[Some quickies of varied age and interest. –Ed]
Who’s got the worst storm drain in the city? We do! — Seattle P-I’s Big Blog
Chow Bio of The Station’s Luis Rodriguez in The Stranger.
Inay’s gets a visit from a Seattle Times reviewer.
Former Beaconian Roger Valdez revisits and discusses transit-oriented development and tunnels in the Daily Journal of Commerce.
Blue Scholars ‘mature’ with a show at The Paramount this Wednesday — Matson on Music in The Seattle Times
Sound Transit is spending nearly $500,000 to purchase a home on the brink of one of the notorious “voids.” BHB news partner The Seattle Times has the story:
Christine Miller-Panganiban discovered a 21-foot-deep hole in her yard, at 2605 18th Ave. S., in March 2009. She and her husband, Rommel Panganiban, will receive $400,000 for the house, $11,350 for giving work crews access to the property and $65,000 compensation for stress.
Sound Transit will be seeking to recover expenses such as this from tunnel contractor Obayashi Corporation. Read more in The Times.
During last week’s miserable, rainy weather, we noticed something disconcerting—it was raining in the southbound tunnel of Beacon Hill Station.
The leaks along the wall in the tunnel (seen above in the photo on the right) were noticeably worse, and a constant shower of droplets was falling over the platform, all the way back to the wall, where drops were falling out of the front of the light fixture there.
We asked Sound Transit about this, and spokesperson Bruce Gray told us: “The short answer is, we have a leak and are fixing it. We don’t think it’s indicative of anything seriously wrong. Our engineering folks tell me this is fairly common over the first year or so of deep-mined projects, which is why the work is all covered by warranty.”
Indeed, this week work is being done on the south platform.
The tunnel “voids” affecting properties above the Link Light Rail tunnel path through the hill continue to be identified and addressed. From an article in the Engineering News-Record:
Crews have filled in about 80% of nine voids leftover from a 2-mile tunneling job through Seattle’s Beacon Hill. Japan’s Obayashi Corp. did not discover the voids while boring the parallel, 1-mile tunnels as part of its $280-million contract, which has since increased to $312 million. Owner Sound Transit contends the contractor is at fault.
. . .
“We put Obayashi on notice that we think this is an avoidable situation, and the cost is going to be withheld from its final payment,” Gray says. Sound Transit has spent $1.6 million filling the voids.
“The adequacy of the geotechnical data supplied by Sound Transit and the actual behavior of the ground during construction are under discussion with Sound Transit,” says Obayashi spokeswoman Carmen Stone.
And they’re not quite done yet: Sound Transit estimates about 430 cubic yards remain left to find and fill. Read the rest of the article at ENR.
via DouglasReiser on Twitter
Many neighbors living east of Beacon Hill Station received a flyer (PDF) from Sound Transit this evening, describing the current status of the “voids” discovered when digging the Beacon Hill tunnel. Last year, nine sub-surface voids were found and filled with a controlled-density fill, and the ground at the bottom of the voids was injected with grout to stabilize it.
According to the alert sent out by Sound Transit today, there are still about 400 cubic yards that need filling, but the voids aren’t large or near the surface, and Sound Transit believes that there is no imminent danger to property nearby.
Sound Transit’s next steps are to work with local property owners and their neighbors to coordinate work to fill the voids. They expect the project will take about four to six months.
A Seattle Times (BHB partners) article contains further information on the project, including a very good description of how the voids are formed.
The removal of construction scaffolding from some offramp overpass projects in Sodo will prevent Link Light Rail from running north of Sodo station at Lander Street this weekend. From our news partner, the Seattle Times:
Link light-rail service will not run through the downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and parts of the Sodo area this weekend as state Department of Transportation contractors remove scaffolding supporting a new offramp over the tracks and station just south of downtown.
Free bus shuttles will carry Link passengers from the Sodo light-rail station at South Lander Street via Sixth Avenue South to the tunnel stations. King County Metro and Sound Transit bus routes that normally use the Sodo busway will also be detoured during the work.
Read more in the Times.
Remember that huge tunnel boring machine that was used to dig out the Beacon Hill light rail tunnel? Want it for your own nefarious projects? Seattle Transit Blog reports that you can have it, for a mere $300,000 (or best offer).
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Local duo Blue Scholars are releasing their new EP, OOF!, tomorrow. They’ll be celebrating the release by making surprise appearances or perhaps even playing secret shows all over town. The only way to know where the action will be is to follow them on Twitter: @bluescholars for the news. If you can’t make it to the secret shows, they’ll be at the release party at ‘Ohana in Belltown tomorrow night. (Hat tip to Reverb for the news.)
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The Health Department restaurant inspectors have recently paid a visit to North Beacon Hill. Results of the inspections, as usual, are posted online. The Chinatown Café (in the Red Apple) has a perfect score of 0 this time. Two other businesses did not fare so well; the Golden Daisy on Beacon Avenue had 13 points in “blue” violations, and Amazon.com’s cafeteria had 20 points in “red critical” violations. Some perspective: these violation levels are nowhere near close to closure-levels. 45 or more red points force a re-inspection within two weeks, 90 or more red points force closure of the establishment, and 120 or more total (red and blue) points force closure of the establishment as well. Still, we’d rather see our local businesses getting 0 points than even a few blue points. Congratulations to Chinatown Café this time around for getting a good, healthy zero!
The heat is getting to our computer equipment, even. Wendi’s monitor is flickering on and off (mostly off), my little cheap netbook has locked up several times, and the oppressive heat doesn’t make the prospect of sitting with the laptop terribly attractive either.
If you’re not lucky enough to have air conditioning, or if you’re getting a bit stir-crazy being trapped at home by your A/C, what are some places to head to, easily accessible from the hill, where you can hang out for a bit in a cooler atmosphere?
Wandering around inside Red Apple is refreshing, particularly near meats and in the frozen food aisle, lazily pondering which frozen fudge bar or ice cream sandwich would be best, but mostly chilling in the flood of cold air while standing there with the freezer door open.
Last night, we wanted to get out and get a meal somewhere cool with good food and drinks. I recalled the Collins Pub is just a half-block from the Pioneer Square tunnel station. A few blocks walk and we were in the elevator at Beacon Hill station. Once on the platform, it was a very pleasant temperature. A few minutes later, the air conditioned train stopped and we made our way to the Pioneer Square station and then up, out of the 3rd & Yesler entrance. Downhill and around the corner of the Smith Tower and we were at the comfortably cool Collins Pub. (I had a burger, impulsively with Field Roast instead of beef, with fries and tartar sauce. The burger was good, and the fries great. Wendi had a polenta dish with zucchini, broccoli, and a rustic tomato sauce. The polenta was good. The tomato sauce was a bit acid-y, and the broccoli was a surprise — Wendi hates broccoli. Luckily, I love it. Collins Pub offers a good selection of interesting craft beers. I had a pint of 21st Amendment‘s “Hell or High Watermelon Wheat” — surprisingly tasty and refreshing — and one of Ninkasi‘s “Radiant Summer Pale”, which grew on me the lower it got in the glass.)
What we’d like to know is: Where are you going and what are you doing to beat the heat?