A stuck Ballard Bridge causes traffic grief this morning

UPDATE: The bridge is now open and traffic is slowly clearing. Expect some delays as the congestion dissipates in the Ballard and Fremont Bridge areas.

ORIGINAL: The Ballard Bridge has been stuck in the open position since about 9:20 this morning, and according to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) it is still stuck at 9:48 a.m. Keep an eye on traffic by clicking our “Cameras” link, and we’ll update with any new information.

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Metro is also advising that Route 29 and the RapidRide D Line are delayed as a result of the traffic.

‘Excessive heat watch’ for Seattle: where to cool off in Ballard

golden_gardens_sunThe National Weather Service has issued an “Excessive Heat Watch” for the Seattle area for this weekend, so the city is reminding residents where to cool off during the heat wave. Temperatures are expected to reach 84 degrees today, 88 on Saturday, and 86 on Sunday. The heat should continue throughout the week, with temps forecasted in the 80s.

We’re lucky in Ballard with Golden Gardens and Carkeek Park just around the corner, but if you can’t make it to the beach, here are some areas where the city recommends seeking refuge from the hot weather:

  • Ballard Library
  • Ballard NW Senior Center
  • Ballard Commons Spray Park (water is on from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

For reminders on keeping cool and safe during the heatwave, visit the King County Public Health “Beat the heat” page. The city also has some helpful tips for keeping your pets safe this weekend:

  • Never leave your animal chained or penned up directly in sunlight. Provide a shady area for retreat, such as a dog house, porch or shady tree, and always provide cool water.
  • If you leave animals indoors, open screened windows, keep a fan running, provide plenty of water, and if possible, leave them in a cool location.
  • Never leave dogs or cats unattended in a closed, locked car. Animals do not perspire like humans; they cool themselves by panting and seats in vehicles get hot under animals’ feet and prevent them from perspiring through their paws.
  • If you must travel with your pet, carry water. If a trip requires you leave your pet in the car at any point, think about saving that for another day. It’s not worth the risk.
  • Avoid overexerting your animal in hot weather. Exercise is fine when taken in moderation, but obesity, old age, underlying disease and previous bouts of heat stroke can predispose an animal to the condition.
  • For birds, take caution and place the bird’s cage away from direct sunlight during the intense heat of the afternoon. Provide water and fruits and vegetables with high moisture content.

Throwback Thursday: saloons and pool halls of Old Ballard

Ballard’s vibrant social scene has some deep roots; here are a few photos of bars, restaurants, saloons, pool halls and watering holes of the past.

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Black and White photo of 22nd AVe NW and Market St. in 1939. Some businesses shown: Bagdad Theatre, Christopherson’s Ice Creamery, Black and White Tavern.

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Black and white photo from 1935 of the exterior of a pool hall and bar at 5233 Ballard Avenue.

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1910 photo of interior of the Owl Tavern in Ballard, which first acquired its liquor license in 1900.

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Ballard Avenue street scene in 1916 snow storm. An old trolley is pictured in the middle of the photo, and the Olympia Old Home Saloon on left. The Cigar Store is on the corner at right with real estate sign bearing legend “White River Valley Farms.”

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Black and white photographic copy of photo (in book) of St. Charles Hotel. Two story hotel with retail on ground level (Saloon, Restaurant).

All photos courtesy of Ballard Historical Society

Ballard Natural Drainage project update

A large-scale roadside rain garden project for the Loyal Heights neighborhood is in its final design phase, with construction expected to start later this year. The project is part of the city’s Ballard Natural Drainage System, which will work to prevent an average of 1 million gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater per year from entering the Ship Canal and Salmon Bay.

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Street map of Ballard natural drainage system projects

According to the project team, they’ve finished designs for several blocks of roadside rain gardens,  addressing technical and cost constraints, working with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to finalize tree placements, and responding to feedback from residents in Loyal Heights.

Following the design finalization, the contract will be going out to bid for contractors this summer, and residents can expect pre-construction gas line relocation work to begin in late 2015, with major construction to begin in spring 2016.

There is a Ballard greenway route in the same area of the drainage project (on 17th Ave NW between NW 77th St and NW 83rd St), so SPU will work with SDOT to coordinate sharing the road.

Click here for a full map of the proposed rain garden locations in Loyal Heights, and here to learn more about the scope and history of the project.

Ballard Development Update: four subdivision applications

Four subdivision applications make up today’s development update from the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin.

Applications:

2609 NW 58TH ST

MapForNotice19941

A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into three unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6429896. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

6539 24TH AVE NW

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A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into two unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6436970. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

6543 24TH AVE NW

MapForNotice19967

A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into two unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6426912. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

7007 7TH AVE NW
MapForNotice19939

A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one parcel into two parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 876.1 sq. ft. and B) 4,124.7 sq. ft. Project also includes unit lot subdivision of Parcel B into two unit lots. The construction of a two unit townhouse has been approved under Project #6448265. The subdivision of Parcel B is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards for Parcel B will be applied to Parcel B as a whole and not to each of the new unit lots.

Comments about the above applications should be submitted to PRC@seattle.gov or mailed to the address below:

City of Seattle DPD PRC
700 5th Avenue Suite 2000
PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA  98124-4019

What’s on at the Nordic Heritage Museum

The Nordic Heritage Museum is full of activity this summer, with new exhibits, craft classes, and a Viking-themed 5k coming up in August.

Eero Rislakki and Erkki Rahikainen (designer of 1965 original model) Finnish, born 1924 Erkki Rahikainen (engineer of original model), Finnish Markku Autero (designer of 2000 model), Finnish Jopo bicycle, 2000 (update of 1965 design)  H. (frame) 17 3/4 in. (45 cm); wheel diam. 24 in. (61 cm) Metal, rubber Manufacturer: Helkama Velox, Hanko, Finland, 1905-present Courtesy of Helkama Velox

New exhibit: “Finland: Designed Environments

The new exhibit, on display until July 26, features three galleries of furniture, images and stories that “explore examples of furnishing, fashion, craft, architecture, and urbanism in Finland, and how nearly every aspect of each incorporates thoughtful design and sensitivity to form and material,” according to the museum.

Craft School: Ornamental Woodcarving with Erik Holt
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The museum welcomes woodcarvers of all skills in the class, which will cover basic techniques and tool care for beginners and helping students develop their own projects. The classes will be on Sundays in July (5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th) from 9 a.m. 3:30 p.m. To register, click here.

Registration for Run Like a Viking 5K now open

The new Viking dash is back this year, happening August 22, and the museum is now taking registrations. “Dress in your Viking best for this race at nearby Golden Gardens Park,” the museum writes, adding that on-leash Viking hounds are welcome in the run. There will be prizes for the best human and dog costumes.

After the race there will be a salmon BBQ with craft beer, Nordic music, crafts and children’s activities. The race is limited to 500 participants, and children are welcome to participate. Entry for the race is $40 for adults and $10 for kids. Learn more and register here.

To sign up for the Nordic Heritage Museum newsletter, email news@nordicmuseum.org with your full name and email address.

Massive elk goes through Ballard Locks

Some strange cargo moved through the Ship Canal last week: a 12-foot-tall elk sculpture on a barge entered the Ballard Locks en route to a private waterfront property in Magnolia.

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Eric Jensen / KOMO News
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Eric Jensen / KOMO News

According to KOMO News, the elk was created by Portland artist Travis Pond, who welded it together from hundreds of pieces of metal, mostly made from old John Deere tractor parts. The sculpture weighs in at 6,800 lbs. and also has pieces of old cars, gas nozzles, and guns.

KOMO reports that the elk was trucked up I-5, loaded onto a barge in Lake Union, and then sent through the Ballard Locks so it could be unloaded at the home of the Seattle art collector who purchased the sculpture.