Link roundup – more South Park Bridge news

A little background:

South Park bridge in south Seattle to close permanently Wednesday
Sucks to Be the South Park Bridge Today
South Park Bridge Closure Means Big Changes For Area Commuters
The joke, alas, is on South Park

Funding news:

Funding OK’d in South Park bridge project
County and State Promise $50 Million to Replace South Park Bridge
Gregoire pledges $20M to replace South Park Bridge
South Park Bridge gets another $10 million
South Park Bridge Wake

Series from the Seattle Times’ Seattle Sketcher:

South Park neighborhood prepares to lose its bridge
South Park: Time to get around the bridge
South Park: A community mourns its bridge
South Park: Bridge operator ready for last day on the job
South Park: Businesses face future without bridge

How you can help South Park

Even with the recent announcement of the allocation of $31 million in bonds to help replace the South Park Bridge from King County and a soon-to-be-announced pledge of $20 million from the City, South Park business owners, residents and community members are worried about the impact the June 30th bridge closure will have on the neighborhood.  The bridge is the most direct route people in South Park have to cross the Duwamish River into the rest of Seattle. It is also how the rest of Seattle easily accesses South Park’s growing business district on 14th Avenue South.  It is critical to support the businesses that will be impacted by the inevitable diversion of traffic that will be caused by the closed bridge.  Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Encourage people to endorse the bridge replacement via their local affiliations. Get your local Chamber of Commerce involved.
  • Write blog posts, Letters to the Editor, and respond to blog posts to voice your concern for the safety and vitality of the community and the implications closure will have on the neighborhood
  • Offer to help South Park restaurant owners distribute flyers (or create them if they don’t exist) in other communities.
  • Write positive reviews of the restaurants and businesses you frequent in South Park on CitySearch.com,  Yelp.com, and others.
  • Make the effort to continue to frequent South Park restaurants on lunch breaks and after work.
  • Don’t let the bridge closure become another piece of forgotten news. Continue the conversation.

South Park Bridge – the beginning of the end.

The King County Department of Transportation has this to say about the South Park Bridge: “The existing bridge was built in 1929-1931. The substandard lane width of the bridge carries approximately 20,000 ADT with 14% being truck traffic. It is severely deteriorated and vulnerable to seismic. The bridge is one of a few river crossings connecting to industrial area.”

Blogger Gurldoggie‘s insight about the neighborhood make it clear why it needs and deserves this gateway into the community: “South Park is a fascinating little neighborhood on the southern edge of Seattle, mostly built from the 1920’s through 1950’s to provide homes for the Boeing workers whose factory was in full bloom at the time. Since then the fortunes of Boeing and all of the industries that surrounded it have waxed and waned, and South Park has come through many rough patches. Statistics from the 1970’s and 80’s suggest that it was Seattle’s most dangerous zip code for quite a while, but in recent years the neighborhood has undergone a rennaisance, finally getting a long sought library and community center, and becoming the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in Seattle.”

The bridge is slated to close on June 30th.

Community meetings have been held, studies have been made and at the end of the day, the bridge is simply not safe enough for continued use, and there is not enough money for replacement (estimates for this project come in at around $130 million). According to the Seattle Times, “The federal government last month rejected King County’s request for $99 million in stimulus dollars to pay most of the replacement cost for the bridge. Instead $30 million was awarded for a competing Seattle project to transform one-way Mercer Street into a landscaped, two-way boulevard.”