So Long Levitz Hill?

The iconic furniture store was the leading retailer of furniture, bedding, and home furnishings for years until it closed its doors to business in 2008.  The familiar landmark metal sign has been removed from the wooded hill above the previous Tukwila store location and I-5. And now it appears that the road that many long time locals refer to as ‘Levitz Hill’ will also soon be a thing of the past, as well.

The City of Tukwila’s 2004 Comprehensive Plan text and land use map amendments defined an  infrastructure phase that would extend and expand Southcenter Parkway to S 200th Street. Included in the plan is realignment and reconstruction of S 178th Street west of Southcenter Parkway. These revisions would be part of the city’s Tukwila South Development project expected to provide up to 25,000 jobs, 1,700 housing units and 10 million square feet of office and retail space. The Segale family owns most of the property along the new street and plans to develop the area, which will have much-improved access to Interstate 5 with the new roadway. 

In July 2010, Southcenter Parkway and Frager Road were closed to through traffic between South 180th Street and South 200th Street. Construction of the new road that aligned with the base of the western hillside was completed and opened to traffic on November 21, 2012. 

The next phase of the plan realigning S 178th St to intersect with Segale Dr C at Southcenter Parkway will require an ordinance vacating right of way.  The ordinance will apply to the portion of So. 178th Street running east of the I-5 overpass and the existing Southcenter Parkway intersection at 180th Street.  The intent is to resolve the steep grade and is a prerequisite to building a new fire station in the area.  

As part of the original agreement the Segale family is prepared to donate a three-acre site along the new road for a future city fire station. The location is still to be determined and the station would only be constructed if the Street Vacation Ordinance is passed by City Council and all conditions of the Ordinance are met.  At this time it is not known if the existing roadway will remain open until completion of the replacement route or if So. 178th Street will require closure and traffic detour for any part of the construction period.

The Tukwila City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, January 7th at 7:30 PM in the Council Chambers at Tukwila City Hall, 6200 Southcenter Blvd to consider the proposed ordinance.  All interested persons are invited to be present to voice approval, disapproval, or opinions on this issue.  For those unable to attend in person, you may submit written testimony to the City Clerk’s Office before 5:00 PM on the day of the meeting.


Anonymous said...

Nice to see the steepest part of that roadway rerouted. I have seen vehicles struggle to gain traction up that hill in the rain before, or skid coming down. Will this also open up the road for trucks over 10,000 gross weight?

Anonymous said...

Not gettin' any answer

Angle Lake Shore Club Blog said...

Anonymous, thank you for your persistence! :-)

OK, so according to an official with the Public Works Department fo Tukwila:

"There are no weight restrictions for legally licensed vehicles on the realigned S 178th St, which has been renamed South 184th Place within Tukwila city limits. SeaTac may have some restrictions, so you may want to contact the City of SeaTac regarding weight restrictions.

The old South 178th St roadway had a 21% grade and the new South 184th Place roadway is now at a 9.5% grade."