WSDOT finds contaminated soil on Montlake Market site

Public meeting Jan. 30 to address study, market preservation options, SR 520 construction

WSDOT finds contaminated soil on Montlake Market site

WSDOT finds contaminated soil on Montlake Market site

Following December soil testing that found petroleum-related contaminants on the Montlake Market property and in the groundwater, WSDOT is hosting an informational meeting about ongoing efforts to preserve the site on Jan. 30.

The Montlake Market was removed and later added back into plans for a reconfiguration of Montlake Boulevard for the next phase of the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program. Last session the Legislature added a proviso that directed WSDOT to spare the market from demolition if feasible.

The transportation department found petroleum-related contaminants during soil testing in the public right-of-way near the Montlake Market and 76 gas station site in 2016 and 2018, according to WSDOT, and conducted testing on the market property last December.

Innovex Environmental Management completed the Third Supplemental Phase II Environmental Site Assessment for WSDOT, which it provided to the transportation department on Jan. 16.

Twenty-one borings were conducted, with groundwater samples tested from 10 of those borings. Innovex analyzed samples for gasoline, diesel and lube oil-range hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, semi volatile organic compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls and pollutant metals.

Innovex reports finding contaminants in soil samples above the allowable levels under the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) in six borings, and the same for groundwater tested from those six borings.

“Of the dissolved metals that were detected, only arsenic was detected above the

applicable MTCA CUL,” according to the report. “This investigation confirmed that the source of the contamination is on the 2625 East Montlake Place East [76] property where petroleum and related contaminant concentrations were the highest. Contaminant concentrations in soil are highest in the area of the UST vault and the eastern pump island.”

WSDOT reports it is contacting elected officials, Montlake neighbors and other project stakeholders with the results, which will also be shared during a public meeting 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2100 Boyer Ave. E.

“Nothing will happen between now and then,” said WSDOT spokesperson Steve Peer regarding any potential cleanup of the market property. “I think the main objective of that [news release] was to be transparent and let people know this is where we are. We’re not at a point where we can talk about next steps.”

The Jan. 30 meeting will also address WSDOT’s evaluation of the Montlake Market property for preservation, potential scenarios for preserving the building and technical constraints and tradeoffs associated with doing that.

People will also hear design-build contractor Graham Contracting’s construction proposal for the Montlake Phase of SR 520 Bridge Replacement, which includes a new West Approach Bridge South for eastbound traffic that will connect to the floating bridge over Lake Washington, a lid over 520 and a bicycle/pedestrian land bridge east of the lid that connects the Washington Park Arboretum and East Montlake Park.