Seawall replacement project moves forward
SEATTLE - Today Mayor Mike McGinn submitted legislation to the City Council authorizing the issuance and sale of bonds to help fund the replacement of Seattle’s deteriorating seawall. 77 percent of Seattle voters voted to approve the seawall replacement project.
"We are moving this critical infrastructure project forward," said McGinn. "I thank Seattle residents for approving the funding for this project."
These bonds will be sold in multiple series, timed to meet the cash-flow needs of the project. The legislation signed today authorizes interim financing, such as inter-fund loans to bridge the time period between bond issues, should the project cash-flow require it.
The first series of bonds is anticipated to be issued in April. The total value of the bond measure approved by voters is $290 million: $240 million for the seawall project and $50 million to rehabilitate city owned piers.
The Elliott Bay Seawall is a critical piece of infrastructure that supports the downtown Seattle waterfront and adjacent marine and upland structures, including major regional utilities, surface Alaskan Way, SR 99, Washington State Ferries' Colman Dock, the BNSF railway, Port of Seattle operations, and various commercial and residential buildings. Replacing the seawall will protect the waterfront from coastal storm damage and seismic damage, and will set the stage for the future waterfront. The new seawall would also provide opportunities for enhancing habitat restoration, transportation infrastructure and public amenities.
The design, environmental analysis and construction of the central seawall from South Washington Street to Virginia Street are estimated to cost $300 million. With $28 million in city funding and a King County Flood Control District $32 million grant secured, the city now has the remaining $240 million needed to complete the project.
Working closely with stakeholders, the Central Waterfront Committee and waterfront designers, the city also recently made significant progress on seawall project design and environmental analysis. The project achieved 60 percent design in early November and published a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on November 13, 2012. SDOT additionally selected the joint venture of Mortenson Construction and Manson Construction Company as the general contractor/construction manager for the project. SDOT is moving forward to complete design, and secure the environmental clearances and permits necessary to start construction this year.
The oldest and most vulnerable portion of the seawall, the central seawall from Washington to Virginia streets, will be constructed starting this fall and early 2016 over three construction seasons. The city is committed to keeping the waterfront accessible throughout construction, and will work to support the economic vitality of the waterfront and minimize construction impacts.
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