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City of Seattle
Mike McGinn (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Airport Way South Viaduct reopens

12/21/2012  3:30:00 PM

Airport Way South Viaduct reopens
Mayor joins Georgetown community members to celebrate

SEATTLE - Mayor Mike McGinn joined community members in Georgetown today to officially reopen the Airport Way South Viaduct after a yearlong closure. Thanks to the City's $34 million rehabilitation, the improved viaduct will ensure safe travel over the Argo Railroad Yard for cars, freight, bicycles and pedestrians for decades to come.

"We're taking care of the basics by rebuilding this important link to Georgetown and south Seattle," said McGinn. "I want to thank the community for their patience, and invite people to come visit Georgetown."

Spanning the Argo Railroad Yard, the Airport Way South Viaduct was originally built in 1928 to provide grade separation between Airport Way South and the Union Pacific, Northern Pacific and Seattle to Tacoma Interurban railroad track.

"Repairing and rehabilitating the Airport Way S bridge and roadway and other critical transportation projects is vital in keeping our transportation system functioning", said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chair of the Transportation Committee. "I thank the Seattle voters for approving the Bridging the Gap levy funding measure that financed this important project in Georgetown that serves the residents as well as businesses and freight industries throughout our region."

The reopening marks the completion of a year-long project that replaced the 1920's era timber framed approaches with a modern mechanically stabilized earth wall structure. Additional work included rehabilitation and seismic improvements to the viaduct's main span, and upgrades to a number of surrounding Georgetown Streets such as South Lucile Street, South Dawson Street, Denver Avenue South and Airport Way South. With over 13,000 vehicles traveling on Airport Way South daily, the structure is important to businesses, freight operations, the Port of Seattle, commuters, cyclists, and residents of Georgetown and the surrounding area.

The Airport Way South Viaduct project is part of the City of Seattle's Bridging the Gap program. Bridging the Gap is a $365 million levy passed by Seattle voters in 2006 that enables much-needed maintenance and improvement work by SDOT, such as roadway paving, sidewalk development and repair, bridge maintenance, and tree pruning and planting.

To address construction impacts on local businesses, SDOT and the Office of Economic Development (OED) partnered to include the Georgetown business district in OED's citywide "buy local" marketing campaign.

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Office of the Mayor

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