June 9

SDOT hosts open house on Mercer West Project



SDOT hosted an open house on the Mercer West Project Wednesday evening in the Northwest Rooms Plaza of the Seattle Center, giving the public an in-depth look at what’s to come.

Similar to the West Mercer Place open house in March, the room was circled with posters illustrating various stages and aspects of the project, while SDOT officials, like SDOT Mercer West Project Manager Eric Tweit, answered questions about the project in detail. The project, and the room, was broken up into three parts: West Mercer Place, the Two-Way Conversion and the Mercer Underpass.

Another Mercer West open house will be held next winter to share the final drawings and ask for public comment, according to a video presentation. The final design for the project will be finished in mid-2012, and construction will begin shortly after.

The extension of the two left-turn lanes on Elliott Avenue West and West Mercer Place, or the fifth of five alternatives to address traffic concerns on West Mercer Place, was included in the project discussion. Construction for the three- to six-week job will begin Monday, June 13, and SDOT says it will avoid scheduling work on the weekends, in the morning and during rush hour to reduce the impacts on traffic.

SDOT is also trying to improve pedestrian crossing at Fifth Avenue West and West Mercer Street, a matter of serious concern to residents living in that immediate area.

Much of the information presented at the open house can be seen on the SDOT website here.

FOLKpark Chair Debi Frausto was also on hand to discuss the Lower Kinnear Park Enhancement Plan, the Uptown Loop and a letter sent to SDOT on the needs of the park with respect to changes from SDOT’s proposed alternatives. According to the letter, the chosen Alternative 5 doesn’t provide for bicycles on West Mercer Place, so improvements would need to be made on the sidewalks and park entrance. In addition, the added noise and air pollution from the increase in traffic would need enhanced planting buffers.

An interdepartmental meeting between FOLKpark, SDOT, Seattle Utilities, Seattle Parks and others will take place next Monday “to talk about green infrastructure solutions for this area,” said Frausto.

The organization estimates it needs between $60,000 and $80,000 more to finish the design work, but they already have enough money in the bank to begin construction next year, Frausto said. They’re currently exploring different ideas on how to raise the remaining funds.

“We are well underway,” said Frausto. “We could very well be in construction this time next year.”


Debi Frausto, FOLKpark, Lower Kinnear Park Enhancement Plan, Mercer West Project, SDOT, SDOT Open House, Uptown Loop, West Mercer Place

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