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South Lake Union

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By Harrison Jacobs

Amazon’s decision in 2007 to locate its headquarters in downtown Seattle has transformed the city in its image.

As the global e-commerce giant has grown from 5,000 employees in the city to more than 40,000, a flurry of development has followed.

The sea of parking lots, warehouses, motels, and car rental agencies that made up Seattle’s South Lake Union and Denny Triangle has become gleaming skyscrapers, luxury rental towers, tech offices, and restaurants.

Using Google Street View’s Time Machine feature, we collected before and after pictures to show just how radically the neighborhoods have been remade in a decade.

This is the corner of 6th Ave and Virginia Street in Denny Triangle in 2007. It is now the heart of Amazon’s urban campus.

This is the corner of 6th Ave and Virginia Street in Denny Triangle in 2007. It is now the heart of Amazon's urban campus.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

The building on the right is Amazon’s Doppler Tower. Doppler was the internal codename for the Amazon Echo.

The building on the right is Amazon's Doppler Tower. Doppler was the internal codename for the Amazon Echo.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Denny Triangle and South Lake Union were once full of empty parking lots, car rental agencies, motels, industrial buildings, and warehouses. This is 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street.

Denny Triangle and South Lake Union were once full of empty parking lots, car rental agencies, motels, industrial buildings, and warehouses. This is 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

This intersection continues to be remade. On the right is Amazon’s Day 1 Tower, the first floor of which is Amazon Go, the company’s cashier-less grocery store concept. On the left, construction is underway for another Amazon office tower.

This intersection continues to be remade. On the right is Amazon's Day 1 Tower, the first floor of which is Amazon Go, the company's cashier-less grocery store concept. On the left, construction is underway for another Amazon office tower.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Westlake Avenue is the main thoroughfare of South Lake Union. Development had already begun by 2007 in the area.

Westlake Avenue is the main thoroughfare of South Lake Union. Development had already begun by 2007 in the area.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

By last September, several new office and residential towers had been completed. Amazon isn’t the only company driving development. The Paul Allen-owned company Vulcan owns much of the area’s real estate and has spurred construction.

By last September, several new office and residential towers had been completed. Amazon isn't the only company driving development. The Paul Allen-owned company Vulcan owns much of the area's real estate and has spurred construction.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

The city of Seattle has long wanted to turn South Lake Union into a new business district. The $200 million mixed-use development housing Whole Foods was completed in 2006 by Vulcan.

The city of Seattle has long wanted to turn South Lake Union into a new business district. The $200 million mixed-use development housing Whole Foods was completed in 2006 by Vulcan.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Source: Vulcan Real Estate

As one of the first parts of South Lake Union to be developed, this particular intersection hasn’t changed much in the last decade.

As one of the first parts of South Lake Union to be developed, this particular intersection hasn't changed much in the last decade.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

There’s still tons of areas in the neighborhood that are currently being developed. Fairview Avenue on the eastern side of South Lake Union was untouched even in 2011.

There's still tons of areas in the neighborhood that are currently being developed. Fairview Avenue on the eastern side of South Lake Union was untouched even in 2011.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

But by last year, it has largely been developed. Swedish developer Skanska built the 13-story tower on the right. It combines 320,000 square-feet of office space with 17,000 square-feet of ground-level retail.

But by last year, it has largely been developed. Swedish developer Skanska built the 13-story tower on the right. It combines 320,000 square-feet of office space with 17,000 square-feet of ground-level retail.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Source: Curbed Seattle

Mercer Street has been nicknamed the “Mercer Mess” since development of South Lake Union began. It connects downtown Seattle to Interstate 5, the main route for commuters. Construction and an influx of new commuters has turned it into a traffic nightmare.

Mercer Street has been nicknamed the "Mercer Mess" since development of South Lake Union began. It connects downtown Seattle to Interstate 5, the main route for commuters. Construction and an influx of new commuters has turned it into a traffic nightmare.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Source: GeekWire

On the right is Amazon’s Nessie building. Vulcan is currently developing four new buildings for Google on Mercer.

On the right is Amazon's Nessie building. Vulcan is currently developing four new buildings for Google on Mercer.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Source: Vulcan Real Estate

This is Republican Street and 9th Ave in 2007. The intersection still has the area’s signature low-slung industrial buildings.

This is Republican Street and 9th Ave in 2007. The intersection still has the area's signature low-slung industrial buildings.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Now the street is flanked by Amazon’s Nessie and Brazil buildings. The shuttle on the right is one of Amazon’s buses to ferry employees to and from far-out suburbs. Unlike other companies, Amazon has kept the shuttles white and without signage.

Now the street is flanked by Amazon's Nessie and Brazil buildings. The shuttle on the right is one of Amazon's buses to ferry employees to and from far-out suburbs. Unlike other companies, Amazon has kept the shuttles white and without signage.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Development had just begun on corner of Thomas and Terry Street in 2007.

Development had just begun on corner of Thomas and Terry Street in 2007.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Amazon’s Arizona and Ruby office buildings now sit on the block. Ruby is home to a few restaurants, like Cactus and Brave Horse Tavern, on the ground floor.

Amazon's Arizona and Ruby office buildings now sit on the block. Ruby is home to a few restaurants, like Cactus and Brave Horse Tavern, on the ground floor.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Though Vulcan had already completed the Whole Foods on Westlake in 2007, the rest of the avenue looked more like this.

Though Vulcan had already completed the Whole Foods on Westlake in 2007, the rest of the avenue looked more like this.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Now the block has a Umqua Bank, a Homegrown sandwich shop, a Chipotle, and a few other businesses. Amazon occupies the upper floors of the building.

Now the block has a Umqua Bank, a Homegrown sandwich shop, a Chipotle, and a few other businesses. Amazon occupies the upper floors of the building.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

This is the same block, viewed from the other direction. You can see that some construction was underway on Westlake in 2007.

This is the same block, viewed from the other direction. You can see that some construction was underway on Westlake in 2007.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

In 2017, the neighborhood looks practically brand new. On the left are Amazon offices. The office of Sellen Construction, which has developed numerous projects in the area, is on the right.

In 2017, the neighborhood looks practically brand new. On the left are Amazon offices. The office of Sellen Construction, which has developed numerous projects in the area, is on the right.

Google Street View/Compiled by Harrison Jacobs

Syndicated from BusinessInsider.com
Just a few of the makers at the Uprising, left to right: Dolcetta Artisan Sweets, Good and Well Supply Co., Paper Parasol Press, Haute Under The Collar, Estrella Soap Co., Dotted Line Jewelry, Lincoln Hobbs, and Lyonhart Bag Co.

The summer version of the Urban Craft Uprising (there’s a winter show, too) is happening on Saturday June 24th and Sunday June 25th this year. It’s being held at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall from 11 am to 5 pm, and at the time of this writing, there are currently around 146 indie vendors showcasing their handmade wares at this event.

Tripper Dungan, one of the artists at Urban Craft Uprising

For those who aren’t familiar with this, the Urban Craft Uprising supports independent artists and makers and their creations, by hosting Seattle’s largest craft show of its kind. In the summer, this juried show tends to be a bit quieter than the winter show (perhaps seeking out unique Christmas gifts then), so a good time to check out the event.

Crafts fall under different categories:
art ˖ accessories ˖ baby/kid stuff ˖ bags ˖ candles ˖ bath & body ˖ ceramics ˖ clothing ˖ fiber ˖ food (packaged) ˖ housewares ˖ jewelry ˖ kits & supplies ˖ paper goods ˖ pets ˖ toys

Between shopping for one-of-a-kind gifts, there are eating options as well.  Five different food trucks will be available on the premises.

Urban Craft Uprising
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall
301 Mercer St.
Seattle, WA 98109

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/642220882629399/permalink/683447358506751/

 

Food and fun are on the docket for events in June in South Lake Union! Check out some of our highlighted favorites…

Throughout June: Pasta Classes at Cuoco
6:30pm – 9pm | Cuoco
Learn pasta making technique, recipes and more at Cuoco throughout June, with three fun pasta classes! After instruction and hands-on demonstration, enjoy a 3-course family dinner, plus wine and a take-home portion of your pasta. The cost is $65 per person. For more information, please contact Scott Whited or call 206.971.0710. Classes are on June 13th, June 20th, and June 27th.

Mondays in June: Monday Midday Meditation
12:15pm | 415 Westlake
Get your week off to a great start with meditation. Monday Midday Meditation is led by experts Tay and Val, who will guide you through focusing, fueling and flowing through meditation in this rejuvenating event. Click here to purchase tickets.

June 1: First Free Thursday at MOHAI
10am – 8pm | Museum of History and Industry
On the first Thursday of the month, June 1st, the Museum of History and Industry offers free general admission for the museum’s permanent exhibits – all day long! The free admission includes: True Northwest: the Seattle Journey, and the Bezos Center for Innovation.

June 3: Art on the Fly
12pm | Denny Park
Celebrate the arts, music and dance with food and fun at Art on the Fly, a community event on June 3rd, in tandem with the SLU Saturday Market. There will be numerous outdoor performances, free dance classes, vendors of arts and crafts, food trucks and more.

June 4: Cavatappi Wine Dinner
6:30pm – 9pm | Serafina
Serafina is hosting a special wine dinner this month, featuring wines from Cavatappi, a Nebbiolo and Sangiovese-focused winery with Peter Dow at the helm. Complementing the wines will be a five-course dinner with Mediterranean dishes. Tickets are $120 per person (not including tax and gratuity). Reservations are required: 206-323-0807.

June 6: Drink & Draw at the VUDE
5pm – 8pm | The VUDE
Sip wine and color at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Charitable Event, Drink & Draw at The VUDE on June 6th. Hosted by the Young Professionals Committee, proceeds from this event support the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and cover three tastings of Hand of God wines, light appetizers, one raffle ticket and access to adult coloring books for fun! Additional raffle tickets will be available for sale.

June 10: Seattle Makers Market
11am – 5pm | 400 Fairview Avenue
Visit the ground floor of the Market Hall at 400 Fairview on Saturday, June 10th for the monthly Seattle Makers Market series! This free event features handmade goods from crafters, artists, makers and artisans in the Seattle area.

June 11: Arte & Vino at Caffe Torino
2pm – 5pm | Caffe Torino
In their monthly art and wine event Caffe Torino is hosting local artist Jiamin Zhu and her collection titled, The Silk Road. These stunning photographs on canvas are reflections of fantasies and fairy tales encountered on Jiamin’s journey of cultural migration from the east to Seattle.

June 24: South Lake Union Under the Microscope Tour
10am – 12pm | REI
Get a closer look at the neighborhood, and examine the key ingredients for urban revitalization on the monthly South Lake Union Under the Microscope Tour. Participants will learn about strategies for urban design and architecture, engage with master planning projects as well as private-public ventures, and find out about unique experiments in development. This month, the tour is on Saturday, June 24th and includes the Stackhouse Apartments, 400 Fairview, Denny Park, 9th and Harrison, and St. Spiridon’s.

June 24: Get Out & Boat Fest
11am – 12pm | Chandler’s Cove
The annual Get Out & Boat Fest is coming up on June 24th, with free 45-minute rides on power and sailboats, education on nautical terms and techniques, and more. This family-friendly event includes kids activities, live music, and food vendors.

June 24: Seattle Outdoor Cinema 25th Anniversary
6pm – 9pm | SLU Discovery Center
It’s the 25th anniversary celebration for the Fremont Outdoor Cinema, now known as the Seattle Outdoor Cinema. The main event is an outdoor showing of Rogue One on a 55 foot inflatable screen. This free family-friendly screening on June 24th will have food trucks, a charity beer garden, and lots of fun.

June 30: Beer Camp Across America
5pm – 9pm | South Lake Union
The largest craft beer festival in America comes to South Lake Union on June 30th. Beer Camp Across America features hundreds of craft beers, food trucks, live music and fun! Tickets are $55 – $75 ($40 for designated drivers).

by Kate Calamusa

STROLLER ALONG

In my humble opinion, South Lake Union is best toured by the Seattle Streetcar. Pick up the cheery little trolley at the Westlake Avenue and Olive Way stop in Downtown Seattle and then hop on and hop off as you please. Stops of note include the Westlake Avenue North and Denny Way, which will drop you in front of Tutta Bella (see below), where you can enjoy some pizza on the deck if it’s a sunny day. Another is at the intersection of Terry Avenue North and Harrison Street. There you’ll find Ping Pong Plaza, outfitted with an outdoor bronze-and-steel Ping-Pong table for all to enjoy; plan ahead and BYOP (bring your own paddlesand balls). End your streetcar trip at Lake Union Park (860 Terry Ave. N; 206-684-4075), a lovely spot to hang after your ride. It offers an expansive lakefront lawn to roam, plus a spray pad to cool off in during the summer months.

SNACK BREAK

Time to cast your vote. Breakfast means making a tough choice between a stacked biscuit sammich from chef Tom Douglas’s Serious Pie and Biscuit (401 Westlake Ave. N; 206-436-0050) or the fully loaded toppings barstocked with fresh fruit, whipped cream, and syrups for your waffle or pancakesat Portage Bay Cafe (391 Terry Ave. N; 206-462-6400). Whichever side loses the breakfast battle can pick between LunchBox Laboratory (1253 Thomas St.; 206-621-1090) and Blue Moon Burgers (920 Republican St.; 206-652-0400) later in the day; both eateries offer up big beefy burgers and creative toppings. 

PLAY DATE

Kids can wiggle, giggle, dance, and jiggle at PlayDate SEA (1275 Mercer St.; 206-623-7529), an 8,000-square-foot indoor play space in this hood. With slides and tunnels,plus a dancing area, toddler section, laser tag, and even puppet shows, this spot is nice for parents too,with a café that offers Stumptown coffee and free Wi-Fi.

Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria
2200 Westlake Ave., Suite 112
206-624-4422
$$$

Specializing in authentic Naples-style pizzas, Tutta Bella immediately offers parents a helping hand by handing pizza dough to little ones to play with in addition to Wikki Stix or crayons and coloring pages.Kids will also get a kick out of their own personal-size Bambino pizza ($6), arriving crisp and lightly charred from the wood-burning oven, with melted provolone and mozzarella cheeses. Psstwith the exception of the Bellevue location, the pizzerias all boast beautiful patios for alfresco dining.

*(c)2017 by Kate Calamusa. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Seattle Family Adventures by permission of Sasquatch Books.

By Megan Hill

Hoping to capitalize on the still-booming South Lake Union scene, The Grilled Cheese Experience food truck has opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant to complement its melty mobile operations.

Photo source

The restaurant landed last month at 434A Yale Ave N, near REI and the frenzied Amazonia construction zone. Owner Mark Amatangelo says he’s long looked to set down roots for his business born on wheels, and South Lake Union was a natural fit given its explosive growth, workday lunch crowd, and the success of other truck-to-restaurant concepts in the area, like Skillet and Marination.

The Grilled Cheese Experience serves — you guessed it — tricked-out grilled cheese sandwiches with additions like house-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and sunny side up eggs. The truck will continue to operate; on any given day, it offers just a handful of sandwiches from a master menu of about 12 to 14. The restaurant provides Amatangelo the opportunity to sell almost his entire repertoire at once, save for the seasonal creations. You may see some specials rotate through, too.

Amatangelo is waiting on a liquor license, so he’ll soon be able to serve beer and wine alongside the sandwiches. At that point he’ll also extend his hours, which currently run only Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Syndicated from Seattle Eater

The long-awaited Uwuajimaya spin-off, Kai Market is now open (as of today, May 3rd) in South Lake Union! The market offers sashimi, a poke bar, and delicious grab-and-go meals for lunch and dinner with cold noodle packaged salads and bento boxes. Kai also has a live seafood tank with oysters and crabs, which will soon also feature lobsters. Fresh fish fillets are on ice for purchase as well.

“We’re hoping as the neighborhood grows, that people will eat a lot of seafood,” Warren Huch, store director told the Seattle Times.

To encourage this, Kai Market will host cooking classes and other workshop for hands-on interest in the seafood and Asian-inspired cuisine the market sells.

In addition to prepared meals and fresh seafood, Kai Market offers staple Asian packaged foods, condiments, snacks, and more. There’s a growler-fill bar with sakes, beers and a kombucha.

“Kai Market is about options. The lunch crowd can stop in for a hand-crafted bento box in the dining area, while the after-work crowd can take home fresh seafood and a carefully curated selection of quality Asian products for which Uwajimaya is known,” said Denise Moriguchi, President of Uwajimaya Inc., in a release. “We were excited to try something new and loved the idea of a store with a smaller, more intimate footprint in a growing, vibrant neighborhood like South Lake Union.”

The establishment is running a couple of specials over the next few days in celebration of the opening:

  • May 3rd: Free Kai Market snack bag with purchase (first 250 customers)
  • May 4th: Free 500mL Ito-En Oi Ocha Tea with purchase of any poke bowl
  • May 5th: Free Chocolate Pocky or Hi-Chew with purchase (first 250 customers)

Online ordering and catering options will be coming soon.

Get ready to enjoy some fun, food and music events this May in South Lake Union!

All May: Chandler’s Crabfest
Get your fill of crab this month at Chandler’s Crabhouse in South Lake Union! The restaurant’s crabfest lasts all May, with 10 different menu items priced $40 and under. There are five different types of crab, with 12 different preparations – enjoy and explore!

Throughout May: Pasta Classes at Cuoco
6:30pm – 9pm | Cuoco
Learn pasta making technique, recipes and more at Cuoco throughout May, with three fun pasta classes! After instruction and hands-on demonstration, enjoy a 3-course family dinner, plus wine and a take-home portion of your pasta. The cost is $65 per person. For more information, please contact Scott Whited or call 206.971.0710. Classes are on May 2nd, May 9th, and May 16th.

May 4: First Free Thursday at MOHAI
10am – 8pm | Museum of History and Industry
On the first Thursday of the month, May 4th, the Museum of History and Industry offers free general admission for the museum’s permanent exhibits – all day long! The free admission includes: True Northwest: the Seattle Journey, and the Bezos Center for Innovation.

May 11: Family Reunion: Chuckanut and Pfreim Brewery Dinner
6:30pm – 9pm | Brave Horse Tavern
Brave Horse Tavern’s annual Seattle Beer Week dinner is reuniting Pfreim Family Brewers and Chuckanut Brewing for a delicious brewery dinner on May 11th! Brave Horse’s Chef Brian is working up a menu to compliment the beers from these two great breweries. The cost is $60 per person. Call 206-971-0717 to reserve your spot!

May 13: Seattle Makers Market
11am – 5pm | 400 Fairview Avenue
Visit the ground floor of the Market Hall at 400 Fairview on Saturday, May 13th for the monthly Seattle Makers Market series! This free event features handmade goods from crafters, artists, makers and artisans in the Seattle area.

May 14: Mother’s Day Brunch
10am – 3pm | Chandler’s Crabhouse
Happy Mother’s Day! Head to Chandler’s Crabhouse on Mother’s Day to enjoy a complete brunch. For $39 per person, the prix-fixe brunch includes your choice of a starter and entree. Add-ons are available, such as a Crab Cocktail Trio, USDA Filet Mignon, or Alaskan King Crab. Chandler’s also offers a couple of kid-friendly options.

May 18: Third Thursday Lecture Series: Exploring Big Ideas – Health
7pm – 9pm | SLU Discovery Center
First Church of Christ, Scientist Michelle Nanouche will be doing a talk for the Third-Thursday Lecture Series: Exploring Big Ideas – Health A Talk, titled “Finding God, Finding Health.”

May 20: Herbs & Spirits Class at Cicchetti
1pm – 3pm | Cicchetti
Cicchetti is hosting a fun workshop on May 20th, featuring herbs and spirits for liqueurs, liquors, and more. You’ll learn how to capture the essence of garden herbs as you make four cocktails – each paired with delicious dishes. The cost is $80 per person, not including tax or gratuity. Reservations are required: 206-323-0807.

May 26: Back to Bach by Emerald City Music
8pm – 11pm | 415 Westlake
This music event, Back to Bach, examines Bach’s influence on Western music, from percussion to piano and everything in between. Musicians from Lincoln Center, the Curtis Institute and other groups will be performing in a relaxed atmosphere. The cost is $45 (students only $10 admission), and includes an open bar.

By Monica Nickelsburg

The Seattle City Council voted to increase building heights in the South Lake Union and downtown neighborhoods Monday (April 10th). It’s the second upzone that South Lake Union has seen in the past five years.

The upzone allows for buildings with an additional one to five stories. In exchange for taller buildings, developers will be required to build at least 2.1 percent affordable, income-restricted units or pay fees to the city that will go toward nonprofits that focus on affordable housing. If developers take the fee option, there’s no guarantee that the housing it funds will be built in South Lake Union or downtown.

The program is an extension of Mayor Ed Murray’s Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) plan to all of South Lake Union and a significant portion of downtown. It was a point of some contention during the City Council meeting Monday. Councilmember Lisa Herbold proposed an amendment that would increase the mandatory affordable housing to 5 percent, but it was voted down by the council.

South Lake Union has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past decade driven by the growth of Amazon, which is headquartered there. But it’s not just Amazon — Seattle’s booming technology industry is drawing record numbers of newcomers to the region, creating traffic and affordability issues around downtown.

The City hopes this legislation will reduce congestion by encouraging more people to live near their offices and alleviate some of the housing affordability issues longtime residents are facing.

“This legislation that we’re about to pass today really does set the city on a new path and a new course of requiring all construction in the city, whether it’s commercial or residential, to contribute to affordable housing,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess during the meeting. “We’ve never had a mandatory program like this.”

The upzone stems from the mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), a plan aimed at adding 50,000 new homes in Seattle over the next decade, 20,000 of which would be reserved for low- and middle-income residents.

Syndicated from GeekWire.com

Bertha has broken into daylight.

The giant tunnel machine chewed through the side of the disassembly vault at South Lake Union about 11:25 a.m. Tuesday, after an overnight stoppage at the concrete head wall.

Bertha arrived at the tunnel’s north portal 29 months late and four years after launching in Sodo to dig the highway tube that will replace the earthquake-damaged Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The 57-foot, 4-inch wide rotating cutter, moving north on a slight upward slope, gradually pushed concrete chunks forward as it nosed through the lower part of the concrete wall.

Bertha breaks through

Despite sprinklers raining water into in the vault, thick dust filled the area and drove media and officials witnessing the event into an enclosed area.

On Monday, Joe Hedges, project administrator for the Washington State Department of Transportation, couldn’t stop smiling as he complimented the contractors, WSDOT’s oversight team, and said Washington residents should be proud the long dig was accomplished.

“To remind everybody what’s been done in the last 11 months, (they’ve) tunneled over 1.5 miles, with just amazing results, underneath the heart of the city, tunneling a five-story tunnel,” Hedges said.

Though the state and Seattle Tunnel Partners are fighting in court over a half-billion dollars in repair and delay costs, STP has also created goodwill by cruising at 40 or even 50 feet a day since passing beneath the old Alaskan Way Viaduct last April 29.

Hedges noted that much work is left to be done before the tunnel opens to traffic in early 2019.

“We’re not at the fourth quarter, we’re only at about halftime,” he said.

Crews must complete the underground double-decker highway, with two lanes going north and two going south.

There was no public access to the site, just west of Aurora Avenue. WSDOT has installed an online vault cam and is tweeting under the hashtag #Berthabreakthrough.

STP manager Chris Dixon and state officials kept saying there won’t be much spectacle. Public interest has grown anyway. Banners of Tutor-Perini and Dragados USA, the major tunneling partners, have been hung over the wall for infrastructure sponsors worldwide to notice.

Gov. Jay Inslee and Mayor Ed Murray, along with other elected officials and WSDOT leaders, were on hand for the breakthrough.

The governor acknowledges his tunnel frustrations from the 29-month delay. During a long repair stoppage in 2015, he told KIRO radio host Dori Monson that a homeowner in similar straits would whip a late contractor “like a cheap mule.”

But Inslee said last week the technology is equally memorable, and he looks forward to watching the breakthrough.

He recalled a visit early in the project, feeling like he was in a Star Wars film.

“When you stand in the tunnel, it’s five to six stories tall. It’s mind-boggling. When you go into the control room, you feel like you’re in the Millennium Falcon control room.”

Inslee also warned the state has far to go. “We’re still in a race against the next earthquake, to take the viaduct down,” he said.

Murray sponsored the 2009 tunnel legislation when he was a state senator, shortly after Gov. Chris Gregoire chose to build a single-bore, deep highway to replace the earthquake-damaged viaduct.

As mayor, Murray said, he’s had little influence over the tunnel job because it’s not only a state contract but a design-build contract in which STP does final engineering and takes on the financial risks.

He admits there were times he wasn’t sure Bertha would make it.

“Because of the way the design-build contract works, we, the city didn’t have insight into what the issue was,” Murray said. “For a while there it was unclear what was going to happen.”

He said the waterfront revival, after the viaduct is gone, “is going to capture the imagination of the city.”

Responsibility for cost overruns may take years to be settled.

Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, last week sought to revive the issue with a bill that would withhold state revenue sharing for transportation, liquor and marijuana-related health programs, and municipal courts unless Seattle pays any future cost overruns.

The 2009 legislation said excess state costs would be borne by property owners who benefit, and “a promise is a promise,” Orcutt argues.

Murray said of that concept: “I really don’t think, if you’re a Republican legislator or a Democratic legislator, you want your local city or county to pay for state roads. I think that would be an unbelievable way to go.”

Syndicated from The Seattle Times

There’s lots happening with food and fun throughout April in Lake Union! Check out these Lake Union events…

All April: Edible City Month
MOHAI celebrates the culture of food with Edible City Month in April. Experience a month of culinary exploration in this city-wide salute to Seattle’s innovative urban palate. Unique culinary events and programs will take place across the city April 1-30, including book signings, a live broadcast of KIRO radio’s Seattle Kitchen with Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau, a food science fair, and more. In addition, diners are invited to collect receipts from participating restaurants and establishments to unlock special museum pricing to see Edible City: A Delicious Journey.

April 6: First Free Thursday at MOHAI
10am – 8pm | Museum of History and Industry
On the first Thursday of the month, April 6th, the Museum of History and Industry offers free general admission for the museum’s permanent exhibits – all day long! The free admission includes: True Northwest: the Seattle Journey, and the Bezos Center for Innovation.

April 8: Seattle Makers Market
11am – 5pm | 400 Fairview Ave N
Seattle-area artists, crafters, makers, and artisans will display their work for sale from 11am until 5pm on Saturday, April 8th. The Seattle Makers Market is a not-for-profit arts group dedicated to providing space and opportunity for local artists, artisans, and makers to showcase and sell their work, and to create and encourage a thriving and diverse community of artists and makers in the Puget Sound area and beyond.

April 9: Cast Off! Free Public Sail
10am – 5pm | Center for Wooden Boats
Take a sail in classic wooden boats during this free event! The Center for Wooden Boats is hosting a free public sail on Sunday, April 9th. Rides last approximately 45 minutes and can be reserved throughout the day. Space is limited and rides fill quickly, so arrive early to sign up.

April 13: Seattle Kitchen Live at MOHAI
7pm – 8:30pm | Museum of History and Industry
Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau, two esteemed Seattle chefs, bring their long-running Seattle Kitchen radio show to MOHAI. See their conversation in action, as they discuss, argue, and laugh about a broad range of topics connected to the city’s food scene. Cost: $15 MOHAI members / $20 public.

April 16: Easter Brunch at Serafina
9:30am – 2:30pm | Serafina
Serafina is hosting a two-course brunch menu in celebration of Easter! Look for seasonal offerings including rhubarb, fava beans and local cherries. Patio seating will be offered if the weather is agreeable. The brunch is $35 per person (not including gratuity or tax), plus a kids menu for $12/child. Make your reservation: 206-323-0807.

April 22: Edible City Science Fair
10am – 4pm | Museum of History and Industry
Celebrate Earth Day at MOHAI by investigating the science behind food, farming, and sustainability at the Edible City Science Fair. Enjoy hands-on displays, demonstrations, as well as activities with community groups and organizations from across Washington State. Discover some of the latest innovations in food science! The science fair is open to visitors (and exhibitors!) of all ages. Free for members; included with museum admission.

April 29: Tequila – Not Just Salt & Lime Cocktail Class
1pm – 3pm | Serafina
Explore the history of tequila from Mexican tradition, through Spanish distillation techniques and methods for aging in this fun class from Serafina and Cicchetti. You’ll learn how fine agave spirits are made, styles available and cocktail-crafting tips. Four cocktails will be paired with dishes. Cost is $80 per person (not including gratuity or tax). Reservations required.