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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Moving forward on the tunnel project

9/24/2010  3:30:00 PM
Kimberly Mills  (206) 684-8602

The overriding question for the City of Seattle right now is whether the City should retain its co-lead status on the environmental impact statement that must precede construction of a deep bore tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

If the City forfeits its co-lead status, it could be hampered in assessing and responding to citizens’ comments on the environmental impacts of the project, and funding for the Seattle Department of Transportation possibly could be jeopardized.

In an attempt to preserve the status quo on the project, Council President Richard Conlin signed the draft EIS late Thursday because the state and federal government said they would recognize his signature as sufficient for those entities to move forward and issue the draft document to the public. Additional questions may arise as to whether the City Council can direct SDOT to retain co-lead status through legislative action.

The City Attorney’s Office is engaging all parties in discussions to find a constructive way forward. Attorneys are researching legal issues as they arise in the course of these negotiations.

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