Responses to Questions & Concerns from June 6 Follow-Up Community Meeting

Good afternoon, Thank you for your patience as we looked into the feedback many of you provided at our June 6 community meeting. Several topics are addressed below.

Five- or six-day workweek

We are still weighing the pros and cons of a five- or six-day workweek. All affected parties are being considered, including you the residents, area businesses and the contractor. We will follow up with an email to you once a decision is made.
Sound frequency from a three-lobe blower

As we mentioned at the meeting, we will be using a vacuum truck with a three-lobe blower for Stage 2. It creates less vibration and a higher pitch that is easier to manage compared to a two-lobe blower, which was used in Stage 1.

A good example managing different pitch levels is a nightclub playing loud music. Once outside, you will primarily hear (and possibly feel) the lower pitches (or bass tones) only. This is because the higher pitches are being kept in by the walls of the club.

Pitch is measured in frequency. Our calculated estimate is 50 Hertz (Hz) for a two-lobe blower and 75 Hz for a three-lobe blower. Click the links to hear (and feel) a test tone for each frequency. Please note that not all speakers can clearly generate a 50 Hz tone, so it may sound quieter than a 75 Hz tone.

Cleanup by subcontractors after hours

The contract will require the contractor and all of its subcontractors to:

·         Comply with all appropriate safety and health standards, which includes keeping the work area clean and to clean up after themselves.

·         Meet required environmental regulations.

·         Perform activities in a way that will not increase erosion or pollution (this includes no debris down drains).

·         Comply with all federal, state and local environmental regulations regarding, but not limited to, noise, air and water pollution. 

City of Seattle road restoration from Stage 1 and plans for Stage 2

For Stage 2 work, the contract will require that WSDOT, the city of Seattle and the contractor jointly conduct preconstruction and post-construction inspections of all staging areas to ensure that they are left the same as prior to construction.

In Stage 1, the staging area between Westlake Avenue north and the water was not designated in the contract. The contractor worked independently with the city on permits and requirements to use it.

Trucks driving up on bank of road or onto railroad tracks

We will make sure that the Stage 2 contractor clearly delineates the slope and the tracks within the staging area so crews do not drive on them. 

Bike contact during project

We will work with the Cascade Bike Club to identify ways to encourage bicyclists to slow down through the work area or to use the sidewalk along Westlake Avenue North as an alternate route.

24-hour hotline during construction

Our environmental manager, Rob Woeck, has volunteered to provide his cell phone number for environmental concerns any time during construction. Tim Nau, assistant project engineer for construction of Stage 2, has also said he is willing to share his cell phone number for any construction concerns during the project. We will share at least two 24-hour numbers with you before construction begins.

Sharing the contract with you in advance

Once finalized, but prior to advertisement to prospective contractors, we will share a copy of the contract specifications with Katelyn Kinn, staff attorney for PugetSoundkeepers. Once the contract is advertised, we will post a copy of the contract on our website and share the link with you via email. This will likely be sometime in October.

Advance notice of schedules and work accomplished in weekly email update

We will provide you with weekly email updates that will include the following:

·         List of all floating home community feedback sent in to over the past week.

·         Description of all work accomplished and areas of the bridge where work has been completed.

·         Schedule of planned construction activities for the weeks ahead and what areas of the bridge crews will be working on. 

Name of the SR 529 bridge painting contractor

The SR 529 Steamboat Slough Bridge painting project was awarded to Abhe & Svoboda, Inc. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year. 

City not attending meetings
This is a WSDOT project, not a city project. We extended an invitation to the city to have a representative at our meetings, but they declined. However, we did agree to pass along any relevant information to them.
Worker personal protection equipment
The contract requires the contractor to comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding personal protection equipment (PPE) while performing the work. Enforcement of these requirements is under the jurisdiction of the state’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA).

However, if the contractor is not compliant, especially if crews are blatantly ignoring PPE laws and regulations or creating a safety hazard for the general public, WSDOT does have the authority and obligation to stop all work until the contractor comes into compliance. We can also ask L&I and/or OSHA to come out and do a site assessment if needed. 

We still have a few months to finalize the design plans for Stage 2 of the Aurora Bridge painting project and your continued input is extremely valuable to us.


Justin Fujioka

WSDOT Communications


Curt Winningham

WSDOT Project Engineer (design)


Puget Soundkeepers Aurora Bridge Painting Phase 1 Notice

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