Work on Madison St. stormwater improvements to be done at night

In response to concerns by more than 30 Madison Valley merchants that daytime construction of stormwater-system improvements will significantly impact parking, traffic and business access along East Madison Street, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will work at night for part of the project.

The construction — on East Madison Street near 29th Avenue East and adjacent to Washington Park — is tentatively scheduled to begin in mid-April and will take three weeks to complete.

The evening work will start at 8 p.m. and end at 6 a.m. for the first two weeks (Monday through Thursday). According to the project’s noise restrictions, the louder construction activities, such as removing the pavement, will take place before 10 p.m.; the quieter activities, such as excavating soil and installing pipework, will take place after 10 p.m.

According to project manager Grace Manzano, the loudest noise residents should hear is a generator to operate the lights. Even the backup alarms on construction vehicles will be turned to a quieter, “static” mode, she said.

A third week of construction — which may not run consecutively with the previous two weeks of construction — will take place during daytime hours to allow for deliveries of materials, such as concrete.

One lane of traffic will remain open at all times during construction, Manzano said.
The same work would take up to 12 weeks if done during the day, due to the large traffic volumes on East Madison Street.

SPU is staffing a 24-hour hotline (455-5345) during construction to address any concerns as they occur; an on-site night inspector will monitor the noise during the overnight work as well, Manzano said.

Local residents and businesses provided input on the project impact during a series of community meetings in March.

New drainage improvements are needed on East Madison Street to greatly reduce the risk of flooding in the area of 29th Avenue East and East Madison Street, as well as substantially reduce the risk of stormwater flowing from East Madison Street, down the hill and flooding East Mercer Street, below. These new drainage improvements include installation of new stormwater inlets and new stormwater pipes connecting to the main stormwater pipeline.

For more information about the project, visit the website at

In related news, the city has agreed to pay a $2.5 million settlement to a dozen Madison Valley homeowners whose homes were flooded repeatedly with stormwater, following a lawsuit filed in December 2009.

The residents who filed the lawsuit live in the area between 30th and 31st avenues East and East Denny Way and East Thomas Street.

While the city does not admit to wrongdoing with the settlement, SPU said there had been a plan to pipe stormwater from the Valley to Lake Washington, but it was never finished.

Since the 2006 storm that trapped a Madison Valley resident in her flooding basement, the city has spent more than $3 million to enlarge the water-detention pond at East John Street and 30th Avenue East.

The $27 million stormwater system — involving six blocks of pipes and a storage tank in Washington Park — is being built along East Madison Street. It should be completed by the end of the year.[[In-content Ad]]