October 24, 2014
Demolition and construction underway in Arboretum and on Foster Island
Crews began demolishing the R.H. Thomson "Ramps to Nowhere" and installing piles on Lake Washington’s Union Bay during last weekend’s closure of SR 520. Crews also installed new tolling equipment and completed more paving and line striping on the Eastside’s new, nearly finished six-lane corridor. Depending on your proximity to the project, you may have seen cranes removing the first girder from the Ramps to Nowhere or noticed piles for the project’s temporary work bridge beginning to take shape on Union Bay.
Full demolition of the “Ramps to Nowhere” near the Washington Park Arboretum is expected to take until next summer. In mid- to late-2015, crews also will remove SR 520’s westbound off-ramp that runs through the Arboretum. That latter work, however, won’t happen until after a new westbound off-ramp is constructed at 24th Avenue East.
The installation of piles, as well as other construction activities, will create noise and vibrations that nearby residents and park users may hear. We are using best management practices to reduce construction noise and other effects.
First monthly public meeting with contractor happens Nov. 5
Join us on Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for our first monthly West Approach Bridge North construction-update meeting. At these meetings, WSDOT staff and our contractor will provide an update on construction activities. This first meeting will be held at the Graham Visitors Center in the Arboretum.
People love contests | And saying goodbye to ramps | That hold memories
To honor the beginning of demolition of the R.H. Thomson “Ramps to Nowhere,” we held a haiku contest on Twitter. Between Oct. 16 and 20, 143 people wrote 187 haiku poems on Twitter with the #520haiku hashtag. Many expressed nostalgia, either for the ramps themselves or for the civic activism that stopped construction of the never-completed expressway for which the ramps were designed. Other haiku celebrated the ramps’ imminent removal from the Arboretum, or wondered how the local waterfowl will feel about their absence.
Thank you to everyone who participated! We chose three haiku at random as the winners. Each winning poet will receive a piece of the actual ramp, along with a certificate of authenticity so they know it’s not just any old chunk of concrete we’re mailing them. Here are the winning entries:
We all have our "Ramps
to Nowhere" that we learn from,
tear down and rebuild
Bridge frequent flyer
Boxes, hand truck, tape, back ache
I, FedEx driver
bridges to nowhere
made every commute feel so