neighborhood on Saturday, March 14. I went to observe part of their process. I was interested in whether the meetings were representative of the community; how scope, planning areas, and discussions were organized; whether people were provided with information on the previous plan recommendations; and whether comments were accurately recorded. For people interested in how our update process on Beacon Hill might look initially, here is what I observed (I didn’t stay for the wrap-up).

I arrived at about 10:00 am; about one hour after the meeting had started. I spoke with a consultant at the door who told me that the first hour was dedicated to an introduction and a summary of the previous plan effort. I asked if the participants were provided with the neighborhood plan. There was one summary of the plan at each of six tables. None of the plan summaries were translated. There were no copies of the matrix of recommendations provided to participants.
Continue reading Commentary: Is It neighborhood planning?

Beacon Bits: One less editor, one more barista

Can you do this? Then Victrola has a job for you. Photo by Wendi.
Can you create this? Then Victrola has the job for you. Photo by Wendi.
  • Victrola on Beacon Avenue is hiring a part-time “superstar barista”craigslist
  • South Seattle Beacon editor Erik Hansen was recently laid off; the paper will now be edited by Vera Chan-Pool, who also edits the North Seattle Herald-Outlook and the Capitol Hill Times, also produced by Pacific Publishing. The papers will compensate for the reduced staff by sharing more articles in all the chain’s papers, and running fewer stories specific to each neighborhood — Seattle P-I
  • The Beacon Bluff P-Patch was featured on the Seattle Daily Photo blog
  • Bruce Gray at Sound Transit gives us further info about the recent gas leak at the light rail station: “Our contractors were removing sound wall support footings along 17th Avenue when they struck an abandoned, unmarked gas line… The old line has now been capped at the main.”

Gas leak near station construction

Jacqueline just wrote to the mailing list about a major gas leak reported at 16th & Lander (presumably at the light rail station) “in case you were wondering about the smell and commotion.” Nineteen units are responding.

Update from Tri Nguyen via Twitter: “Beacon Ave S northbound blocked.” Gabe confirms: “Just drove past. Beacon Ave is all closed down.”

Update from KING5Seattle: “2-inch natural gas line break at Beacon Hill light rail station. People in area advised to keep windows shut and stay inside.” Story here.

Check the comments for more updates.

Another update from KING5Seattle: “Gas has been shut off and final repairs are underway.”

Reader mootkat has posted a video showing the wide area that was closed off: