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Seattle City Light DEBRA SMITH, General Manager and CEO
Broad Street Substation Inductor Project
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City Light Broad Street Substation

Project Update

Summer 2019

In its continuing effort to keep pace with the region’s growth and to provide reliable power to customers, Seattle City Light is planning to make improvements to the Broad Street Substation. In late 2017, City Light identified a preferred option for substation improvements, which involves installing new electrical equipment at the Broad Street Substation. City Light held a public open house and conducted briefings with area stakeholders to present and solicit feedback on the preferred option.

The preferred option required the acquisition of the now closed portion of Broad Street (at Taylor Avenue North and Harrison Street) through a process called street vacation. The first step in the street vacation process was receiving approval from the Seattle Design Commission. It is the Commission’s job to approve the project’s urban design merit and proposed public benefits. The Commission determines whether and how the vacation affects the remaining streets or alleys near the project and whether potential impacts (to vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian circulation; access; utilities; light, air, and open space; and views) have been adequately addressed. It also determines whether the proposed public benefits are adequate compensation for the loss of public right-of-way.

In the spring of 2018, City Light presented the preferred option to the Seattle Design Commission. At that meeting the Design Commission requested that City Light take a closer look at the proposed walls around the substation to reduce their impact on the surrounding neighborhood. City Light then worked with the Design Commission to develop new options for the wall and met with area stakeholders to solicit feedback on those options.

City Light presented a refined option briefing to the Seattle City Council Sustainability and Transportation Committee in July 2018. The record of that meeting can be found here. City Light presented a refined option to the Seattle Design Commission in August 2018. The Commission voted unanimously to approve the urban design merit and public benefit for the project. The minutes from that meeting can be found here.

Following approval from the Seattle Design Commission, City Light presented the street vacation proposal to the Seattle City Council Sustainability and Transportation Committee on December 4, 2018. After receiving approval from that Committee, the street vacation was put before a vote of the full Council on December 10. The street vacation was granted as conditioned unanimously and is now proceeding to the final stage of design. The record of City Council votes can be found here.

City Light plans to finalize the design for the project at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020 with the start of construction tentatively planned for the first quarter of 2021.

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