Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Capitol Hill Light Rail Station Construction Update Meeting

Nifty things learned from the CHLRSCUM:
  • There will be surface activity on the site 24/7 to support tunnel construction. 40-60 workers will be on site during any given shift. Pro: The site will be continuously occupied, eliminating the public safety issue of a nocturnally abandoned jobsite. Con: Noise issues at night. Sound Transit said they'd limit the use of vehicles during night shifts, but they haven't come up with a detailed noise abatement plan yet.
  • Where will all the construction workers park? ST says they have a potential parking site on First Hill, and the workers will be shuttled to work from there.

  • Demolition will start in January 2009. Tunneling and excavation will take place from January 2010 until December 2012. During tunneling and excavation, Denny and parts of Nagle will be closed to traffic. Sidewalks will remain open except for a few short term closures.

  • One side effect of the tunneling and excavation activity are the large empty trucks coming to the site and large dirt filled trucks leaving the site. They will be coming up Olive and down Denny ever few minutes for three years. Pedestrian safety issues (the need for more crosswalks on Denny and Olive) were noted, but have not been resolved. I'm still waiting for a reply back from the SDOT's bike and pedestrian group on the matter - last time I checked they were still doing research.

  • Sound Transit says that the project's financing is secure. Apparently, the only side effect they will see from the bad economy is more competitive bidding from contractors.

  • Someone besides me brought up the issue of tree removal on the light rail station site. ST confirmed that 73 trees are to be removed from the site in the course of demolition. NRC Environmental, ST's demolition contractor for the project, is working with Big Trees, Inc. to identify and remove trees that can be relocated to new homes. Since trees will be evaluated when the demolition contractor needs to work around them, ST doesn't presently have any information about the number of trees that will be salvaged. Stay tuned for updates.

Sidenote: I got interviewed by KUOW about the community's response to tree removal and construction-related pedestrian safety issues. Super awesome!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for attending the meeting and reporting back to us. This construction will impact the hill more than people expect.