• June 30, 2014

VIDEO: And the new South Park Bridge is in service

Our crew was there as the gates went up at 6 am and the first vehicles went across. Do note that it’s one lane each way for a while, as some last work is done in the outer lanes.

  • June 29, 2014

NEW SOUTH PARK BRIDGE: Parade video, photos

After the dedication ceremony, the speeches, the fireworks – after people had a chance to walk across the bridge for the first time – it was parade time!

Our video ended when the parade paused for a long time, right after the low-rider cars and high-riding bikes. But we have some video snippets and photos from what followed – here are the bridge-builders!

Awesome equestrians:

IAM 751 – headquartered in South Park – had a big parade presence:

And in a moment of closure – remember the classic buses that crossed the old bridge the night it closed? They were in the parade today to celebrate this one’s opening:

We talked with a few sets of parents who were there with kids who hadn’t even been born yet when the old bridge closed – this is likely the only one they’ll ever know, since it’s expected to last a century. Among those parents, County Executive Dow Constantine and wife Shirley Carlson with (in stroller, out of view) their new daughter Sabrina:

(Also in the picture, from left, Dow’s brother Blair Constantine, Chris Arkills from the executive’s office, and KCDOT director Harold Taniguchi.) Still some more photos to add on Monday.

  • June 29, 2014

AS IT UNFOLDED: New South Park Bridge celebration!

(UPDATES CONTINUE into the evening – scroll down!)

1:42 PM: If you haven’t gone to 14th Avenue South yet – the party is well under way! We arrived for some early photos between 12:15 and 12:45 and are adding a few here, including this quick panorama from UNDER the bridge:

Pieces of the old bridge are forever part of the new one and its surroundings:

We’re heading back for the 3 pm dedication and all the festivities that follow. Big question is “When can we walk on the bridge?” Answer: Right now you can walk on the south-side path to the south tower for “self-guided tours”:

After the 3 pm ceremony, starting by 4:30 pm, the bridge will be open to all. Two music stages – one by the bridge …

(added) … where Two Scoops offered “Open Up the Bridge”:

… and one a few blocks south at Donovan:

ESPN Deportes announcers are there too:

This is the coolest dancing-in-the-street we saw in the early going:

Art is happening, too:

And you can walk under the bridge as well as (later) on it:

More to come!

We’ll be posting to the West Seattle Blog Instagram feed inbetween official updates.

4:59 PM: Open for walking!

C’mon down if you haven’t been here yet!

5:56 PM: The parade was much bigger than we expected – including the South Park float, with Executive Dow Constantine and Roads director Harold Taniguchi doing the parade wave:

Here’s the view looking southward onto 14th, as people followed the end of the parade:

We’ll have a separate gallery with parade photos/video.

8:04 PM: And then as the evening began – Lucha Libre Volcanica took the stage on the southwest side of the bridge:

LLV is the region’s only school where you can train to become a luchadore – masked Mexican-style wrestler. And its luchadores now come to South Park for a show every year – this time, it coincided with the bridge bash.

The luchadores go through outrageous moves and antics in their matches.

Still more to add!

  • June 27, 2014

NEW SOUTH PARK BRIDGE: The art, behind-the-scenes

When we visited the bridge earlier this week (see photos elsewhere on TSPN), the art on the bridge railings and in the raingarden below – all reusing parts of the old bridge – really caught our attention. The video above, by King County TV, takes you behind the scenes with the artist who made it all happen, Barbara Grygutis.

  • June 27, 2014

NEW BRIDGE: Update on dignitaries who’ll be at dedication

Counting down to Sunday’s big party celebrating the new South Park Bridge! The county has sent a media advisory noting that besides, of course, King County Executive Dow Constantine and other county leaders, the dignitaries will include U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott. The ceremony’s at 3, followed by a parade across the bridge, and events into the evening including Lucha Libre at 6 pm.

  • June 25, 2014

NEW BRIDGE: How Metro routing will change, once it’s open

Wondering how the new bridge will affect Metro routing? We asked:

The new South Park Bridge is scheduled to reopen for service between South Park and Georgetown at 6 a.m. June 30. At that time, two bus stops will reopen northbound and southbound on 14th Ave S just north of S Cloverdale St, serving the South Park business community.

When the bridge reopens, Route 60 will operate its former routing on 14th and 16th Ave S between S Cloverdale St and East Marginal Way S. Route 60 will no longer operate on 14th Ave S between S Cloverdale St and Highway 99, and on East Marginal Way S between the 1st Ave S Bridge and Carleton Ave S. Operating via the South Park Bridge is expected to save about 5-8 minutes per trip in each direction.

  • June 24, 2014

PHOTOS: Taken a close-up look at the new bridge yet?

This afternoon, we’ll be on a media tour promising a look at and inside the bridge. In advance of that, we went over for a closer look from the construction perimeter, and there’s lots to see!
Along the south side of the bridge, a raingarden and permeable-pavement path are visible:
Watch for a separate gallery later with what we see on and inside the bridge. More details on the bridge construction are here; and remember, the big party starts at noon Sunday, dedication 3 pm, street party (with Lucha Libre at 6 pm) continuing into the night. The bridge doesn’t officially open for traffic until Monday, June 30th – four years to the day after the old bridge was closed for good. (Photos by TSPN co-publisher Patrick Sand)

  • June 5, 2014

South Park Bridge / Seattle Pride festivities overlap: County won’t change

First on Wednesday, the county announced the new South Park Bridge would open June 30th – a date many have long waited to hear.

Then as the afternoon went on, a followup announcement said the official celebration and dedication would be the day before – Sunday, June 29th.

Then came the questions, particularly on the South Park community e-mail list: Hey wait, that’s the same day as the Seattle Pride Parade – a huge citywide event any year, but this year in particular, because it’s the 40th anniversary of the first Seattle Pride celebration.

The parade downtown runs until about 1:30 pm; while the South Park Bridge celebration is scheduled to begin at noon, the dedication ceremony isn’t until 3 pm, and a spokesperson for King County Executive Dow Constantine says that time was chosen because he in fact has a formal role in the Pride Parade and will be able to get to South Park in time for the bridge ceremony afterward.

The Pride Parade, however, is just part of a daylong celebration including PrideFest at Seattle Center until 8 pm. Whatever the case, Constantine’s spokesperson says it’s not changing – June 29th is the date – and notes that summer is full of weekend event overlaps around the city/county anyway.

  • June 4, 2014

The date is set! June 30th for opening of the new bridge – 4th anniversary of the old one’s closure – but the party’s on June 29th

(Photo by Ned Ahrens, King County DOT)
Somehow, we suspected it would work out this way – the 4th anniversary of the old bridge’s closure is going to be the date the new one will open. Just announced by King County Executive Dow Constantine:

King County Executive Dow Constantine today announced that the newly constructed South Park Bridge will open June 30. The previous drawbridge, built in 1931, was closed and dismantled in mid-2010 due to safety concerns.

“I made a promise five years ago that we would build a new, safer bridge to connect our industrial heartland to the rest of King County — and we’re ready to deliver,” said Executive Constantine. “Not only will this help local manufacturers and family-owned businesses, it will reunite working communities in the Lower Duwamish area.”

The new bridge is expected to carry 20,000 vehicles and nearly 3,000 heavy-duty trucks each day. It will also carry an estimated 10 million tons of freight each year, including aerospace parts to local Boeing facilities.

More here.

ADDED: June 30th is the official day the bridge is open for traffic. June 29th, a Sunday, is the day of the big party, starting at noon, with the dedication ceremony at 3 pm.

  • June 1, 2014

New bridge: The view from above

(Also published on partner site West Seattle Blog)

The opening date for the new South Park Bridge isn’t set yet, and King County isn’t offering an estimate (just “summer”), but it’s close to completion, as you can see in these views shared this week by West Seattle photographer/pilot Long B. Nguyen:

King County DOT says it’s continuing electrical testing – 142 miles of wire in the project, according to an update earlier this spring. Four years ago this month, the old bridge was shut down after that unforgettable sendoff, and South Park community members are working right now to plan a grand-opening party they hope will eclipse it.