A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

First phase of Aurora Avenue road work ends more than a week early, median lanes to reopen today

February 5th, 2016 by Doree

Washington State Department of Transportation crews finished the first phase of signage work more than a week early and will reopen the median lanes in both directions by early afternoon today. The southbound bus-only lane will also reopen, except at Comstock Street.

Phase two of the work to build foundations for the signs that will direct drivers to the future SR 99 tunnel will start at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8. This second phase will require a one-block closure of the southbound right lane near Comstock Street while crews construct the final sign foundation near Comstock Street. Buses will merge into the general purpose lane at this location. This should last two to three weeks.

Since buses will merge into the general-purpose lanes for one block during the next phase of work, there may be some backups.

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SPD: Men caught selling meth, printing fake checks at Aurora Avenue motel in Greenwood

February 2nd, 2016 by Doree

From the Seattle Police Department Blotter:

Police found a gun, knives, ammunition, laptops and printers from an Aurora Avenue motel last week after arresting two men for selling meth and running a check counterfeiting operation out of their room.

SPD Major Crimes Task Force detectives began investigating the men for narcotics dealing last week, and visited the room at the Klose-Inn Motel–located in the 9300 block of Aurora Avenue North–on several occasions to buy meth. During the investigation, detectives learned the room’s residents were also running a check fraud business.

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Detectives began tailing the suspects and, one occasion, followed one of the men to a Greenwood store, where he cashed a fake check for $1,000.

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SWAT, MCTF detectives and patrol officers served a warrant at the suspects’ motel room around 9:30 PM on January 27th and arrested a 29-year-old man for fraud, and a 20-year-old for narcotics and weapons possession.

Detectives found suspected stolen jewelry, a loaded handgun, ammunition, packaged methamphetamine and unidentified pills, a key-making machine, laptops and printers, along with knives, high-end watches, cash, identification and bank cards.

Detectives released the 29-year-old pending further investigation and booked the 20-year-old into the King County Jail. Police are also investigating him for additional crimes after he claimed to be involved in several incidents of gun violence in the greater Seattle area.

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Reminder: Extended lane closures on Aurora Avenue beginning Monday

January 17th, 2016 by Doree

Don’t forget that the median lanes will be closed in each direction along a one-mile stretch of Aurora Avenue North between the Aurora Bridge and just north of Mercer Street beginning Monday. The closures will last about a month. Construction crews will build four large sign foundations for the future SR 99 tunnel. During the closure, buses and vehicles will share the southbound bus-only lane.

An additional lane will close at night and during several weekends, including Jan. 23-24.

WSDOT encourages drivers and bus riders to plan ahead as additional congestion is expected on Aurora Avenue North. Consider alternative travel modes such as ride-sharing or carpooling, or traveling in off-peak times. Keep informed by using King County Metro’s rider alerts or trip planning tools as well as WSDOT’s travel tools and SDOT’s travelers information page.

Also remember that cyclists and pedestrians will be routed off the Aurora Avenue Bridge northbound sidewalk beginning Monday as crews attach a containment system to the sidewalk as part of the bridge’s preservation project. Signed detours will be in place. That sidewalk detour will remain in place through September.

Drivers may also notice the containment system which is a large tarp that will stretch up and over the bridge’s safety fence. The system is designed to keep paint and debris falling into the water below while crews repaint portions of the bridge.

A contact number and emergency phone for a vehicle pickup will be available at either end of the bridge to assist ADA users who are unable to use the cyclist and pedestrian detour.

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Heads up: Aurora Avenue/SR 99 around-the-clock lane closures in January

December 15th, 2015 by Doree

Washington State Department of Transportation will close one lane in each direction on Aurora Avenue North/State Route 99 beginning in mid-January and lasting for about seven weeks, so crews building the northern approach to the SR 99 tunnel can install the foundations for new overhead traffic signs. An additional lane will be closed at night when there is less traffic on the road, and on some weekends. One lane will remain open during this work. Click here for a map of closures and more information.

Northbound SR 99 between Highland Drive and the Aurora Bridge:

  • One lane closed continuously for approximately five weeks beginning mid-January.
  • An additional lane will close at night and during several weekends.

Southbound SR 99 between the Aurora Bridge and Highland Drive:

  • One lane closed for approximately seven weeks beginning mid-January.
  • The left lane closest to the median will be closed for the first five weeks. The outside lane will be closed for the final two weeks.
  • An additional lane will close at night and during several weekends.

If you have any questions or would like more information about these closures, please contact us at viaduct@wsdot.wa.gov or 1-888-AWV-LINE (298-5463).

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Vacant lot at 8820 Aurora Avenue to be warehouse, offices and small efficiency dwelling units

October 1st, 2015 by Doree

The former site of the Aurora Motor Inn at 8820 Aurora Ave. N., now a vacant lot, is being developed into a four-story warehouse and office space, with 24 small efficiency dwelling units on the third and fourth floors. Surface parking for 10 vehicles will be provided.

The city’s Department of Planning and Development will hold an Early Design Guidance meeting at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, at Ballard Community Center, 6020 28th Ave. NW, in the Sunset Captain Ballard Room. (This is the same night and location as the Early Design Guidance meeting for a housing development at 6726 Greenwood Ave. N., which begins at 6:30 p.m.)

You can send comments on site planning and design issues for the project to PRC@seattle.gov. Make sure you reference project # 3020795.

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UPDATE: 4 DEAD — Avoid Aurora Avenue Bridge after bus and Ride the Ducks vehicle collide, multiple injuries

September 24th, 2015 by Doree

Update: Reroute updates from Metro Transit:

Transit service continues to be rerouted off of Aurora Av Bridge in both directions, due to a blockage.

Route 5 – Use stops on Fremont Av N north of N 39th St or Aurora Av N south of Mercer St or along Dexter Av N between Fremont Bridge and Mercer St.

Route 16 – Use stops on Stone Way N north of N 35th St or on 3rd Av south of Bell St or along Dexter Av N between Fremont Bridge and Aloha St.

RapidRide E Line – Use stops on 3rd Av south of Battery St or along its reroute on Dexter Av N between Aloha St and Fremont Bridge or on Stone Way N between N 35th St and N 50th St or on Aurora Av N north of N 75th St.

Expect significant delays in transit service in all areas north of downtown Seattle and west of I-5.

Update: KING 5 is reporting that four people were killed and another 12 are critically injured. Another 20 people had non life-threatening injuries. KING says a pickup truck and an SUV also were involved in the collision with the bus and Ducks vehicle. The Seattle Times has photos of the scene, including a huge gash in the side of the bus, and dozens of people being evaluated by medics. According to the Times, the bus was carrying 45 students and staff from North Seattle College’s international program.

Earlier: The Aurora Avenue Bridge is closed in both directions right now after a charter bus and a Ride the Ducks vehicle collided.

According to KING 5, there are multiple injuries. The crash happened at 11:15 a.m. The bridge is expected to be closed for several hours

Metro Transit says transit service is being rerouted onto the Fremont Bridge and Dexter Avenue North, then to regular routes. Bus riders should use the stops on Aurora Avenue North north of North 46th Street, on 3rd Avenue south of Bell Street, or along Dexter Avenue North

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Gold’s Gym on Aurora Avenue to be replaced by self-storage warehouse

September 10th, 2015 by Doree

The Gold’s Gym building at 9701 Aurora Ave. N. will be demolished to make way for a six-story self-storage warehouse, with a caretaker’s unit. It will take up the entire block of the west side of Aurora Avenue between 97th and 98th streets. It will have surface parking for 17 vehicles.

An Early Design Guidance meeting is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 28, at the Ballard Community Center, 6020 28th Ave. NW, in the Sunset/Captain Ballard Room, which is ADA compliant. (If you need a translator or interpreter, contact the Public Resource Center at prc@seattle.gov or 206-684-8467 at least five business days prior to the meeting).

Comments on site planning and design issues will be accepted through Sept. 28. Email to PRC@seattle.gov and reference project #3020310.

This is the second self-storage warehouse coming to that stretch of Aurora; last week we told you about another one planned four blocks south.

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UPDATE: CLOSURES POSTONED — Reminder: 12 weeks of lane closures on SR 99 between Valley Street and Aurora Bridge begin next week

March 6th, 2015 by Doree

Updated Monday 11 a.m.: Washington State Department of Transportation is postponing the lane closures on Highway 99 that were supposed to start Wednesday. Here’s WSDOT’s announcement:

The Washington State Department of Transportation is postponing plans for long-term lane closures on State Route 99 originally scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 11.

These closures were needed to install several large sign foundations for the SR 99 North Access project. While this work must occur, it will be rescheduled to a later date in an effort to minimize impacts to the traveling public. The public will be alerted in advance of any future lane closures.

Full closure of northbound SR 99 tonight — Contractor crews still plan to close northbound SR 99 to straighten the curve in the highway near Mercer Street.

Tonight, SR 99 will be closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. between the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street. All lanes will open at 6 a.m. in time for the morning commute.

Earlier: Washington Department of Transportation crews will be working on the future north portal of the State Route 99 tunnel and will need to close one lane in both directions of SR 99/Aurora Avenue North between Valley Street and the Aurora Bridge. The closures begin March 7 11 and will last about 12 weeks.

Two lanes will be open in each direction while crews install foundations for four large sign structures in the median and curb areas.

Work is planned in two phases. View a map of the work locations.

  • Phase 1 (approximately 8 weeks): one lane closed in both directions for median work — One lane in the northbound and southbound directions will be closed around-the-clock while crews install four sign foundations in the median
  • Phase 2 (approximately 4 weeks): one lane closed in southbound direction for curb work — One southbound lane will be closed around-the-clock while crews install two sign foundations in the southbound curb area

Because northbound and southbound buses will travel – and stop – in the outside lanes with other vehicle traffic, trips may take longer than normal. During both phases the southbound bus-only lane restriction will be lifted.

In an effort to balance the needs of drivers and residents, some work will occur during nighttime and weekend hours. An additional lane may close at night and during some weekend days.

The long-term lane closures are expected to cause additional backups on SR 99 for vehicles and buses, particularly during peak commute times. WSDOT is encouraging drivers and bus riders to:

Questions? Contact us at viaduct@wsdot.wa.gov or 1-888-AWV-LINE (298-5463) or visit us at www.AlaskanWayViaduct.org.

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12 weeks of SR 99 lane closures begin in March

February 19th, 2015 by Doree

Washington Department of Transportation crews will be working on the future north portal of the State Route 99 tunnel and will need to close one lane in both directions of SR 99/Aurora Avenue North between Valley Street and the Aurora Bridge. The closures begin March 7 and will last about 12 weeks.

Two lanes will be open in each direction while crews install foundations for four large sign structures in the median and curb areas.

Work is planned in two phases. View a map of the work locations.

  • Phase 1 (approximately 8 weeks): one lane closed in both directions for median work — One lane in the northbound and southbound directions will be closed around-the-clock while crews install four sign foundations in the median
  • Phase 2 (approximately 4 weeks): one lane closed in southbound direction for curb work — One southbound lane will be closed around-the-clock while crews install two sign foundations in the southbound curb area

Because northbound and southbound buses will travel – and stop – in the outside lanes with other vehicle traffic, trips may take longer than normal. During both phases the southbound bus-only lane restriction will be lifted.

In an effort to balance the needs of drivers and residents, some work will occur during nighttime and weekend hours. An additional lane may close at night and during some weekend days.

The long-term lane closures are expected to cause additional backups on SR 99 for vehicles and buses, particularly during peak commute times. WSDOT is encouraging drivers and bus riders to:

Questions? Contact us at viaduct@wsdot.wa.gov or 1-888-AWV-LINE (298-5463) or visit us at www.AlaskanWayViaduct.org.

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