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In this Issue:

  • FHA Survey Results
  • Harbor Patrol Committee
  • Birds on Lake Union
  • FHA Board Meeting Minutes
  • Fairview Ave N Bridge Update
  • Ship Canal Water Quality Project

FHA Survey Results - Thank you to all the members of the community who took the time to complete our recent survey. We got 149 responses in total, 96% were owners, and 4% were renters. Of the issues listed, you were clear about where we should focus our efforts:  
Extremely Important
55%  - Impact of the decreased budget for the Lake Union Harbor Patrol (which is also the first responder for floating home fires). 
53% - City Light power upgrade (would require older floating home co-ops whose meters are on their houseboats to place them onshore.
40% - Building codes issues relative to floating homes 
Important
62% - Emergency Preparations
50% - Building codes issues relative to floating homes
50% - What are typical Co-Op Reserve Assessment Considerations 
Not Important
50% - Floating Homes that bottom out in low water season.
32% - what are typical Co-Op Reserve Assessment Considerations.
30% - Seaplanes
Seaplanes Survey Question - the majority voted for maintaining the status quo. 72% of respondents support the existing operation on Lake Union with the single row of buoys but to be managed by the seaplane operators at their expense. 20% think the is not an FHA issue and we should not be involved. 8% support a future dedicated international airport on Lake Union to provide increased public service to the island communities and Vancouver, BC. Two respondents said we hadn't supplied the option they wanted to vote for but did not say what that option should be; our best guess is that they would like to see the seaplanes gone altogether!
Survey Comments and Suggestions - Respondents had some great suggestions for the website and a list of other issues facing the community which we will follow up on in future e-alerts.

Harbor Patrol - Identified as the most important issue facing floating home residents, this issue is something your board has already started work on. The board met with Lt. Abe Barker, of the Harbor Patrol on February 24th to get his perspective on the issues facing his department. We will have more information about the call when we publish the minutes of the next board meeting. Misha Halvarsson, who was on the FHA committee that managed to secure funding for an additional two harbor patrol officers back in 1990, has agreed to head up the effort again. But she cannot do it single-handedly. This issue has been identified by FHA members as being the most significant issue facing floating homeowners, so we are looking for folks from the community to be on the committee with Misha. Ideally, the committee should consist of at least:

  • One member with investigative reporting or serious investigative research background
  • One member with honed governmental relationship skills
  • One member with strong interviewing skills

We need people on this committee who are committed, energized, and willing to fight to keep our HP.  In the next e-alert, I hope to share more information about the previous campaign and who has stepped up to help with this one 😉! Email us at contact@seattlefloatinghomes.org if you are interested in serving with Misha.

Birds on Lake Union – Ever wonder what that funny-looking duck is off your back deck?  Or wonder why some birds seem to only be here for parts of the year while others are permanent residents? Dave Galvin, Seattle Audubon “Master Birder” and houseboat resident since 1986 has very kindly agreed to write a monthly column for the FHA to help answer your bird-related questions. You can find his first post, and some photos he has taken, here. If it piques your interest, let’s turn this into a conversation.  Let him know what you are seeing, and what questions you have, to help us all to celebrate nature in the city and on the lake. What are you seeing?  What are your questions?  Send commentary to galvind53@gmail.com. Readers who are members of Eastlake Community Council or who pick up The Eastlake News at Pete’s will note that Dave has also launched a companion column in that quarterly publication, where he will keep a neighborhood bird list, so you can see (and add to) all the species documented on land, in the water or overhead in the Eastlake area.  This might miss some sightings from Westlake, Fremont, Gas Works, or other spots where FHA members live, but might be of interest to you.  Find this list at www.eastlakeseattle.org.

FHA Board Meeting Minutes - You can read the minutes of the board's February meeting here.

Fairview Ave N Bridge Update -  A message from Ching Chan, Fairview Ave N Bridge Replacement Project Outreach Team: Last month, we reached two major milestones with the completion of the bridge deck and removal of construction cranes from the project site. We’re excited for the new bridge and hope you are, too!  Due to COVID-19-related material delivery delays, location and space constraints limiting work acceleration, and other unforeseen construction challenges, project completion has shifted from spring 2021 to summer 2021. We wanted to share this new information with you before we send a message to the broader community early next week. The new Fairview Bridge replaces the last wooden bridge on an arterial in Seattle and is designed and built to modern seismic standards. Thanks to the voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle, the new bridge not only improves safety, but it also supports the future RapidRide J Line and Seattle’s growing bike network. Thank you for your engagement and patience throughout the project. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. fairviewbridge@seattle.gov | www.seattle.gov/transportation/fairviewbridge.htm | (206) 775-8715  

Ship Canal Water Quality Project - Please email SPU_ShipCanalProject@seattle.gov with questions or comments or call (206) 701-0233. You can also find information online at spushipcanal.participate.online/.This month and next, four artworks by local emerging artists will appear at some of the construction sites. These temporary works will be on view for six-months and feature new artwork by artists Barry Johnson, Hugo Moros, Whitney Lynn, and Janelle Abbott. Find out more on our art page, and get on your bike or put on your walking shoes to visit all four locations this spring and summer! You can also meet our contractor team’s project manager in a recent video and See photos from recent construction activities on Flickr.

  • Ballard - Over the next few weeks, we'll continue assembling the tunnel boring machine (TBM), and preparing the shaft and site (including paving) for tunneling operations that begins this summer. During this time, you can expect more heavy equipment to arrive on site, such as cranes. Truck deliveries of material to fill the shaft from the base to the tunnel invert level to support the TBM and associated tunnel activities. Working hours are expected to be 7 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. We also anticipate working weekends over the next few months to prepare for tunneling.
  • East Ballard - Crews will continue soil stabilization and ground improvement work in NW 45th St. During these activities, you should anticipate NW 45th St closed to traffic; vehicles must detour onto NW 46th St. Burke-Gilman Trail users remain detoured to the north side of NW 45th St; flaggers to help direct traffic during daytime working hours. Please follow all detour guidance on site. Bicyclists must cross train tracks at 90-degree angles. Please use extra caution in wet weather as ramps may be slippery. Both lanes of 11th Ave NW south of NW 45th St are now open and will remain open for about six weeks. Noise and vibrations typical of a construction site. Regular work hours will be Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5 pm. Night and weekend work may occur to maintain progress.
  • Fremont - Over the next few weeks, crews will finish excavating the vertical shaft, pour concrete for the shaft floor, and begin utility work in NW 36th St. You should anticipate dump trucks and excavators working on-site and an uptick in traffic in Leary Way NW as trucks haul away excavated material and bring concrete to the site. NW 36th St between Leary Way NW and 3rd Ave NW closed (through the remainder of the project). Pedestrians detoured to the north side of Leary Way NW. A pump and bypass system running 24/7 to re-route an existing drainage line around the secant pile construction. This system is powered by a generator and will be in place for several more weeks. Generators running constantly to power the dewatering pumps until permanent power is available on site. As early as April, crews will install a new water main in Leary Way NW. This work will close up to two travel lanes at a time, but two-way traffic will be maintained and assisted by flaggers. If you live near the site, there may be a short, temporary water shut off. If your service will be impacted, you'll receive a door hanger with more information. Regular work hours will be Monday through Friday from 7 am to 5 pm. Night and weekend work may occur to maintain progress.
  • Wallingford - Secant pile wall construction is underway and is anticipated to last through mid-April. So far crews have completed about 33 of 101 piles. For the next several weeks, you should anticipate heavy equipment on site such as the drill rig, an oscillator, and a crane. Trucks coming in and out of the site to haul away excavated material and deliver concrete. Noise from the drill rig. It is loud and work will start as early as 7 am as allowed by the City of Seattle code. We start early in the morning to allow the contractor to complete more of the work safely during daylight hours, to maximize the use of expensive, heavy machinery each day and, to complete work as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Vibration from the drill rig. You may be able to feel the vibration in your home or business. This is expected. We are monitoring vibration levels on-site to ensure they are within allowable levels. Noise from 24/7 on-site generators currently used to power equipment. The generators were placed inside wooden enclosures to lessen noise impacts, and we will continue to look for additional noise-dampening measures while we continue to work towards getting power on site. Normal work hours are Monday through Friday from 7 am to 5 pm although work may extend into the early evening, on occasion to complete the concreting of a pile. It’s possible the contractor may also work on Saturdays as needed.
  • Queen Anne - Over the next few weeks, crews will work on the shaft lining wall. During this time, you should anticipate trucks coming in and out of the site to deliver rebar and formwork. Noise and vibrations typical of a construction site. The West Ewing Mini Park parking lot closed. This closure is anticipated to last through mid-2023. A localized Ship Canal Trail detour through summer 2022 (see map). Regular work hours will be Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5 pm. Night and weekend work may occur to maintain progress.
That's all for now. Let me know if you have information you would like to share with our floating community!
All the best,
Sarah
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