Investing in Seattle’s Next Generation Infrastructure
Seattle's long-term economic health depends on forward thinking infrastructure investments that support a transportation system with effective alternatives to move people and goods, expand a high-speed broadband network that connects every corner of Seattle to digital education and economic opportunities, and enhance existing utility and energy assets to meet the demands of Seattle's residents and businesses.
EQUITABLE ACCESS TO OPPORTUNITY
On August 22, the City instituted a new women and minority business program for public works bids, to ensure bidders conduct responsive, good-faith efforts to include women and minority firms in their bids. The new "Inclusion Plan," which replaces the previous Outreach Plan, has new requirements for including women and minority firms and must be submitted at time of bid for all projects above $300,000. Completion of the new "Inclusion Plan" form is a condition of bid responsiveness.
This new approach offers transparency to bidders, clarity about City measures and expectations, support to primes in their efforts, and an effective tool to measure responsive good-faith efforts. Bids will be rejected if they do not include a completed Inclusion Plan.
MAJOR CAPACITY INVESTMENTS
- Build a Broadband Fiber Network. Seattle is now poised to move forward with detailed planning for a municipal fiber network. The City leveraged an existing project in Pioneer Square which will result in expanding internet services to businesses along 1st Ave South between S. Jackson and Cherry Street.
- Fire Station Replacement. Since the launch of the Jobs Plan, seven new fire stations have been completed and five have received major seismic upgrades, creating local construction jobs, keeping employees and residents safe, and lowering businesses insurance premiums, which reduce the cost of locating in Seattle. The City is investing over $40 million over the next two years to ensure that Seattle's fire stations can withstand earthquakes.
- Replacing the Seawall. The City has accelerated work on the project to replace the aging Alaskan Way Seawall, which supports utility and transportation conduits that flow into and through the waterfront area.
- Restoring the King Street Station. The new Jackson Street Plaza helps makes King Street Station a great urban place, connecting transit to walkable neighborhoods and opening up a public space, and will be one of three intermodal transportation hubs downtown (with Colman Dock and Westlake Hub).
QUALITY UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE
Utility and energy investments create jobs and support business activities and quality of life in the region with reliable utility infrastructure.
- Seattle Public Utilities has invested $147 million over the last year in capital projects, including over $14 million rebuilding two transfer stations at the end of their useful lives, and over $65 million for clean and reliable drinking water for Seattle residents and businesses.
- Seattle City Light invests approximately $250 million annually in its capital program, including $76 million of investments in its distribution network. Since the Jobs Plan was launched, Seattle City Light's conservation plans have saved 68.9 million kWh, enough to power approximately 7,600 Seattle homes for one year and saved the participants a total of $37 million over the life of the measures.
WALK, BIKE, RIDE AND TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENTS
A strong transit network connects Seattleites to opportunities for jobs and education. The City evaluates transportation funding opportunities with the goal of expanding access and affordable choices within the City's transportation network. The Seattle Department of Transportation's (SDOT) 2010 Adopted Capital Budget totaled nearly $200 million, which included approximately $85 million of investments in major maintenance of SDOT's existing facilities.
- After having successfully recruited one of the first Nissan LEAF dealerships in the country, Seattle has added 35 all-electric LEAFs to the City fleet.
- To date, ECOtality has installed 167 home EV charging stations and one commercial location in Seattle.
- The City's Department of Planning and Development (DPD) made changes to the Seattle Electrical Code that require newly built garages to be ready for charging stations. Our permit streamlining means people wishing to apply for a permit can do so online with inspections available on the same day.
- Move forward on the Seawall replacement project, spending approximately $15 million on design, environmental analysis, including permitting, and outreach during the next year, with 60% design complete and draft environmental impact statement published by September 2012.
- Start planning and design work to connect the First Hill and South Lake Union streetcars. Identify new streetcar routes to Ballard via Westlake and Fremont, and the University District via Eastlake, in order to provide high capactiy transit on Seattle's most congested corridors.
- Install 50 charging stations: 36 serving the City fleet and 14 for public use at City-owned garages, such as the Seattle Center, the Central Library, the SeaPark building, and Pacific Place using a federal grant.
- Make speed and reliability improvements, and implement new services and systems, like rapid streetcar or neighborhood rail across 15 corridors via the City's Transit Master Plan.
- Explore opportunities to expand broadband services to underserved neighborhoods.
We have to build on our strengths to help Seattle compete in the global economy.