December 29, 2011
I was pleased to have a diverse collection of images published while I was away traveling this fall including shots from Seattle’s Solstice Parade and Boeing’s launch of the 787 Dreamliner. It’s always intriguing to see what images editors show interest in. It’s rarely the best shot you have or even what you think is the most striking.
In the current issue of to Condé Nast Traveler is my first contribution to the publication – this image from Olympic National Park illustrating their story on the world’s last great quiet places.
March 19, 2011
I see the remains of the failed Satsop Nuclear Power Plant on my trips out to the Washington Coast. Perched on a ridge over the small town of Satsop are the shells of two of the planned five rectors.
The Washington Public Power Supply System began construction on the plant in 1977. The project was halted in 1983 after a large budget shortfall, leaving the plant about three-quarters complete. The plant was maintained, ready for construction to be resumed, until 1994, when it was finally canceled and never put into operation. The reactors were planned to be pressurized water reactors. Today the site hosts the Satsop Development Park.
January 12, 2011
November 7, 2010
I was able to get a first-hand look at the Alaskan Way Viaduct during the semi-annual inspection on October 16 & 17. WSDOT led the media and public on tours during the closure and completed necessary maintenance and preservation work on the road. Inspection crews use a fascinating piece of equipment called a UBIT to get a closer look – that’s an Under Bridge Inspection Truck to anyone not in the industry.
In the report released on October 22, survey crews found no new structural damage though a column near Yesler way had settled a half-inch since July 2010. The settlement is considered to be very minor and well below the safety threshold of six inches. Alaskan Way Viaduct Program Administrator Ron Paananen said “While this settlement is minor, it’s a reminder that we must press on with replacing this vulnerable structure.”
July 8, 2010
Hundreds of people crowded the South Park neighborhood on June 30th to bid farewell to the troubled bridge. Residents and friends of the South Park Bridge organized a wake to celebrate the neighborhood – complete with bagpipers, Duwamish tribal dancers and loads of live music including a New Orleans Funeral Band.
The good news is that King County has secured $80 million towards the construction of a new bridge to-date. The county will be submitting a grant application in August for the remaining $20-$40 million needed to complete the new bridge from the second round of Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery Grants. Awards will be announced in early October.
June 7, 2010
The South Park Bridge has never really been on sure-footing since its completion in 1931. Initially built on soft soil, the pilings were driven far short of glacial till – the substandard concrete deteriorated for decades then was further damaged in the Nisqually earthquake of 2001. The bridge has since been given a sufficiency rating of 4 out of a possible 100 by inspectors. The bridge that collapsed in Minnesota in 2007 was given a 50 rating shortly before the catastrophic failure that killed 13 people.
Though the county has spent $250,000 yearly to maintain and repair the bridge, the damage has been deemed as too extensive to continue safe operation and the bridge has been scheduled to close permanently on June 30, 2010. Interestingly, once the bridge is closed the moveable spans will be left in the open position to maintain the river as a navigable waterway. The bridge spans the Duwamish River and connects the South Park neighborhood’s main business district – the loss of the bridge could be devastating to an already fragile neighborhood.
A new $130 million dollar bridge is already planned though the county does not currently have all the funds to start the project. Earlier this year, South Park lost a $30 million dollar grant to Seattle as the new bridge was not considered “shovel ready”. The federal stimulus grant was awarded to Seattle to fix Mercer Street in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.
March 8, 2010
March 8, 2010
As Seattle prepares to finally demolish the viaduct, I’m working on a project on the city’s long and complex relationship with the controversial highway. The Bakun building, at the foot of Pike Place Market, was built in 1925 – the Alaskan Way Viaduct, completed in 1953 extends overhead.