Councilmember Richard Conlin
Councilmember Jan Drago
COUNCILMEMBERS PROPOSE SR-520 BRIDGE REPLACEMENT
Six-lane, transit-friendly, Pacific Street Interchange Option would be City’s preferred alternative.
SEATTLE – Today, Councilmembers proposed a draft resolution declaring the Six-Lane Pacific Street Interchange Option as the City of Seattle’s preferred replacement alternative for the State Route 520 Bridge replacement. “This is truly a bridge to the future,” said Councilmember Richard Conlin. “This design can serve Seattle’s neighborhoods, the City’s environmental values, and regional mobility.”
The SR 520 Bridge was built in 1963 and must be replaced. The bridge is vulnerable to earthquakes, wind storms, and has suffered significant deterioration from the waves of Lake Washington. The Six Lane Pacific Street Interchange Option would have four general-purpose lanes and two lanes for transit and carpools. The Pacific Street Interchange would also allow Metro’s buses to and from the Eastside and Sound Transit’s high-capacity light rail to connect seamlessly near the University of Washington Husky Stadium via a new Union Bay Bridge. Councilmember Jan Drago, chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee, said, “It doesn’t make sense to replace the SR 520 Bridge without increasing our capacity for transit. The Six Lane Pacific Street Interchange Option accomplishes this vital task.” The Six-Lane Pacific Street Interchange Option would also reduce noise by building lids and sound walls, improve water quality by diverting runoff from the bridge to water treatment facilities, ease congestion at the Montlake Bridge, and add shoulders for emergency vehicles and breakdowns.
The draft resolution also expresses preferences for design modifications and for mitigating the impacts of SR520 on neighborhoods, the Arboretum and the University of Washington. “It is critical that we take care of our neighborhoods and minimize the impacts of the Project,” states Councilmember Richard Conlin. “We are aggressively pursuing appropriate modifications to the Project and mitigations.” The draft resolution also states that if impacts cannot be adequately addressed the City recommends the four-lane alternative. Once a resolution is adopted, Seattle will join with other municipalities that are a part of the Project to make a recommendation to Governor Gregoire.
The draft resolution is available to the public on September 28, 2006 at http://www.seattle.gov/council/press_attachments/draftsr520reso.pdf A public comment meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 4, 2006 at 6:30 pm at Seattle Preparatory School Cafeteria, Peyton Hall, 2400 11th Ave. E., Seattle.