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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Fixing the Mercer Mess: Favorable Bids Pave the Way

5/25/2010  2:00:00 PM

Fixing the Mercer Mess: Favorable Bids Pave the Way

SEATTLE— Construction bids to rebuild the troubled Mercer Street corridor were far less than originally anticipated, Seattle Department of Transportation Director Peter Hahn told the City Council Transportation Committee today.

“Taking advantage of the favorable construction climate, we’re ready to move forward on this important project,” said Hahn. “After decades of delay, we will fix the Mercer Mess, and create a wonderful new corridor for motorists, freight, bicyclists and pedestrians.”

Gary Merlino Construction Company, the apparent low bidder on the east phase of the Mercer Corridor Improvements Project, submitted a proposal that came in at about $47,850,000, well under the engineer’s estimate. Overall, there is a bid savings of approximately 23 percent on demolition and construction from earlier estimates, which the project relied on as part of its funding plan. The city is further reviewing the bids for completeness and responsiveness.

The funding plan for the project is now complete, said Hahn. SDOT is requesting the City Council lift budget restrictions on Mercer funding, allowing construction to begin in July or early August. The project is expected to be completed in 2013.

The Mercer Corridor Improvements Project:

• Improves access to Seattle Center and Uptown, and the freight route to Fremont/Interbay

• Improves traffic flow off I-5

• Provides improved access for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit

• Reduces collision risks throughout the corridor

• Supports 22,000 new jobs and 10,000 new housing units

• Enhances the environment around Lake Union Park

In February, the federal Department of Transportation awarded the Mercer project $30 million, one of just two road projects in Washington State funded by the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. A grant from the Puget Sound Regional Council will add an additional $9.5 million in federal and state funding.

The City of Seattle will fund $84.2 million, private contributions will total about $32.1 million, and surplus property sales will add $4.9 million. Demolition of eight vacant buildings in the construction area is expected to be completed in June, on time and under budget.


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Seattle Department of Transportation

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