Aerial photo showing Black River Jct. Tukwila, WA area in 1966, subject is the under construction I-405
The photo is compressed to fit the page and can be enlarged.
I remember this area before the freeway was built. In the distance you can see construction of I-5 running perpendicular to I-405. At the very top an airplane can be spotted at Sea-Tac airport. At center and to the right of the Grady Way bridge, which is supported on a wood pier trestle, is a grade crossing. This road crossed the shared main lines of the Northern Pacific and Great Northern and the most distant tracks were shared by Union Pacific and Milwaukee Road. This was a busy place in 1966, I believe there were 10 passenger trains a day in addition to the many freights. Posted speed for passenger trains at this crossing was 60 and the curves on the NP GN lines were super elevated here.
The road crossing the tracks had a short steep approach to reach the height of the tracks. This was a pretty busy little road, even more so after the Southcenter shopping mall was built. Growing up not far from here, I used this crossing quite often, first on bicycles and later by auto after getting my drivers license. This busy high speed crossing was protected only by wooden crossbucks and I don't recall ever hearing about an accident involving trains. People seemed to be a lot more aware of the immediate world about them in those days. The grade crossing no longer exists.
The curved road leading up to the crossing is named Monster Road. Inside the curve of this road and the tracks was a garbage dump. The depression is nearly filled at the time of the photo and the dump is in its last days. Remember going to this dump many times with my dad. A small crew of all Black men were in charge of this operation and they always had burning barrels lit. Seems like it was always wet, muddy and cold when visiting the dump.
There are a lot more details that can be pointed out, but will let others add.
There is a story my dad described to me which took place while he was riding with his father on Monster Road in the year 1934. I call it the "Monster Road Incident".