Seattle City Council
10/6/2005 1:04:00 PM
Phyllis Shulman (206)684-8805
COUNCIL SET TO DECLARE OPPOSITION TO I-912
I-912 Impacts funding for over 250 transportation projects statewide
SEATTLE – A resolution declaring opposition to Washington State Initiative 912 and urging all Seattle voters to vote against it in the November 8 General Election will be presented and voted on by the Seattle City Council Monday, October 10th at 2:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.
“The passage of I-912 would seriously harm the state of Washington’s ability to maintain its aging transportation infrastructure,” said Councilmember Richard Conlin, chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee and co-sponsor of this resolution. “If I-912 passes, it will put the health and safety of millions of people in cities and towns across the state at risk.”
If approved by statewide voters, I-912 would repeal the transportation funding package enacted by the 2005 State Legislature and slated for statewide transportation and public safety projects. The gas tax increase and increases in license and permit fees would bring $2 billion to Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Project. It would also provide $332 million for freight mobility, congestion-relief, safety, multi-modal and environmental improvement projects in Seattle.
“Engineers estimate that the Alaskan Way Viaduct has a 1-in-20 chance of failure in an earthquake within the next ten years,” says Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, the resolution’s co-sponsor. “The continuing deterioration of the Viaduct is a known and serious threat to our region's public safety and economy. It would be devastating to that critical project if I-912 passes.”
“The passage of I-912 would be costly to cities and towns across the state,” said Council President Jan Drago, “reducing or eliminating funding for over 250 transportation projects. It could have an enormous adverse impact on the state’s economy and would possibly eliminate thousands of jobs associated with transportation projects.”
The gas tax increase and increases in license and permit fees would pay for $8.5 billion dollars in statewide investments in transportation over the next 16 years. The largest share of the funding would go to badly needed bridge repair and maintenance projects. $500 million in funding would go to replacing the State Route 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington, a critical link between Seattle and the Eastside. The bridge is also vulnerable to earthquakes.
Time will be allotted on the agenda for public comment. Members of the public will be afforded an approximately equal opportunity for the expression of an opposing view.