Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)
SUBJECT: Mayor Stops Controversial Magnolia Bridge Replacement Option
4/15/2003 6:55:00 AM
Mayor Protects Shoreline, Stops Bridge Replacement Option
"We Must Preserve Seattle's Shorelines"
SEATTLE-- Mayor Nickels announced today that the City would not pursue a bridge replacement alternative that includes a road along the base of the Magnolia Bluff. Neighborhood leaders praised the mayor's decision.
"We will replace the Magnolia Bridge, but not along Seattle's precious shoreline," Nickels said.
The shoreline alignment, known as "Alignment B," relied on a surface road from the Interbay area to 32nd Avenue West. It was one of four alternatives the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has been investigating as it plans how to replace the aging Magnolia Bridge.
"We are pleased that the Mayor has taken this step to eliminate an alignment that could harm the waterfront," said Lindsay Brown, President of the Magnolia Community Club. "We know this wasn't an easy decision, but this is the right decision for the long-term."
In March, the Mayor received a petition of 1,700 signatures against Alignment B. The petition cited environmental and shoreline concerns and asked SDOT not to continue studying the alignment. After analyzing the issues regarding shoreline permits, staff determined that Alignment B wasn't viable because the proposed road would violate the City's own shoreline policies, and it would not be possible to obtain the shoreline permit required for construction.
At the Mayor's direction, the shoreline alignment will not be included in the project's Environmental Impact Study (EIS) now being conducted by SDOT. Three other alignments will proceed through the EIS process. The department plans to hold a public meeting in mid May to receive comments on what issues the EIS should study for the three remaining alternatives.
The City has secured $9 million in Federal funding to plan and design a replacement for the bridge. Mayor Nickels is seeking $80 to $100 million from federal and local sources for construction of a new bridge. The earliest construction could begin is June of 2007.