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It’s Construction Season! Here’s how SPU is Building a Better Seattle

As spring rolls into summer, construction season is in full swing! While no one likes dealing with the maze of detours and pervasive construction noise during the dry months, all 53 of SPU’s active construction projects are improving our communities by reinvesting ratepayer dollars into Seattle’s infrastructure that supports 1.5 million customers. Wrangling all these active projects (and hundreds of corresponding construction sites) is done by a dedicated team of civil engineers, resident engineers, and engineering supervisors in PDEB’s Construction Management division, led by Division Director Jerry Waldron.

“SPU implements safety best management practices for our Capital Infrastructure Projects to protect the construction contractor, SPU staff, interdepartment and interagency frontline staff, and the public,” Waldron says. “As a reminder, the summer season is the busiest time of year for the construction industry. So, please take a moment to review our construction safety awareness site.”

SPU’s projects are diverse in scope, spanning all lines of business. They can include installing green stormwater infrastructure or thousands of feet of new water main, relining, repairing or replacing sewer pipes, upgrading water reservoirs, or even building new transfer stations (just to name a few!) SPU also increases efficiency by partnering with other city departments on their construction projects. Spotlighted below are several active SPU-led or inter-agency projects.

Alki Pump Station 38 Improvement Project

Crew putting finishing touches on the artwork at Pump Station 38
Artwork being installed around the pump station by SPU contractors

Isn’t she a beauty? For this pump station upgrade project, SPU partnered with the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) and artist Sarah Thompson Moore to install artwork in the area around the pump station. The project will improve sewer service reliability for the Alki area and is expected to be completed by the end of summer. Visit here for information on this project.

Madison Street RapidRide Project

Crew digging the trench for new water main on Madison Street with a backhoe.
Contractors installing a new water main line along Madison St

This SDOT-led project was a great opportunity for SPU to partner with another City department to upgrade utilities while the roadway work was taking place. In addition to SDOT’s roadway and transit improvements, the project calls for installing more than 7,000 feet of water main upgrades and a new stormwater storage tank! Learn more about the project.

Broadview Drainage Improvements Project

Photo of workers lowering a section of concrete drainage infrastructure into a cofferdam with a crane in a residential neighborhood.
Workers installing a new stormwater drainage system in Broadview

The West Broadview neighborhood has experienced severe flooding due to stormwater, so to alleviate this, SPU is installing a new underground drainage system. Once completed, the Utility will have installed multiple blocks of large 72-inch stormwater pipes, dramatically increasing the neighborhood’s flood resiliency. Construction is expected to wrap up by fall 2023. Visit the project website.

South Park Drainage and Roadway Partnership Project

Before and after photo of new curbs and drainage.

Another collaboration between SPU and SDOT! Bringing much needed drainage improvements to the flood-prone South Park neighborhood, as well as roadway, pedestrian, and street tree improvements thanks to SDOT, this project wrapped up just last month. Read the SDOT blog post about the completed project.

As summer and the rest of the year unfolds, we look forward to completing these and other projects to better serve our neighbors across the city and in the region.