By reporter Steven Smalley
King County Council Member, Larry Phillips had a big hand in the effort to construct a park atop the entire “lid” covering the overflow tank. The adjacent property will also be incorporated into a park, with design decisions to be determined. “This has been a long-held dream for me to get to this point,” Phillips says. “It’s very rewarding and satisfying to know it will be a park opportunity for the communities of Queen Anne and Magnolia. It’s going to be great.”
The county must first buy the land from the Port, build the overflow tank, then sell the land to the city which will then build a park covering what is currently two separate parcels. The County is slightly behind schedule building a tub intended to hold runoff water from storms that overwhelm the waste-water system 4-5 times per year. These overflows pour raw sewage to into Elliott Bay, causing pollution.
As a result of this decision, Seattle City Council Member Sally Bagshaw, who was also pivotal in negotiations, envisions a hiking trail from Lake Union and Queen Anne that will wrap around and come out at the Elliott Bay Marina. She was steadfast against the land swap. “I’m thrilled three governments came together to do the right thing. This decision puts more property into the hands of the citizens,” says Bagshaw. “The new leadership at the Port is a breath of fresh air. They deserve a bouquet.”
Along with the fabrication of the overflow vessel, corresponding pipes leading to it require additional construction and placement.