West Seattle Bridge; Shop to the Beat: Artists and Small Businesses Apply Now; Your Voice Needed: Highland Park/South Park Trail Connections; Job Readiness Bootcamp for Ages 16-24: Apply by December 18th; Office of the Inspector General Discipline Audit; World AIDS Day & 40th Anniversary; Virtual Office Hours

West Seattle Bridge

Here’s some additional information about the start of work on the final stage of the West Seattle Bridge repair with the issuance of the formal “Notice to Proceed” on Monday.

Below is a graphic showing the locations and type of repair work that will be done. It’s listed as “Phase 2 Rehabilitation.” The work already done to stabilize the bridge is list as “Phase 1.”

The “Phase 2” repair work will include carbon fiber wrapping and post-tensioning on the center span, but also on the other two sections of the bridge, between Piers 15 and 16, and Piers 17 and 18. “Phase 1” Stabilization work done last year was limited to the center span.  The exception was a bearing on Pier 18 that required releasing and replacing.

Here’s an image showing additional detail for planned repair work near Pier 15:

Post-tensioning involves tightening high-strength steel cables into the concrete girder to support the concrete. Some cables were included in the original bridge; some were added during stabilization, and more will be added in the repair.

Carbon-fiber wrapping strengthens the bridge, in tandem with the steel cables. It will be added both inside and outside the bridge. SDOT notes carbon-fiber wrapping is added in stages, alternating with post-tensioning, to ensure the bridge continues to strengthen as the girders get more compressed.

Additional visuals and details on post-tensioning and carbon fiber wrapping are available at the project website.

The website notes additional maintenance work that will be done, including paving:

While the final West Seattle Bridge repairs are underway, we’re also planning additional maintenance work on the entire West Seattle Bridge corridor from the connection at I-5 to Fauntleroy Blvd.

These improvements include:

  • Replacing bridge joints that allow the structures to expand and contract during hot and cold weather safely
  • Paving to give people driving a smooth and predictable surface that will last for years
  • Replacing all signs and the structures that hold them with signs that are easier for people driving to read and withstand high winds and storms

Performing major maintenance work now – while the bridge is closed – is smart use of the contractor teams and we’ve sequenced the work, so it won’t affect the schedule of returning traffic to the bridge or lead to construction delays or detours for people driving and transit once we’ve reopened it to traffic.

The Council recently adopted the 2022 City budget; it includes funding for the bridge repair. The Council voted to authorize $44.6 million in bonds in 2022 for the bridge repair and related work. In addition, the Council separately authorized a $100 million for bond sale for bridge maintenance and rehabilitation that Councilmember Pedersen sponsored, and I co-sponsored.

This Council Budget Action, in addition to authorizing a bond sale, also provided $1.1 million in funding to “allow SDOT to advance project development to the 90 percent design stage for the following bridge rehabilitation projects: (1) $300,000 for Spokane Street Swing Bridge Hydraulic Overhaul (2) $900,000 for Spokane Viaduct Rehabilitation.”

Completing 90 percent design for these projects will allow SDOT to pursue construction funding through state and federal grant programs, or for consideration in the development of a future transportation levy proposal.

Office of the Inspector General Discipline Audit

The Office of the Inspector General has released a new report, Audit of Disciplinary System for SPD Sworn Personnel. It examines disciplinary actions from the start of 2018 to March, 2021.

The report notes the OIG “did not observe conditions generally thought to be most harmful to accountability or public trust (e.g., a pattern of arbitrators overturning discipline or a chronic failure to address repeated misconduct).”

However, the report also notes “current processes and practices, alongside SPOG and SPMA provisions, create gaps in the discipline system. These collectively impact the timeliness, fairness, consistency, and transparency of discipline for individual officers, and diminish transparency and fairness for community members affected by police misconduct.”

SPOG is the Seattle Police Officers Union; SPMA is the Seattle Police Management Association.

Some of the findings and recommendations pertain to the Office of Police Accountability (OPA), and some to the Seattle Police Department (SPD). One finding pertains to the Public Safety Civil Service Commission (PSCSC). Each OPA, SPD, and PSCSC provide their responses to the OIG’s recommendations, listed toward the end of the report. For 10 of the 11 recommendations, they concur and provide updates about plans and timeline to implement recommendations.  Included among the findings and recommendations:

  • The OPA use of the disposition “Not Sustained Training Referral” for minor policy violations has resulted in a significant number of disciplinary actions not being documented
  • Lapses in OPA processes resulted in complainants not receiving relevant updates on case status and resolution
  • Weak controls related to arbitrator selection in disciplinary appeals do not ensure fairness, consistency, transparency, or timeliness
  • SPD should prohibit the accrual of overtime for employees who have not completed ordered suspensions
  • The OPA Director, in consultation with the Chief of Police, should develop criteria to more consistently identify opportunities for complainants to speak with the Chief of Police as provided in the Accountability Ordinance 3.29.125 (G)

This last recommendation was issued in noting that Chiefs have tended to apply the lower end of proposed discipline ranges. While officers facing discipline have the opportunity for a hearing with the Chief, in only one case did OPA recommend the Chief meet with the complainant, as allowed by the 2017 Accountability Ordinance. The report notes the OPA Director will meet with the Chief to develop criteria “to develop criteria to more consistently identify opportunities for complainants to speak with the Chief.”

The report also raised administrative recommendations about the management of personnel system, and clear communication with the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

The Inspector General also recently released a 2020 Annual Report. The report covers the completed 2021 Audits of:

  • SPD Patrol Canine Teams; with 6 findings of systematic SPD concerns
  • The Audit of Destruction of DNA Evidence; including 3 recommendations
  • Audit of Secure Firearms Storage

In addition to the 2020 audits, the Annual Report also covered the following additional topics:

  • Council Request for Review of SPD Crowd Dispersal Less Lethal Weapons Policies
  • Surveillance Technology Oversight
  • Study of Sworn vs. Civilian Investigations of Police Misconduct Complaints
  • Sentinel Review of SPD Response to 2020 Protests
  • Leading Training of SPD, OPA, and OIG on Effective Interviewing Techniques
  • Technical Advice to SPD on Development of Peer Intervention Program
  • Reports on Claims and Lawsuits Against SPD
  • Expansion of Data Analytics Platform technology funded in the 2022 budget, that will allow “OIG to streamline its analysis of the OPA complaint investigation system.”

Finally, the OIG reported on its oversight of OPAs investigative process, including:

  • How complaints are classified
  • Whether Investigations are thorough, timely, and objective
  • Whether OIG directed additional investigation
  • Risks associated with the Unsubstantiated Conduct Screenings
  • The Rapid Adjudication Program and the Mediation Program

Shop to the Beat: Artists and Small Businesses Apply Now

Shop to the Beat is accepting applications! The program, run by the City’s Office of Economic Development, matches musicians and small retail businesses to provide in-store performances during peak hours, help increase foot traffic and sales for retailers, and provide competitive pay for musicians who were significantly impacted by the pandemic.  Apply for Shop to the Beat by December 17!

Are you a small retail business interested in having a free performance at your location?

Submit the Shop to the Beat Application to share your contact information and select your preferred days, times and style of music.

Are you a local musician interested in performing at a small business this holiday season?

Please visit the Gigs4U website to register as a musician. Enter the following referral code: S2B.

Your Voice Needed: Highland Park/South Park Trail Connections

As an element of the South Park and Highland Park Home Zones, Seattle Department of Transportation is developing a conceptual design to connect the South Park neighborhood to the Highland Park and Westwood neighborhoods with a multi-use trail. To help guide that process, they want your input.

Please follow this link to take a brief survey on potential trails connecting South Park and Highland Park.

Haga clic en este enlace para responder una breve encuesta sobre posibles senderos que conectarían South Park y Highland Park.

The survey will be open until December 15.  If you would like the survey to be translated into a language that isn’t Spanish, please email WestSeattleBridge@Seattle.gov

Learn more about these projects at the Reconnect West Seattle Home Zone website. Provide your input on any of the Reconnect West Seattle Home Zone projects by emailing westseattlebridge@seattle.gov  or calling the multi-lingual phone line at (206) 400-7511.

Job Readiness Bootcamp for Ages 16-24: Apply by December 18th

The Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is currently accepting applications for its 2022 Job Readiness Bootcamp, which will run January 24, 2022 – April 30, 2022.

The program increases youth and young adults’ ability to pursue careers that pay well and are meaningful to them, open to young people (ages 16 to 24) from qualifying-income households and communities that experience racial, social, and economic disparities.

Learn more and apply by December 18th at Seattle.gov/SYEP.

World AIDS Day & 40th Anniversary

December 1st was World AIDS Day and the 40th anniversary of the first reported cases of AIDS.  On World AIDS Day we recognize the resilience of people living with HIV, honor the lives lost to HIV, and remember four decades of work to fight the epidemic in King County and around the world. With your help, we can end the HIV epidemic in our community.

Since 1982, when King County reported the first case of AIDS locally, community members, officials, and activists have worked to raise awareness, fight stigma, and prevent HIV.

  • Visit this virtual exhibit to learn about the early response in King County.
  • Check out the AIDS Memorial Pathway for local stories of those who have survived, died, witnessed, and continue to fight against HIV/AIDS.

Virtual Office Hours

On Friday December 10, I will be hosting my final virtual office hours of the year between 2pm and 6pm, with the last meeting of the day beginning at 5:30pm. This is a change from the previously anticipated date of 12/17.

Due to the nature of virtual office hours, please contact my scheduler Alex Clardy (alex.clardy@seattle.gov) to receive the call-in information and schedule a time.

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