More Levy to Move Seattle dollars at work for you! Our concrete crews completed two repaving projects near the busy Alaska Junction.

Before and after repaving at 44th Ave SW and SW Edmunds St.

Summary 

  • Repairs were funded by our Arterial Major Maintenance (AMM) Program, one of the our crew paving programs, which receives funding from the Levy to Move Seattle. About 80% of paving project funding comes from the Levy. We’ve been repaving for a long time!

We completed two concrete panel replacement projects in the heart of Alaska Junction, West Seattle’s most significant urban village, which has a unique history and neighborhood feel.    

We replaced roughly 30 concrete panels which were subject to wear and tear from heavy vehicle traffic over the years.  

Many bus routes converge in the Junction, including the popular Rapid Ride C-Line. The pavement had become a safety issue for the many people walking and rolling in this neighborhood. 

One project was at the bus hub on SW Alaska St just west of California Ave SW and the other was around the corner in front of a hardware store on 44th Ave SW at SW Edmunds St.    

Fun fact: This intersection is rooted in public transportation! In April 1907, two streetcar lines were connected at one of the same intersections that was repaved – California Ave SW and SW Alaska Street (then 9th Street). Within a month, real estate agents opened offices here, at what quickly became known as “the Junction.” By 1911, the Junction had grown into a bustling business district. 

The paving crew did a fantastic job working with local businesses to minimize impacts while maintaining commercial and pedestrian access. 

Every year, we pave arterial streets to keep you moving, whether you’re biking, walking, taking the bus, or driving. Paving projects help to move people and goods more safely and efficiently in a growing Seattle.  

These repairs were funded by our Arterial Major Maintenance (AMM) Program, one of the our crew paving programs, which receives funding from the Levy to Move Seattle. Approximately 80% of the funding for all paving projects comes from the Levy to Move Seattle.  

This pair of projects is a fitting example of how the AMM program invests its finite funding on focused repair projects which have a big impact on you and your neighbors.  

This means that your tax dollars are impacting the safety of our entire region. Think about it – our recent projects may just be right outside your door, but they’re also supporting our broader community. 

Repaving was recently completed along SW Avalon Way, too. Photo Credit: SDOT. 

Safe, smooth paving on California Ave SW supports people picking up seasonal veggies at the West Seattle Farmer’s Market; the repaved and restriped SW Avalon Way makes it easier to take a family bike ride when the weather’s nice; and upcoming repaving in Beacon Hill will support people traveling around Mercer Middle School and Jefferson Park

We overcame some unique challenges to finish this project!  

The team managed many challenges, including multiple underground utility lines, and coordinated with Seattle Public Utilities to replace old and damaged drain inlets.  

Underground utilities present a unique challenge to crews, who are very careful to find and protect them during excavation operations to keep everything running smoothly for nearby residents and businesses.  There were more utility lines at this location than normal, so it was an extra challenge!  

Also, to mitigate the risk of concrete cracking in the future, crews used steel reinforcement where appropriate and established an optimized jointing pattern when installing the concrete panels. 

Why is a jointing pattern important? A joint is an intentional groove along the edges of concrete panels. The jointing pattern establishes the dimensions of each individual panel and is intended to prevent unwanted cracking elsewhere in the panel. In essence, all concrete is going to crack. Forming joints in concrete creates a weakened vertical plane and makes the concrete crack where we want it to crack. Establishing appropriate intentional crack locations, (“the jointing pattern”), minimizes unwanted cracking at other places in the panel. 

These two projects also demonstrate how our Maintenance Operations Division (MOD) crews continue to repair our streets while they manage the new challenges of fewer staff, new COVID-19 protocols, and even poor air quality.  

Projects in West Seattle continue to support our Reconnect West Seattle efforts. Through Reconnect West Seattle, we’re working to improve mobility and neighborhood safety in neighborhoods impacted by the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure.  

Learn more about the Levy to Move Seattle and our repaving projects.