The Wallingford Community Council (WCC) held its bi-monthly meeting at the Good Shepherd Center last Wednesday, January 4, 2023 and guest speakers were Stephanie Secord PE, PMP from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Council Member Alex Pedersen. He is a summary of what each guest discussed.
Stephanie Secord – Ship Canal Tunnel Update
The Seattle Public Utilities and King County Wastewater Treatment Division are building an underground storage tunnel to significantly reduce the amount of polluted storm water (from rain) and sewage that flows into the Lake Washington Ship Canal, Salmon Bay and Lake Union from our sewage system.
In some parts of Seattle, sewage and storm water (rain) share a set of pipes; this is called a combined sewer. During heavy rains (What? Rain? Here?) the water often exceeds the pipes’ capacity (known as an overflow to us sewer nerds), sending untreated sewage (yep, that means poop) and storm water into the Ship Canal. These overflows can harm fish, wildlife, and the environment, and contain pollution.
During a heavy storm, the new tunnel will capture and temporarily store more than 29 million gallons of untreated storm water and sewage until the treatment plant is ready for it. The tunnel will improve water quality regionally by keeping more than 75 million gallons of polluted storm water and sewage on average each year from flowing into the Lake Washington Ship Canal, Salmon Bay, and Lake Union. Based on data from the last five years, the Ship Canal Water Quality Project would have removed about 70% of SPU’s total combined sewer overflow volume.
This storage tunnel (currently under construction) is one of several projects that comprise the Ship Canal Water Quality Project. The Storage Tunnel construction contract value is $255M. The total cost for the overall Ship Canal Water Quality Project is $570M, which was based on a 65% confidence. This means there is a 65% chance the project will be delivered at or below this budget. As the project moves forward, the team is updating costs monthly, and the confidence level will change over time.
The Wallingford site elements include:
- Building a new storage tunnel
- Construction of a small building to house odor control equipment
- Building a drop shaft to carry sewage and storm water into the new storage tunnel.
- Installing pipes along Stone Way N and N35th Street to connect the existing combined sewer system to the tunnel
- A new underground structure to house mechanical and electrical equipment
- Restoration of impacted roadways.
What to Expect During Construction:
- Construction related noise, traffic, dust and vibrations
- Sidewalk closure on the east side of Interlake Ave. N
- Back-to-back closures on Stone Way N and N35th Street
- Parking restrictions and detours
- Northbound lane impaction Interlake Ave N with flaggers present to direct traffic
- Removal of some trees
The total project will be completed in late 2025. For more details regarding this project to to http://spushipcanal.participate.online
Alex Pedersen – District 4 Update
“Striving to serve the public as a voice of reason during tumultuous times has been an honor, but I am not a career politician. While I appreciate the encouragement from several neighborhood leaders from Wallingford to Wedgwood, I have decided not to seek re-election in 2023 to another four-year term as the fulltime City Councilmember for District 4. After 2023, my family will need me more than City Hall, and they are looking forward to having me back. Being free from campaigning for re-election during 2023 will enable my office to focus on serving our district’s 100,000 constituents in more than 15 neighborhoods and to help craft sensible public policy.
While I have heard that recent polling numbers reflect support for my efforts, just because an elected official could win again doesn’t mean they should. I’d be happy to hand the reins to another qualified and pragmatic public servant selected by voters this November who will continue to prioritize constituents over interest groups, watchdog the City’s $7 billion budget to deliver local government services, and produce substance instead of slogans on Twitter. I appreciate the kind words my office has received from many constituents and the recent remarks from our Mayor: “Across his history of service from Legislative Aide to Councilmember, Alex Pedersen has championed issues critical to Seattle neighbors – from effective public safety to essential infrastructure projects. I am grateful for his sensible leadership and service to our community.”
While we have another year to achieve more, I’m proud of the progress my office has made on several initiatives since the day Ron Sims swore me into office:
Independence of Key Votes
Environment and Climate Change
We urge you to join our next meeting which will be held on March 1, 2023 at 7 PM at the Good Shepherd Center.