Monday, July 11, 2022

Not just improving the ride through downtown Seattle, we’re also beautifying the drive

By Amy Moreno

In the heat of the summer construction season, the paths most traveled also are the job sites for our crews and contractors. Our Revive I-5 crews are focused on replacing expansion joints in downtown Seattle this summer, but while we’re in the neighborhood, we might as well tidy up a little!

While some crews are chipping out old joints and replacing them, a subcontractor is painting over graffiti while we already have some lanes closed. Normally, we’d have to schedule separate lane closures to address graffiti, which is often painted in areas that are difficult to access. We know lane closures are frustrating for travelers, so by combining these efforts we’re able to use the same closure to accomplish both goals – and also reduce the effect on overall summer traffic.

In just four weekends, crews used nearly 200 gallons of paint to cover graffiti along I-5 near downtown Seattle and the Sodo neighborhood. On one Saturday, the team covered so much graffiti that they ran out of paint. They plan to continue this work during future weekend-long lane reductions on I-5 between I-90 and Spokane Street.

And the efforts are getting noticed: in recent weeks, some drivers in the lane closure backups have yelled “thank you” from their cars or added a wave and a thumbs up.

Crews remove graffiti along southbound I-5 during lane closures for Revive I-5 expansion joint replacement work.

You may have noticed less graffiti in the northbound I-5 lanes as well. Our northbound project to improve travel mobility between Seneca Street and SR 520 includes graffiti cleanup whenever and wherever it’s feasible. These crews work late at night and more than once they’ve chased away new “artists” who arrive ready to make their mark.

Graffiti is an ongoing issue that’s dangerous for those engaged in the crime and a distraction for drivers. We try to address it as soon as possible to prevent additional graffiti in the area. (We also prioritize covering items that are obscene or offensive). It takes time to schedule safe closures, so we’re happy to combine forces this year along I-5.

We realize some areas will get tagged after we clean, and we’ll deal with it when it happens, but this sort of “two-for-one” work during a scheduled closure highlights our commitment to taking care of both the roads and scenery along the way.

Left: Before crews cleaned graffiti under I-5 in Seattle (specific graffiti has been obscured in the photo).
Right: After graffiti cleanup

1 comment:

Seaguy said...

They should bust the criminal "artists" instead of just chasing them away. How do they afford all that spray paint is my question?

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