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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: SDOT Given Green Light to Fix the Mercer Mess

6/14/2010  3:15:00 PM

SDOT Given Green Light to Fix the Mercer Mess

SEATTLE—Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Director Peter Hahn today thanked the City Council for giving legislative approval to move forward with the east phase of the Mercer Corridor Improvements Project. With the council lifting its budget restriction, SDOT can now award a construction contract and break ground on the project in late July or early August.

“The Council and the community have intensely studied this issue and we have an excellent plan that benefits motorists, freight, pedestrians and bicyclists,” said Hahn. “Thanks to our federal funding partner, the South Lake Union community, and SDOT planners and engineers, we can now start on a project that will be the pride of Seattle for generations.”

Construction on the $161 million project will be completed by 2013. Gary Merlino Construction Company, the low bidder on the project, submitted a proposal that was well under the engineer’s preliminary estimate. Overall, there are bid savings of approximately 23 percent on demolition and construction from earlier estimates. The project is expected to create 1,200 direct construction jobs and provide opportunities for minority contractors and apprentices.

The Mercer Corridor Improvements Project:

  • Improves access to Seattle Center and Uptown, and the freight route to Fremont/Interbay
  • Improves traffic flow off of I-5
  • Provides improved access for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit
  • Reduces collision risks throughout the corridor
  • Supports at least 22,000 new jobs and 10,000 new housing units
  • Enhances the environment around Lake Union Park

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

The community can learn about construction updates from the Mercer Corridor Improvement Web site at: In addition, a staffed 24-hour hot-line is available, as well as traveling displays, stakeholder briefings and neighborhood outreach.

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Seattle Department of Transportation

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